Tag Archives: Michigan

If you’re going north…

My cousin in Michigan said that north of Saginaw was like a whole other world. And she was so right.

We had roughly sketched out a few days on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the bit above the mitten-shaped main part of Michigan. Having read about it in a Bill Bryson book years ago and having the transportation to do it on the way to Minnesota, the time was right.

So we headed north from Linden and got to Mackinaw City with plenty of daylight to spare. The bridge to the Upper Peninsula, or the UP (locals are referred to as ‘youppers’), is an impressive engineering feat that sounds like it was built to create employment and relieve the car ferry traffic during the hunting season. The UP is very ‘north-woodsy’ and the human population sparse.

Before crossing the bridge to the UP though, we took the passenger ferry to Mackinaw Island where no cars are allowed, and bikes and horses rule. There are plenty of tourist shops and signs to warn you to be aware of the so-called ‘island apples’, or horsey droppings!

On the peninsula we stayed a night in the charming small town of Marquette where we dined on the top floor of the Landmark Hotel with a view of Lake Superior, then drove out to Presqisle Park to see an exquisite sunset.

Roo has agreed to let me use his favorite Mackinaw Island photo of a horse drawn tourist trolley in the morning mist. Here are some images of the island and the peninsula…

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So if you’re going up north, I recommend that you take your time, enjoy the scenery and watch out for deer!

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More Family time in Canada and the USA

We left Ottawa on Thursday and headed west, stopping at one of Tim Horton’s ubiquitous donut outlets for a mid-morning coffer. We resisted the Tim’s ‘bits’, otherwise known as donut holes. Beyond Toronto’s snarl of traffic we finally reached London, Ontario.

My father’s first cousin Joan migrated from Liverpool England as a newlywed in the 50s. It had been over ten years since we had seen she and husband John. It was a lovely, if brief, 24 hour visit and we experienced a yummy roast dinner, a selection of beverages plus copious amounts of tea!

Cousin Lisa and her daughters Brittany and Jessica came by in the evening after the girls’ dancing lessons. We stayed up late chatting about our English family, past and present, then in the morning went for a leisurely stroll around their part of London. After lunch we set out for Linden Michigan via the Sarnia/Port Huron crossing to the USA.

The border crossing was blessedly simple and we made good time to Linden where we stayed the night with my cousin Angela (our mothers were first cousins) and her husband Joe. They were perfect hosts who showed us around some of their favorite haunts and provided us with a lovely dinner in their new home.

This too was a 24 visit and we really appreciated the great food, drink, hospitality and family chat (Angela and I hadn’t seen each other in 50 years we appreciate our husbands being so accommodating as we covered a lot of ground on all things Italian).

We have made our way now to Mackinaw City. The plan is to go to Mackinaw Island tomorrow – weather provided. Our hotel is near the bridge to the upper peninsula and it is really impressive. We’ll head over the bridge to the UP late tomorrow as we continue westward…

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