We circled Michigan on the itinerary early on (before embarking on this journey); we were looking forward to seeing our friends Phil and Lynn Kennedy who live in beautiful Holland, Michigan.
This was our first visit to Michigan and boy were we in for a treat. The West Coast of Michigan is amazing; driving up the coast along Lake Michigan reminded us of our drive up the East Coast of the US along the Atlantic Ocean. Meaning Lake Michigan looked like an ocean to us. In case you did not realize, we love the water, I mean we live in St. Petersburg Fl, which boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Lynn told us about a campground, Oak Grove Resort Campground, within a mile from their house on the lake. Oak Grove was very nice and centrally located to all of the attractions, we typically prefer a more rustic/wooded campground but we loved the proximity. Check out some pics we took of the campground.
Let me start by saying Lynn and Phil were the best hosts anyone could ask for! Upon arriving at the campground they showed up with a gift basket of mostly homemade goodies, so nice!
After finding room to store the goodies in little Peg, we set out to go look at the new house they are building on Lake Michigan, wow is all we could say. They did such a good job making sure to take advantage of the lake views and be as environmentally friendly as possible with a LEED certified design. Later that evening we met for dinner in downtown Holland at a place called Serafina’s, the food was great and the company even better. We took a stroll through town and ended up at a local brewery, New Holland Brewing Company – we sampled some brews. The next day we took the girls swimming, they loved it. The best part is the fresh water, much easier to wash the sand off the girls than salt water.
Later we went stand up paddle boarding (SUP) on the lake. It was our first time paddle boarding, so Lynn and Phil gave us a quick crash course and off we went. It was so much fun and the setting was ideal. Tim got too comfortable, started showing off and almost fell off but was able to right himself – something he still talks about as being an amazing feat. We made it back without falling off; we are hooked and cannot wait to SUP again. We went out for pizza later that night; the pizza was ok not great, however Phil decided we had to have dessert. We drove to the infamous Captain Sundae. Phil’s favorite place, we stuffed ourselves full on decadent ice cream creations. The next day we decided to board the dogs so that we could have some unencumbered fun.
We met Lynn and Phil at their house to go for a bike ride to a local blueberry farm and try some blueberry smoothies. Of course Lynn and Phil have a tandem bike, we had to give it a try – another first, we had never attempted riding a tandem bike. We were certain we would end up in marriage counseling, but we quickly figured out how to communicate and ride in synch. I doubt we will get a tandem bike but at least we can say our marriage survived the day, apparently divorce is not uncommon after couples ride tandems. Oh and the blueberry smoothies (and blueberry cake doughnuts – Tim’s favorite) were delicious.
Later that evening we had a nice dinner at Sandy Point Beach House. Dinner was good and we hardly noticed that it took over 3 hours due to the slow service/kitchen. Afterwards it was time for a bonfire on the beach, of course Phil had prepped in advance, and everything was set up when we arrived. It was a cool and breezy night, perfect for a bonfire on the beach. What a great time with good friends.
The next morning Tim met Phil for a walk up to Mt. Pisgah and the dune boardwalk along the beach. "Phil’s Trail" is a little more than 5 miles. Phil is religious about doing the walk and doing his morning exercise routine (pushups and sit-ups – tons of them). After the walk we picked up the girls at the kennel, they were happy to see us. Later that night we met Lynn and Phil out for one last dinner at a small family owned Mexican restaurant (one of Tim and Phil’s favorite foods). The next morning we packed up early and were ready to head out. We hated to say goodbye to our friends but after indulging like we did for four days we had to go! Lynn and Phil stopped by in the morning to see us off, they were so sweet, and of course Lynn gave us a parting gift – a tupperware full of energy balls for the ride; a concoction of peanut butter, oats, and other yummy ingredients that sustained us for days after our visit.
Thanks Lynn and Phil for being such gracious hosts, tour guides, and great friends, looking forward to seeing you guys soon. We loved Holland and the West Coast of Michigan!
Originally Mackinac Island was not on our list. However, our friends from home had been there and strongly urged us to go. Also Lynn and Phil said it was a "must do". It is so hard to do everything but we are giving it the old college try. Some days we are so exhausted we just give up and do nothing for awhile. (I know hard life, HA!) So a few days before we arrived in MI we changed our plans to allow a 3 day trip to the upper peninsula of MI. Well our friends were right, I mean come on Steve, Cindy, Phil and Lynn are no strangers to unique/exotic traveling. Why we did not listen from the beginning is a mystery! First though to the campground in Mackinaw City.
We were pleasantly surprised when we showed up at Mackinaw Mill Creek Campground and found out that our electric only $16 a night super saver campsite was spacious and private! And the large family owned campground was surrounded by beautiful Lake Michigan!! Some of the sites had amazing water views. We opted to not spend the money because we were making a quick 3 day trip to see Mackinac Island and knew we would not be in the RV much. If we go back we will definitely get a waterfront site!!!
Going to Mackinac Island is like taking a step back in time. Early settlement began in 1670! To this day there are no motorized vehicles allowed on the island. There are several ferry companies, the ride is 20-40 minutes. You may bring a bike, rent a bike or rent your own horse or your own horse and buggy. You can also pay a taxi driver (horse and buggy) if you just want to sit back and relax. The hotels all have buggies to retrieve your luggage from the ferry. What a delightful little city, known for it's small Inns and romantic B&B's. We decided to walk the 8 mile loop around the island with the dogs, all of it on the coast.
we took so many pictures we had to do a slideshow
A must stop on the island is The Grand Hotel built in 1887, the porch is 660 feet long, the hotel is majestic and beautiful. Couple that with everyone being transported on horse drawn carriages and the fact that men must still wear a coat and tie to dinner and you feel like you are in a movie!
Oh and we almost forgot before we went to Michigan we made a stop at the RV Hall of Fame/Museum. They allow two free nights of dry camping in their parking lot. There is a highway nearby but the noise did not interrupt our sleep. We had a great time looking at all of the vintage trailers and we had the parking lot to ourselves. This is an adventure!!!
check out the slideshow and video we took of the museum!
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