Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pure Michigan: Part 1

Michael had a Fall Break from dental school last week. He probably could have slept through the entire thing, but we decided to hit the road instead. We have been needing a good dose of fall colors around here, so we packed up our bikes and headed north.

North, north, north. See that loop we made? The drive was beautiful. We loved driving next to water and seeing the gorgeous views and colors. Josh Ritter sang us the whole way there. And back, for that matter. Road trip music at its finest.

Our first stop: Grand Haven, MI. We stopped for (an extremely delicious) lunch and decided to ride the bike paths out to the boardwalk and lighthouse. We met so many friendly people on that trail. I feel like they all had golden doodles, taunting us. Oh how we will love a puppy some day. We'll be making another trip to Grand Haven next summer to catch their famous musical fountain and to experience the boardwalk at peak season. Maybe we'll even try our hand at the annual sand sculpture contest. You just wait and see.

It was a clear, beautiful day, but all the posted warning and safety signs definitely give an ominous feel to the water. You can just tell that Lake Michigan knows how to storm. The water was freeeezing but we couldn't resist walking through it. Grand Haven is, after all, one of the best beaches in the country according to Good Morning America, so...had to embrace the cold. Not as much, though, as the man who was going for a full on deep water swim. He talked to us afterwards, acting like it was nothing. Maybe your body just provides some extreme acclimation if you're always surrounded by a beautiful tempting beach and cold water.

Back to the road. 
Road + Dr. Pepper = Happy.

Our next stop was Leland, MI. We went up here and stayed at a hotel Michael's parents told us about, called Falling Waters Lodge. It was awesome - water ran right by our hotel room, with salmon trying their hardest to swim upstream. We could have been entertained by that for quite a while. 

I also kind of loved the loud water noise while we fell asleep that night. (Side note: Michael falls asleep in about 6 seconds, average. I'm pushing one hour most nights. I told you I was getting older. You just rolled your eyes.) 

We watched the sunset over Lake Michigan, and it was gorgeous. 

The "Pure Michigan" slogan is probably the best branding I've seen from any state. All the people we met and cities we drove through just seemed to keep that message impressively consistent. Michael is ready to move there, actually. I insist we take a winter trip there before he becomes too enamored with that idea...

Sunset, take two.

The next morning we grabbed breakfast at a local bakery and hopped on our bikes to explore the town a little more. Leaves were everywhere and I was just completely happy. It felt just like fall should feel. 

I feel like I wore my love for September on my sleeve just to have that month hold out on me. It was full of 80-degree days that I refused to recognize, and instead continued to make soups for dinner while wearing fall sweaters and ignoring the overheating that most definitely happened. Fine, September. Let October show you up. But next year you better put in a little more effort.

Then, it was back on the road for our final stretch up to Mackinaw City, to catch our ferry to THIS magical land.

But that is a post for tomorrow. Stay tuned.


  1. You could have watches the fish swimming ALL day, and all night - I know this for a fact. Pretty pics!


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