Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Trip Up North

It's been very hectic since we got back from our family trip up north, but I wanted to finally share some of the pictures of the trip!
This was the first year we decided to make the trip from near Detroit all the way to the Houghton area of Michigan in one day...with potty breaks, lunch and stops for gasoline, that was a 12.5 hour drive. That's a lot of time in the car for everyone, but we survived. Everyone was excited for this view:
Hurray for the Mackinac Bridge! (That's pronounced mack-i-naw for you non-Michiganders! lol) Its a total of 5 miles long, and is the largest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere (until 1998 it was the largest in the world). It's also led to some fun lingo, as people from the lower peninsula of Michigan are known as "Trolls", because we live "under the bridge" while people from the Upper Peninsula (U.P.) are "Yoopers". We love the bridge, and as soon as the kids see it, they start to cheer. It also marks the approximate halfway point of the trip, which makes me cheer too!
You can learn more about the Mighty Mac here

It was a hot, sunny week. A perfect excuse to run through the sprinklers...
And spend lots of time in the lake across the street from the house!
The kids turned into little fishes as they gathered shells, paddled and splashed in the water. This part of the lake is rather rocky on the shoreline, so the kids took to wearing their flip flops as they were wading - smarties!

There was lots of fishing each day from the dock ...nothing was better than fresh caught fish! We caught a total of 6 small mouth bass that week, not too shabby considering we didn't have a boat to be able to fish further out where more of the fish were.

We played lots of hands of Uno...
Morning, noon and night!

Some stops at the local restaurants for treats like frozen custard!
A few visits to Houghton & the surrounding towns, which has a long history as a mining town in the copper industry.

Both sides of the main street had these really colorful chairs...perfect for a bit of a break as we checked out the shops!

And a stop at Suomi - our favorite spot for some traditional pasties and a loaf of Nissu, a Finnish sweet bread. By the way, french toast made using Nissu - YUM-O!!! It's one of their breakfast specialties.
The hammock is a new addition to the yard and the kids took all of 5 minutes to figure it out. Here, a quick smooch for her big brother - I love that even with all their bickering, they do still love each other.
A very hopeful boy, saving his spot for the campfire with roasted marshmallows!
And some time just relaxing...which was just what we needed. Watching hummingbirds, having no internet access, spotty cell phone service...good times. I had some time to practise Prismacolor pencil coloring, worked on the t-shirt quilt I am still hand quilting, and reading. I finished The Hunger Games trilogy, read a Young Adult book called Liesl & Po and got a hold of the new copy of Art Journaling. My mother-in-law and I also took a trip to a local estate sale down the road from the house. I was so bummed that I didn't think to bring my camera...the house was so cool! It had been unused for years, and was like stepping into a house from the 1940's or even earlier. Wood burning cast iron oven in the kitchen, enameled cast iron kitchen sink, Hoosier cupboards, Victorian photo album full of cabinet cards, beautiful wooden furniture, spindle beds...I was in love! There was also a log cabin on the property, with no electricity, and another set of very old appliances and furniture. I was so bummed that I didn't have a way to get some of the beautiful furniture home, but I did find a few small items to buy. I'll post photos of my finds soon!
On the way home at the end of the week, we made another traditional stop - dinner in Frankenmuth! There are two famous restaurants, both known for their family-style chicken dinners directly across the street from each other - Zehnders and Bavarian Inn. This time we stopped at Bavarian Inn.

This five year old was loving her dinner...starting with a cup of chicken soup. Then she exclaimed "Yum!" from dish to dish, creamy cucumbers, buttered noodles, cole slaw, chicken, potatoes. Dinner finishes with a dish of ice cream, every kids dream. :)

Even the accordian player was having a good time! I think it has to do with the Lederhosen he was wearing, which Davin was trying to figure out. Actually, he would look adorable in Lederhosen too, but I doubt he'd go for it.

After another 12.5 hour drive home in one day, we were all very grateful for a good nights sleep in our own beds. We were greeted by our very attention-deprived kitties, who forgave us very quickly for being abandoned to each others company and daily visits from the neighbor. After a day off to unpack and get ourselves back to the normal day to day business I was back to work. It took a few days to get back in the groove there, caught up on the 300 emails that were in my inbox (groan!) and just know what day of the week it was. Work has been nuts, but I'll share more about that another time. It's been quite a whirl!
As I was reading this over, I realized a few bits of Michigan lingo has creeped in, so here's a few more...
  • In the Lower Peninsula we pretty much refer to any trip as going "up north", regardless of direction.
  • We use our hand as a very convenient map of the state. (see below)
  • Oh, and we drink "pop", not "soda".
  • We give directions in terms of time rather than distance. (i.e. I live about 30 minutes from Ann Arbor and about 12.5 hours from the Houghton area.)
  • And I've been known to mutter "geez-o-pete!" in moments of frustration. :)
Here's a fun post on the unique Michigan accent!

Here's our map:

I love being from Michigan! :)

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