We are finally back from our Michigan/Illinois road trip! It is super nice to be home after being gone for 3 weeks! This journal is all about our vacation! I hope you guys enjoy it!
It took us three days to drive to Marquette. However, we did stop every night at a hotel to get some rest. We got up early in the mornings and drove until about 6 or 7pm.
When we got to Michigan, we stayed in a hotel for 3 nights. We went to my grandpa’s house while we were staying in the hotel to clean it out so that we could stay there. My grandpa is not in the best of shape so he is in an “old folks home” which is actually really good for him. It is exactly where he needs to be. My uncle, Randy helped us clean the house and get rid of all the trash.
After 3 nights at the Days Inn, we were able to check out and move everything to the house. It was much nicer to have an entire home instead of a hotel. The house was small, (2 bed, 1 and a half bath) but it was perfect for the 4 of us and the dog. The worst part of it was the tiny shower, but that wasn’t even THAT bad.
Cameron and I went to Little Lake (about 15 minutes from the house) to do some swimming. We went to the campground and tried to swim from the dock there. However, it was way too muddy to swim. You couldn’t even walk out into the water without being knee-deep in mud. We eventually came across a water front property that was for sale. There was no house on the property. We swam there twice. The first time was great, no problems, but we weren’t out there too long. The next time we went out, there was way to many bugs. Even the bug spray wouldn’t help. We ended up leaving due to the bugs.
Because of the bug experience at Little Lake, we decided to just go swim in Lake Superior despite the temperature of the water. After being in the water for a while, we eventually got used to it. We spent about 4 hours at Little Presque Isle that day. We had sandwiches on the beach and walked through the water to the island. The trek was very rocky, I was glad that I put my water shoes on before we went out there. The waves didn’t make it any easier to make it out to the island.
We finally made it… we had planned on walking the trail around the island. Those plans quickly changed when I got swarmed by what I think were horse flies. They literally attacked me. Cameron didn’t have any on him and he was only a couple of feet ahead of me. He was freaking out telling me that there was like 20 of them on my arms, neck, and back. They were biting me and they just wouldn’t leave me alone (I had gallons of bug spray on so I don’t understand it, but I was not about to deal with that) I quickly ran back to the water and once I was completely under they finally left me alone.
We made the trek back to our blanket. On the way, I got caught up in a broken fishing line that had washed up to shore. My legs were all tangled up in it and the line was also stuck to my water shoe. In an attempt to untangle my legs from the line, I pulled too hard and the line sliced my finger. I was not bad at all, just in an annoying spot on my finger. We cleaned the cut when we got back to the house and it is pretty much completely healed at this point.
The wild blueberries were in season, so we took advantage of that. We picked a whole bunch of them and made them into muffins, bread, and pancakes. They were also delicious by themselves. There were lots of bushes near the house.
The first time we picked berries, we walked down the dirt road. It was very sandy and hard to walk in. We ended up taking our shoes off to get better traction. The sand was burning my feet but we still managed to find plenty of berries!
We walked back on the dirt road on a cooler day so that the sand wouldn’t burn our feet. We gathered so many berries. We went to sleep that night and woke up to the news that mom had dropped the berries and they were not salvageable, so they were gone. Thank goodness there’s an endless supply!
My uncle Randy let us use his trail blazer while we were in town. He is the best for letting us use it. We were so glad to have some wheels while we were there.
The next time we picked berries, we took the car to a spot right off the main road where we had seen other people picking. We pulled over on the side of the road and walked up a hill. There were so many blueberries in this spot, it was like the mother-lode. We collected so many, all within about 25 minutes. It was crazy how many berries there were, and also how many we had! We also took the car out on the dirt roads that we walked on to pick even more berries.
We got to see family and friends while we were up there, so that was really nice! My uncle, Randy was over at the house almost every day. We went to lunch with some of my dads friends. We also did breakfast with grandpa and his girlfriend.
