Wednesday, August 19, 2015

2,350 Miles

You see those mileage stickers everywhere -- 5K, 13.1, and the coveted 26.2. I want a sticker that reads 2,350. That's the number of miles we clocked on the ever faithful Grand Caravan between July 2nd and August 1st.

I want a sticker. And a tranquilizer. Maybe throw in a medal? Or maybe the kids should get a medal. At least some of them earned one, I'm pretty sure.

Now we're home at last, home at last, thank God, we're home at last, but those lazy, languid days of August when we sit around and read and lounge at the pool? They have yet to turn up. While we've had pockets of rest and relaxation, we've also had lots of doctor's appointments, household projects, and various and sundry other commitments that have kept me on my feet literally and figuratively.

We had a good trip.

Over the years I've learned to look at the term"good trip" in a different light than I did before I traveled with four kids and seventy-something bags. We made lots of good memories. Like the pockets of rest and relaxation, we had pockets of fun.

Tim, my boy, is about to begin his senior year. I don't know about other mothers, but I've found myself compiling a Bucket List for Tim, a list of things I hope we do before he leaves the nest. One of those Bucket List items was to tour around Northern Michigan and visit some of the spots I visited as a young child. Tim attended a music camp near Lake Michigan. While this is on the western side of the state, picking him up and heading on a tour seemed like a great start to a family adventure.

And an adventure it turned out to be.

We'll start with the high points.

Mackinac Island.

Visiting Mackinac Island was at the top of my Bucket List. Have you seen Somewhere in Time? Christopher Reeves and time travel, romantic and whimsical, if a bit cheesy. It was filmed at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. Note that Christopher Reeves zooms into the hotel driveway in a snazzy sports car. This is a sight you'll never see on Mackinac where transportation is limited to walking, biking, and horse-drawn carriages.

I visited Mackinac Island when I was about Ainsley's age. It was memorable, it was magical, and it didn't disappoint this go around either.

Now it was crowded, and it was pricey. But beautiful. So beautiful.

Arch Rock, Mackinac Island

The kids loved the carriage tour. Well, John complained about the smell. When the tour ended, I handed the guide ten dollars and thanked him for a memorable ride. As I walked away, I spotted Kolbe handing him another dollar. "Your mom already took care of me, dude," the driver said. And then John handed him twenty-seven cents and got a "thanks, dude" for his widow's mite.

Twenty-seven cents. Cutest gesture ever.

I have more shots, but Blogger's acting up and won't handle my pictures or switch from centered to left-justified.

I have no fight in me this morning.

If you're ever in the vicinity, don't overlook Mackinac Island. Truly it looks more like Bermuda or Hawaii than the Midwest, and it's probably cooler than either of those spots.


Kris said...

Glad you're back! My best friend from college lives in Detroit and her husband's family has a house (that belonged to his grandparents) up on Crystal Lake, which is southwest of Traverse City, practically on Lake Michigan. We went up there a couple summers ago and it was gorgeous! My favorite thing was Sleeping Bear Dunes - hope you did that on your tour. Headed to take my oldest up for his 2nd year of college on Friday - can't believe he's already going back. Already!

christinelaennec said...

Excellent! Glad you had some magical times.