Traveling with children is equal parts exhaustion and fun. The words road trip will understandably strike fear in many a parent’s hearts but there are beloved moments you spend as a family that can only be had away from home.
A couple weeks ago the four of us packed up and headed out; 2000 miles, one ferry ride, and maybe an argument of two later I am here to tell you we had a great time. Wanna see what we did? ¡Vámanos!
Our first leg took us from North Dakota to Wisconsin where we stayed overnight with some friends before catching the SS Badger car ferry to Michigan.
Once on the Michigan side we spent 4 glorious days at my uncle’s beach cottage in Holland. The cottage was built in the late 1800’s and has all the charm of an airy Victorian lake house. I instantly fell in love with this place.
The beautiful sandy beach was just a short walk away and that was where you could find us just about everyday we were there. The water was ffffffreezing, but the kids didn’t care, they could’ve splashed and played and ate sandy sandwiches all day.
I did manage to pull the kids away from the shore to visit the Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park which had an incredible Children’s Garden and an amazing sculpture collection (not to mention a gigantic horse).
Next we headed up to Leelanau County to visit our friends Tony and Jennifer who run Little Bee’s Italian Ice shop in Sutton’s Bay. We stayed not too far away for a ridiculously good deal in a cute house in Traverse City that I found on Airbnb. Leelanau County is just about as unpretentious and gorgeous as it gets with boats bobbing the water and trucks filled to the brim with tart red cherries.
Aside from eating our weight in Italian ice we visited Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes, gathered as many sour cherries as our cooler would hold and visited several self-serve farm stands. This one had a motion-detected recording from the farmer selling his wares and an unpictured boat that “runs good”.
Our next leg took us to Detroit where our friend Chris lives and works building high-design furniture and being an overall badass. He was recently featured in Vogue and this work shipped to a show in Paris shortly after our visit. Take a look inside his studio.
He also arranged a private tour for us at the Cranbrook Art Museum where we not only got the entire museum to ourselves but also were able to peak inside their vault. It was kinda, sorta awesome.
Detroit is crazy. That’s the only way I know how to sum it up. While there we gazed at the full moon from a parking lot, took a tour of Pewabic Pottery Studios, fed our friends carne asada, and had a fantastic lunch at Vinsetta Garage.
From Detroit we made our way back home, met up with my BFF who just so happened to be working in Milwaukee (what are the odds?!) and ate at this dang good (and maybe a tad bit hipster) taco joint called Bel Air Cantina.
And just like that it was over. I will admit…..I’m still recovering.