Monday, April 11, 2011

Reconnaissance mission

Each and every year we take the same vacation about the same time each summer. I'm not complaining, I guess we're just creatures of habit. We travel to Illinois and stay right outside of town and take the train each day to watch a White Sox game, or go to the Lego store, or to the American Girl store, or even to Navy Pier. When we're done with that, we head west out of town to where my husband's relatives are from, Freeport, IL. We stay with Brent's cousins, Brad and Sally for a few great days. When I say great, I mean GREAT. The kids LOVE staying with them. They don't have any kids themselves, but they have alot of toys. Big screen tv's in every room (with dish of course...something we don't have), a pool table, foosball table, air hockey game, and even a go-cart. They also take us to the funnest places, like Galena, IL. (Truly, this has probably been my favorite so far.) It's a mostly all brick town with amazing buildings and stores all on one VERY LONG main street along a river. It's very quaint, and we had a good time, and some really good italian food! They've also taken us just across the Wisconsin border to Monroe, WI. A small town in the heart of a swiss colony where cheese is king! We've eaten at this place, Baumgarteners Cheese Store and Tavern. They have a gazillion ways to eat a cheese sandwich! There's a story about why there is a bunch of money stuck to this ceiling, but for the life of me, I can't remember it, and neither can Brent. We ate great the day we were there, and had a lot of fun! So, all this being said, it's Brad and Sally's turn to come this way in June. They will stay with us, and WE will show them a great time, and take a little mini trip. In preparation for this, this past Thursday on Spring Break, we headed up to Michigan to see if we could find something cool to do, to show them when they come. First we headed up to Holland, MI. Sure, it had a great downtown (a little ritzy for our taste), but it wasn't quite what we were looking for. We ate at a good restaurant, though, Cranes. Known for all things apple. They had apple dumplings, apple pie, cider, hot apple cider, apple cider ice cream, etc. You get the idea. This was their little "cafe" downtown. (some pre-teen angst goin' on...)

We stopped in one store, and it happened to be the store of my dreams. I think I was too tranfixed to take many pictures. They had things I've made myself (like my spring wreath on my front door), and plenty of homemade everything. Rings, photo frames, necklaces, aprons, skirts, etc. I fell in love. Brent walked right out the front door and sat on a bench out front.

Since this was not the "quaint" Holland, MI of my childhood memories (with tulips, and big wooden shoes, and a huge windmill) we decided to leave and try another town along the coast.

We hit Sagautuck, and then South Haven. We decided THIS (South Haven) was the town we'll probably come back to.

It had a cute downtown, and a great beach and pier with a lighthouse.

A graffiti covered door on the lighthouse.

Actually the whole lighthouse had graffiti all over it, and we came upon this one that made us laugh...

(tranlation....Grace is mad at Taylor...but he is sorry!) We laughed a long time at just hit us funny.)

We know that when they come visit us in June, the farmer's markets will be open all along the way, and the flowers will be much prettier, but we thought this would be a good place.

We can't wait!

If there is anyone out there that's been somewhere else great in Michigan...let us know!


  1. thanks for posting about south haven, i think some girlfriends and i are headed there this august! i know your relatives are coming to indiana, but next time you go to illinois you should check out lake geneva across the border in wisconsin. my chicago friends rave about it!

  2. Hey Lorie.. I've been so out of the loop lately, work, work, work! UGH! First, I have to say your daughter's expression - PRICELESS! So glad ya'll had fun being adventurous in MI. If you head south from where you were on Red Arrow Highway, down to the next towns south of Sagatuck... those are my fav go to MI places. Lots of antiques shops along the way. If you head all the way to New Buffalo, find OINKS... THE ICE CREAM SHOP EVER! (Bring cash!)

  3. Thought I would throw my 2 cents in...Love South Haven! We go there numerous times every summer. They have an ice cream shop just as your headed out of downtown called Shermans. There's a huge blue cow on the roof. Also, Saugatuck has dune buggy rides. Very Fun and worth the $$. Have a good time this summer!


Thanks for commenting...I love reading what you all have to say!