Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Michigan 2017

I am really excited about this post, because I am writing it, I feel like I am getting to relive my Michigan trip a bit...and boy, was it a good time!

A little background - almost every year since I was little (and before I was even born, I think!), we have been taking family trips to Michigan with my mom's side of the family.  It's always the best time, although I definitely didn't appreciate it as much when I was younger (those darn teenage years!).  The trip looks a bit different these days, with people coming and going as schedules allow, but one thing that doesn't change is just how special it is!

To start off the trip, I drove to my parents', then hopped in their car to drive up to Michigan.  We have stayed in Union Pier, MI for the last 19-20 years, and while it is definitely becoming more developed, it still holds that little beach town charm.  There isn't much in town, so for meals and shopping, we head to New Buffalo, which is great in itself!  The traffic was pretty terrible this year (thanks, construction), but we finally made it and got to the house safely.  We did things a bit differently this year, by getting two cottages next door.  With my nephew, it just seemed like a good idea to have a separate space where he can rest and get in his naps, without us all being loud and disturbing him.  My family stayed in once house, while my grandma, aunt, uncle and cousins were in the other.  It worked out really well for us!  





The first afternoon / night we were there was pretty low key.  We got unpacked, checked out what had changed from years past and then got started on our puzzle.  My mom always gets us a new puzzle to put together on vacation.  Everyone does a little bit and it stays out the whole time, so whenever you have some free time or need something to do, you can search for a few pieces.  We had our signature 'first night' meal, which is breaded pork that my grandma makes.  Always SO good.  After dinner, we headed down to watch the sunset and were amazed at how small the beach was!  It was a chillier night, but any night on the beach watching the sunset is a good one.  We headed back up to the cottages and played cards (Blitz) before bed.











Sunday was the perfect beach day.  I headed out for a run first thing, and then after breakfast, headed down to the beach with my brother, sister in law and nephew.  The water was a bit cool, but once you got in it, it felt very refreshing!  Jack absolutely LOVED the water.  He would run in and out and in and out - it was so fun!  After a bit, he needed to dry off because it was a bit chilly, so we all moved to play in the sand.  I have to admit, it was fun having a little one around because I enjoyed playing with his sand toys, too!  My dad and I stayed down at the beach while everyone went back up for a bit.  The big surprise I mentioned on Friday came next.  My aunt, uncle and cousin were all coming this day, but we weren't sure what time.  Fun fact - those of us that are already at the house always bet on times and this year I won!  My brother came back down to the beach and told us they were here, but he left out one minor detail - my cousin from Arizona came in and surprised us!  So you can imagine how flabbergasted I was when I see her walking down the steps to the beach.  And you better believe my brother got a big splash of water in his face for not telling me, haha!  It's been a long time since all of us cousins have been together, so it was SO awesome.  I also had to give my other cousin some trouble, because I had emailed him the week before to see if Lisa was coming, and he totally ignored my email.  A little part of me thought maybe it was a surprise, but really he just started a new position not too long ago, so I thought the fact that he was probably very busy was more likely.  Anyways, it was just a great surprise.  Unfortunately, my dad had to head back that afternoon for work, so he left shortly after they arrived.  My brother finished the puzzle (already!!!) that afternoon, so I had to snap a picture before putting it away.  My mom has gotten us some really neat puzzles, a lot of which have all these small little pictures to make up the whole.  I always love those because they keep things interesting and can be a bit easier to put together.  That evening we went to one of our favorites, Redamak's (they put velveeta cheese on their burgers!) , for dinner and then Oink's for ice cream.  My very favorite ice cream flavor is Blue Moon and I cannot find it anywhere near here, so it's always such a special treat.  The night ended with more card games.








Unfortunately, we woke up to rain on Monday morning.  We decided it was the perfect day to head into town for some shopping, and the rain actually had stopped by then, so it made a little more enjoyable walking around.  New Buffalo has some really cute shops.  I went the touristy route and got a light weight New Buffalo sweatshirt.  The weather was a bit cloudy and spitting on and off, so my brother, sister in law and I headed to a distillery in Three Oaks called Journeyman Distillery.  They had been there before and really liked it.  There is a bar, tasting room and restaurant located in an old factory - just very cool.  We decided to share a bunch of apps, all of which were so delicious.  It was a great lunch and I picked up a few small bottles of their liquor to bring home with me.  Three Oaks was a super cute little town, too, one I think would be fun to walk around and explore, had we had more time.  Once we got back, my mom and I headed to the beach since the weather wasn't all that bad.  My aunt's family was down there, but we stayed in our regular clothes and just stayed for a little bit, then walked down the beach and back to the house.  Since I was leaving the next day, as were my cousins, we decided to do another dinner out at an old favorite, Clementine's, so we all got ready.  It's right on a dock area, so it was perfect to keep my nephew occupied with all the boats!  We had a bit of a snafu at dinner - the waiter ended up spilling wine and water all down my back, but luckily it was all light colored stuff so nothing stained.  I just had a wet back and bottom for a bit, haha.  Their onion rings are by far the very best thing there, and we thoroughly enjoyed them.  We headed back to New Buffalo for some more ice cream, which was delicious as always.  We had more rain on the way and during dinner, but luckily it cleared up for the sunset.  Just my aunt, cousin, mom and I went down, and while it wasn't super vibrant, the pinks and blues were so pretty.  We were basically the only ones on the beach, too, which made it even nicer!  It was funny, on the way there, we saw this one deer who was so close to the road - like literally you probably could have take a step or two and been right there with her.  She definitely surprised us a bit, but I imagine they are quite used to all the people there.  Another round of cards ended the night.













