Friday, July 15, 2011

Enjoying the Michigan Outdoors

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I’ve been back in the Mitten State for a little over a week and it still hasn’t sunk in quite yet that I’ve dug in and moved back and need to find a job and begin this next phase of my life. Last weekend I was up in Traverse City for the Cherry Festival and the Fourth and I spent this past weekend on the Muskegon River and in Ludington.

Of course, one of the reasons this was such a good time for me to come back to Michigan (at least how I have rationalized my decision) is that it would feel like a vacation at first followed shortly by my brother’s wedding which would all help (1) initially make it fun and (2) deflect the attention away from my decision within the family.  – at least, during the first month.

This weekend I took off with my brother and brother-in-law for my brother’s bachelor party. We took off Saturday morning from Lowell, MI and headed north to Big Rapids where we rented tubes at the Sawmill Canoe & Livery and set off down the Muskegon River. It was a beautiful day and we got on the river before it got busy, so we were able to leisurely float down the river with a cooler full of barley sodas. Don’t be fooled with the fact that you hop on in Big Rapids, the Muskegon is a big beautiful river and a great way to relax and enjoy the Michigan outdoors.

Next stop was Jamesport Brewing Co. in downtown Ludington where we had a late lunch (fish and chips). The ESB was good, the Scotch Strong Ale was great, and we left with a growler full of their Altbier for the evening at the campground. We stayed at Cartier Park Campground just north of downtown which worked out great for the price and location. We cooked steaks, potatoes, and veggies over the campfire, roasted marshmallows and made s’mores before finishing the night with bourbon and cigars.

Sunday morning we had a great breakfast at Brenda’s Harbor Café in downtown before going to the beach at city park for a few hours. We laid on the beach, threw the football and baseball around, walked out to the lighthouse, and swam in Lake Michigan. Before we left town we stopped at House of Flavors for delicious ice cream. It may not have been as outrageous as Rick Gassko’s bachelor party in the Tom Hank’s classic, Bachelor Party (1984), but it was a fun and relaxing weekend featuring Michigan’s natural beauty as the perfect backdrop for a brother’s retreat.

No big travel plans this weekend. Going to watch Verlander pitch tonight for the Tigers and lounge by the pool tomorrow afternoon. What does everyone else have in store for the weekend?

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