Biggest Ball of String

Our road trip adventures, quirky roadside attractions, generally in the United States or Canada (and with occasional travel off the mainland into Hawaii, Alaska, Caribbean and Europe – so far)

Michigan

on January 20, 2013

Once upon a time (2004), we went on a roadtrip from Calgary to Nova Scotia, one way, through the States.  Our plan was to drive a “disposable car” there, and fly home.  Which, we did.. except that the disposable car only made it to Omaha, Nebraska, and we had to rent a car for the rest of the trip. (I did mention this before, if it sounds familiar, in my October 17, 2012 blog about the Jolly Green Giant.)The Sea

But that’s a story for another time.  The reason I brought it up now, is because, that trip, we drove passed three of the Great Lakes.  I took a picture out of the window as we passed Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario.

I had NO idea how immense they were, until the trip we took to visit Richard and Shannan (mentioned often in previous blogs), in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Pineapple and MeI met Shannan and her family, when I was 15 years old, and they moved to our little tiny town, in Montana. (Also briefly mentioned in my September 19, 2012 blog).  Shannan’s family moved to Montana, from Michigan.

In fact, in her lifetime, Shannan has lived in almost every state in the United States. (And, she’s still quite young! 😀 ) But, between States, she often moves back to Michigan. It’s her hub.

Which brings us to this trip. After she & Richard moved back to Michigan from Alaska (an upcoming blog segment), we decidedThe Cottage to go visit.   And, they took us for a weekend at the Family Cottage on the Lake.

And, by “Lake”, I mean the second Greatest Lake, Lake Michigan. (Don’t roll your eyes, like that’s obvious – the state of Michigan also borders Lake Superior, Lake Huron, and a tiny section of Lake Erie.)  Having never really spent any time staring at the Great Lakes, and since this one is especially great, I actually had to remind myself and convince myself that this was “just” a Lake, and not an Ocean.  I was in complete and total awe!

Located along the US and Canadian border, the Great Lakes provide 21% of the world’s surface fresh water supply! and are connected by The St. Lawrence Seaway to the Atlantic Ocean.

I think we were even looking from East to West across the water, which is the narrower view – and I still couldn’t see the other shore! It’s so huge, you can see the curvature of the earth. There are waves I’m sure you can surf on. Over and over, I had to remind myself that the water is “fresh water”, not salt.  I kept imagining that there must be a tide. But there isn’t.  (If you think I’m crazy, it can only be because you haven’t been there – go there, and you will see what I mean!!)

Settlers of CatanWe spent the weekend at the Family Cottage playing Settlers of Catan…at which…I’m terrible… For one thing: I feel bad about wrecking someone else’s goal…and I build my “walls” or whatever, based on patterns and designs. Needless to say, I lost.

One of the days, we spent the entire day making Boeuf Bourguignon, from Julia Childs’ cookbook on French Cooking.  It was delicious! and worth the hours dedicated. In fact, I make it regularly now, and even though I’ve found a faster “cheater” way, I won’t do it – the original way is, in fact, the best way.  (“Boeuf” means “Beef”, and “Bourguignon” means Julia Childs, French Cooking“Burgundy.”  I guess that’s for the bottle of wine that goes into the meal… And that’s not including the wine you drink!)

Did I mention that we were there in December?  It was COLD! Not Alaska cold, but cold.  It was the first time I’d ever seen frozen sand.  Again, with the ridiculousness, I collected frozen sand, and for some reason was expected to bring home dry, yes – frozen – sand.. I got home with a bag of really wet sand in a puddle.  (I know, its not that frozen sand is rare… just normally when we travel in winter to a place with sand – it’s Hawaii.)

Speaking of shorelines, though – It turns out that Michigan has the longest freshwater coast line in the world! and its borders, as I mentioned, touch 4 of the Great Lakes! (Superior, Michigan, Huron and Erie.)  And! it has almost 65,000 lakes and ponds…(what qualifies as a pond, I wonder? that is ALOT of water!)

Lake shoreAlso, the state is cut in half by Lake Michigan, and it’s two halves (the Upper and Lower peninsulas) are attached by way of the Mackinac Bridge.

