What a trip we had. So many miles, great memories and maybe a few things learned too...
Luis is a city man. We learned that the mosquitoes did in fact like his spicy Mexican blood. At one point he was holding a citronella candle- and they were still attacking him. While I thought I might have converted to City Girl- I still have some country in me and was always just about to mention "hey the bugs aren't too bad this year" as Luis was flailing his arms at them. Side note: Luci did pretty well and by the time we left she was only letting us know if there was a bug in the car... no meltdown to follow.
Before the bugs hit, we were able to meet up with a few of my best friends in Grand Rapids to eat at The Windchester. I've been jonsin to see this place for quite some time. While this place is far from kid friendly, the wait staff was nice to try and make things comfortable for us. Menu was delish and the house sangria wasn't too shabby either.
One lesson learned: we will never again return to a place we've previously been, where our stories start out with "they have the best ____". Whenever we travel, if we've had the best ANYTHING, the return trip is guaranteed to fail. Our first year or so of marriage we would take trips back to a place where we had the best ____, just to find that place is no longer great or smaller or is now closed or even remotely good. We've learned this before individually- but thought it might be different for something we both loved and experienced together.
Example: Traverse City. Luis and I went there for our 1st wedding anniversary. We had the best time! Wine tasting, seeing the city, amazing food dining- it was perfection, even with the worst weather possible. We returned with our cutie lil daughter to find out: Cherry Festival was more like fried food festival meets sad carnival. We revisited the Flap Jack Shack to find it's under new management and that apparently means horrible service. Although Luci and her still sleepy eyes did get tatt'd up for the occassion...
Maybe if we return we need to spend more time- not trying to shove so much into 1 day. And no more going back to where we've been. Sorry Flap Jack Shack! We'll be more equipped too with maps and knowledge of all public beaches.
After our sad Cherry Festival experience, we tried to drive to Torch Lake- we've heard people raving. After an hour of driving including a 30 minute traffic jam because someone was backing their boat into the lake... 30 minutes!? we find out the only public beach is another hour away. We cut our losses and traveled back to the Cabin where we knew a splash park and pool were guaranteed. So new experiences from here on out is the way to go!
I will say, the winner of this trip goes to: Lake City, MI. This town is tiny but has heart! Luis and I got to watch the fireworks over the water. The boat lighting the show was only about 300 yards from us, to be so close was such a fun experience. So gorgeous! We returned a few days later with Luci for some swimming and of course a "small" ice cream cone the size of our heads.
We had amazing weather the entire time! We can't believe it but it was gorgeous every day. Now of course- back to the grind and 138 emails :/
Maybe one of the nicest things of our trip: we didn't talk house details ONCE. We would tell friends and family what we've done but Luis and I waited until just yesterday to start discussing future projects and ideas. This is a huge change for us- we are constantly discussing what to do next, what we should be picking up in our next trip to Home Depot, etc.
It was so nice to take a mental vacation from DIY'ing. I'm hoping all of our R&R from last week will fuel us to do some fun big new projects soon! Of course, once we get through our massive piles of laundry.