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  • Megan

That State up North (Part 3)

On Thursday morning, we packed up the van and left our cute little lake house. We had been told about Sleeping Bear Dunes, and decided to add that to our travel plans as we made our way up to Mackinaw City. Let me just say that the view did not disappoint at all . . .

The lake water is so gorgeous!

And of course, we found some more dunes that we could climb, so heaven forbid, we miss out on another sandy experience!

The boys climbed up those narrow, steep trails while Mark & I stayed over on the main dune and just watched . . .

Running back down to the parking area . . .

By the time we were done exploring the Sleeping Bear Dunes, we were starving! (And it was already after 1:30 by this point). We decided to head to Traverse City, as it looked like a bigger city that would have some eating options. We looked up "Restaurants" on our maps app, and this little burger joint came up with high reviews, so we decided to check it out.

The food was Ah-mazing! And even though it was after 2:00 until we arrived, there was almost a constant line at the counter to order lunch. It's a popular little place, and we were so glad we stopped and tried it out!

After not being able to swim at all in the lake in the first half of the week, we were pretty excited to get to our hotel and enjoy the indoor waterpark they had for their swimming area. It made for a perfect place to relax when the rain came through . . .

On Friday, we had a birthday boy turn 13! We've never been on vacation before over Ian's birthday, so we decided to make it extra special and our whole family went parasailing first thing in the morning. The sun was shining, and it was gorgeous out on the lake!

Mackinaw Bridge . . .

Cole, Gavin, & I went up first . . . we basically just sat on the back part of the boat, our captain hooked everything up, and then as the boat took off across the lake, our parachute lifted us up into the air. He said there was about 600 feet of rope, so with the angle of us being out from the boat, we would probably end up about 300 feet up in the air.

It was so much fun--not scary at all, and definitely one of the best highlights of our vacation!

Next, Mark & Ian got hooked up and ready to go.

Best birthday ever!!

Our hotel in Mackinaw City was right on the lake, so we could go out the back of the lobby and relax on this beach area . . .

For his birthday, he chose to go out to eat at Scalawag's Fish & Chips . . . a little restaurant that gets their fish from local fishermen. It was delicious (& super busy!) From there, we walked down the street a bit to get some ice cream. We tried to get a birthday cake, but there weren't too many options in town, and he said he's rather have ice cream anyways . . . monster cookie ice cream in a coconut flavored waffle cone.

On Saturday morning, we slept in and then purchased tickets to ride the ferry across to Mackinac Island. It was a cool morning, but at least there was no rain in the forecast!

They really were more excited than they look :)

The island was gorgeous--no vehicles there except a few emergency vehicles. Otherwise, you only use horse/carriage or bicycles to get around.

We opted for the carriage tour, so that we could see more of the island without having to figure it all out on our own . . . very cool to hear some of its history.

The famous Grand Hotel on the island.

Heading back to Mackinaw City to relax at our hotel . . .

Another view of the Grand Hotel from our ferry.

On Sunday morning, we packed up the van one last time, and headed back to Ohio. We had such an amazing week, and would definitely recommend Michigan as an awesome place to vacation with the family. Although we had rain & chilly weather throughout the week, we also saw God answer prayers and help the rain to move out or not even come through at all, giving us more time to be outside and enjoying the sights.

Cole brought his favorite toy along . . . his GoPro camera, so throughout the entire week, he was taking video clips & photos of the things we were doing. Then, he put it all together in a highlight video, so I'm loving being able to have this to look back on as well! You can find that video here:

Back home now and getting back into the swing of summer (& hoping that Ohio weather will get on board with summer soon!)

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