Friday, September 14, 2012

Michigan, My Michigan

Michigan. Birthplace of Madonna, Kid Rock, Stevie Wonder...and me. That's right, I was born in good ole Flint, MI. I lived in Michigan until I was 14 years old and then took off with my family for sunny California. I must admit, as a teenager I was blown away by California's majestic beauty (still am) and was so happy to no longer have to endure my eyelashes freezing shut on a winter run!

I don't get back to Michigan much, but Allyson and I spent a week in Northern Michigan last summer and I developed a new respect for my birth state (I have a very difficult time with the terms "home state" or "hometown" because I don't know where mine are). We spent a week with some of my family boating around on beautiful Burt Lake and Indian River, biking around quaint Mackinac Island, and just generally being in awe of how clean the air and water was (this may have been due to the fact that we'd just spent the last two years living in the smog cloud of Los Angeles.)

I loved this when I was a kid! Melissa's (my cousin) son, Elijah, is "driving" the boat with his grandma's help. We had a speed boat (and a little sail boat) growing up and spent all summer out on the boats or in the water in front of our cottage. We didn't need much to stay entertained. I didn't realize how lucky we were then to have such a beautiful and clean lake to play in!

Allyson and Elijah bonded big time. Here they are hanging out on the boat, both a little sun-kissed from the fun we had out on both Burt and Mullet (yup...that's right) Lake.

The bridge I was in love with LONG before I even knew about the Golden Gate bridge. The Mackinac Bridge connects the Lower and Upper Peninsulas of Michigan. One of my first road races was across this bridge. Fond memories for sure!



My mom, Kayla (my cousin), Allyson, and I rode tandem bikes all the way around Mackinac Island. The day was gorgeous and we had so much fun. We also felt like we'd earned a short nap in the grass and a great big cone of Mackinac Island Fudge Ice Cream, something I've been craving since I left Michigan.

World Famous (maybe) Mackinac Island Fudge

Sadly, I didn't purchase the hat. I'm shocked my vegetarian wife didn't leave Michigan running, what with the animal pelts, Buck Pole (google it), etc. But she didn't, and we are both heading back for a very short weekend to celebrate the wedding of my cousin, Jessica, and her fiance, Kevin! Looking forward to it!

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