Sunday, September 15, 2013

Vacation Photo Dump: Part I

We enjoyed a wonderful week in Northern Michigan during the last week in August. It was a simply perfect week where Paul and I were able to completely unplug from all computers, cell phones, and any other form of technology and get lost in exploring areas both new and old.

My parents were generous enough to watch Matthew for us while we took Emma on the trip with us. We all agreed that Matthew would have a much more enjoyable time being spoiled by his grandparents then traveling with us. The trip was also a lot less work with just one kiddo in tow and it was kind of nice to spend some quality alone time with little Emma Rosie.

Ready to board the Star Line ferry

Looking a little nervous about her first ferry trip. Never fear, Emma! You will love it!

The first day, we drove straight up to Mackinaw City where we boarded the ferry to head over to Mackinac Island. Paul and I honeymooned on Mackinac Island and we absolutely loved the quaint, charming, peaceful atmosphere. It's a great place to relax, unwind, and enjoy one another's company. Not to mention, the views are absolutely stunning! The ferry ride over was so beautiful. The water was incredibly blue, the sun was shining, and the wind in our faces was surprisingly refreshing. Baby Emma loved the ferry ride. Crazy kid.

Loving the wind in her face. In addition to making the baby happy, the wind also gives Mom a nifty hairstyle!

We're here!

Emma was fascinated with all the horses on the island. Every time she would hear one trotting nearby,
\she would whip around wildly in an attempt to get a good look!

Immediately upon arriving, we began to explore downtown Mackinac. We bought Matthew a little souvenir within the first 10 minutes because we already missed him! It was a cute little ceramic turtle that we found in a tiny antique store. Paul saw it first and immediately thought of Matthew. After that brief stint of parental guilt, we grabbed our first couple bites of fudge, enjoyed a wonderful apple-brie flatbread at the Pink Pony patio for a snack, and then headed out for a long walk around the perimeter of the island. We were just so gosh darn happy to be back in the place where we spent the first blissful week of our married life. We began thinking and reminiscing about how much has happened since that time. We now are no longer just "we two" but rather a foursome, a teeny little family with our little son and daughter (and two angels in heaven)! We held hands tightly, silently thanking God for all his blessings...just too many to count!

About 8 1/2 miles later, we headed over to The Inn at Stonecliffe to check into our room for the night. We stayed in a suite at Stonecliffe during our honeymoon and enjoyed the location so much that we decided to stay there again but this time we rented a room in the mansion itself. The mansion is located up on the bluff, a brief 2 mile walk from downtown. It is ensconced in the woods and feels very remote and private. Being up on the bluff provides a beautiful picturesque view of Lake Huron and the Mackinac Bridge. Our room was clean and cozy, but a bit warm because there is no air conditioning. It really did not bother me or Emma, but poor Paul was dying. He immediately took a long, cold shower in order to cool down from our long hike. Emma and I enjoyed the grounds and the view while waiting for him to recover.

Emma was not too sure she liked those waves.

We dined that evening on the Stonecliffe patio (they have an awesome restaurant operating out of the mansion kitchen) and enjoyed our first taste of Beef Wellington (delicious!) as the sun set in the distance. The evening would have been absolutely perfect except for the fact that Emma started making some really obnoxious grunting noises in the middle of dinner service. Luckily, the other two couples dining outside found the situation and our vain attempts at quieting her (it only made her grunt and squeal louder than a pig at a 4-H fair) to be fairly amusing.

Atop an old revolutionary-era cannon at British Landing

Having a really hard time trying to get her to smile.

Why so serious, Emma?

She will ALWAYS smile for her Daddy!

Except when I'm trying to get a picture of them smiling together!

After dinner, Emma was still a bit fussy, so we decided to take her for a walk through the woods. It was already pretty dark, but it was kind of fun to be wandering around at night. We headed into town and grabbed some more fudge for dessert (naturally) and a bottle of blackberry wine to enjoy later. By the time we made it back to our room, Emma was asleep for the night. It was a perfect first day.

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