On Saturday morning, I headed north with my mom, Wendy and Mark to go round up Brian.
I like to stop and stretch my legs when I drive. On this day, I chose Castle Rock. It had been a few years since we'd been. We arrived here shortly after 10am thanks to our early start.
[Note: All pics are from my camera or my point and shoot - for this quick trip, I chose to leave my big camera at home]
It's still just a buck each to climb.
My mom (not a fan of heights) even made it out onto the rock. Go mom!
Our next leg stretch fell between Munising and Marquette. We were a little wishing we had kept our suits handy. I'm slipping.
We stopped one more time in Baraga to eat dinner at the drive-in, and made it to our Airbnb in downtown Calumet by 5pm. This was my first experience with an Airbnb, and it was a notable and memorable experience which will be great fun to write about in my journal.
The place was exactly as described, the beds were comfortable, the kids enjoyed that it was hooked up with Netflix, and the host was great when we finally met him.
The place brought me back to my youth, growing up in a home from the same era, and area, that was also in a constant state of renovation.
After settling in for a bit, we headed out to Little Traverse to see Brian. He'd left home on the fourth of July for Minnesota, and this was our pick up location. I got him to confess that he missed me 'just a little bit', but couldn't get him to bring it in for a hug in front of the guys. The differences between him and Mark are many.
We gave Brian one more night and left Mark as well. They were running back and forth from the sauna to the lake as we drove away.
Sunday was Calumet's Sunday School picnic, so no church. My mom and I met my Aunt Barb at The Miner's Cafe for breakfast. Afterwards, my mom and I headed to McLains for a walk. The shoreline changes so much between my visits.
The boys went to the picnic with their cousins before we rounded them up at four.
It was then time to visit Judy.
When I asked Mark last week what he was most excited about in regards to going up north, his answer was "Lake Superior and Judy. ...... And Brian" Judy and my mom had spent a night with us in Boyne a few years ago and a special friendship was born.
Sunday evening - Wendy's senior photos. She was spending her U.P. time with friends, so we arranged to meet in the parking lot at Quincy so she could get changed into her photo clothes.
Wendy's one request for her senior photos was to have a field of flowers, so this was her ideal. She got that, and so much more. Click here to see a few of my cousin Brita's captures of Wendy. We're thrilled!
After pictures, Wendy took off with friends again and I headed back to Number Five.
The next morning had my mom having breakfast across the street at the newly reopened Cafe Rosetta with her friends, and me at Toni's with the boys, and catching up with my friends Marne and Melanie.
We then all reconnected and headed down to Chutes and Ladders to meet up with Johnie and gather the things we'd forgotten at the camp the day earlier. We had hoped to also check out Urban Rustics, but our trip timing was bad - they are closed on Sundays and Mondays.
We ended up at the Quincy Mine. The boys were set on doing a mine tour again. We debated heading out to Delaware Mine as the boys don't remember having done that one when they were little, but there was some concern that the steps down into the mine can be a little slippery - and while they advertise being able to provide a cheaper entry being that it's a self-guided tour - we kind of like guides and all the information they can share. Mark utilized the question portion of the Quincy Mine guided tour to the max.
A few weeks ago he had shared with me that he wants to be either a miner or a baker when he grows up. I admit to being slightly relieved when the tour changed his mind about being a miner.
We picked up some pasties from Amy J's and headed back to Number Five to eat. Our place had a full kitchen, complete with plates, silverware, pots and pans, etc. It felt good to put up our feet for a second, even if we had to climb three flights to do it.
From there - we headed out to my cousin Susan's camp on the Canal. It was fun to get a tour of their newly finished build, but Mark was in a bit of a mood so we didn't stay long. Mark and I had to have a little discussion about his moods. He's come a long way, but he still needs to work on how to handle himself when he gets thrown some chaos and unexpected turns of events. Keeping it real. It can be a bit of a challenge to reprimand him because he is such a people-pleaser, that he beats himself up when he realizes that his actions did the exact opposite of pleasing people. It's a fine line.
But anyway. I decided to use that unexpectedly available time to take a ride up to the Redridge Steel Dam, just a few miles up the road from Susan's camp. I'd driven by the dam once or twice, but never walked in before. Some interesting history shares that this dam was one of only three dams built in the US using steel and that one of those three failed within a year of construction. I had read a few posts that there was some worry about this dam with the Father's Day Flood, but it held. Here is a video I found of the dam during that time.
It's good to have Brian back home. Not given to sharing emotion, it was fun to hear him say (several times) last night, "It feels so good to be home again" He'd been gone for 28 days.
We chose Breakies for our evening swim.
Wendy got dropped off here, and that's her walking out there on the pier.
When we got to the beach, there was a three bus youth group taking up a lot of real estate. We came back to this side of the pier when they left and enjoyed some of the creations they left behind.
Back to Number Five for root beer floats and a plan to not set alarms, but just get going when we get going in the morning.
I think we got going sometime between 7:30 and 8.
This time we kept our suits handy. It was 80 degrees already just after 10 when we stopped between Marquette and Munising for a swim. I was wishing I had kept my shampoo handy. I'm slipping.
Our next stop was Mackinaw City for lunch, where Mark was startled by this LiveStatue. But NOT, he'll tell you, as startled as those other two kids who screamed!
We made it home by 7:30, after dropping off my mom and stopping at the library will quick for Mark to pick up the book he had put on hold.
It feels good to be home.
Ten-thirty this morning, and I've yet to shower and get dressed or even start the laundry and the boys are already fighting.
Time for me to pick up the pace.