Quinn’s First Trip to Traverse City/Suttons Bay, MI!

Good morning!! How are you doing? I’ve been so looking forward to sharing this trip with y’all! If you’ve followed this blog for a few years- you may know how special Traverse City, Michigan is to me and my fam. My mom was raised there, and my sister and I spent many weeks in the summers and winters there. And the cherry on top.. (pun totally intended as TC is the Cherry Capital of the world)- DJ proposed to me at my Aunt’s house on the water in Suttons Bay (right next to TC). Every time we go back it feels like home away from home. Not only was it special introducing Quinn to the place that holds such a cherished place in our hearts, but we also got to introduce her to the people we cherish there: her Great Aunt Terry, Uncle Pat and Great Grandma and Grandpa!

We handled the drive the exact same way we did for the wedding trip to Illinois, leaving at midnight on September 2nd and driving through the night. It worked well again!

When we arrived, a glowing sunrise over the placid bay greeted us.

After we pulled in the driveway, overwhelmed by excitement and exhaustion, we unpacked and took in the gorgeous morning. The air itself in TC is different- it is much cleaner and fresher than our air here in OH. Ahh 😌.

My Aunt Terry and Quinn were instant best friends!! Every time Quinn spotted my Aunt throughout the weekend she would just light up! Also, their dog, Stout, was so sweet with her. He was her little guard dog. We stayed in the downstairs bedroom, and if he ever heard Quinn cry he’d come sit at the stairs to check on her. It was adorable. Reminded us of Moose (who was staying with his second mom, Marie, for the weekend).

I tried to nap, but Quinn was not having it! She was ready to take on the day- so we got her changed, dressed and headed upstairs for all the fun. I gave myself an IV of coffee (I wish, it really was an extra half a cup- not quite the same, but it did the trick) and rallied! 

We spent the day catching up with my Aunt Terry and Uncle Pat and took it super easy. We went on a beautiful and peaceful morning walk together in the neighborhood to kick off the day. It helped get the cob webs off from the drive.

The rest of the day, we just relaxed between Quinn’s feeds and naps in the carrier. They have a treadmill too, so I just used that to get her to fall asleep if she refused to just conk out while I was stationary in my carrier. It will be nice when we can get her to nap in a pack n’ play, so I don’t miss out on time visiting with people when we travel. Or when they visit us.

She sure was happy to be in Northern, Michigan. In the afternoon, DJ watched Quinn while I snuck in a little run (that helped wake me up more than anything!), and then we all gathered outside prior to dinner with various beverages. 

My Aunt had this tremendous dealcoholized sauvignon blanc. It was a dead ringer for a sauvignon blanc! While I can technically have a drink here and there as long as I carefully time out the feeds/bottles, I rarely do because it’s more trouble than it’s worth. So, I was excited to try out this wine! It was delicious! Highly recommend if you’re looking for a good dealcoholized wine. 

We sipped our “wine”, or beer in the guys’ case, and took turns holding the Sweet Pea <3.
First time trying on some shades! Lol. 
While soaking up the fresh air, canvas-worthy views and family time- Quinn happily chomped on my Aunt’s finger. My Aunt suddenly became wide-eyed and announced she felt Quinn had a tooth!! I took a look and, sure enough, one was fighting to come to the surface. The rest of the weekend she was teething, and my Aunt had just happened to get her the cutest little onesie complimented by a bamboo teething ring! 
Eating at my Aunt Terry and Uncle Pat’s feels like we’re dining at a restaurant whenever we’re there. They are awesome cooks. For this meal, we had a melt-in-your-mouth halibut with a cous cous medley and brussels sprouts .
She was all about it! We dipped her toes into the water for the first time too. Harder to read her on this one- she was entirely stoic. Haha.

The next day, September 3rd, was a very special day! We were all up at about 6:30 AM and had breakfast & coffee. I had oatmeal with berries, coconut yogurt and almond butter. MMmm. 

One thing I had been craving was a proper good cafe au lait from a coffee shop (I learned how the UK use the word “proper”, and I just love it, so I’m now incorporating it into my own speech). UK friends, let me know if I botched that, lol. Anyway- on my way to visit my grandparents in their new residence, we stopped into Aroma’s for said au lait. Lemme tell ya, it was everything I dreamed of and more. It’s wild to think the last time I was at this coffee shop, I was studying for my NCLEX… one of my first blog posts. Nostalgia. *Sigh*. 

