Next weekend, Jeff and I are taking our only vacation of the summer (at least the only one that I’ve been on….) to my parent’s lake house in Northern Michigan. I don’t want to be cliché here, but if you’ve ever heard that song “All Summer Long” by Kid Rock, you’ll know that this place is worth singing about.
I practically used to spend entire summers up here as a kid, and at the time, did not fully appreciate it. Now that I live a solid 9 hours away and get up there maybe once a summer, I relish the time I get to spend by the lake.
And no, for all of you non-Michigan people, Northern Michigan is not snowing at this time of year. Crazy, right!? The 10-day forecast is just as comfortable as anywhere else (now that this insane heat wave has finally broke!)
Unfortunately, we are only going to be there for a long weekend, so I probably won’t get to see or do everything I want to in that short time. Below are some of my top priorities for the weekend:
1. Play with the dogs in the water
Yes, that is our dog, Jessie, on a jet-ski. If you are in the lake, she will whine and cry and beg until she is out there with you. She is particularly fond of lake frisbee.
2. Have a Kilwin’s Ice Cream Cone (or 3…)
Kilwin’s shops can now be found all over the country, but yes, the first store actually opened in Petoskey, MI and spread all over Northern Michigan before you found it anywhere else. Any time I see one that isn’t in Michigan, I refuse to go in. It’s just not the same.
3. Stargaze on the deck with a fire burning
Away from busy city life, you can actually see the stars. STARS! We usually have competitions to see who can spot the most satellites orbiting the earth. I usually win because I’m the only person in my family who can see. On a rare occasion, you might even catch the Northern Lights.
4. Boat over to “The Landing” for some greasy fare
This is a delightful little place where if you are wearing anything fancier than jeans, you are overdressed. Diners in bathing suits welcome. If you drive to The Landing, you’ve done it wrong. You MUST boat there for the full experience. Once you get there, you tie up, and walk right in. This place is perfect for a solid burger or fresh perch. There’s something about the lake that makes fried food and a beer THAT much better.
Fun fact: When I was a kid, I watched the OJ Simpson chase here. I had no idea who OJ Simpson was. I was more interested in The Simpsons arcade game in the corner.
5. Walk down to the lighthouse
If you scroll back up and look at that first picture with the three lakes, you’ll notice that Lake Charlevoix is connected to a small lake called Round lake. Round lake actually provides lake access to Lake Michigan via a channel. This lighthouse is at the end of the channel and it makes for an incredible background when watching the sunset. There is even one of those bridges that stops traffic every 30 minutes to go up and let the bigger boats through. If you miss the bridge, tough luck. If you’re a passenger in a car, tough luck – this is the only road through town. You’re waiting for the bridge.
8 days until Charlevoix – Can’t wait!