The extreme heat and drought of this summer has been tough, and at one point we decided we needed to get away….away to someplace cool, refreshing and relaxing. Most of our family and friends headed south or way out west, some even out of the country. We considered all the different options, but couldn’t get excited about any of them. Summer was wearing down and we both had vacation time saved up…we needed to decide. We had both been to Wisconsin, and Sarah had been to Michigan on many occasions. Would we want to do that again? I don’t know…Michigan was oh-so-familiar to Sarah, so maybe we try something new. But Sasha has never been, and would most likely love it. Decisions – decisions. Work was crazy for both of us, so we finally just said the heck with it, Michigan it is! There was no new news from our adoption agency, so reservations were made, and we were Up North in no time.
We left bright and early Saturday morning (Labor Day weekend) and returned the next Friday evening. Our vacation spot – Glen Arbor, Michigan – a trip that takes about 11 hours of drive time. Oh my aching tailbone! We slept in most mornings, then hit the beaches and the water, sand dunes, hiking trails, lighthouses, local shopping, and cruising the M22 (the ever popular highway that stretches up and around the Leelanau peninsula) – making sure to catch the sunset on the beach each night. It was an amazing time. And Sarah was right, Sasha loved it!
Day One Up North included walking the downtown area, hitting a few local shops, and grocery shopping for the week. Always a must, is stopping in at the Cherry Republic – sampling their chocolate covered cherries and other cherry goods, and picking up a case of their Boom Chugga Lugga soda pop. Good stuff!
We visited MANY different beaches around the area. Below is the beach at The Homestead Resort. Sasha found himself a big, round rock he was fond of. Before I could snap this nice picture of him, first I had to get Mr. IT off his phone, then he had to get his karate moves out of his system…such a character.
We hit the beach every day, if not just to watch the sun set. With the summer weather being so warm, the waters of Lake Michigan were warm enough for a swim. A typical day at the beach included Sasha skipping rocks until his arms and legs hurt…and Sarah combing the rocks for Petosky’s, of which she only found two itty-bitty ones.
On Thursday, we took a hike…..up, and up, and up through a wooded area filled with awesome birch trees. We LOVE Birch trees…also called Breza in Croatian. I heard this over and over from Sasha as we made our way up the hill. “Look! Breza! It’s called Breza.” – as he hugs another Birch tree. Once you make your way to the top, the wooded area opens up to stunning blue skies, blue water and you notice your standing at the top of a big old sand dune with a steep drop off! Turns out, all of Glen Arbor is considered a sand dune.
There were several other groups of people sitting and enjoying the dunes. They were speaking German. Sasha was able to understand some of what they were saying. They were comparing the beaches of Glen Arbor with the beaches in Wisconsin.
On another day…I think it was Tuesday….we took a road trip in search of a roadside taco stand that Sarah read about in Edible Grand Traverse magazine. We were headed to Cedar, Michigan. Once in Cedar, we had no idea which direction to go. We found a sausage shop that Sasha just had to stop at. While there, we asked the lady behind the counter if she knew of the taco stand. Oh yea. She did. Didn’t seem too excited about it. She said the tacos were good, but not like your typical taco with ground beef and all. Ha! We knew they weren’t like Taco Bell. These were supposed to be authentic Mexican tacos with all natural, locally ground produce and meats. I’m telling you….these tacos were ah.maz.ing! And the Wild Bill’s Orange Cream Soda we had while there…YUMMY!!!
While up north, visiting Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes, one must not forget to visit the Pierce Stocking Overlook and the 450 foot sand dune. People climb it, I (Sarah) have done it several times years and years ago, but I don’t recommend it unless you’re in good shape. It’s one tough climb! I did NOT even consider climbing it this time.
There was so much to see and do…this post would go on forever if I showed it all…so here is just one more photo. It was a wonderful vacation.