While I was away Thrillist declared what I’ve always known, Michigan is the best state in the union. Normally, I relish in our urban treasures but for the holiday I enjoyed slower paced life Up North. For nearly a week we lived a life of rest and relaxation with friends and with each other.
Danny grew up with cottage vacations – with seven kids it makes sense that renting a house was more practical than a hotel room. He found a great cottage early in the year and we counted down the weeks ever since. The cottage accommodated ten and was a perfect space to share with friends. The Hakalas stayed for a few nights and Cory joined us for an evening bonfire and rainy day inside. We were able to enjoy a few day trips but cottage life was fantastic and the perfect way to reset mid-year.
The house is a two minute walk from Long Lake and the crew spent some time on docks fishing. Many Bluegills were caught but none kept. As a non-fisher, I stuck to playing paparazzi and you can see some enjoyed the time on the dock more than others – life can be tough when you’re six.
Thankfully, a BBQ picnic with strawberry shortcake can make all the difference in the world. Another perk of cottage rental is that you can bring your own food, this is especially useful when you’re a food snob and are referred to chain restaurants by local residents everywhere. One of the most interesting things about life in northern Michigan is that life progresses a little slower than elsewhere. For instance, we saw a Pondarosa with a consistently filled parking lot and the pop radio station is basically 1980s to 2010 (at best).
As happy as I am to be home, I needed some time away. We rarely go on vacation and when we do it’s typically action packed. This time our plan and purpose was to do nothing and it was a definite treat. There are so many wonderful places to rent throughout the state, I highly recommend it. The cottage we stayed at was great, although it could use a tv upgrade for late night movie watching.
- Bring more than one book: Americanah didn’t capture my attention like I hoped. Thankfully, I there was a cute bookstore in Ludington and I found an Edith Wharton novel.
- Make perfect corn: Wrap corn, diced onion and garlic, and butter in aluminum foil. Grill for 20-30 minutes.
- Play card games for everyone age six and up: Each person gets three cards in their hand, three cards in front of them faced down and three cards on top of those faced up. The remaining cards are set in the center with one card flipped face up. Special cards: 2 – skip, 3 – reset, 7-next person must play a card below a 7, 10 – the pile of cards in the center is removed from the game, J – reverse order. First player plays a card of a higher suite than the card faced up. When the player puts down a card they pick one up from the faced down pile to have a maximum of three cards in hand (do this until there are no more cards – they will be cards for a couple rounds; if you pick up the pile you will have more than three cards). If the player can’t put down a higher card they pick up the pile. When a person discards the three cards in hand they have to play one of the three cards faced up. If the player can’t play a card, they pick up the pile as they would normally. When the cards in hand and the face up cards are played, the remaining three cards are played at random until a player has no cards.
- Don’t get bogged down in planning: I’m a planner by nature but we don’t plan our Michigan trips and always find amazing places to visit. Since there are too many great things to share, I’ll do separate posts for our day trips.