Hey hey! Okay, so this may be one of my favorite blog posts ever. I am absolutely thrilled to share one of my favorite places on the entire planet with you guys- the Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan! In 2011, it was voted the #1 Most Beautiful Places in America and then last year voted one of the 25 most beautiful beaches on earth.
The Dunes growing up were our treat of the whole year- we loved (and still love) running down them at full force, getting air as we jump, and taking in the vast views. There is something about them- an energy, yet calmness, in the air that is unlike anywhere I have ever experienced.
We took my Aunt and Uncle’s RV so we could all hang together during the 50-ish minute drive from Sutton’s Bay to the Dunes. Time for pics!
Aunt Terry with Stout, her Portuguese water dog <3
Restin’ up for the dune climb, lol.
The girlies in front of the dunes!!
Here they are! *All heart eyes*
They overlook serene Lake Michigan too
Climb, climb, climb
Hanging at the top of our first stop!
Time to frolic alllll the way down! The best part!
After, we drove to THE large Dune! It’s a famous large Dune with a 450 foot drop. It is the ultimate climb and test of your grit. I couldn’t even capture the bottom from standing at the top — it’s that steep! It takes about 5-10 minutes to run down, and can take upwards two hours to hike up (per the sign). When we were younger it would take us about an hour, now it takes us half the time.
It’s so so picturesque here. I cannot even describe, and these pictures do not do it justice.
At the bottom!
Time to climb back up!!
((25 minutes later)) *said in Spongebob voice* come n’ you know you were thinking it.
We made it! We joked that it should be initiation in the family to climb the dune. (Deej had to do it too when we were dating 😉 ).
Also, we totally didn’t plan to match. WHOOPS.
Momma bear and Pete
Time to eat! We headed into the heart of Glen Arbor to get some grub.
Pop? Soda? Soda Pop? Which do you say?!
The little shops and boutiques along the way were so doggone cute!
At the Boone Docks, my mom and I split some fish n’ chips and a yummy salad with the best dried cherries you will ever find.
They also had burgers that the others grabbed!
We went back to Aunt Terry & Uncle Pat’s to shower, then headed over to Grandma and Grandpa’s again for dinner.
Cocktail hour first, ya know the drill! My grandma and grandpa make the best Texas Caviar (kind of like salsa with some sweetness), and I dream about this when I get home. *peep the cute Christmas napkins*. Eating this food is seriously like Christmas.
Their backyard is gorgeous and they maintain it so beautifully!
We had dinner full of grandpa’s famous chicken wings (my mom and I had our leftover seitan and tofu), coleslaw, rolls, bean salad (yummmmo), and grandma’s potato salad. Not sure my mouth could water any more right now!
Had to snag a pic with my Grandpa. <3
To conclude the evening we went to Bardon’s, a classic ice cream shop that actually my Aunt even worked at growing up.
Look how cute these two are deciding what to order!!!
I couldn’t decide between soft serve or the cherry ice cream. Kevin told me I could have some of his cherry so I ordered the soft serve. Oh. my. GOSH. If you never read my blog ever again- let me leave you with these words of wisdom: GET YO’SELF SOME CHERRY ICE CREAM FROM BARDON’S. This was the BEST ice cream I have EVER had. EVER EVER EVER EVER. So yeah, uh… it was pretty good..
This was the best soft serve ice cream I have ever had too. All around Bardon’s is where . it . is. at. okur?
Happy Fam <3
Anddd a pretty sunset for a cherry on top. You can see the traces of a rainbow trying to make an appearance too)
In the morning of July 23rd, my mom and I grabbed Aroma’s Coffee & Tea. I actually loved this coffee shop from the last time we were here and remember spending a few hours here studying for my NCLEX!
We drove to my Gma and Gpa’s in TC and said our goodbyes to our Uncle who had to head back to NC.
My sister and I went for a nice run, one of my favorite parts of the trip. It was like old times being able to just jog & chat together. Love love loved it.
We then went with my Aunt, Mom, Hal & Kevin into downtown TC to window shop and hangout.
I just love this downtown. It’s the definition of quaint.
Moomers is another famous ice cream spot too! It was a bit chilly- so we didn’t get any (and nothing tops Bardon’s anyway), but gosh it’s also a must! Either this or Kilwin’s if you are in town! And if you like fudge, Kilwin’s has some of the tastiest. My grandparents actually call tourists “Fudgies” because you can spot them based on their box of fudge from Kilwin’s walking around. Haha.
And my favorite store in downtown…… Cherry Republic!
They have a sundry of free samples in their shop- you could make a meal out of them.. and trust me.. we do!
Before Kevin and Hal had to get on the road to head back to Cincinnati, OH, we popped into Espresso Bay… one of the other famous coffee shops in downtown.
Worst part of the trip: Dropping my sunglasses into the Espresso Bay toilet. I was bending over to put the paper lining on the toilet and “plop”. Gosh darnit. Good thing they were like $5… so I just tossed them, and then thoroughly scrubbed my hands for like 10 minutes. Sheesh, none of you are gonna wanna shake my hand if we meet based on these posts. Bahah. I swear I’m not that much of a train wreck… just a small train wreck…
Late in the afternoon we came back to Aunt Terry’s where we split some of the MOST INCREDIBLE wine from Napa, munched on crackers & cheese (and vegan cheese- but I bet you can’t spot the difference!), and soaked up these last moments together before heading out in the morning.
Aunt Terry also made calamari from SCRATCH. I have never ever had home prepared calamari- it’s always been from a restaurant. Well, this surpassed any restaurant calamari. This was tremendous, and it was fun to watch her prepare it too!
I craveeee this stuff.
Also how cute are these?!
But that’s not all! We’re talking three course meal here. We were even treated to dinner out on their deck overlooking the Bay <3
We split some avocado corn salad & perfectly cooked whitefish.
Aunt Terry & Bocci boy!
Can you tell these two apart? This is Bocci..
And this is Stout!
We ended the quintessential summer day & stupendous weekend by watching Bachelor (Thanks for being such a trooper, Uncle Pat 😉 ). I have never laughed so hard during a Bachelorette viewing. The commentary from the peanut gallery had me rolling.
This wraps up a memory for all time. Thanks for sharing in it with me .
Question for you:
- Do you say Pop or Soda?