This past week, Ali and I took the girls on our fourth annual NHN family vacation. I have to confess that I wasn’t quite as excited about our destination this year as I was about those in years past. Being from Indiana, Michigan didn’t hold much exotic appeal. But I am all too willing to admit I was flat wrong. But I like to think my initial humdrummery only heightened the magical experience I — we — had.
Our adventures took us to northern Michigan this year, and we stayed in a condo on the shore of beautiful Lake Michigan. (Ali and I have determined that condos are the way to go for our vacation needs.) While our itinerary seemed packed and we certainly did a lot of things, we had a lot of downtime and relaxation as well, making for the perfect vacation.
In an upcoming post, we will detail the vacation with links to all our hotspots, so to save repeating myself, I will focus on just the highlights here.
- Ali chasing down a runaway floaty in 58 degree water.
- Soft cry: a game Story and Maddie created during which Maddie softly strokes Story’s arm while Story cries.
- Bigfoot hunts that ended with the discovery of several of his or her (there was quite a conversation about gender) home, Baby Bigfoot’s hideout, and Bigfoot’s favorite ice cream spot.
- The colors! Of the sky, of the waters, of the dunes against the sky, of the forests, and especially of the sunsets.
- Handstands in the pool.
- Cherry wine and cherry soda.
- Several firsts for me: Michigan, dunes, a lighthouse, tubing, a Great Lake, cherry pit spitting contest.
- A minivan!
- Circling roundabouts and driving Ali mad.
- Riley running and falling down the dune.
- Maddie being nearly washed away by the big bucket dump at Great Wolf Lodge.
- Vicious top bunk fights that ended with no one actually sleeping in the top bunk.
- Coffee on the patio looking out at the water.
I really could go on. This was such a lovely vacation. So much so that Ali and I have decided that we will spend a good portion (summer only, of course) of our retirement there. We are also going to send one of the kids to college there, so we have excuses to go. Two thumbs up and a soft cry for northern Michigan!