So, I said yesterday in my Sunday Review that I would be replacing today’s Musings Monday with a few (I hope it’s only a few; it was so hard to narrow down what photos to share.) photos from the trip I just got back from. If you missed the Sunday Review yesterday, today’s Musings Monday will be replaced by my recent travels.
As you can tell, I love traveling and take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself. This is my second trip this year, and I still have another one coming up in October! But, that’s beside the point. This last trip I went up to Michigan (I’m from Wisconsin, so not too far from home this time) to Traverse City and Mackinac Island, and then went up a bit further to the Canadian Border, and finally came back down to Door County in Wisconsin for a few nights. This trip was filled with plenty of beautiful scenery.
Our first stop was the Sand Dunes just outside of Traverse City. Those little specks down there are people! If you go all the way to the bottom of this it could take up to 2 hours to climb back up. Hiking through sand is a serious workout.
Seriously, it’s a long way down down there. It was hard to take this photo, because I had to climb over here and then dig myself out a place to sit. Crazy stuff.
We had to hike 3.5 miles up and down sand dunes to get to the beach pictured below. It may not sound like a lot, but after the 3.5 miles back, we pretty much felt like death. It was grueling, but a great experience once it was all over. (Honestly, when we started, we didn’t realize it was going to be such a long hike or we wouldn’t have done it, but, that’s beside the point now that it’s all over and done with!)
But, we made it back, and I felt a bit like I was on top of the world (and also a bit like I was going to collapse any second).
This cute little French restaurant, Pâtisserie Amie, has become my new favorite café in the whole world. It was adorable and the food was delicious!
It was so good, we ate there twice. First picture is Eggs Benedict, second is a spinach, ham, and cheese omelet.
A lighthouse up on Leenlanau Peninsula about an hour away from Traverse City. Lots and lots of lighthouses in the areas I traveled to. We only went to a few, but this is the only one we paid to go up in.
Next up was taking a ferry over to Mackinac (pronounced Mack-ih-naw) Island. There are no motorized vehicles allowed on the island. The only way to get around is to walk, bike, or take a horse and buggy. It’s not a big place, so it’s very easy to maneuver by walking, but we did do a carriage tour and also rented bikes for an hour.
Walked our bikes up a really steep hill, then rode around the state park, and finally had to climb about 170 steps to get up here to Fort Holmes. It’s the highest point on the island. It’s good to know that you never do forget how to ride a bike. I haven’t been on one in about 8 years, but I rode like a champ, in a maxi skirt no less. Totally worth the physical activity to get up here.
Arch Rock: another beautiful site found in Mackinac State Park. Seriously cannot beat this view.
The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. It only costs $300 per person per night to stay here. Totally doable. We didn’t get to go inside because you have to pay $10 per person just to enter. Plus, it was after 6 p.m. and you have to be dressed in formal wear (suit and tie) to enter after 6. But, the outside was absolutely stunning.
The Grand Hotel’s garden.
Time to say goodbye to Mackinac. The streets are so empty and quiet in the morning.
Next up, the Soo Locks on the Canadian/American border. We took a boat tour. In order to get from one Great Lake to the next, our boat has to be raised up to the level of the second lake – the point of the Locks. You can see the water line we have to get raised up to. It takes about 40-50 minutes.
Our view when we were finally raised up. We got a bit of a tour of the channels that cargo ships travel. The photo on the left is the traffic bridge that you can use to drive into Canada. The photo on the right is where the American and Canadian channels meet. Although we were in Canadian waters, I didn’t need my passport 😛
Time to get on yet another boat. I’ve been on more boats on this one trip than I think I’ve been on in my entire life. Heading over to Washington Island in Door County.
On the right, is a church built in the style of a Middle Ages Scandinavian church to honor the strong Scandinavian heritage on the island and in the area. On the right is a soft rock beach. There are only 5 soft rock beaches in the world. (I don’t care how “soft” they are, though. They were still poky to walk on.)
More steps to climb up for a view worth the hike. This was 200 steps total. I was definitely more active on this trip than I’ve been in a long time.
Made it to the top, and made everyone nervous in order to get this lovely photo.
Headed back to the mainland and saw yet another lighthouse. On the right is me at Eagle Bluff. A great view and a photo opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
I went Kayaking for the first time on this vacation. We were on Lake Michigan, and it was really windy. This made the water exceptionally choppy and the wind made it hard to stay on course, but I had fun, even if it was hard work.
This is a Swedish restaurant we ate breakfast at. Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant has a grass roof, so that if it’s nice out, they put goats up there to graze, bask in the sun, and people watch. As you can see, we were lucky enough to see them up there. Such Majestic, Very Wow.
Some more goats that were outside of a custard shop. They were just lying around, chilling out, maxing, relaxing, all cool, and all…Alright, moving on. On the right is a nice spot we found. We missed the sunset, but still got some pretty photos.
Went to a Fish Boil. It’s an old traditional Scandinavian meal. (So I was told.) Probably one of the strangest meals I’ve ever eaten in my life (and I’ve eaten some strange food). It was good, though.
The fish boil was the last exciting adventure, but I just had to share some of the photos of books I read while traveling. How could I not? This is a book blog after all. I read 7 books on vacation. I’m super happy about that, and glad that they were all good reads!
Okay, I’m done boring you now with all my travels. I’m sorry I couldn’t bring myself to narrow down the photos I shared any more than this. It was so hard to pick!
I’ll be back tomorrow with a Top Ten Tuesday and also a Tag. Stick around for some regular scheduled posts after this one that’s a bit off the beaten track.
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