Weekend Wandering: Up North 2016

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Happy Monday and first day of August!

I have to share a bit from our mini getaway this past weekend. It was our annual trip to the Leelanau/Traverse City area. We’ve gone up there the last three years at least once and every time we go, it gets better. This time we learned a couple more things and found some new favorites. I want to go back so badly (I’m already scouting out beautiful Airbnb rentals in the area).

We combined this trip with a reunion with some of our best friends after a year apart. It felt extra special to be on a beautiful vacation with people we really like. We spent a bit too much time in the car and in tacky shops, but since we never stopped chatting, even those less exciting parts of the trip were great.

We enjoyed some of the best beach days I’ve ever had on Lake Michigan and watched 3 stunning sunsets. Some of my favorite times were our meals on the enclosed porch overlooking the lake. I’ll share the cutest spots we discovered later, in case you want to plan your own trip and so I don’t forget for next year’s trip.

Life is good when you’re Up North with friends.

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Michigan the Beautiful

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I’m sure you’ve noticed how much I love my home state, Michigan. While we may not live in the most interesting place — I like to compare our neck of the woods to a pancake — we’re never too far away from an adventure just waiting to happen. Michigan is one of those places that doesn’t exist anywhere else, mostly because of the Great Lakes. We take them for granted, but we’re they define so much of life around here. During the summer, we find ourselves in many cute shops and art studios all over the little towns and beaches. If I had walls that needed art here are some things I would love to fill our home with. I love these both for their beauty and because I have strong emotional ties to the subject matter. I hope you enjoy them.


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Found Here These prints are stunning. Unfortunately I can’t afford them all.


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Found Here This is the cutest. Wouldn’t it’d be perfect as wallpaper too.


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Found Here Dave and I spent so many hours on this beach in the UP. It’s even more beautiful in person.


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Found Here This artist’s work is so complex and enjoyable. I love his detailed drawings as well.

Well, that’s a wrap: the craziest May

May was insane around here. I think we did enough in 3 weekends to fill an entire summer. We’ve declared this upcoming weekend a “mandatory weekend of rest” and will be staying home for some well-deserved quiet time.

When we made the plans for May, we didn’t quite realize what a whirlwind it would be. Every time we tried to figure out what we could cut, if anything, we realized that nothing was worth sacrificing. So we just zipped around the state like a pair of sleep deprived maniacs (I got sick twice) and soaked up all the moments with special people that we could.


Weekend I: gearing up for what we knew was coming. It was the first weekend we had Hudson and did some work on him. Nothing out of the ordinary, but we did have to squeeze in a quick trip up North in on Sunday to visit Dave’s parents.


Weekend II: Part 1: My little sister’s college graduation. She was a freshman my senior year, so it was a little crazy to think of her being done with school. We’re all so proud of her.

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Part 2: We headed up north to celebrate our first anniversary in Petoskey at Stafford’s Bay View Inn. I was expecting it to be kinda old and stuffy, but it was so nice. It was so pretty and the room was very comfortable. We enjoyed a long dinner and had breakfast on their enclosed porch. The chance to relax and unwind without having to set up a tent or cook for ourselves was amazing. We kept saying it felt like a mini honeymoon.


Weekend III: Dave’s oldest brother was in state with his family. I took a day off to spend with them and it was so fun to get some time with our nephews, niece and sister-in-law that wasn’t because of a wedding or funeral. Just chill time to play and chat was so relaxing and fun. The only problem was it wasn’t enough time.

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That Saturday we zipped down to photograph the wedding of my  high school best friends. Dave helped me and we worked as a team. It was a little stressful to be responsible for someone’s wedding pictures, but in the end I think it worked out well. We’re still amateurs, but we captured their day and got some really pretty shots. And we’re so happy that they’re married!


