Of Orchards and Dunes

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Last weekend, my husband and I trekked it to Holland, Michigan. We stopped off at our house, which is located in the heart of Holland. Just to... wave, I guess. And say hi to the anonymous tenants we do not know.

We spent most of our time at my mother and father in law's house. They are right on the water, so sunsets are always a major beauty.

We drove into town on a Saturday morning, and started the weekend with some homemade coconut banana bread and coffee on the deck.

A bit after, we did some boating. We boated South from Holland to a goldmine of dunes between Holland and Saugatuck.

Going here is one of my favorite parts of Holland visits (as you may know if you read this post). The water is shallow and very clear, so we just boated in as close as we could to the beach and then dropped the anchor and walked to shore.

We walked up the dunes with my brother in law and his lovely girlfriend. It is quite a vertical climb, so I definitely considered it my workout for the day.

So did the dog, apparently. She was wiped. 

At the top of the dunes, you can either look East, toward a steep decline that ends in a forest of green trees, or West, toward the water spotted with boats. I prefer looking West. Here's why:

After walking the ridge of the dunes, we returned to the beach and swam and played water football for a while before returning home for dinner.

The next morning, I slept in big time. I must have been totally wiped, because I had such a deep sleep that I woke up a little disoriented. It took me a while (and an extra cup of coffee) to get into the day... but when I finally did, I was all in. I took this little guy for a 6 mile run along the lake.

My husband had been on a bike ride, and when I returned, he still wasn't back. I went ahead and made myself comfortable in the sun and worked on a book I was reading.

We spent most of the day lounging and hanging out with my MIL and FIL. In the afternoon, my husband and FIL took a sail, and we watched them sail back to the house.

Meanwhile, I was still sitting in my chair, sunning and trying to shield my eyes from the harsh sun. Somebody buy this girl a hat!

I eventually showered (much needed) and we had a nice dinner of burgers and brats with salad and sides. I'm not into buns and am trying to avoid gluten anyway, so I went bunless. Scandal.

The next morning, breakfast was a delicious scramble of egg whites, red pepper, green onion, mushrooms, and cheese. With a hefty side of coffee. And more coffee.

We knew we wanted to take a fun day trip and eventually decided to head to Crane's U-Pick Orchard. We started by picking apples.

The orchard was huge (as orchards tend to be). Despite there being a few other people there to pick, it felt like we had the place to ourselves.

After loading up on apples, we realized there were raspberries, too, so we had to get in on that. We kept joking that the raspberries were so ripe, sometimes we would try to pick one but accidentally squish it a little - which meant, obviously, it needed to be sacrificed... to our taste buds. Red handed!

After apples, raspberries, and peaches had been procured, we loaded up the car. Before leaving, we stopped at Crain's restaurant. It is a cute little restaurant that is very country themed, and while we did not have a full meal there, it smelled delicious. They had a lot of hand made or vintage decor and everything was extremely quaint and cosy.

Having just picked so many gorgeous apples, we were thirsty... and treated ourselves to some apple cider. It was extremely rich and a delicious treat, and totally hit the spot after being in the sun for a while.

We then headed over to Mt. Baldy in Saugatuck, where we climbed the 300+ stairs to the top of the mountain. On each step, people have written everything from love letters to inspirational messages. One person wrote encouragement the whole way up! The power of positive thinking was so strong, I found myself smiling and laughing the entire time!

At the top, we had a nice view of some of the docks in Saugatuck.  It might look like a quiet little town, but don't be fooled. That town packs a big punch - it is full of life and is well known as a party spot!

On our way back, we stopped for some Kilwin's ice cream. I went with maple ice cream with walnuts and it was supreme. Apparently I married into a family of cone lovers, because I was the only one who got my ice cream in a cup. I have this crazy thought that I have more control over the speed at which I eat it, so I can savor it longer in a cup. 

Once we got back to my in-laws' house, we prepped dinner and waited a bit before leaving. We expected traffic to be bad in Chicago, so we tried to leave late and ended up timing it perfectly!

What about you?

  • Do you do any long weekend trips?
  • Have you ever been to West Michigan? What do you think of it?

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