July Weekend Mini Vacation

Between being in the middle of wedding season, summer being Jesse’s busy time of year at work and the craziness of buying a house we needed a weekend off. Last Saturday morning I had a session up in Hart, so we decided to explore the Ludington, Manistee and Arcadia areas of Michigan. Jesse’s parents are from the Manistee/Arcadia area so he knows the area very well and wanted to show me where he grew up.

We started off with the session at Cherry Point Farm Market and just had to buy some cherries and cherry turnovers. We then set off to Little Sable Point Lighthouse in Silver Lake, ate our turnovers in the parking lot and ended up driving to Ludington. In Ludington we found a few resale shops and a garden center that gave us a few ideas for the house.

The rest of Saturday was a ton of fun, once we got into Manistee and checked into our hotel, Jesse drove me around East Lake (which is a village of Manistee), showed me his grandparents house, the garage his grandpa built himself and talked about riding his dirt bike around. After showing me around East Lake we headed up to Arcadia, where Jesse’s mom is from. His grandfather was one of the founding members of the Lions Club of Arcadia and has a boat launch dedicated to him, which was pretty cool. The most beautiful part of Arcadia (if you can’t tell by the pictures below) is the bluffs. Talking to his mom, when she was little they use to run up and down the bluff and that you use to be able to see the town from the top compared to just trees. Another interesting place we went to is kinda a secret of the area (although, it is in the book we bought full of weekend getaways in Michigan) it’s called gravity hill. It’s this little hill by this very old white church, that when you go down the hill and put your car in neutral you roll back up the hill. According to Jesse’s mom, the church says that the hill is God pulling you back to the church. Yes, it really works and you actually go back up the hill quite fast. I think we hit about 30mph in my little car.

After we worked up an appetite, we went back into Manistee and ate at Big Al’s which is Jesse’s mom’s favorite place in the area. There is a little mini golf place that also serves ice cream, so we had to go there after dinner (we can never say no to ice cream). Mini golf was so much fun, we ended up getting stuck behind a family of seven that were taking a while, but they were a hoot! We ended up being five points apart after redo or two, and the ice cream was amazing. After mini golf, I wanted to go out for a walk in the Manistee National Forest, which just turned out to be a drive around watching the sunset. We stopped at one trail, but it was a hiking trail and less than a foot wide and we were far from dressed for that.

Sunday morning we woke up to a rain storm rolling in, we headed out for breakfast and ended up at this awesome community kitchen called Iron Works Café. It is actually in the old foundry that Jesse’s grandfather use to work in! The food was farm to table and the whole purpose of the café is to promote community and working together which is awesome. At this point it was down pouring so we decided to head home and just about when we got into the Ludington area it stopped. The clouds were crazy; Jesse described them as looking like waves in the sky. Our trip home couldn’t have been complete without stopping back at Cherry Point Farm Market for cherries and lavender and we also stopped at a small bakery down the road from there for donuts and some huge brownies we took home.

Overall it was an amazing weekend, and I loved learning more about Jesse’s childhood and seeing the places he grew up loving. We also decided to do more weekend Michigan trips since neither one of us has really explored Michigan, and I haven’t been many places up north.