On Monday, we decided to not only be practical but also adventurous. Us gluten free-ers decided to use up the rest of our zucchini from another recipe and make crust from it. It was actually a very time consuming process that took us. The recipe said to grate and then chop the zucchini .. we just threw that bad boy in the food processor- then you had to microwave it, squeeze out all the water (which was a surprising amount) until your zucchini mush was half the original size. Then you mix with it a couple more things and flatten it out to be your crust. Then you bake for 10 minutes before you can finally put on your toppings and bake it for another 5-10 minutes before you can it. After all that work, we wondered why we hadn’t just made gluten free crust from all the different GF flours we have haha It was fun (I mean I say that but Katie did most of the work while I made Adam’s full of gluten crust)
our super sad and small crusts that took forever ;(
Adams awesome huge crust (Sorry, babe for the horrible picture.)
Speaking of Adam, you guys know (and if you don’t, just a read a couple sentences and you will) he is working full-time AND in grad school part-time. He is one busy dude. On top of his 40 hour work week, one class a week plus homework, he is also having to work on his thesis project in his spare time. The poor guy is running around like a crazy person. Well, yesterday he gets a call from the police saying that his car got broken in to. On top of everything else... geez, oh petes. What did the guy take you ask? An old wallet with an expired triple A card in it. This would be kind of funny that the guy got caught and he really didn’t get anything except that he totally demolished his passenger car window... Glass for days.... And we have to pay for it since we haven’t met our deductible. #mad The police believe he broke into our car because Adam had his sweatshirt laying there and the culprit thought it was hiding something. Well, it wasn’t so take it as a lesson... don’t leave clothes in your car that make it look like they are covering something. (If you think of it, pray for Adam in the next month and half.... Between job things and school things, he has a lot on his plate. He graduates in December so he has a lot to get done till then)
I’m hoping to pull off the boldest surprise gift I’ve ever done in the next couple days so I’ll be busy but keep an eye out for the result.
With Adam and Katie being in their last semester of grad school and me being a freelancer, we had a working weekend over here in the Ward household. We got a lot done and still managed to have fun. I would call that a successful weekend.
I did a little pre-gaming on the weekend and took Jack on a fancy dog walk. (I wore lipstick to meet Adam and his coworkers for lunch and that stuff really stays on.)
We play this fun game with Jack where you play tug of war with him and when you get the toy away from him, you lay on it. It is hilarious because he wiggles his way under your body to get his toy back. You can't help but laugh when he does it.
Friday night, the three of us went to see Gravity in 3D. It was the most visually stunning, stressful movie I've ever seen. I still can't decide if I liked it.
Saturday Morning, we went to Yoga at the art museum downtown and it was a beautiful view. Lord knows I need to stretch after being crunched behind a computer all week but sometimes I can't handle the mumbo jumbo of Yoga. It was still fun though.
Oh don't mind my beach going towel, I didn't have a mat and now know why they are so valuable.
We got there early but there ended being a lot more people.
The rest of day, we rested and worked on stuff.
(and this guy doesn't claim to "love" Jack, he says he's just okay)
We ended the day with crab legs. It was so good! It seriously took me back to childhood vacations in Ocean city, Maryland where we would get bushel of crabs. We'd cover the table with newspapers/brown paper, have hot butter, Old Bay Seasoning, mallets and a couple crab/lobster crackers. It was really fun!
Sunday, we were all doing variable things but all got to come home to enjoy a crockpot dinner recipe from my mother-in-law. It was a success.
We left Mackinaw Island and headed farther into the Upper Peninsula to see Tahquamenon Falls. Adam and his family had come here when he was younger and had actually been able to play in the falls. This time however, they had just had a huge rainstorm that wiped out a ton roads and made the river rage. This was the chillest day by far on our trip... I had to give myself a pep talk when I got out of the car to not complain about how my jeans and sweatshirt were just not cutting it.
The lower falls
We rented a little row boat to go across to the island.
and explored a little
I dubbed him king of the island
But after walking around the small island he gave up his kingship so we could go back to the mainland to see the upper falls.There is a 8 mi round trip hike to the upper falls but we didn't quite have that time.
This guy was a fan that we were at the falls. He was so pretty (even though I am very much not a bug girl).
The Upper Falls
We were going to see a cool lighthouse near the Falls but the ranger told us we'd have to be on a dirt road for 10 miles with no cell service and that a huge rainstorm came through, washed out a lot of roads, and took down a lot of big trees but we were welcomed to go if we wanted. We wisely said no, thanks. So we headed farther north west and came to Munising, Michigan.
We ate at this adorbs cafe/bookstore where I looked at books and Adam played piano while they made our food. The best part was they had gluten free options. We might have eaten here for dinner and then breakfast the next day.
Our table number was part of a tree.
Look at this gf english muffin! It was fluffy. Anyone who has had anything gf understands that this is very, very rare! I was so happy ;)
After dinner, we saw one of the first sunsets that wasn't cloudy. It was so pretty!
and got to touch Lake Superior. Originally, I wanted to dunk myself in every lake we came to but at this time of the year... it just really wasn't a good idea. My feet hurt so bad after just dipping them into the water, I can't imagine what my body would have felt like.
