Heading north to Up North

When my parents came to visit in August we finally made it “up north”. When we first moved here people would always ask, “Have you been up north yet?” My response was always, “Wait…we just drove I75 north for 1,200 miles…isn’t THIS up north?” Now that we’ve been there, I totally understand why everyone asked.“Up North” actually starts at the middle of the state. Confused yet? See this article for further explanation.

Today I’m going to show you pictures from our trip to the Upper Peninsula. We started the day off at the Mackinac (pronounced mak-in-aw) Bridge. 

There’s a beautiful lighthouse in Mackinaw City. (And no, I don’t know why the city is spelled Mackinaw and the bridge is spelled Mackinac. You’re on your own for that one.)

And here’s the cutest boy taking a picture of said lighthouse:

And here is said boy’s picture of said lighthouse (yeah, I know…”said, said, said”):

From there we drove two hours to take a boat tour of Pictured Rocks which are situated on Lake Superior. Simply breathtaking is the only thing that describes it. Let me introduce you to Lake Superior. Gee, I wonder how it got its name:

See the tree up there on that lone rock? Well, it’s only there because the roots are reaching across to the island. Here’s a closeup: 

So there you have it. I have a few more pictures in my flickr account if you’d like to peruse them. I figured I wouldn’t bore you with all my vacation pictures here (go here for the Pictured Rocks flickr set). 


God’s sneaky peak

Yeah, so I haven’t been around lately.

I could tell you that I’ve been super busy or that we’ve been to Florida and have had three visitors since May or that I took up running like Forrest Gump and I’ve been running all over the nation or that I was abducted by aliens and they just returned me back to my home planet last week. I could tell you any one of those things. Some of them are actually true. I’ll leave you to decide which ones are and which ones are just a little fib. 

Things are starting to feel different around these parts. Summer is on her way out and fall is sneaking in on her shirt tales. It’s a funny thing, fall. Just like spring, it’s an escort for another season; almost like a sneak peak of what’s to come.

And sometimes I need a sneak peak.
Sometimes I need a change of pace.
Sometimes I need something different.

Not that things are terrible the way they are but who doesn’t want a change in (at least) one area of their life? I think I got a sneak peak of the good things that are on the way. Forever the optimist, I know that good things are always ahead of me. But I also like to think that God put this little leaf right in my path today to remind me of those things. If I looked around the neighborhood, most trees are still green but a few are showing speckles of color. The changes are starting to take place but you really have to look for it. Fall is not in full swing just yet and most of the leaves that have already fallen are brown, not pretty like this little gem. I’m choosing to believe that this was God’s way of saying, “Pssssttt…just look what I have for you. Just wait till “fall” comes and you see everything I have waiting there.” Do I really think that as soon as September 22nd rolls around that some amazing change will come my way? Not really. But I wouldn’t turn it away if it did. I’m just believing that this little leaf was a taste of what’s to come:

Beauty all around me
Everywhere I turn, a wonderful feast for my eyes
Things bright and beautiful

So, welcome back to my little blog. I probably won’t wax this philosophical all the time. Probably not. But who knows? Maybe along with the change ahead of me comes a change in how I blog?

Tulips, Lake Michigan and a sunset

This weekend we went to the other side of the state to the Holland Tulip Festival. I’ve been wanting to see this for over a year! There were two different weekends we could have gone. I was afraid that if we went on the first weekend not all the tulips wouldn’t be blooming. But I was also afraid if we went on the 2nd weekend that all the tulips would be dead. It was a gamble either way so we decided to go on the first weekend and, just as I thought, about half of the tulips hadn’t bloomed yet. No matter, though. We had a great time. Well, almost all of us. Jackson was less than thrilled to be there. He felt that we were “wasting a Saturday.” We’re terrible parents and told him that memories are made by doing things rather than playing games. See? Thrilled, I tell ya. He was thrilled to celebrate spring, flowers, tulips and family time. He couldn’t contain his excitement. In fact, while a traditional Dutch dance was happening in the streets he was so excited he just had to look away: 

After the festival, we headed to Lake Michigan. With the exception of Ken, none of us had been to the western side of the state. Except for when we left to grab dinner, we stayed there until sunset. As you’re well aware, I’m not in love with the beach but few things are prettier than the sun setting on the water, don’t you think? 

Touristing to Cranbrook

Remember when I was posting regularly and I had a series called “Touristing“? If you don’t, I’ll refresh your memory: Basically I found sights around my own town that I had never seen or visited. It was a nice way to see my city (that I didn’t love) with fresh eyes. I was thinking I should pick up this series again now that we live in Michigan and everything is new. 

The weather today was heavenly. Like…magical. Sunny. Bright. Warm. Blue skies. Refreshing. It was definitely an outdoor day. Earlier this week we decided that we would venture outside this weekend. After being indoors for the past few months, it was time to attack the outdoors! 

We decided to check off Cranbrook from our list of things to see since the name has come up on more than one occasion from friends. Currently, the grounds is home to a boarding school, an art museum, Academy of Art, a science center and the founder’s house and gardens. Here are a couple of facts that might help you win the next game of Trivial Pursuit: the Eames brothers are graduates of the Cranbrook Art Institute (oh, how I would love to have a house filled with Eames furniture!) and Leonard Bernstein wrote portions of The West Side Story while staying on the grounds. Given that it’s early spring, the scenery really wasn’t anything too exciting. Trees were still bare, grass was still brown, fountains remained off and even one of the waterfalls was still frozen. But it was glorious to be out and about. I thought ahead and brought my camera but regretfully left my memory card at home. Mind you, this was not the first time I’ve done this. When will I learn? Oh well, that’s why God invented the iPhone. 

Here are a few photos from our day: 

This is a man after my own heart. Not for the car decor, but for the travel. I’m sure whoever owns this car is full of stories. The rare self-portrait. It’s acceptable when a cutie in the photograph draws attention away from me. 

I saw these rocks all lined up and had this video in my head. It didn’t turn out like I hoped it would; I’m thinking a tripod would have come in handy. I’ll have to remember that next time.

I can’t imagine how pretty this is in the summer or at the height of spring:Now that it’s officially spring, what have you been doing? And where are some other places in the Metro Detroit Area that we should put on our Touristing list? 


We had our very first non family visitors come to see us last month. Anthony and Melissa came to see during her spring break. You might remember them: they’re the goofballs that followed us all the way to Georgia last year. Yes, they came to Michigan on spring break. Yes, they live in Florida. Yes, they were warned what Michigan weather is like in February. But they came anyway. Don’t you just love friends like that? Here’s a short video of a few things we did while they were here. Thank you guys for coming to see us. We’ve missed seeing our friends’ faces and it was such a nice way to break up the winter blahs! 



Ice storm, snow day and my love

We had our first ice storm last week. As if that wasn’t “exciting” enough, the boys’ wish came true and they were granted their first snow day. Needless to say they were quite happy. Ultimately though, it wasn’t all that bad and most of the ice had melted before lunchtime. Here are a few shots I got before the sun got to it.

And, nothing to do with the ice storm, snow days or pretty much anything else…Ain’t he cute?