We left on Thursday evening for a quick trip around Lake Michigan. Mike has had this trip on his bucket list for years and we had fun making it happen. We were lucky that it was peak leaf season, making our drive gorgeous! I tried to capture the beauty of the leaves several times as we were driving, but my camera just didn’t do all of the beautiful fall colors justice.
On Thursday evening, we left after school and work and drove to Grand Rapids. We stopped for dinner along the way and crashed when we made it there, so Thursday wasn’t very entertaining! But our headstart on Thursday made our drive on Friday morning to Traverse City an easy one. After we checked into our hotel in Traverse City we went exploring and loved their downtown area and shopping, as well as walking by the lake. We had a delicious lunch at Harrington’s by the Bay, found an adorable Christmas decoration (I can’t find the exact one we purchased, but simialr to this link) that I can’t wait to put out this year, and bought some amazing pie at Grand Traverse Pie that I enjoyed for dinner and the next morning for breakfast.
We also went mini-golfing, which is one of our favorite activities to do as a family. The mini-golf was right across the street from our hotel, the weather was gorgeous, and the colors were even better! Of course, there was a bit of grumping – Anna in particular takes competition so seriously – but overall it was a successful round!
After mini-golf, we picked up some Dairy Queen (I wanted vanilla with my pie — the kids wanted Blizzards) and ordered pizza in the room with our beautiful view of Lake Michigan. We tried an Idaho Pizza — which is just as crazy as it sounds – crust/mashed potatoes/cheese/bacon. All of the kids and I deemed it worthy – Mike refused to try it.
For breakfast on Saturday, we had more apple pie and ice cream. As we were sitting around the little table in our room eating the rest of a quart of vanilla ice cream for breakfast (the trio also had pumpkin pie, PopTarts, and pumpkin donuts… and I even used ice cream as coffee creamer – there is never a time for junk food like there is on a road trip…), I realized that those crazy moments are what the trio is truly going to remember from trips like this. Sure, they know we went to Michigan, but the real memories are in those mundane little moments we are all together. It still cracks me up that from our first trip to Hawaii one of the most memorable aspects of the trip was what the parking garage gate said as we would exit each day for our adventures. “Please drive safely” — said with a weird cadence — will live on as a family joke for ages. It really is the little things…