Saturday, July 15, 2006

We Finally Went Up North

Ever since we moved to Michigan people have been telling us to go “up north.” I, quite honestly, felt I’d gone up north enough, but people kept telling me there was a whole wonderland of vacationing bliss even further up north. No directions or city names or highways were ever given; we were just told to go up north. Well, last week we finally made it up north, all the way up to Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island.

(For those not well-versed in Michigan geography: the city is spelled with a “w” and the island is spelled with a “c.” I do not know why. Nor does it make a lick of sense to me.)

It was a three and a half hour drive straight up I-75 to the very tip of the Lower Peninsula. I’d found a campground that had campsites available for tents, RVs and it also had cabins. I don’t do tents and we don’t have an RV so the cabins (with bath) sounded good to me.

We went with another family we’ve met since being here. It was the first time we’ve vacationed with friends. It was good; all the fun of vacationing with family but none of the bothersome history to screw things up.

The cabins were nice. They had two rooms; the back room had double bunk beds that could sleep four. The big room had a queen bed and the kitchenette. The bathroom had a tiny shower, toilet and small sink. It was everything we needed to feel like we were camping without actually having to camp. And I was glad to have my own toilet and shower. When we walked to the playground we had to pass the public bathroom; ewww is all I can say. If I’d have had to use that I just wouldn’t have gone until I’d gotten home.

Cooking was done at the fire pit. We weren’t too adventurous. Hot dogs and hamburgers fed us both nights, as well as a few side dished we’d brought from home. Of course, there were s’mores. What’s the point of a campfire if you’re not doing s’mores? (Every time we say “s’mores” we have to say the line from Toy Story II when Buzz calls them “hot schmoes.” Cracks us up.) I, however, cannot cook a marshmallow; inevitably I set mine on fire so I have to settle for charred mushiness on a cracker. Thankfully, Chef Cookaloni was with us and he taught Rebecca how to cook a marshmallow perfectly.

We went to Mackinac Island one of our days there and it really was beautiful. There is a fort and several 17th century period houses and buildings. But what Mackinac Island is really known for is fudge. There are a gazillion fudge shops. And they all offer free samples. I don’t know how Michael didn’t turn into a big slab of double chocolate fudge considering how many samples he took.

One neat thing that happened was Michael and Amy saw two friends on the Island. We know about 12 people up here and we run into two of them? What are the odds? I appreciated God’s providence in arranging that meeting.

All in all the three days were great. The kids got along, the adults got along … everything just was perfect. Well, except for the kid who broke his arm. Thankfully it wasn’t any of our kids. This little guy was at the playground with his older brother and tried to copy what Michael and Amy were doing on the swing set. Instead of using it as it was designed they were treating it as a piece of gymnastics equipment. Unfortunately this kid fell right on his right arm, snapped both bones below the elbow, dislocated his wrist and will have to have orthoscopic surgery. My kids have broken their arms before but they didn’t look anything like this little guy. He just kept running around screaming, “I broke my arm! I broke my arm!” Poor kid was with his grandparents. Poor grandparents… I can only imagine the phone call to the kid’s mother.

So aside from the tragic broken arm incident, the vacation was just great. And we can finally say we’ve been up north.