I had a rough time getting out of bed on Tuesday.  I thought maybe if I stayed in bed, then it would mean I didn't have to leave!  I ran, then basically got ready for the beach to go there as soon as we were done with breakfast.  My dad was kind enough to drive up to get me and take me back home that day.  My nephew had no interest in the little sandcastle I made the first day down at the beach, but he was loving smashing all the towers and stars my cousin and I made this day.  It was really fun!  I stayed at the beach as long as I could, just enjoy the water and time with family, then headed up, ate lunch and got ready to go.  

One fun thing to add.  The cottage my grandma and other family stayed at had these squirrel statues...they would mysteriously make their way all over the place and between the two houses.  You never knew where they would pop up!  Just kind of a fun little thing to do while we were all there.




Until next year...

Linking up with Jenn and Jessi.

19 comments:

  1. What a wonderful family tradition and vacation to take! love that your cousin surprised you - definitely makes for an even more memorable trip! xo,Biana-BlovedBoston

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  2. What a gray family tradition! I love that you always put a puzzle together! Things like those you will never forget!

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  3. I love that you've been going there for the past 19-20 years! What awesome memories you must have! And sooooooo awesome your cousin came and surprised you!! We are going to MI soon and I can't wait! Although, Lake Michigan water is always so cold LOL

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  4. What a fun trip! So glad you got some quality time with your family and that all the cousins got to be together! That's always so fun! And I'm sure the weather was more enjoyable in MI!
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

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  5. Umm can I come next year? This looks incredible! I LOVE that ya'll do a puzzle bc when we go on vacation with my inlaws, we do the same thing every year and it has to be finished by the time we all leave!

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  6. You know Michigan has my heart! We were there this past Saturday just up the road in Sawyer and Baroda! I love that I know and have been to all these places! Mmmm now I'm hungry for Redamaks!!

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  7. I love that your family puts together a puzzle on each trip! What a great tradition!

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  8. This sounds fantastic! I love how you guys have same things you do each year to year!

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  9. That's so awesome that y'all have an annual trip that you take every year that's so full of traditions! That's so awesome that your cousin surprised y'all by coming in town! It's always so awesome to be reunited with family after being apart for so long.

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  10. This looks amazing! I love trips like that! And those sun pictures..so pretty!

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  11. I love that your mom's entire side of the family does an annual trip together. We've done that a couple of times with my mom's side of the family and it was SO MUCH FUN both times so I wish we would start doing something like that every year! And girl, I need to try Blue Moon ice cream! I think I've asked you this before, but what does it taste like? Is there anything you can compare it to?

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  12. That a great tradition to have! So much fun!

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  13. Umm that looks like the most wonderful trip in the world! Would you believe I've never been to Michigan?! We've always holidayed in Maine, and I just love the traditions we can set up :)

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  14. Looks like so much fun and that ice cream looks delicious! My family just came down from Michigan to go to Disney this week and we were talking about how I haven't been there to visit in ages. It's on the trip list for sure!

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  15. Yay for Pure Michigan! Your trip sounds like such a great time. How fun to always have a family puzzle to work on! I bet your nephew was adorable playing on the beach and in the water. :) I had no idea Blue Moon wasn't sold everywhere. (yummy!) Is it just a Michigan thing?

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  16. What a sweet trip! We always talk about going up to Michigan for a little getaway so I'll have to keep these towns in mind when we do get around to making plans. Looks like a gorgeous place :)

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  17. It looks like you had such a fun time on your trip! Michigan looks so pretty and relaxing!

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  18. Sounds like a sweet getaway and vacation especially since its been a family tradition for years! Emily @ Martinis & Bikinis

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  19. Looks like a beautiful trip. I just love that you guys have had this tradition for so many years.

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