Weekend IV: This past weekend we only went to one place for a change. Hudson the Camper got to go on his first trip up north. We camped in Wilderness State part, where Dave had reserved the group campsite, so we had our own private campground to share with about 12 of our friends. Saturday morning we ran the Mackinac Bridge 8k. It was one of the coolest experiences — both for the views and because it was the longest race I’d ever accomplished. We spent the rest of the day on Mackinaw Island and enjoyed some of the best planked whitefish for lunch. Highly recommend the Village Inn on the Island. The rest of the weekend was relatively quiet filled with lots of food and chatting around the campfire. It was so nice to have Monday off to leisurely make our way home.


Here’s to a quiet weekend putting our home back together and enjoying some activities closer to home. June will feel like a breeze after May.

 

TGIF, and an update on Hud

Happy Friday! Hope you are well. I got hit by a nasty sore throat this week and am not back to normal yet, which put me behind on my work on Hudson.

I did get a chance to figure out the interior decorating scheme I want to go with for Hudson. His name comes from the Hudson Bay Company blanket I picked up and the lovely primary color scheme that inspired. These are some images I pulled together to visualize what we’re shooting for:Vision.jpgHowever, we also started a little Instagram account for those of you who want to follow along. I’m working on just keeping friends up to date on what we’re doing and not worrying about presenting perfect pictures (it’s a big step for me, people!). So if you’d like to see what we’re up to with this crazy endeavor, feel free to take a peek:  @hudthecamper

Have a lovely Weekend!

Hudson the Camper

Can you tell I have camping on my mind? Oh boy, so I had been stalking Craigslist for weeks looking for the right trailer for us. And last Wednesday I finally found it. Dave went to check it out and everything worked out so that he bought it, and now we’re the proud owners of this handsome dude:

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He’s a little rough around the edges, but he is at least 50 years old. I named him Hudson and Dave calls him “Campy.” I feel a little silly giving him a name, but it just happened.

We’re not quite sure what the name and model of the camper are, though the back of it does have this faded decal:
5I’ve used my googling powers pretty hard and still haven’t found any clues as to what type of trailer ours is. There was an RV manufacturer in Tawas, MI called the Anderson Coach Company, but it closed in 1963. Supposedly they only used the best materials and were considered top of the line and also had another branch in Utah. I’m not kidding when I say that’s about all I know. (If anyone by chance knows more, I would LOVE to hear about it).

The interior of the trailer has already been pretty extensively redone. A previous owner had wanted it for a hunting hangout, but never finished it. He redid alot of the cabinetry and floor, however are no finishing touches at all. We’re lucky that the windows all still work and seem to be waterproof, the electrical is functional and the water damage is minimal. There are soft spots in the floor, but only small areas in the corners. We debated whether it was worth it to work on fixing them, but decided since we won’t be walking on the corners, we don’t know how long we’ll use this trailer and this doesn’t have to be flawless in order for us to enjoy it that we’d just prevent further damage and leave it as it is. We did not want to start pulling things apart.

Here are some before pictures of the state of the trailer when we bought it:

We’re not aiming for a perfectly restored retro trailer when all is done, we merely want a cozy little den to take on weekend trips into the woods. A simple place to hang out and be hospitable. If you’d like to follow along, I’m posting updates on Instagram — @hudthecamper.

To finish it out here are some of the logistical things we’re working with:

Budget: $1500 total

Goals:

  • Fix/waterproof Roof
  • Grind off Rust and Repaint Trailer Frame
  • Replace Tires
  • Install Trailer Lights, other safety features
  • Paint Exterior
  • Make Table convertible into 3rd bed
  • Get/Make/Find Mattresses and Cushions
  • Customize Kitchentte
  • Paint Interior
  • Window Treatment
  • New Light
  • General Cozy-fy

just another weekend wrapup

These seem to be all I go these days. But in the summer we seem to stuff every weekend with more activities and trips than seems sane. We want to do all the things! This past weekend that adventure on the docket was Chicago.

It was Dave’s first real big US city outing. He’s a country boy through and through so I was a bit worried he’d hate it. But the right   combo of good food, friends, and not over doing it led to a “not bad” assessment of the day.

We spent Saturday traipsing through downtown hitting up some Chi-town classics: Millennium Park, the Signature Lounge, Portillos, and of course the Magnificent Mile or as Dave called it the “Magic Mile.”

