Lakes and Trails -Up North Post #3

In the spirit of trying new things and having different adventures, our plan for day number 3 up north was to explore two completely new to us places. First up, the Botanical Gardens at Barnes Park.

I picked this place because it seemed to have a lot of different areas for us to check out – stuff for Wyatt, and stuff for us too. We arrived bright and early, and I was happy we went in the morning as the day was already heating up. We pulled in, grabbed a map of the grounds, and started off. This caught our eye first..

This must have been some cow! Good for you Traverse Colantha Walker.

Our next stop was the big community garden! It was gorgeous and gave me some inspiration for next year as well! Then, despite having a map, we wandered around trying to find our next trail, the Fairy Trail! We had a strangely hard time finding it; were we deliberately led astray by the fairies?

This was a neat little stop and if you have kids and visit the area, this is a must do!

Once we found our way out of Faerie, we wandered into the next garden over, the pollinator garden.

By this point, we were getting weary of the sun and heat, and headed back to the car and our water, took a quick little break, and left for our next stop, an old growth cedar forest.

Now, this trail was truly magical. Just the feeling when you entered into the trees was something bordering a reverence. My loud boy, Wyatt Riot, even could tell, and whispered “Wow” as we stood the three of us, within this shelter of trees. It was our first time in such a forest and it was beautiful. We took our time making our way through, at time just standing still on the trail and listening to the Blue Jays shriek, catch them flying from tree to tree. Absorbing the stillness at other times, breathing in the cedar fragrance that just wafted with each of our footsteps. This was a short hike, but one of the best ones I have ever been on.

All too soon we were back in the hot, dusty parking lot, and decided it was time to head back to the cabin. We still had some swimming left to do, but not until we took a nap.. which we did after lunch. Then the guys headed down and into the lake. I did not get a swimsuit in time so I watched from the shore, but I was able to take in the sheer joy and excitement that Wyatt was radiating. His laughter echoed over the water as he played in the lake. My whole goal of this trip was to get Wyatt in the water, to be in a lake, to sit on a beach. And it was a resounding success.

We were all exhausted by the time evening rolled around. We had a quick dinner of hot dogs and macaroni, then just vegged until bed. The next day we had to leave so we took this last opportunity to really just relax.

And that my friends, was the end of our trip. Until next year, northern Michigan. We had a blast!


An art studio, a lighthouse, and a picnic

Mornings come early when you have a six year old, even on vacation. At least, with our six year old they do. We woke up in Honor and an hour later we were on the road again. This time, our first stop was minutes away, at a place I have always always wanted to go. And finally, I made it!

Gwen Frostic was so many things in her life – an artist, an inspiration, a Rosie, a poet. I love her art, her vision, and the fact that I graduated from the same high school that she did. So when I learned that her studio was still around, open, and operating as a store and a letter press in the very area we usually vacation in, I wanted to go. But it never happened, for one reason or another. But this time around, I made space for it.

We arrived bright and early, just as the doors were opening. We were the only customers and it was nice to have the place to ourselves. It was so quiet, we could ask questions, and I could just soak it all in. While I wandered about, Billy and Wyatt talked to the employees about the press that operates there. Apparently you can watch it run, but we were there on the wrong day for that. Another time, because I will definitely be going back.

I poked about, bought a few things. Listened to Billy talk with the employees about how not as many people send cards or letters anymore, and I think I want to do that, send letters on beautiful stationery. Anyone want a pen pal?

I bought a few cards, a new journal, and Wyatt picked out a few stickers. I have my eye on a print though for our bedroom redo, and those wine glasses.. I need one.

We got back in the car, and headed to our cabin! I was excited to get there after all the chaos. We checked in, looked around, flopped a bit, then..set out again. This time to Mission Point.

First stop was the lighthouse. We walked around a bit, then I asked Wyatt what he wanted to do next. He requested a picnic, since this kid loves them. For real. We got back in the car and found a place that sold deli sandwiches to go, the Bad Dog Deli. I had also spotted a sign for a place called Old Mission Flowers, and when I looked it up, found that it was a U-Pick Flower stand. Right up my alley, and just about the perfect setting for a picnic! We ate our lunch swinging our feet from the back of the Subaru, looking out at the wonderful color of the flowers, the hummingbirds playing, butterflies floating from flower to flower. I thanked Wyatt for suggesting this idea, we would have probably missed all of this beauty without his picnic request.

It was pretty ingenious really. There was a clean, bright shed filled with clippers and vases of different sizes and sorts. The prices were based on which vase you chose, you pick the flowers, and then either deposit money into a tube, or PayPal Old Mission Flowers. A complete honor system. I loved this part of our day. So did Wyatt. I think this was our favorite stop. Although, we only had one more left, the Secret Garden at Brys Winery. I actually didn’t go to any wineries this time around, due to Covid, but I wanted to see the lavender at the Secret Garden. This was a fast stop, I took a few photos, and we left. We were ready to chill out at the cabin for the rest of the day by this point. So that is what we did!

Which brings us to the end of day two. Another perfect day.