We then stayed in the sketchiest hotel of my traveling career. I wrapped myself in a blanket that I had brought and considered burning it afterwards but instead just washed it immediately when we got home. After that, we were so close to home and we had already been traveling for days that I was ready to get home, take a shower, and sleep in my own bed.
So we went on boat tour as our last hurrah. It was beautiful. I didn't edit any of these photos. The water was really that green.
Our cruise was to see the Picture Rocks. They were beautiful especially when the sun hit them. You could see the different rock layers and the different colors (greens, bronzes, browns) are from different metal ores leaking on the rocks. It was really pretty. On the way out, we were traveling with the wind so it was really warm and nice. On the way back... not so much but it was all really fun.
Our tour was really pretty. I can only imagine what it would be later in the day with the sun hitting the rocks and then the sunset. Maybe next time.
The whole week I had been begging Adam to find me wildlife (as if he's Jack Hanna or something) but we didn't really go much off the beaten path to be able to see anything like that. (We were in moose country up there) But on the way home in the middle of nowhere, Adam spotted a bald eagle. It was still far enough away that getting a picture was tough but I could see him sitting on that sandbar before he flew off. It was amazing... I've never seen one in the wild. It was such a good end to the trip.
Our first vacation (other than our honeymoon) was a success. Can't wait till next time. Hope everyone has a good weekend!
Okay so after our weird day, we had one of the best days on Mackinac Island. We got on one of the earliest ferries to take us onto the island and had a brief tour of the Mackinaw bridge while on our way over. That thing is big. It was calling for rain but we had a beautiful morning and then a decent afternoon as well.
Coming on to the island.
Most of the island is a state park but there are still some privately owned houses. There are actually about 500 year around residents on the island. The way they get on and off the island is by ferry, plane, and in the winter, the ice bridge. Usually in February, after a week of below zero temperatures with no wind, the strait will freeze over creating an ice bridge that those brave residents can use to get to the mainland. Sometimes it lasts for a couple days or even a month and then it's back to checking schedules and paying for their transportation to the mainland.
The cool thing about Mackinaw island is that there are no cars on the island. Everyone walks, bikes, or rides horses/horse carriages. (The island is only 3.8 square miles and 8 miles around). It is so whimsical.
the cute little bed and breakfast we stayed at.
The view from where the governor's summer home
We decided to walk through the island since the morning was so nice.
We saw the natural bridge and the sun was hitting the water just right.
We saw this huge rock called Sugar loaf. Look how small Adam looks.
A view from up top.
We got a nice couple to take our picture. Vacation is fun by yourselves but then you always have to bother someone to take a picture of the two of you. Sometimes they are good and sometimes they aren't, but we are always grateful ;)
We walked through the whole island and saw everything we wanted to see before noon. I felt so productive and it was fun.
The view from one of the old forts on the island. The island was valuable during the War of 1812. The British captured it from the Americans and used this fort because it was on higher ground.
After we walked around, we ate lunch in the cute town and then mini golfed (on real greens- so more like chipping and putting on a real golf course).
We also rented a tandem bike and went around the island. It was so much fun!!! I think Adam had to work harder because he was the person in the front but I was loving it haha
We seriously had so much fun on the island.
We spent more time exploring, eating, shopping, getting in our B&B's hot tub that was outside and had a waterfall (what?!? loved it), and enjoying our time on the island.
I'm so glad we went. It was one of the best days. And the next morning, we woke up to the sounds of cannon fire (the old fort has demonstrations) and horse hoofs. I felt like I had woken up in the wrong century. I could see us going back in the future. If you guys have a chance to go, it's really fun.
Wednesday was actually the worst day of our vacation. It was dreary and we had this weird fight with our friends via text/email about fantasy football that left us in a funk. It started off dumb and got personal real fast. Note to self: never engage personal conversations via texts/emails. Tone/message is easily misunderstood and weird fights will ensue. Also we hadn't made reservations so this was the one day that got us... Our next stop was Mackinac Island geographically but the bed and breakfast we wanted (it was significantly cheaper and just as cute) wasn't available Wednesday night so we had to do our trip out of order which added some miles.... We drove through Charlevoix and Petosky, which are cute little lake towns. We walked around and bought some sauces and jams (yummy!). Then we saw the Mackinaw Bridge which separates lower Michigan from the Upper Peninsula. You have to pay to get across the 5 mile bridge so you need to plan your trip accordingly so you don't have to cross the bridge twice.
Look at the difference what the sun makes on the water.
The bridge is also known as the dividing line of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.
From the bridge, we drove about an hour to see the locks on Lake Superior between USA and Canada.
Here is a ship going through the locks. There is a 21 foot difference between Lake Superior and the other great lakes so the locks are not only necessary for that but also necessary because there are a ton of rapids in this area so this way the ships can make it safely through.
Here it is at the end.
From there, we went right into Canada. Both towns on the borders are sad. They are not places you drive 50 miles out of your way to see. We were in Canada long enough to see the curling club and then got back to home sweet home.