From age 6-18, my parents took us to Michigan every summer for a week of relaxation. We always rented the same cabin during the same week (first Saturday to second Saturday in August, so … now), and often saw the same families there every year. Fun fact: my first kiss was during a game of spin-the-bottle there when I was around 10 years old. (Dad, if you’re reading this … sorry.)

Anyway, once we were all grown, my mom decided she was done with family vacations … sure, they were relaxing for the kids, but they were a lot of work for her. A few (5) years later, one of my bros and I started heading up to Michigan on our own, sans parents. Here are some pics from our trip in 2006. Maybe someday I’ll scan pics from our childhood trips.

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Jack-dog LOVES fire. And snapping at the embers. We stopped and camped near Holland, MI on the drive up. It was an excuse to visit New Holland Brewery.

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The most awesome beach ever. Kind of remote, so quiet and clean.

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My happy place. This exact beach.

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Deflated.

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Staying on the “west coast” of Michigan = sunsets over the lake. The great thing was, you could watch the sun start to set while at the Lake Michigan beach, then head back to our cabin on Bass Lake and watch the end of the sun set.

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Every night ended this way.

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The dogs loved the beach. (This is my bro and his now-wife and their dogs.)

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Sunset over Lake Michigan.

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Car ferry leaving Ludington.

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Gone fishin’

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One of the most gorgeous sunsets ever. Sadly, I didn’t know how to properly set my camera settings and can’t print this photo very large.

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Why yes, my shirt does say “where my peeps at?” Also, this is my college roomie Jess, a native Michigander.

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One of the cabins we rented at Smerts Resort. (I’m not really sure where the “resort” part comes into play, but this place is great and we love the owner. The cabins are a bit … rustic. But cheap.)

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The Sailor is always deflating something … weird.

 

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Me & my then-boyfriend in front of Bass Lake 🙂

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Bro & now-wife & dogs

 

My love of this part of Michigan (the northwestern part of the lower peninsula) was one of the main motivators to sign up for the North Country Trail Run later this month (in Manistee, which is about an hour from the places pictured above). Unfortunately with my new job and a lack of vacation days right now for both of us, we won’t actually get to spend much time in the area, but there is always next summer. Maybe it’s all the fond childhood memories, or just that any time I went to this place it was relaxing and wonderful, but this really is my happy place.