Next up- a highlight of this trip- Quinn meeting her Great Grandma & Grandpa!!! MY HEART!


They were beaming ear to ear the entire time we were there. It was sooo sweet & so special. She was soon due for a nap after we got there, so I put her in my carrier, we all sat outside and chatted while she snoozed.

Then it was time for more cuddles and pictures!

We did a round of tummy time before leaving so she could show off- both her outfit which had little mini cherries all over & her strong TT skills!

While we were at G & Gs, DJ and Uncle Pat went golfing. DJ has never golfed there before, so it was a fun new experience for him!

When we got home, DJ took over and I snuck in another run. It felt amazing!

For dinner, we had these juicy chicken thighs from the air fryer (I must make at home) with french fries and salad- so. good. 
Then it was time to hit the hay. The lack of sleep was catching up with us, so we went to bed a little extra early that evening. 

The next day, September 4th, we all felt ready to go! Especially this girl!

I made sure to capture at least one sunrise too (I know you have seen a sunrise before, but have you seen this sunrise?! ;)). They are so beautiful there!

After breakfast, we went on a nice walk, had a really chill morning filled with tummy time & naps- then my Aunt picked up my G & G to come over for the afternoon to watch football, hang out all together and then have dinner.

While everyone was watching football, I went through a box of pictures and historical documents from my G & Gs home & Quinn napped in my carrier. They and my Aunt said to take whatever we wanted. I was shocked to see so much history in these boxes- there were letters and pictures probably from the 1800s! I could have looked through everything all day long, and I plan to continue sifting through it next time we’re there. It was so fascinating to me.

Dinner was a refreshing salad with perfectly grilled steaks,  mushroom & corn. We managed to have Quinn sit on our laps for the meals, and she did really well! Makes me hopeful we can start taking her out to restaurants with us!

It’s corn! 

A couple family pics before ending the night (Quinn was snoozin’ at this point, and, don’t worry, I readjusted Quinn in the carrier after this- she was getting a bit low!). 


Uncle Pat took some family pics for us on the dock before we called it a night! Clearly, we’re still working on the smiling for the fam pics ;). 

We had planned on trying to leave at midnight again that evening so we could have actual labor day to get ready for the week. We tried to go to sleep, but Quinn was not having it. DJ and I decided it may be more productive to just leave right then (around 8 pm) rather than waiting until midnight. It did take a lot of soothing and one last big feed to get her to finally settle in the car, but the rest of the trip was smooth after that! 

And that sums up a very special trip to TC <3. 

Thanks for sharing in it with us! Cannot WAIT to go back!

Question for you:

  • Do you have a ‘home away from home’? 



15 thoughts on “Quinn’s First Trip to Traverse City/Suttons Bay, MI!

  1. How wonderful !! I love on the border of Michigan in Windsor Ontario. So the photos and story of your home away from home with your child hits home x 100 ♥️ Michigan is definitely our home away from home. Have a fabulous night Mackenzie! ☀️ Andrea

  2. This post brought the biggest smile to my face!! You aren’t kidding when you say how magical this area is. Your photos are phenomenal, and I know photos still don’t do it justice. What a tranquil, beautiful place to visit!

    Quinn is unbelievably adorable! Those outfits, that smile (!), her personality. Such a perfect little girl! I cannot believe she has a tooth. Matt and I *think* Ansley may be getting one herself, so we’ll keep an eye on her gums. I didn’t expect it possibly so soon, eeps!

    All of your food looks so delicious. You know I LOVE a cafe au lait. What a treat!

    You look so beautiful. You are such an effortless, stylish mama.

    I’m so glad you got this time with family. What a precious gift and memories to cherish for a lifetime. Thank you for sharing!


    1. Aww so glad you enjoyed this post, Kori!! 🥰 Ahh I hope teething hasn’t been too bad for Ans- it’s so cute though when they pop through. Quinn has both her bottom ones now and I just die whenever she smiles 😍

      Awww thanks so much, friend! You’re always boostin’ my confidence because I feel haggard most days 😅

      Thank you for reading ☺️

  3. I love that Traverse City holds such a special place in your heart and that you were able to introduce it to Quinn! And ugh.. could she be any cuter?! Seriously, she’s SO adorable! That smile!!

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