Our MI vacation: the good, the bad & the ugly (with pictures, of course!)

On Saturday, Aug. 9, we returned home to Colorado after spending two weeks on vacation in Michigan. Most of our trip was spent in Oscoda (where my parents live), but we also spent a little time “down state” in my hometown of Clawson and the surrounding area, and Jody, the kids and I spent three days on Mackinac Island.

There was drama even before we left for our trip when I discovered (as I went with the kids to our car in Borders parking lot) one of our tires had gone nearly completely flat. This happened the day before we left. I got the tire fixed (actually, got all 4 tires replaced since we were due to do that anyway after having another flat just two weeks prior) and I was thankful that it happened and was discovered that day instead of the following morning as we scrambled to the airport to catch our flight. (Small favors and all that.)

The trip itself went quite well for the most part and what follows are some of the memorable moments – the good, the bad and the ugly (in no particular order).

The Good
* Watching the kids delight in the waves and sandy beaches of Lake Huron or discovering interesting rocks and minnows in the Au Sable River
Julian on the beach at Lake HuronJulian on the beach at Lake HuronAva in the Au Sable River
* Eating s’mores (or, in Julian’s case, plain chocolate graham crackers) at a campfire in my parents’ backyard
Julian and a graham cracker
* Going with my sister for a walk down memory lane, or more specifically the street we grew up on
* Watching the kids read books, get pulled in the wagon, and play with their grandma & grandpa
Reading books
* Seeing Ava perfect her bike-riding skills
Ava riding her bike at Grandma&pa’s house
* The kids smearing sunscreen all over my back for me
* The surreal feeling of watching my kids play at two of the parks I used to play at as a child
* Communing with nature.
Wild flowersAt the marshes
* And trying to catch the little frogs
A frog on a log
* Everything about Mackinac Island – the flowers, the clean air (no cars on the island), the horses, the biking, the fudge, the history, the nature and beauty
The harbor, Mackinac IslandThe kids on Main Street, Mackinac Island
* Watching Julian pass out kisses and the kids beg for more bites of dessert from grandma & grandpa
The kids with grandma and grandpa
* Witnessing Ava drive her first boat at age 4
Ava driving her first boat
* Seeing Julian eat the rind off a lemon slice, twice
Julian eating a lemon
* Zen biking riding around Mackinac Island and discovering the perfect place to have lunch (Turtle Park) – with sandwiches made by Jody right at the picnic table – and let the kids play
Jody with the kids in the Burley on Mackinac Island
* Watching Ava and my mom’s excitement over the butterfly kit my mom got as the chrysalises hatched and butterflies emerged
* Seeing extended family members and watching Ava bond with her 15-year-old cousin Claire
Ava and cousin Claire (taken by cousin Ryan)
* Getting to float on the waves of Lake Huron alone with Jody for about 30 glorious minutes
* Capturing the look on Ava’s face as she saw a rainbow
Ava spots a rainbowRainbow

* Having an opportunity to take Ava’s 4 year pictures
* Spending time playing with the kids without having to worry about blog posts needing to be written, the house needing cleaning or dinner needing to be made
* Seeing the kids, especially Julian, enjoy strawberry shortcake for the first time
Julian enjoying his first strawberry shortcake
* Never tiring of Julian requesting “more horsey” after seeing yet another horse on Mackinac Island
* Assembling a rock family with Ava on Mackinac
Mommy, Ava and the rock familyOur rock family
* Water as far as the eye can see
Looking out at Lake Huron from Arch Rock
* The opportunity to take lots of pictures
Me and Julian at Fort Holmes
* Listening to the kids play grandma’s piano
Tickling the ivories
* Beautiful sunsets
Sunset behind the Mackinac Bridge
* Watching Ava make a new friend at our resort. They went from “flying” around together, to collecting seagull feathers, to talking, hugging and kissing in the span of about 30 minutes. It’s amazing how simple it can be.
Ava and her new friend Lily at Mission Point Resort (Mackinac Island)
* Eating ice cream, ice cream, and more ice cream.
Mmm, ice creamIce cream
* Watching my little beach combers
Ava and Julian on the beach of Lake HuronJulian - “Giddy-up!”
* Having my whole family together (mom, dad, me, li’l bro, li’l sis), even if it was just for one dinner
My brother, mom, dad, sister and me
* And a new picture of me with my siblings. Not sure when the last one of the three of us together was taken.
Me with my li’l sis and bro (taken by my cousin Ryan)

The Bad
* Iceburg lettuce. Seriously, what is up with iceburg lettuce?! I’d forgotten that it seems to be a staple in MI and that it’s nearly impossible to get a salad without it.
* Discovering we’d also left our wireless router at my parents’ house. Oops!
* Wearing my new sexy sandals for 10 minutes only to have them leave my feet looking like this:
Ouchee feet

* Discovering we’d also left our Mackinac Island fudge from the Murray Hotel in my parents’ fridge. D’oh!

