This past weekend we went camping but this time a bit further away from home. We went to northwest Michigan which is due east of Wisconsin. It was quite wonderful. My aunt Paula and uncle Paul have been camping up there for the past few years so we joined them along with my aunt Tina and my cousin Jenny and her family.
So many things were wonderful about the trip. The kids got to play in the sand and dirt. We would wipe them off and I swear a few seconds later they would be dirty again.
We all got to play in water. Ever since I went to Australia a couple of years ago, I have had a new appreciation for bodies of water. Before I was never much of a beach person because when I thought of the beach I thought of sunbathers in bikinis. I have never felt comfortable in a bathing suit because it makes me feel vulnerable and the thought of sunbathing makes me think of skin cancer. 🙂 Then I went to Australia and discovered two things…my daughter’s love for water and the instant calmness I feel when I am near it. Even thinking about the sound of the ocean waves calms me. Well, Traverse City, being it is on Traverse Bay which is part of Lake Michigan, has lots of water. No, it was not quite the indigo blue you see in Australia’s oceans and they do not have 3 foot waves but it was still peaceful. The first morning I was there I visited the beach alone. The water was quite calm which made me feel calm. It almost looked like glass in some areas.
Then later on that day I returned to the beach with my family. My daughter discovered she could run in and out of the lake. I showed her how she could bury herself in the sand. We showed her the pretty sea shells and how they were all slightly different from each other. I felt like a kid again. I love that she is now old enough to experience the water more. The last time we were at the beach, she was too tiny to let go of. This time we put a floaty on her, she was able to doggy paddle a bit, and she could stand on her own.
We drove up one of the peninsulas. Most of the peninsula consisted of houses with beautiful views of the lake. It also had a brewery/restaurant called The Jolly Pumpkin, some wineries, and cherry orchards.
We ate at the Jolly Pumpkin Brewery. They had some yummy curry potato chips and cherry beer.
The following day we went to Sleeping Bear Dunes. I did not know that dunes could be so large! There was a sign saying that it takes 2 hours to get back up if you go all the way down. Yikes! The water near the dunes was even more beautiful than in Traverse City. These waters were actually quite blue compared to the gray waters by the campgrounds. The children and adults had a lot of fun running up and down the smaller dunes.
We also enjoyed some wonderful food cooked by family. Food always tastes better when someone else cooks it. 🙂
Best of all we got to spend time with family. I love that my family can go years without seeing each other and when we do see each other again, it is as if no time has passed. This past year we have seen many visits from family and I am loving it! We have had family from Oklahoma, Texas, Australia and Alaska! Any other family want to come and visit? 🙂 Well, I hope you enjoyed the pictures. I know I enjoyed the experience and I look forward to our next adventure.