Subtitled: Best Vacation Yet
Why Didn't We Do This Earlier?
After blessing Maddie last month, we got down to the real business of the visit, which was to head up north and see Michigan's Upper Peninsula. My grandpa has been talking about doing this since he first visited us in our apartment in Toledo, and I honestly wish we would have done it sooner. It was gorgeous. I think (with all the arrogance of a first-time visitor) that September has to be the best time to go, for these reasons: 1) it's off season, so all the accommodations were much cheaper, 2) the leaves were turning, and the color was gorgeous, and 3) it was just warm enough and just cool enough. Perfect.
I don't have the patience to create a narrative from these pictures, so I am simply going to caption them.
Waiting for the ferry to Mackinac Island. Windy. Maddie was treated as luggage, just like any other respectable one-month old.
I wish this picture really showed how funny this hoodie is. It's one John picked up in Bolivia, and it's darling with the hood down. With the too-short hood up, her shoulders are permanently raised, and she looks like a dwarf. Or an Incan midget.
Mackinac Island has no cars. It's awesome, and the biking was SO much fun. It's not perfectly clear from this picture, but my parents are on a tandem bike with a trailer rolling behind them. Awesome, eh? All the bikes on the island have those cute front baskets functioning kind of like the trunk on a car.
Little Grandpa loved to tease me about my "Red Baron" scarf.
On one side of the island, there was a big rocky beach with hundreds of stacked rock cairns. Mimi decided we needed to stop and stack our own cairns. It's still the part of the vacation she talks about most.
I love Little Grandpa. It was so fun to have him along.
After Mackinac Island, we drove up through the U.P. to get to Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, and ride the Agawa Canyon train. My dad and my grandpa both love trains, so it was a perfect fit into our vacation. Canada may have even been more beautiful than Michigan, and that's saying something.
Bella wanted to walk under her own power up all 323 stairs to the top of Lookout Point in Agawa Canyon. That would have taken forever, but she protested her "sack of potatoes" fate anyway.
Don't I have beautiful daughters?
On our way back down, we visited Petoskey, Michigan, famous for Petoskey Stones (which we didn't find) and beautiful beaches (which we found and admired). We did some hiking in Petoskey State Park. At least some of us did.
Mimi was carried to the top of "Old Baldy" inside Big Grandpa's sweatshirt. She loved it.
Ahh. I loved it.