This would be my second trip to Michigan. The first time I went with the sole purpose of
watching experiencing a football game in the Big House. On this trip, I planned to see Pure Michigan. You know, the beautiful state advertised on the Michigan tourism commercials. My fearless tour leader, Bexy B, put together a fun packed itinerary for my vacay. She assured me that after this trip, I would gain a newfound appreciation for her home state. She was right.
Bexy and I arrived in Detroit on Wednesday, July 23rd, via Spirit airlines. Spirit is budget traveling at its finest. No food or drink service, no movie, no legroom…just a cheap commuter flight, and a $100 bag check fee if your carry-on doesn’t meet size requirements. Spirit runs a daily red-eye from Los Angeles to Detroit. We were able to snag a one-way ticket from LA for only $125, just four days before departure.
On my first night in Michigan, I learned that a dollar goes a long way outside of California. After having dinner in downtown Lansing at Midtown Brewing Company, preceded by a stop at the Dispatch, we rolled over to a friend’s house for a bonfire. Yes, a full on bonfire in the backyard. This particular backyard was about ten times bigger than my backyard in Southern California; and based on surrounding property values, the house was about 400K cheaper than my house in SoCal. Needless to say, I was a little vexed.
My angst slowly subsided however as we all sat around the huge fire chatting, playing games, making smores, and singing songs to the sound of Sharene’s guitar strings. Being born and raised in a big city, I must say I truly enjoyed the simplicity of it all.
As I was walking out, someone grabbed my arm and said: “Yeah. So this is what we do in Michigan.” I smiled.
The next day, Bexy and I hopped in the Chevy and hit the open road. We made a quick pit stop so that I could take a picture amongst the tall trees.
From the car window, I admired Michigan’s lush, green landscape. I guess the brutal winter months are good for something after all.
We passed several lakes, before making a brief stop at Beulah Beach.
Before I go any further, I DO realize that this blog is entitled “internationaleboni” and Michigan is not an international trip; but I am currently in the process of renewing my US Passport. However, my Passport to the National Parks IS current, so why not collect a few stamps in the meantime.
I now have four stamps in my National Park Passport from the following places: Joshua Tree, Hawai’i Volcano National Park, Grand Canyon, and now the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore.
Lake Michigan and the sand dunes were gorgeous; and although we weren’t brave enough to venture to the bottom of the dune for a swim in the lake, we still marveled at the beauty and vastness of the aqua green fresh water that resembled the ocean. Next stop, Traverse City.
Traverse City is a premier vacation destination as evidenced by the pricey
hotel accommodations. We opted to use airbnb instead. The rustic property we chose featured beautiful lake front views from each room, a jacuzzi, kayaks, canoes, a pit for a bon fire, and a continental breakfast each day of our stay. Score! The hosts were very kind, and provided helpful information on the local tourist attractions.
The first day there, we visited one of the nearby wineries and Old Mission Light House.
We got a taste of the nightlife on both nights of our stay in Traverse City. Can you believe they were doing the “wobble” !?!?
The next day, we had a little boating fun on Torch Lake.
The last few days of my Michigan trip were spent putzing around Lansing and Detroit. We hit the casino, the night clubs, restaurants, and historic neighborhoods in Detroit. I even got to see the apartment where Martin and Gina lived. whass up. WHASS up. WHASSSSSSSS UPPP! (Martin voice.)
With no shortage of things to do or road trips to take, Michigan truly is a viable vacation destination. It’s cheap, fun, and totally worth the trip (during the summer or fall). I can’t vouch for the winter.