We have had such an amazing summer. The weather has been pretty temperate here in Michigan. There was only about a week where it was unbearably hot and humid. We got to play a few shows around town outside under our bluest skies. We hit both the mitten and the dog. Ours is a #luckylife.
Here’s a rundown of all the places we visited.
Our summer road trips have taken us almost to the very tip of the Upper Penninsula.
We trecked “Up North” and visited some of the most rural and beautiful areas in Michigan.
We also hit the heart of the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
As I mentioned in my earlier Summer in Michigan posting, my friend Coco came to visit from Miami. As every Michigander knows, one of our most popular tourist destinations in the summer is Mackinac Island. We had to make a pit stop to the island of bikes, horses and buggies while she was in town.
We were a bit on pins and needles the night before about going because the weather was actually looking like a storm and the news was giving it a 50/50 chance of showers. In the morning, we decided the weather was clear enough and took off in the truck with our bicycles in tow.
On the way up, I did some research online from the passenger seat and found out that if you order your tickets online from the folks at the Arnold Ferry, you can save $4/ticket. That really adds up! We didn’t have a way to print them in the truck, but they just printed them for us at their offices.
We sat in the front of the ferry but stayed inside cause it wasn’t very warm. I think the high was about 60 degrees (F) and there was a strong breeze on the Easterly side of the Island. The lilacs were in full bloom and the tulips were just finishing up with their last few petals falling to the ground. It was like being transported back to the beginning of spring. (I missed the lilacs in the Detroit area while we were performing on the West Coast on the Sapphire Princess.) The weather was cool, so the horses weren’t very smelly and you could actually smell the flowers. This may sound funny, but anyone who has spent anytime on a farm or has been to the Island in the heat of the summer knows the aroma I’m talking about.
Mackinac Island is only about 10 miles around. It has a small Victorian style downtown area with a very Midwestern Revolutionary War charm. It was a British stronghold during the War of 1812. There is alot of historical significance around the Island, like Fort Mackinac, the actual battle fields and also the revamped Indian College formed by the missionaries, now a nice hotel called Mission Resort. For several years before we did ships, Jake performed at the Resort. We always had a very nice time spending the week on the Island. One time, a guy proposed to his gal at our gig and we caught it on tape. I hope that they are living a happy and wonderful life.
I’m feeling pretty spoiled these days. When I grew up in Michigan my favorite time of year was summer. Specifically, June, July, August and even September. When I was a child, we would spend any warm, sunny days at the lake, camping, hanging around outside or enjoying a nice hike. There are plenty of State Parks and beautiful beaches all across our state. The end all be all warm weather activity is swimming. I liken myself to a fish and require a great deal of interaction with water for sustainability. I actually prefer the fresh, unsalted water… but as you may have already noted in previous posts, I will swim in almost anything.
Ever since I started the cruise ship job, we have been missing out a bit on the whole summer party action at home. Not complaining about all of the wonderful locations we have been visiting. I just miss summertime in Michigan. This year, we had two different weddings in our families in June. We requested vacation during the summer to attend. Now, we are so excited to have the summer at home in Michigan.
First we made plans and picked some key destinations. It helps that my family, friends or relatives are located on each of the Great Lakes. We knew it would be so nice to be on the water. I was particularly excited because one wedding took us to Cleveland sitting on Lake Erie and the other took place in Marquette on Lake Superior.
One of my families absolute favorite places to spend time in the summer is the Upper Peninsula. It’s pretty sparce, but breath-takingly beautiful. Jake read somewhere that the UP holds 1/3 of Michigan’s population, which is around 10MM so they have about 300K residents. Trust me, they have way more trees than people… Similar to the problem the folks in New Zealand have with their sheep.
We spent Friday in the car driving the 8+ hour drive from Royal Oak (near Detroit) all the way North on I-75, across the Mackinac Bridge, over West and North again to finally arrive at our destination of Marquette, Michigan on the Southern shores of Lake Superior.
I remember camping in the Porcupine Mountains, near Pictured Rocks, somewhere on the Two-Heart River and also off the very Eastern tip of the UP coast. Each place holds some natural wonder, a beautiful sandy or rocky beach, cliffs overlooking vast expanses of clear blue water. Since we were heading up to Marquette, I decided we should spend an extra day or so jaunting around to some of the old family haunts. I know it would make my Great Grandma Paul proud to see me visiting my roots and getting in touch with my inner ten year old.