Sunday, July 7, 2013

Mackinac Island, Michigan

On July 6th, Christian and I drove from the cabin to St. Ignace, where we boarded a ferry to Mackinac Island. We happened to be on a ferry that detoured a few minutes and went directly under the Mackinac Bridge to give us a magnificent view. They also talked about the history of the bridge and how no one thought it would be built because the water was too deep, the expanse too long, and the finances too high. But Michigan was able to do it and the bridge, with standard maintenance, is estimated to last 1000 years!

Once on the island, we walked around the town, which is full of pedestrians, cyclists, and horse-drawn carriages. No cars or motorcycles are allowed on the island at all. Most of the island is State Park and it is very beautiful; there is clear blue water, white stones, and green trees. We ate on the porch overlooking the water at a place called Mary's Bistro. They grilled in front of you and the pulled pork sandwich was really good. We had a perfect view of a wedding from where we were sitting and we watched the say their vows. Then we rented a tandem bike and rode 10 miles around the circumference of the island.

Then we ate some Chocolate Mint fudge from Ryba's. We also stopped by the Robert Stuart House Museum which was donation only and it had a history of the island and information about Robert Stuart who was fur trading partners with John Jacob Astor (I was mainly interested because I knew of Astor from the Titanic; apparently the one from the Titanic was the fur trader's grandson). Harry's Old Time Photos was a worthwhile time from our trip; we got to dress up as mobster and a flapper.

After eating a flatbread pizza at Goodfellow's (an Italian Chop House) we changed into our formal attire and went to walk the grounds of the Grand Hotel. We were walking to the front when one of the bellhops opened a side door for us. He thought we were guests! Usually, you have to pay $10 admission to walk the grounds if you aren't registered. So we took the elevator and walked down the hallways where the rooms were. Then we found our way to the parlor where we chatted and then walked the porch. The hotel is very fancy and the employees are very nice.

We definitely had a very fun time and we only spent about $150 for both of us (gas not included)! We would recommend this for everyone to do at least once. The island is beautiful and very unique!

Upper Peninsula, Michigan

We are up north in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. In a small town named Helmer, about an hour from Newberry. My grandparents have a cabin on Manistique Lake and that was the venue of our 12th annual family reunion.

Christian joined me, my mom, sister, and sister's friend on the six hour car ride, over the Mackinac Bridge, to the cabin. We stopped at Clyde's Drive-In for burgers and then hung out on the Lake Michigan beach.

July 5th was a day full of excitement. We went out on paddle boats, played badminton, drove a golf cart, ate home made ice cream, and had a potluck with the very large family, 14 of which included dogs.

In the mist of all this excitement, we found a baby duck that had been separated from its mother. Our dog had chased in until it was wedged in between some wood and Christian had to pull it out. We held on to it for a while, waiting for the mother duck to come by, but after a few hours we just let it go. Then all of a sudden, the mother duck comes out and they are reunited! Apparently the duckling having a human scent on it is not a problem for ducks.

After all the craziness, Christian and I went out in the paddle boat and watched the sun set.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


A friend invited me, my mom, and my sister to Frankenmuth, MI for the day. It is only about an hour away from us. Frankenmuth is a small town with German roots, complete with a Glockenspiel and horse drawn carriages. The most famous place in Frankenmuth is the Bavarian Inn, which also has a four-course restaurant with bread, coleslaw, fried chicken, breaded noodles, mashed potatoes, ice cream, and more. All of the staff is dressed in old German clothing, including lederhosen. There was even a guy playing an accordion.
Bavarian Inn ice cream
A waiter in lederhosen
After we stuffed our selves with more than we could eat and put our leftovers in the car, we went shopping! There are some nice traditional shops underneath the Inn, like an underground mall. They have toy shops, candy shops, and more. There are also shops outside around the Inn. If you take a short walk over a bridge, there is an outdoor mall called River Place Shops. You won't find any brand-name stores here (except Yankee Candle). There are one-of-a-kind clothing shops, jewelry shops, fudge and ice cream shops, and toy shops. 
A sweater we found at the outdoor mall

One of my favorite places in this mall is the Ultimate Mirror Maze. The mirror maze is very fun and you can go as many times as you want, definitely worth the money! Also, for a separate price, they have a laser room. You know in those spy movies, when the protagonist has to jump and dodge and move his way through the lasers or they will burn him and sound the alarm? It's like that only without the burning part. You can compete with your friends to get the fastest time and you can watch the person who is inside the room on a tv. You can also do this as many times as you want and my legs were sore the next day!

Messing around in the mirror maze
Frankenmuth is a wonderful place to visit and I would recommend it for people who have never been!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Your Tour Guides

Christian and I have been going out for a year, ten months, one day, 11 hours, and 23 minutes. We met in high school when I was a junior and he was a sophomore. I asked Christian to prom and a few weeks later he asked me out. We mainly like hanging out and being weird but we also like to travel. As mentioned in previous posts, we have both traveled a lot with our own families before knowing each other. Now we have gotten the opportunity to travel together and we plan to go many places!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Meet Christian

I'm Christian and I want to see the world, from its lush rain forests to the concrete jungles. I've only been to a few states in the midwest and southeast, and I plan to see all fifty eventually. I have been to six countries outside the States. Being from Michigan I have been to Canada several times. When I was thirteen, I went to Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras on a cruise, and last summer I spent a week in Paris and Normandy, France.

This coming April I'll be visiting my grandparents in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, and this summer I will spend a week in London and a week at the Philmont Boy Scout ranch in New Mexico.

I am currently a high school senior. I run track/cross country and play tuba in the concert/marching band. I am a Life Scout in my local Boy Scout troop. I also teach 4th and 5th grade ministries at my church.

Photo credit Rob Woodcox

Meet Sam

My name is Sam. I am 18 years old and I love to travel. I have only been to two countries, but I've been to more than half of the states. I have some awesome trips planned that include Florida, Chicago, and England. It's true that I do not have the funds to travel all the time, but my dream is to travel, travel, travel. Why should I wait? I decided to start traveling to "local" locations and blog about them until, someday, I get to travel to far away places.

When I'm not dreaming about traveling, I'm attending community college, working at Subway, reading, playing on the computer, watching movies, hanging with friends, or obsessing about The Hunger Games.