We were visiting some dear friends and it was so fun to be somewhere exciting and new with them. Catching up while having drinks 95 floors above a world class city isn’t too shabby.

After a relaxing morning,  Sara and I headed back into the city on Sunday evening for a Taylor Swift concert. Now if you’ve known me for any amount of time you’ll know of my undying love for Tswift. I remember the first time I heard one of her songs — at a girls camp in Chicago when I was 15. Talk about full circle!

We had seats pretty far back, but it gave us such an awesome view of everything. Taylor had sold out Soldier Field so we partied like it was 1989 with over 50,000 other happy Swifties. It was a beautiful night and Chicago’s skyline lit up as the sun set behind the stage.  I’ve been waiting years to see Taylor live and it was dream come true. She’s a stellar entertainer and such a cutie. I was as charmed by her in “real life” as I have been through the years.  We packed the weekend full of unforgettable memories and it may have meant a sleepy Monday morning, but I’m sure we’d do it all over again. I have been grinning every time I hear a Tswift song on the radio from the pure joy of remembering our weekend in Chicago.

Have a wonderful week! Same time next week for another weekend wrap up. ok? ok.

slip quietly

Understand, I’ll slip quietly

Away from the noisy crowd

When I see the pale Stars rising,

blooming over the oaks

I’ll pursue solitary pathways

Through the pale twilit meadows,

With only this one dream:

You come too.

– Rainer Maria Rilke


Long ago, I imagined a fancy and fanciful life story for myself. It was extravagant and wonderfully cliche. Strangely those romantic dreams focused more on the “things” instead of the true significance. But once the shadowy “prince” became an actual person in real life, the material fades as the reality emerges.  A sparkly ring is only valuable in a relationship when it represents true commitment. A bended knee seems cheesy unless the person in front of you is the one you’ve learned to love more dearly than life. It’s only through the hundreds of small moments when we choose love instead of selfishness that gestures gain their real romance. I’ve learned that true romance means little things like Dave-man starting my car so I don’t have to go out into the cold. Or stifling a snippy comment when I’m annoyed. Or giving up my lunch hour because I know he needs encouragement. None of those would make a good childhood fairy tale. But it isn’t about what you do that makes something romantic but truly who you do it with.

Living my story has meant soaking up beautiful moments as Dave and I realized we are the “one” for each other. Quietly realizing that this man is going to be my adventure buddy for the rest of my life — a simple “when” as we talk about our futures together.

In Austria, we visited so many perfectly “romantic” places: in front of Klimt’s “The Kiss,” surrounded by the Alps, overlooking a panoramic view of rolling hills, skiing through fluffy snow-covered pines, and even dressed in traditional Austrian Tracht on Christmas Eve. At these moments Dave looked at me and asked me to marry him. Not because he had planned it, but in special moments we know the only way we want to continue is with the other.

And so when he asked my to dress up and be ready for a dinner one evening this past week, I knew what was coming. We stood on a little hill in the park that was a refuge for us when we first arrived in a new town. We lost feeling in our fingers after only 5 minutes because the windchill was double digits below zero. But the snow sparkled like glitter and Dave-man asked me to be his wife one final time. And we made if official with a lovely little ring.

And in perfect adventure mode, we went to this tiny four corner town with what looked like a bar and then walked in to find a 5 star restaurant. We got the royal treatment as we savored the moment.

And to be completely cliche and wonderfully honest, I couldn’t imagine my story without Dave-man next to me. Or in the words of Anne “I don’t want sunbursts or marble halls, I just want you.” (Anne of the Island)

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Under a Month and Happy Weekend

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We hit the one month mark this week! We’re getting so excited and a little nervous as things get real. I want to get most things squared away and done at least a week before we leave, so it’s close to crunch time for me.

Hoping for a quieter weekend with lots of crafting and cleaning. My mom is coming to visit me and I’m hoping that means we can get in some good girl time (for us that means knitting). The girls in my Family party hard. 😉

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Don’t get too cold!