The sun is setting earlier and earlier and last week’s blushing olive leaves are beginning to give way to rich-hued fall foliage. I find myself giddy in anticipation of Halloween, pumpkin patch visits & spiced cider. That’s not to say we haven’t been making the most of these last warm weeks before summer flees, though. Some of our most recent adventures…
In the excitement leading up to our ATL trip, we neglected to mention our venture across the Mackinac Bridge into MI’s Upper Peninsula (my personal northern-most destination so far). We (JC3 & the Highams) set out to pay Boyne City a visit and dine at Cafe Sante where I had another first: duck confit (I’m always stoked to try something flaunted on the drool-inducing Top Chef – even more happy to report it was delicious). Post-lunch, we grabbed coffee (and a whole lotta candy!), fed ducks on the dock and then hopped back in the car to continue on to Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse.
Just beyond the lighthouse stands Mackinac Bridge, the third longest suspension bridge in the world (or so I’ve read). We touched down at St. Ignace on the other side where we stayed long enough to explore another lighthouse (plenty of those up here!) and the tiny islands that dot the shoreline surrounding the bridge (a DEFINITE future kayaking spot).
The trip back, um, ‘south’ included a scenic drive through the ‘Tunnel of Trees’ (another spot worth revisiting later in the season) and a detour to a ‘you-have-to-know-this-is-here’ spot (that our cohorts fortunately knew was there) where a path through enchanted forest spills out onto quiet, deserted beach. It was sublime! We rounded the trip out with Polish Kitchen for dinner on the way home and all was right with the world.
It was great to reconnect with family & friends back in Atlanta – we managed to squeeze a Lake House overnight, a Baby Shower, family time and an evening out with friends all into one rapid-fire week! Then, with a successful first trip back home behind us, the white noise of my work anxieties abated and we decided Labor Day weekend would be a good time to launch a 5 day ‘stay’cation. Just two requirements: 1) that we tune out anything that wasn’t fun & 2) we get in as much beach time as possible! The following week our friend Seth took some vacation time of his own, venturing our way for a tour of TC.
I was the fortunate recipient of several fantastic gifts for my 31st birthday last week. Most Clever Gift goes to my Mama for the dozen Morsels she hooked me up with from 1,000 miles away. (These are Morsels – trust me: if you visit, you want to go to there!) Most Thoughtful Gift(s) goes to Heather for the dinner and caramel butter pecan birthday cake she made me (yes it was just as delicious as it looks) and for the time spent with Baby J so Jim and I could go out. Most Valuable Gift (MVG, if you will) goes to Jim for the much-needed dinner and alone time. We walked the few blocks to Hanna, where we had morel ravioli, the best shrimp & grits we’ve ever had, chocolate-covered hazelnut ice cream & a bottle of Merlot. I’m a lucky lady to have such a wonderful husband & such gracious friends and family ❤ Also: there were 2 rainbows on my b-day. I’m just sayin’. (check out Heather’s amazing pic!)
Exploring Old Town
We found a path to Boardman Lake at the end of our street a few weeks back thanks to a heads up from our neighbor. This time we took the trail in the opposite direction around the lake and discovered it leads right to the library. There are two cool parallel bridges that cross the Boardman River that runs into the lake – one pedestrian bridge and one old train trestle. The path is part of the Tart Trail and this particular portion of it includes a sailing school, what looks like another great put-in spot for kayaking, plenty of lake overlook decks and some planetary decor (see illustration below – ‘it’s just for decoration’??).
The library is pretty effing sweet. If that offends you, I apologize, but it is. There’s also an adjacent Children’s Garden that seems quite the worthy project and it is exactly the kind of thing I love about this place. Oh, and we also checked out the local cemetery (an odd interest of mine) – one of the biggest I’ve seen.
That pretty much brings us up to speed on recent outings. Reflecting on it all makes me proud we’re no longer couch potatoes! – and also a little tired – phew! This past weekend was fairly typical for us:
- sunsets: once overlooking Lake Skegemog & then again at the Marina
- food: ventured into Patisserie Amie around the corner (luvzmesum foie gras!)
- kayaking: on the Platte, a personal fave – saw lots of wildlife & Jackson was into it
- coffee: Morsels again. Twice. Surprised?
- water strolls: more ‘illegal’ water foul feeding – Baby J loves it, so we do it anyway
One other minor accomplishment: last night I made my very first completely homemade pie! I used local honeycrisp apples purchased road-side on OMP and it’s pretty good!
It really feels like one continuous moment rolling right into the next one – it is seriously flying by. But I suppose that comes with the territory when you’re a couple of thirty-somethings raising a kid and soaking up life. And let me just say that Jackson is such a fantastic son! He’s a serious trooper during our many excursions and I am savoring each and every one of these moments with my wonderful family.
We’re all actually looking forward to winding down with Fall and a little winter hibernation from the fast-paced whirlwind that summer has been. So long Summer, hello Autumnal Equinox & Fall! May it bring each of us a long list of new adventures.