Slowly, I am getting back into some sort of a routine after being on vacation.
It has been nice to take a blogging break 
and not have to worry about getting a post written every day.
I haven’t written a book review for a few weeks and I have enjoyed that break as well.
But, I do have several that I need to write and will be doing that next week.
You will see me slowly coming back to life here on the blog, 
but I’ll be sporadic until school starts. 
I don’t want to miss out on the rest of our summer with the kids. 
It’s gone by so fast. 
So, until then, here are some photos 
from our recent family vacation through the state of Michigan.
We started in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and then went on to Green Bay.
From there we moved on up to the UP (Upper Peninsula) of the state of Michigan.
This is such a beautiful part of our great country
 and we only saw a small piece of it.
We began in Munising, then meandered over to 
Mackinaw City and visited Mackinac Island as well.
From there we went back down to the lower part of Michigan
and stayed in Traverse City, my favorite place on the trip.
We then worked our way back home 
by driving along the western border and along Lake Michigan, 
staying for a night in St Joseph/Benton Harbor. 
I hope some of the photos I am sharing 
capture some of the amazing beauty we saw in Michigan.
We did “speed zoo” at the Milwaukee Zoo 
since we didn’t get there until 2:45 and they close at 5. 
But we saw everything we wanted to see 
and even got to see them feed the elephants. 
I actually recommend it, 
because the zoo wasn’t as busy at this time of day. 
I always love how the peacocks are just walking around
and especially love to be treated to their beautiful
array of feathers. 

Even though we are Minnesota Vikings fans, 
we still thought a tour of Lambeau Field would be pretty neat. 
The Green Bay Packers organization has a really nice tour. 
I learned a lot about the history of their organization, 
the team, their coaching staff, and their stadium. 
We took the Champion Tour, which was a bit more expensive,
but we were able to see areas of the stadium
not on the regular tour.

The Munising, Michigan area is known for the 
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
It really is quite beautiful. We didn’t hike out to see it closer
 because it was quite chilly when we were there. 
Just 49 degrees and rainy.
But we took the trail to the overlook area and then
saw more while on a boat tour.  

Also near here is The Big Springs. 
It is a natural spring, always at 45 degrees.
The colors here were amazing. 

We took the ferry to Mackinac Island and eh….
it was just OK for our family.
Very commercialized and expensive. 
But we can say we were there and 
the Grand Hotel is truly amazing to look at. 
(We didn’t pay the $10/person to go inside)

Several people told us to be sure to visit the 
Sleeping Bear Dunes.
They are west of Traverse City.
I highly recommend it. 
Really a neat experience.

Our favorite stop was in Traverse City. 
Great beaches and really nice community with something for everyone. 
Beach time was a blast.

We had to try a Michigan Pasty. 
We found some at the Bear Trap Inn near Munising in Shingleton. 
They are handmade every morning by a “grandma” and were quite good.
There are different variations of the inside ingredients 
and some come with a gravy.
Ours had potatoes, carrots, onions and ground beef inside. 

I had to visit a bookstore on the trip and 
this one in Munising beckoned me to come on in.
Falling Rock Cafe and Bookstore offers coffee, sandwiches,
 books from local authors and a large used books selection.
I picked up a used Laurie Notaro book 
and a book from local author Ellen Airgood,
It’s one both my daughter and I can enjoy!
I loved the patrons wall of coffee mugs.  

This is our first look at the Mackinac Bridge. 
A 5 mile bridge that connects the UP to the lower part of the state. 
I’m not a fan of bridges.
Let me rephrase that, I really dislike bridges.
So, this was tough for me. 
I cried the first time we crossed it.
I nearly hyperventilated the second time. 
The third and fourth time I tried to keep my breathing more controlled. 
I survived. 
But, I am certainly glad I didn’t have to DRIVE myself across it. 

We went ziplining at Mystery Spot in St. Ignace, Michigan.
The kids loved it. 
I was just glad to be on solid ground when we were done.
The guy had to push me off for the first line because I was too scared to jump.
So many cherry stands and markets. 
We saw orchards of cherry trees everywhere we went. 
Very sweet and delicious!

Of course, I got lots of reading in. 
I finished three books 
and all of my magazines that I took on the trip. 
We had lots of ice cream, 
which if you know my mom, 
is a required part of any vacation.
Who am I kidding?
It’s a required part of everyday, according to my mom!  
There were ice cream shops, fudge shops and popcorn shops 
on nearly every single corner of every town we visited.

I won’t forget these views or 
the memories made with our kids on this trip.
Many people have asked us why we chose to travel to Michigan
and I think these photos say it all. 
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  1. Becky Goerend on August 1, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Such a FUN trip! Looks like you had a blast!

  2. Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies on August 10, 2014 at 3:26 am

    What a great trip! We want to make this trip as well. We actually tried a couple years ago, but weather was not on our side the first three days, so we just cancelled it. It looks like a trip where you definitely want to be able to be outside and enjoy the outdoors!

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