For those of you that don’t know, Ron and I both grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (aka the U.P.). My parents moved from Kingsford, 2 1/2 hours west to the area where Ron grew up, the year after I graduated high school. But both sets of my grandparents and the majority of my relatives lived in that area too. It was almost like a second home since we spent so much time there visiting family throughout the years. However, I don’t think of it as my hometown since I’ve never lived more than a few months there at a time. It’s just a place I go to visit family.
It really is a different world in the U.P. There are lots of small towns. The town where my parents live only has one stoplight. One. It definitely isn’t Detroit. In fact, it’s about the farthest you can get from Detroit (literally and figuratively). Traveling there takes planes, trains and automobiles – seriously. There are no direct flights. In fact, we flew into Duluth, MN and then had to drive another 2 hours to get to our final destination.
But there is one thing the U.P. definitely is – pretty. Especially in the summer. There’s lots and lots of green. There’s beauty. There’s nature. The lake (Lake Superior that is). It still amazes me that you can see all the way to the bottom even if it is 20 feet deep. It’s so clear that you would think it came from your kitchen faucet. No matter how warm the day is that water always has a shock that takes your breath away the moment you go under.
While on our Michigan vacation, we made sure we took the kids’ to Black River Harbor for their first time dipping their toes in Lake Superior. Every other time we’ve been to Michigan since their birth, it’s been either in the Spring or Winter. They couldn’t really grasp the idea that it wasn’t the ocean. It does look like the ocean after all.
The whole reason for the trip was to attend Ron’s niece, Samantha’s wedding. Who knew it could reach over 90 degrees in the always freezing cold U.P.? The wedding was outside and the ski resort that held the reception did not have air conditioning either. I don’t think I sweated so much on a day that didn’t involve a workout of some sorts. In spite of the sweatfest, we had a really good time. The kids’ got to hang out with cousins and second cousins that they’ve only met a handful of times.
After the wedding, we drove North to Ron’s brother’s new house on a river. It was a picture perfect day for lounging on the beach, kayaking and relaxing. And me wanting to recreate every single piece of the house for our own. If only you were allowed to have nice things when you have two 5 year old children!
My kids’ finally got their wish to go fishing. And I think my dad was a little excited to show them the ropes of casting a line and the art of waiting for a fish to bite. They didn’t catch anything, but they had a good time regardless.
My legs were itching to run. I tested the waters with some hill repeats one morning on our walk up the bluff in town. I wish I could say it was absolutely 100% all good. But it didn’t. It felt wonderful to run, but my foot still hurts a little. At least it didn’t make it any worse. It also feels like I need someone to pull on my foot to lengthen the space between where my foot and leg bones connect. I see the foot/ankle specialist tomorrow to find out if surgery is in my future.
We went into this trip, thinking the worst. After our trip from hell in March, we thought for sure our luggage would get lost, we’d miss a flight or I’d forget my wallet and license. But NOTHING went wrong. Well, almost. My son did throw up as we landed in Boston on the way home, but it all landed in a bag and he was good to go after that.
We’ve been home 4 full days already and the marvelous vacation vibe has left me completely. It’s quite sad. Don’t you hate how you come back from vacation and it never feels like you were on vacation? I guess it’s time to start planning the next one.