Throwback Thursday – Northern Michigan
Hi everyone! Today I am going to talk about how much I love to go up north, but then I realized that I think “up north” is kind of just a Michigan thing? People I have met on vacations and at college told me that when I would tell them I was going up north for the weekend they would be confused and think, north where? So for those of you that don’t know, Michigan obviously has a lower and upper peninsula. And for those of us who live in the lower peninsula, basically anywhere we go out of town is essentially up north – especially for someone like me who lives near Detroit and like an hour from the Ohio-border. It’s really going up north if you cross over the bridge and go to the upper peninsula, but for the sake of this post I’m talking about going to a city called Gaylord and another called Tawas. Both are more in the middle of the state, but it still counts 😉 I think for people that live in Michigan “up north” is more a state of mind than a place. It’s relaxing, slow, no traffic, country music, beaches, beer, sleeping in, hiking, and being on the water. I love every bit of it. Chris and I are lucky enough that my grandma lives in Gaylord and his family owns a place in Tawas, so we have two places to go for free whenever we want.
ANYWAY, last Labor Day we decided to hit up both spots and do something really cool – turn our phones off. I really don’t think I had ever done that before. I didn’t want to bring my computer either, but at the time I was working on my last paper of my master’s program, so I obviously had to take it with me (but I did turn the wifi off). It was so crazy peaceful to not even be thinking about notifications and to just focus all of my attention on the people I was with. It was also cool, because I have a super nice camera that doesn’t get enough use, and it sure got plenty of it that weekend.
We arrived at my grandma’s house on Thursday evening and called it an early night, because we had big plans for the next day – golfing. Now I have to preface this by saying that I am NOT a golfer. Fun fact: One of the first times that Chris and I actually hung out (before we were dating) was at a charity golf outing, and I made a fool of myself, but we listened to really good music and had a blast. My grandma lives right on a golf course and plays all the time and wanted to teach me and help Chris. She went all out and booked us for the whole 18 holes – it was a long day, but a fun one!
The weather was absolutely perfect. The first few holes were pretty frustrating, because I truly could not hit the ball, but with some coaching I was able to become much better by about the 9th. Then I did good until probably the 14th hole, but after that was just too tired to try anymore. Golf is hard! And it requires an insane amount of patience, which is not a virtue that really anybody in my family was blessed with. Chris and I are determined to take some lessons this summer and be pros by the end of it 😉
On Friday night we sleepily piled our stuff into the car and drove about two hours to our next destination. When we got there we went to a cute little bar and ate dinner on a patio and then went right to bed. Saturday morning started out with a trip to a local art fair/farmer’s market, lunch on the beach, wandering around downtown shopping, and walking along the pier. Such a relaxing, wonderful day. By the way, I really think my one piece of hair standing straight up in the wind really adds a unique aesthetic to the below photo.
At the time Chris was training for a full marathon and I was training for a half, so Sunday consisted of a long run, laying out in the sun, more wandering around, and grilling dinner at home. We (and by we I mean Chris) also made a fire on the beach once the sun started to go down. I watch a show called The Affair and the main character once said that the three things she could watch forever are fire, water, and babies. I fully agree. And put me in front of a fire next to the water? I could be happy in silence forever. We just sat out there for hours talking, roasting marshmallows, and listening to the waves.
We knew that we wanted to get on the road at a decent time on Monday since the highways in Michigan are always packed after a weekend where a lot of people are trying to get home after a weekend up north, so all we had on the agenda for the day was a little hike at a nearby park. The week prior my sister had given me some Chaco’s sandals for my birthday, and I was really excited to break them in for the first time.
After our walk, we packed our stuff up and made the drive back home. We had such a carefree weekend together and really appreciated the time without technology or really any other outside distractions. We are already scoping out a good long weekend to try to re-create this trip sometime in May. It is such a necessary break once in a while to get away from the daily rushing around and hearing the constant vibration of the phone and just check out, reset, and remember that the little things in life are usually what matter the most.
Is “up north” a thing where you live? What do you usually do for Memorial Day/Labor Day?