Thursday, July 25, 2013
Mike and I have always loved Michigan vacations, and after taking the kids to Traverse City and Petoskey two years ago and renting a place on Lake Michigan last year, sharing another Michigan vacation destination with our little ones felt right this summer. House hunting made an easy-to-plan vacation the name of the game this time around, so I whipped up a long weekend in Mackinac.
However, I soon found myself calculating the distance to a couple of other areas that have intrigued me for a while, researching hotels, urging Mike to take one more day off work, and reworking our trip to include stops in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Aside from a brief trip to the Sioux Locks and lunch in St. Ignace on a trip to that area years ago (both are just on the other side of the Mackinac bridge), the UP was uncharted territory for Mike and me.
After two nights in Mackinaw City, we stayed at a hotel in Paradise, MI because it was on the beach and near our first UP destination: Tahquamenon Falls. I have to admit that the kids' book "M is for Mitten" that I mentioned a couple of posts ago is what ultimately drew me to the falls.
On most trips we stay faithful to the kids' nap/bedtime and meal routines, but with a long drive on day one, we found ourselves trying to be more flexible as the kids dozed at non-nap times. We paid for it with rocky bedtimes and a couple of meltdowns, but we survived, and we're back on track at home now.
I imagine there were families hiking, couples kayaking, wildlife frolicking, all disrupted by the cries of, "I just want my graham crackers!" when one of those meltdowns occurred in the tranquility of Tahquamenon Falls State Park.
"See that big butterfly, Sophie?"
"Michael, look at that beautiful water!"
For the record, Mike and I did offer to stop at a picnic table--that alone is usually super appealing to these munchkins--to eat graham crackers and drink some water before our short walk around the falls. They turned that offer down. We should have forced the snack on them at that point, I guess, or at least brought it along rather than returning the sippy cups and snack containers to the car. Mike did make a run back for them, and we were able to enjoy this wonder a bit more...and restore peace to the land.