A few days into our stay at grandpa’s house, Cameron and I saw that there was a little chipmunk living under one of the sheds in the back yard. Cameron and I ended up looking up what chipmunks eat. After doing some research we went to the store to pick up some unsalted trail mix for the chipmunk. When we got home, we mixed in some of the wild blueberries and a few walnut pieces into the trail mix. We put the mixture by his entrance, the next day, some was moved. A few days later it was gone. We gave him a whole bunch more before we left. He even got a cracker and some blueberry bread!
One day, my dad and Randy were out working in the sheds. Dad came into our room with his hand closed. He told me to hold my hand out and he handed me a little, teeny, tiny toad. It was seriously smaller than a dime.
After we realized that there were toads in the backyard, we started to notice them. My mom told us about two bigger toads that were living under this piece of metal covering a bin of water that was buried in the ground. We saw another, different tiny toad. This one was even smaller than the other tiny toad my dad found.
So, the last two days of our Michigan trip… Cameron woke up and the left side of his face was super swollen. He had been talking about how his teeth had been sore the past few weeks.
Long story short, a year ago at the cabin, Cameron jumped off a cliff into the lake and hit the water head first. He broke a rib or two. He also chipped a few teeth.
We asked some of our friends in the area to recommend a dentist. We were able to get him in that day. After looking at his mouth, they told us that one of Cameron’s cracked teeth has become infected. They numbed his mouth, told him to take ibuprofen, they gave him a prescription to help the swelling, and sent us on our way. By the time we were leaving for Illinois, Cameron’s teeth were not as sore and the swelling was pretty much gone. We also scheduled him an appointment with our dentist back at home.
Michigan was a great time! I would love to go back next summer! We left Michigan on a Thursday and drove 7 hours to Illinois for my half sisters wedding. My brother, Daniel came out to Illinois as well. He flew into Chicago on Thursday. It was great to see him after not seeing him for a little over two weeks.
It was the night before we were leaving for Illinois and we couldn’t find a hotel with two rooms for 5 people anywhere close to my sister’s house. I ended up looking on Airbnb and I was surprised when I actually found a pretty nice place that allowed pets. It was very short notice, and I think the only reason the place was still available is because the channel in the backyard had flooded into the yard due to all the rain they had been getting. None of the boats were available to rent because of the high water levels, the island was closed, and the yard was flooded in some spots.
We were only going to be there for 3 nights and since we were there for a wedding, we weren’t going to have time for any extra activities.
This place had a main house with 2 bedrooms and 1 and half baths. Right across the driveway, there was a garage that had been converted into 2 bedrooms. There was a decent sized kitchen, laundry room, indoor living room, screened in living room, rooftop seating, and a large fenced in yard. David (the owner of the place) let us use the entire property, including the garage bedrooms.
When we got to the Airbnb, David greeted us and gave us a tour of the place. He provided the first bag of ice and a case of water. He also filled the fireplace with wood, he also gave us a pack of fire starters and made sure we had all the necessary supplies to make smores.
The water had obviously been receding over the past few days, and the flooding wasn’t an issue for us at all. The yard was just fine in most places, but as you got closer to the channel, it started to get muddy. We just stayed in the dry parts of the yard.
My parents stayed in the master bedroom in the main house, Cameron and I stayed in the first garage room. Daniel took the second room in the garage. They were conjoined rooms, which was nice. Daniel’s room had a back door leading to a small deck with seating. His room had a TV with cable and two couches. Each room had a mini fridge. Our room was bigger. It had a smaller bed, two couches, and a desk. The only downside to the garage rooms was the fact that there was no bathrooms. However, it was a super short (like 2 seconds) walk to the front door of the main house. The bathroom was by the front door on the right, so it wasn’t really a problem.
The only downside of the Airbnb was that it was located an hour from my sister’s house. The rest of the family that came out for the wedding were staying about an hour and a half away from the place. It was not that big of a deal though. Plus, it was my fault for not checking how far away we were from my sisters place.
There was a bar right down the street from the house. It was about a 5 minute walk from the Airbnb to the front doors of the bar. I knew Daniel and Cam would take advantage of it!
