We recently returned from our family's annual trek to the lake cottage in northern Michigan. As always, I returned home completely rejuvenated by the fresh clean pine scented air, the cool blue lake and a creaky old cottage. These lovely memories will play over in my mind during the winter when a mental break is needed. I'll close my eyes and recall the many fun porch parties with family and friends, the delicious food and wine that we consumed, and the natural beauty of northern Michigan, the land of inviting front porches...
My sister and brother-in-law, the newlyweds, enjoyed a sunset together on the lake front. As the sinking sun melts into the horizon, it also melts away ones cares if you are still and quiet enough to let it.
Our northern Michigan friends love good food as much as we do and our dinner parties are always so memorable. Keeping it simple, everyone usually brings their best dish and we always swap recipes after.
One of the newer traditions is our annual "Cottage Crawl." It is a combination of a pub crawl, progressive dinner, and history lesson. We all travel from cottage to cottage with the appetisers at two cottages, main course at two cottages and finally, dessert at the last two cottages. Each cottage owner supplies a signature beverage and gives us a brief but rich history lesson of their family cottage. Many of the cottages are up to 125 years old and most have been in the same family for generations. As we rounded the corner heading for cottage #3, Robin surprised us with "Jello shots" arranged as old time lemonade stand. Brilliant!
You may remember from last year that my family makes an annual pilgrimage to Mackinac Island, the charming island void completely of cars but filled with the only modes of transportation...horses and bikes. The excitement builds as we take an early morning ferry to the island, while debating the best place for coffee and lunch.
Our first stop is always the tiny postage stamp sized coffee house out on a dock with a gorgeous view of the water and sailboats...
My husband enjoys his coffee, anticipating a glorious morning of biking around the island.
(Note to self...stay on the outer perimeter of the island while on a bike. If you turn into the center of the island you are doomed to steep hills but rewarded with great beauty.)
We are back at home gently sliding into our daily routines as school will begin again next week for our kids. I'm so grateful for our time of summer rejuvenation in northern Michigan and I now feel ready and able to approach this new season with purpose, creativity and love.
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Where is your place of renewal? I'd love to hear your comments... please click here.