The Good
* My mom saying she would mail the fudge to us. 🙂

And the Ugly
* Having one of our three suitcases stolen out of my sister’s car.
* Finding out insurance won’t cover any of it since the amount of items stolen (clothes, shoes, bike helmets) is just under the amount of our deductible

The Good
* Realizing my evil sandals were in the suitcase that was stolen.

The Bad
* Realizing my brand new tennis shoes were also in there, as well as one of Ava’s favorite dresses.

And more of The Good
* Getting a family picture using a tripod and the timer
Family photo on Mackinac Island
* Making wonderful memories
Daddy’s little girlAva and Julian at Fort HolmesMe and the kids at sunset on Mackinac IslandJody and the kids at G’ma & G’pa’s houseThe kids at Mission Point Resort

32 thoughts on “Our MI vacation: the good, the bad & the ugly (with pictures, of course!)”

  1. Looks like you guys had so much fun! Hope the fudge mails well! Mackinac is just not Mackinac without the fudge. 🙂
    And you mean to tell me people in other states actually eat salad without iceberg lettuce! Heck I didn’t know there was even another type of lettuce until after highschool. Gotta love us Michiganders.

  2. Welcome home! Love! Love! The photos. But, even still not missing the Midwest ;-). Glad you had a (mostly) enjoyable trip.

  3. Looks and sounds like a wonderful time (except for that whole suitcase thing of course…) What beautiful pictures and such a lovely one of your little family! : )

  4. Looks like you had a great time! Sorry about the suitcase, stuff always happens on vacation but at least it didn’t ruin your trip. It’s nice to get together with the whole family every now and then.

  5. Your photos are great, sounds like you had a great time except for the suitcase. But since your evil sandels were in it, maybe its loss was a case of devine intervention?

    The Mackinac Island fudge should ship just fine. I spent a summer making the same fudge recipe at Cedar Point and it mailed OK.

  6. We so enjoyed having you visit and I love your post and the way you structured it.
    Great pics of the grandkids. I’ll have to print some of them. The fudge will be on its way soon ;).

  7. Looks like you had amazing family time on your trip. It looks so relaxing! Great pictures from it.

    Sorry to hear about your stolen luggage. I just never understand why people have to be so mean.

  8. Sounds like a BUSY vacation!

    The stolen suitcase… you know, as long as you have the camera and the photos – that’s the most important thing.

    We flew back from Europe a couple of years ago, right after they caught the terrorists that tried to use liquids to create a bomb, and were told that we MUST check everything. We weren’t allowed to bring anything on board. So we did. Including the camera that had all the vacation photos in it.

    Needless to say, when we landed in San Francisco, one of our suitcases did not arrive – and sure enough, it was the one with the camera.

    It took them FOUR DAYS to locate the missing suitcase and deliver it back to us. The camera was there, and that’s when I realized that the camera is the only truly important item that you do NOT want to lose after a trip.

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  10. Amy,

    You have such a beautiful family. Thanks so much for sharing these photos. It looks like everyone had a great time overall. The last picture of Ava and Julian is by far my favorite. 🙂

  11. Looks like you had a great time. I love all your pictures- especially the family picture, and the last one of Ava and Julian, with Ava’s arm around him. They look so cute and innocent. Glad you had way more Good on vacation than Bad. 🙂

  12. yeah for the good and boo for the bad! may the thief wear the sandals and be in utter pain!

    (ps love the photos ESPECIALLY the family one! rockin photo for a timer 🙂 !! )

  13. Great pictures! Sounds like you had a great time! When I was little my parents had a standing reservation at deer lake on whidbey Island- the last year was a log cabin- with an outhouse! Kids love outhouses. Well boys do. There is something magical about doing your business with no plumbing involved except maybe a hose.

  14. Hi Amy,
    My name is Jane and I’m with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blogs about Oscoda to share on our site and I came across your post…If you’re open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you soon!

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