This weekend we are headed off to one of my all time favorite places: northern Michigan. My dad was born there and my grandparents built a little cabin on Lake Charlevoix long ago. This was our spot growing up for vacations. We never really went anywhere else, and honestly, didn’t want to. People used to ask me ‘Why Michigan?’ and I didn’t have a good answer for them. I still don’t. It’s hard to explain unless you have been there during the summer.
There is no humidity, the cherries are ripe, and it’s cool enough to wear a sweatshirt at night. You leave with a tan even though it never gets above 78 degrees. The homemade fudge ice cream is on point. The days are quiet and peaceful. The cell reception is sub-par at best. The fish and chips are heaven. You come home having read all the books. The local art fairs and cherry festivals are always entertaining. We use the same coffee mugs and old fiesta-ware that have been there forever. Your arms are sore and happy from the morning’s kayaking session. The people are welcoming, but not smothering. The campfires are top notch and s’mores happen a lot. The day trips are wonderful: Mackinaw Island, Petoskey, the UP, Sleeping Bear Dunes, etc., etc., etc.
I have endless childhood memories of counting down the days until it was time to head up north. We would drive the long ten-hour drive from Kentucky, to Indiana, and roll into the upper edge of Michigan sleepy and dazed. Grandma, Grandpa, a gaggle of dogs, and the cousins would run out and greet us and I would live in my Speedo one-piece the rest of the week. It was so lovely.
This summer is the first one that Ian’s been able to join us. I can’t wait to show him all the things we love about this place. It’s not the same as it used to be, without Grandma, or sleeping 7 kids deep in the loft (miss you cousins!), but things change. Next summer we will hopefully bring our new addition up to the cabin and keep the tradition alive. Oh, and I’ll be able to have a proper Gin & Tonic on the deck ;)
Photo from The Fresh Exchange. Always love her photos of Michigan!