Tired of Michigan pictures? Too bad. Alright, alright, I’m wrapping it up. But Sleeping Bear Dunes is ridic beautiful, and I have this one last bit before I move on to important matters of reality like school starting and kids growing up and people to love.
People to love–my people. I feel all Moses saying “my people” but, for the record, I would totally travel 40 days in the desert for any of them.
You know what’s amazing? Kids know their people. Even if they’re usually hesitant of new faces, even if they haven’t seen these people in months and months. They can sniff out family, instantly feeling comfortable, secure, loved. I love watching it happen.
The rest of our trip was spent with family–three cottages full. Mornings were my favorite. The little kids wake up first with my dad, coffee’s brewed, bacon’s put in the oven and the “ssshh, everyone’s sleeping” admonition slowly lifted until kids are hollering and running outside, a rooster’s call to all to wake up. And they do–aunts, uncles, nieces, cousins–barely awake, dragging their feet into the kitchen, looking for coffee. Then we pile up into couches or chairs on the deck, bed head’s a plenty, and we tell stories, make fun of each other, act out as many scenes from the past as we can, diverting into the hilariously inappropriate realm often. And every morning there’s a moment when everyone’s loud and laughing, my kids in respective cousins’ laps, coffee cup number three in the works and my dad’s all call to the table for French toast about to commence (FYI: don’t make him call twice)–and I think, “This? This is special.” And because it really only happens once a year, I drink it up, oblivious to the not-so-perfect moments that naturally accompany our time together.
Lodge night. Uncle Bubby passes out pool tips and I discover that sadly, The Cranberries'”Linger” has been retired from their juke box. The horror.
Behold, Sleeping Bear Dunes. You can’t go to Northern Michigan without visiting the dunes. We only climbed the first one and even then, we were panting and near collapsed at the top. It’s worth it though. Completely. I hear it’s worth it to also climb the next three dunes to the water, but we weren’t about to test out that theory with kids on our backs.
Last time we visited the dunes, we cut our visit short and missed out on the town of Glen Arbor. Never again. This darling little town nestles so many gems within a few short blocks–cafes and restaurants, soap shops, The Cottage Book Store (think log cabin full of hidden rooms, creaky floors and books–in other words, heaven) and Cherry Republic which hosts a winery, bakery, restaurant and store with all things cherry. Cherry salsa, cherry soda, cherry wine, cherry ice cream–even cherry lasagna. Even their toilets are made out of cherries. Okay, I made that up.
The Cottage Bookstore
Walked into this store and got the most amazing individualized attention and a lavender sand blaster hand massage. I peeked out the open door out back and there was lavender everywhere–and rows of pretty tea towels drying on clothes lines. Absolutely charming.
I slipped out of dinner early on our Glen Arbor night, hoping to walk Nella and Dash to sleep in the stroller because they were–let’s go with irritable. A few corner turns led us here instead, a secret little place we found that magically reverses irritability.
And now we are home, fully submerged back into our routines, and it feels good. We really missed Brett–thankful for FaceTime and printed heads-on-sticks to allow him to hilariously appear in some of our pictures, but still–there were many “Brett would love this” notations.
Happy to be home. School starts next week. Until then…another cup of coffee.
Have a great weekend!
Saying Good-bye to Summer and Embracing New Season Inspiration over @eHow this week.