Monday, July 13, 2015

Vacation Part 2--Michigan's Upper Peninsula!

After coming home from our Eastern Adventure, we had just enough time to do a few loads of laundry, repack, sleep, and get on the road again. This time we were heading north into familiar territory-Michigan's Upper Peninsula. My parents live there, and as a child, every summer vacation was spent there.

I picked up a shirt on this trip that says "Up North, My Happy Place"-and it really is. Every time my car gets on the Mighty Mac Bridge, my heart just sighs in contentment and I feel at peace. I think it would be the same even if my parents didn't live there. I fell in love with it when I was a kid and there really is no other place I'd rather be.

Our first two days were spent just relaxing. No pressing plans and no travelling! It felt good to not have our rear ends glued to the car seats for a couple of days after all of the driving we did the days before.

On Monday of that week, we had a date to catch up with some of our oldest and very dear friends. My mom and my friend's mom were timing my mom's contractions (for me) while they were playing Yahtzee. My friend is a little older, and when I think of my childhood, I remember spending Sunday afternoons, after church hanging out at their house. We'd watch old movies, play games, ride bikes,and at dinner time, we'd make tacos or Appian Way Pizza (the dry dough mix in a box). Those days are forever embedded in my memory as something I'll cherish forever, as well as the people who shared those times.

We had a great time catching up, and I'm smiling as I type because I warned my friend in a FB message that she might just catch the vintage treasure hunting bug. She's so far gone-there's no might about it any more! It was fun talking with someone who "gets it", if you know what I mean.

I've learned over the years, that people who don't "get it" will ask about treasure hunting, but they are usually just being polite. There comes a point, usually pretty quickly, when their eyes glaze over and they just hear you say, ,wah, wah, wah wah wah. I've actually stopped talking mid-sentence at a dinner party after someone asked me about treasure hunting or my collections, and the people I was talking to never even knew I stopped mid-sentence! That didn't happen at our lunch that day-we had tons to talk about, and it was so nice to see them and catch up!!

I've really been blessed this summer to have had time with a few old friends! I'll cherish those lunches and those friendships forever!

After lunch, we even went to the local Goodwill and Habitat, to see what we could find. I wish she lived closer (she's moved to TN, but was in town to see her first grandbaby!) I have a feeling we'd have a blast treasure hunting together!!

On Tuesday, we loaded up my parent's truck and camper and headed a little further north to Tahquamenon Falls. We got the camper all set up in the campground and got back in the truck to go even further north to the Two Hearted River, about 35 miles north of Newberry. Mr has been there several times in his hiking adventures, but we had never been there.

It was a very chilly, rainy day, so we didn't last very long. It was a beautiful area, and I'd love to see it on a sunny day! We parked in the public parking just off of the campground and took a little suspension bridge over the river to the shore of Lake Superior. The mouth of the river comes out at the lake.

We brought buckets and old coffee cans for stone hunting. The camp hosts, from the campground, were walking the shores as well and they were giving us tips on what rocks to look for. My mom was looking for agates. I was looking at all of the potential Pinterest craft projects!!

We picked up a few and were so frozen, that we decided to head back and go to the falls before we made dinner over the campfire. We had a great visit to the falls, but it was still raining, and we were not only frozen, we were soggy too. So we decided to go into town to try to find a restaurant rather than be miserable at the campfire.

We ended up at a little bar/restaurant that seems to have a ton of great reviews. I wish our experience could have been even close to what the reviews were saying. They were severely understaffed that rainy, cold day. No one there to greet incoming customers except for a patron in the bar, only two servers (who were great, but spread too thin), It took forever to get seated and it took forever for our food to come out. It was served on a little plate that looked like a slice of a log. While it was clever, it wasn't big enough for the sandwich and fries, so the fries came in a drinking glass...not impressed. The food was mediocre at best-definitely not worth the prices or the wait.

The next day, we packed up and headed to Sault Ste.Marie, Michigan to camp at the Aune Osborne Campground. It's just outside of the hustle and bustle of town right on the banks of the St. Mary's river-just down from the Soo Locks. We got to watch freighters pass by so close, you could see the crew if they were on the deck! If you are ever in the Soo area and camping-this is a great campground!! Super clean restrooms, showers and park. Not many trees, and the sites are really close together, but the views of the ships are amazingly close and super awesome!!

My dad has an app on his phone and he was able to check to see when a ship was scheduled to go through the locks and then about 15-30 minutes later, it would pass by our campground. We weren't lucky enough to be right on the water but the spot we had was very good.

We also visited the Locks, wandered through a few souvenir shops and had lunch at Karl's Cuisine Cafe and Winery. The food was super delicious, and even though they were very busy, they were very well staffed with an excellent staff. I highly recommend this cafe.

We did brave the high winds for our campfire dinner, but didn't hang out very long by the fire pit once dinner was done. Since it was Canada Day, we got to see great fireworks on the Canadian side of the river. I may or may not have been all curled up in bed by that point...sleeping in strange beds catches up to you after a while!!

We had great times with my parents, cooking dinner out on their pontoon boat, fishing, floating around, preparing for their neighborhood 4th of July golf cart/bike/four wheeler parade, a potluck dinner and fireworks! It was a lot of fun, and our guys were able to come up and join us for the last weekend of our visit.

This is how Lucy does camping!

We got home last Sunday, in time to do some laundry and get ready for work  the next day. I honestly don't know where the week went-it went by in such a blur, that I don't even remember it!

Here are some other pics of our time in the U.P.:


  1. I know what you mean about your happy place. When I was a kid, my dad's parents had a timeshare up in Okoboji, IA, and we went just about every year. It was the last week before school started, so it was our last bit of vacation time. When they passed away, my dad got the time share and even though it usually doesn't fit into my schedule, I do get to it every once in awhile, never for the whole week. This year, I do get to go for about 2 and a half days, and I'm so looking forward to it.

  2. Appian Way Pizza - a good memory for me, too! You took some wonderful photos. I enjoyed them. It looks and sounds like you had a wonderful time.