CJ and I have talked about going to Michigan since we started dating. We have taken the yearly trip to Frankenmuth to visit Bronners and all the German shops downtown, but never to the places that are near and dear to his heart. We visited his family cabin in the middle of Michigan, Traverse City and Glen Arbor for a quick three day weekend this summer.
CJ's family cabin is near St. Helen. The route to get there is without cellphone service, dirt roads and a little bit of off roading. At the cabin for the moment it is without electricity and running water, so we were roughing it on the hottest weekend of the summer. Honestly, it was not that bad. It was nice to get away and not be distracted by technology and other people and just chat and enjoy the company. CJ's family was also in town at the cabin (it was great to hangout around the campfire and enjoy the famous Brincefield Burgers). I look forward to visiting again soon and helping get some things up and running so it is a little bit more comfortable. Having blueberries literally EVERYWHERE in the wild was a perk definitely.
Nearby, there is the Ogemaw Nature Park where we stopped to feed the deer! We made a couple friends.
After a day at the cabin, we made the drive to Hartwick Pines to hike some trails before heading to Traverse City. We go to the forest where they have sighted all these amazing animals: bears, foxes, hummingbirds, deer, etc. and we got so excited to see two basset hounds hiking with us. Day made.
Storms rolled in to Traverse City in the afternoon. The sky was so dim and gloomy that it felt like it was 9 p.m. at 2 p.m. We found a place to eat for lunch because we were so hangry before heading to IMAX to watch Lion King. The movie was great, but we were kind of bummed the weather was bad for our Traverse day. Next time we will have to take a trip to Interlochen to see the campus and eat Moomers. Don't worry though we ate at an amazing restaurant for dinner: Blue Tractor. I ordered BBQ pulled pork mac n cheese and CJ ordered the BBQ brisket.
In the morning we visited the Old Mission Lighthouse and walked on the beach sifting through sand to find petoskey stones. CJ found a small one and I found a great worry stone. We got an early start so that we could drive to Glen Arbor to visit Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes. We stopped at Gallagher's farmers market first and got some fresh blueberries and they had this scrumptious cream cheese danish that CJ fell in love with.
Glen Arbor is awesome because they have so many mom and pop shops and places to visit. One of our favorites is Cherry Republic. They have literally anything cherry you can imagine: BBQ sauce, salsa, trail mix, salad dressings, candy, wine, beer and craft sodas. We of course got lunch there. I got the cherry jam parmesan crusted grilled cheese and CJ got the cherry marmalade burger with cherry cream soda. SO GOOD. If you ever get the chance to go to a Cherry Republic, we highly recommend it.
After we were fueled and ready we made the trek to the dunes. They are breathtaking from faraway and kind of overwhelming looking at them from the bottom. We were driving in and noticed several buses behind us and low and behold Interlochen brought their intermediate campers to the dunes that day. CJ, being a previous counselor at Interlochen was excited and also a little lost because he wanted to help out with the kids. We climbed passed them though and made our way up to the top of the dunes. The view was breathtaking.
We almost weren't able to do the scenic drive, because of storms taking down trees but they opened later in the afternoon. We were able to drive through and go to the overlook. The steepness of that dune was insane. We stayed clear of that dune but took in the sites from the overlook. The day was perfect cool Michigan breeze, before we packed up and made the drive back to Ohio.
Overall we had a great weekend together. We both have been so busy traveling and working separately this summer that this quick getaway was the perfect adventure. Thanks for making everyday one, CJ.