So, on the first night, Daniel and Cameron decided to hit the bar. They were gone for about an hour, which gave me plenty of time to take a shower and shave my legs. It worked out well because I needed a shower and my legs absolutely had to be shaved before the wedding. They had a fun time at the bar, so I am glad that they went!
There is an island that they call “the key west of the Midwest.” It closes to anybody under 21 at 7:00, however it opens up at noon if i remember correctly. There is a ferry that will take you to the island for $8 round trip. The ferry is located right next to the bar that Daniel and Cameron went to on the first night.
The next day was my 20th birthday and it was also the day of the wedding rehearsal and dinner at my sister’s house.
My parents had to take Daniel to Erin’s (my sister) house to help with setting things up. He also needed to be there for the rehearsal because he was an usher. My parents were gone for the majority of the day. They drove back and arrived just in time to pick me and Cameron up so we could go to Erins for the dinner.
The rehearsal ended up starting an hour late. They ran through it twice, so it ended up taking a lot longer than we had expected. Because we a part of the rehearsal, we mostly just waited for them to be done. Even though we waited for what felt like forever… it was worth it because we got to see everybody and have dinner with the family.
As I mentioned earlier, it was my 20th birthday! I honestly don’t feel like I am 20 years old. I feel like I am still 17. Like, I am a full-blown adult in the worlds eyes, but I am still just a kid. I think I will always be a kid at heart!
I do not feel like I am an adult, I don’t know how to be an adult, and that kind of scares me. I will get used to it, but it’s a big transition and it is a tough one because I wish I could be a kid forever. It’s kind of funny how all we want as kids is to be grown ups, but once we realize what it’s like to be a grown up, all we wish is just to be a kid again. But, that’s enough of talking about the feelings that come with growing up.
For my birthday, me and Cameron stayed at the Airbnb. We were going to take the ferry to that island that I talked about earlier. We thought that maybe we would be able to swim there. We called the island to make sure they were open, to make sure that I could go (because I am under 21), and to see if they had any swimming spots.
The lady on the phone was very helpful. She told us that they were open and I was allowed to be on the island until 7pm. However, they didn’t have any swimming areas. We just planned on getting some lunch, listening to some music, and enjoying the views.
We packed a backpack full of sunscreen and stuff like that, then we walked to the ferry, it comes to take people over every hour. There was a sign by the ferry where we read that backpacks were not allowed.
So, we walked back to the house to drop off the backpack and put on some sunscreen. Then, we walked back to the ferry. There was an employee walking into the building as we walked up. He asked us if we needed help with anything. Cameron explained that we were just trying to get to the island. That’s when he told us that the ferry wouldn’t be taking anyone to the island until 6:00pm. We thought about getting lunch at the bar, it was also a restaurant. We decided we would just walk back to the Airbnb and order pizza.
On the way back home from the wedding dinner, we had to stop at the grocery store. My mom, Cameron, and Daniel went in. I stayed in the car with my dad. They picked up an ice cream cake with candles and a small stuffed octopus for me. I know it wasn’t a lot, but it meant a lot because my parents felt bad that we were so busy on my birthday, and we didn’t get to do anything very special. It was just a cute way for them to say happy birthday. Even though we were busy and away from home, it was still a good day. We are going to have a make-up-birthday party at the cabin when we get there. I am looking forward to it!
My sister’s wedding was super fun! It was a beautiful wedding. I almost cried when she and her husband tied the knot. I definitely cried when my dad and sister did the father/daughter dance. It was such a perfect moment. I can’t wait to have a father/daughter dance with him someday! The food was great, and it was really great to see everyone we knew. We met lots of new people, and we all had a great time.
Today, Cameron went to the dentist. He informed us that Cameron’s tooth is indeed infected. We had two options. Option one is to remove the tooth, get an implant, and a then a crown. It is quite a process, it would take about 8 – 12 months before everything would be healed. This was also the most expensive option.
His second option is to have a root canal to get all of the infection out. This way, Cameron can keep his tooth. He will need a crown. This is a way cheaper option and this is what Cameron wants to do. We scheduled him an appointment for the root canal on Thursday at 9am.
I will have a vaction picture post up soon!!