If you are not from Michigan, or if you've never been close to a Michigander (old school! Whatever "Michiganians"....) you may not be familiar with the travelling state map. Hence the photo I've lovingly posted here for your reference
The Sinkis packed up and headed north for the weekend. Mama Sinki (that would be me) had a work program in Petoskey - marked by the blue diamond above - and I brought the clan. While packing, Mama Sinki thought of her lovely son who eats his fruits and veggies well, but not so daintily yet, and packed double the clothes necessary for a one night trip.
We got to the fabulous Holiday Inn Express on Friday evening. Pushed by Willa's enthusiasm, we were in the pool moments after checking in. Willa was a fish. Henry was... a screeching, stretching, kicking fish.
The program on Saturday morning went wonderfully (pat on back).
After the program we loaded up and headed out. Papa Sinki had a wild look in his eye and suggested we not go home that evening. So... road trip! We took 2 lane highways from Petoskey to Traverse City to Sleeping Bear Dunes (purple smiley face). It was a chilly day and windy, so we opted out of hiking up the dunes with a 3 year old and a hefty infant. Instead we drove the scenic road in the National Park. We got out for a moment and walked to a dune lookout. Lake Michigan was beautiful for the minute we could bear to be in the cold wind.
As we drove we played "eye spy" with Willa. There was no guessing, just exclaiming, and the most often spied and declared item was forsythia. Toward the end of the game, she was chanting and then mumbling "I spy a forsythia." When she was silent, I turned to see her totally asleep. Jim and I talked and talked and talked.
Red barns and trillium carpeted woods. Twists, gentle curves and hills... Visions of tourism encouraging "Yes Michigan!" This state we live in? Gorgeous. We saw cows, chickens, horses, sheep, a llama, deer, turkey. When we had to stop the car so I could nurse Henry a man on a bicycle asked Jim if we needed help. And then we watched him walk his bike up a long, steep hill.
Henry and Willa entertained each other in the back by making noises at each other. In a few years, I know they will be much less entertained by each other, but will still be making noises...
They were such good kids, especially considering how long they were strapped in the car.
We landed in Manistee (yellow moon) Saturday night and found dinner and a place to stay. Again a pool. Again smiling kids.
In the morning, Henry had his first waffle and shared about 1/2 of it with the floor of the Days Inn. We got on the road again (no pool in the morning. "Sorry Willa, someone pooped in the pool, and it's closed." Motherhood has made me a liar. She immediately blamed Henry.).
Manistee to Ludington where we enjoyed the beach from behind the windshield at the city park while the kids slept. We stopped at a produce shop and I bought still sandy asparagus and flavored honey sticks.
Ludington to Pentwater where I opened my eyes from a little nap when I heard Jim say, "I drove to Pentwater to show my family this view and everyone is sleeping." I think I said, "it's nice!" and closed my eyes again.
Pentwater to Little Sable Point (orange sun)where we all got out to walk over the dune and stretch a little. Willa and I put our feet in Lake Michigan. It was cold. I fed Henry on a sand dune, gazing at the Lake and then at Willa and Jim who were hunting for ladybugs. Serene (unless you were a ladybug).
From there in search of lunch. We wound up at Turks (Jim where were we?) a very sweet little place that you should visit if you're ever in _____ (Jim?).
From lunch to Leonard Street all the way home.
It was a pretty awesome weekend. Soon, we'll be headed north again to Mackinac Island (pink starbust). Where we'll be able to experience a deepening green and spring flowers unfurling all over again. For that, we'll remember the camera.