The word “Michigan” comes from an Ojibwa word “Mishigamaa” and then adapted by the French.  “Mishigamaa” means “large lake.”  That makes sense!!! (More sense to me than “Saskatchewan” meaning “fast flowing river”, running through an almost completely flat province…as per my September 26, 2012 blog.)Winery

During our stay at The Cottage on the Lake, we spent a day going wine tasting and to a little town called Saugatuck.

Wine tasting was, of course, delicious, and we all came out with some new favorites!  Since we can’t get the options here, I only can dream about my favorite, which was the Vignoles Reserve.  http://www.fennvalley.com/

vatsWinery art
The little town of Saugatuck is one of those little towns you just walk around and around and up and down. It’s right on the water – a marina and beach, I guess. I think it’d be amazing, high energy, and super busy there in the summer, but since we were there in December, we really had almost the entire town to ourselves!! (According to the 2010 Census, less than 1000 people live there, and (including water) covers 1.47 square miles!)
Saugatuck StreetSaugatuck Street

Not knowing, at the time, that I would be starting a travel blog sometime in the future, I didn’t really take careful notes of what we Shannan's glassdid and what we saw… Here’s what I remember:

  • ~ there is a DELICIOUS candy store – chocolates, candied apples, chocolate…
  • ~ I remember a wine accessory store, where Shannan bought the most beautiful wine glass, which I (in a funnier-than-it-sounds story) promptly broke…Butler menu
  • ~ a quirky little clothing store for children – it could’ve been a toy store, but I definitely remember some little tiny hand crafted clothing
  • ~ and we ate at the Butler Restaurant, which, it turns out, is famous for its Butler Burger! I had a super YUMMY burger there – I’m pretty sure I didn’t have the Butler Burger, though! But, where’s my picture!!? I can’t find it..I hope I didn’t delete it…

Saugatuck PierSaugatuck Pier
On Wednesday, we will be back in Grand Rapids, for more Adventures with Richard and Shannan.

Advertisements

2 responses to “Michigan

  1. neonspndx says:

    This post made me so happy!! I grew up in Michigan and am so proud of those lakes that look like oceans. Hope you’re doing well!

    • 4mygypsysoul says:

      Awww! your comment is the best part of my post! and I can see why you would be proud of THE Lakes! I was in such awe! I canNOT get over it! I try to explain with giant gestures and pictures, but until someone sees it for themselves, it’s impossible to explain! THank you SO MUCH!

Opinions? Viewpoints? Please, leave a reply! :D

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

National Day Calendar

Fun, unusual and forgotten designations on our calendar.

LakeShore Haven

Our Cottage (yes, it's a vacation rental!), steps to a white sandy beach on Lake Michigan

Hyperbole and a Half

Our road trip adventures, quirky roadside attractions, generally in the United States or Canada (and with occasional travel off the mainland into Hawaii, Alaska, Caribbean and Europe - so far)

Dowedoff's inThailand? Seriously?

Our road trip adventures, quirky roadside attractions, generally in the United States or Canada (and with occasional travel off the mainland into Hawaii, Alaska, Caribbean and Europe - so far)

In an Irish Home

What Life is Really Like Behind the Hall Door

Biggest Ball of String

Our road trip adventures, quirky roadside attractions, generally in the United States or Canada (and with occasional travel off the mainland into Hawaii, Alaska, Caribbean and Europe - so far)

Where's my backpack?

Romancing the planet; a love affair with travel.

thepracticalhistorian

Your guide to practically true history.

MowryJournal.com

Life's Passions

The Road Trip Hound

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller

The Silk Road Spice Merchant

The latest spice news from the Silk Road

off the beaten track in spain

Our road trip adventures, quirky roadside attractions, generally in the United States or Canada (and with occasional travel off the mainland into Hawaii, Alaska, Caribbean and Europe - so far)

One Dusty Track

Our road trip adventures, quirky roadside attractions, generally in the United States or Canada (and with occasional travel off the mainland into Hawaii, Alaska, Caribbean and Europe - so far)

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

Self Reliant Network

Our road trip adventures, quirky roadside attractions, generally in the United States or Canada (and with occasional travel off the mainland into Hawaii, Alaska, Caribbean and Europe - so far)

%d bloggers like this: