When we left Bob and Cathy's we stopped off in West Branch where we met up with our friends, Mike and Heidi, and had lunch. We had not seen Mike and Heidi in several years and we had a great visit. They are here for the summer and then heading back to Florida in a few weeks. Perhaps next time we see them will be down south. Or perhaps on a dive trip, it was Mike and Heidi that got us interested in Scuba Diving many years ago.
Following lunch, Mike and Heidi, left for their golf league and Frank and I headed to Hartwick Pines State Park. We have beautiful State Parks and Hartwick Pines is one of my favorites, The above display is honoring the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). This is a group of young men that were given work during the depression replacing the trees that had been lumbered into near extinction. My father was 15 when he joined the CCC's and had to lie about his age. It was in the CCC's that he met one of his best friend's, Kip Holman. He and Kip remained friends their entire lives.
We also enjoyed the logging museum and had a wonderful hike through the woods to the visitor center and the chapel in the woods. There is something soothing about being in the woods, the smells, the sounds, the peaceful calm.
We spent the night in Presque Isle, at a historic Bed and Breakfast called the Presque Isle Lodge. It was very rustic and we had the entire lodge to ourselves. It was just a short walk to the water where the owners have put in docks and a beach area.
Before leaving the Presque Isle area we stopped by the Lighthouse Parks. One park contains the old lighthouse, the first lighthouse in Michigan, that was in operation from 1840-1867 when it was decided that it was no longer serviceable due to it's height. It was then replaced by the new lighthouse, 1 mile further down the point, which is still operational today.
We continued north towards Mackinaw City, where we were going to have lunch. On the way there we stopped at Ocqueoc State Park where we took a walk down to the Ocqueoc Falls, the largest falls in lower Michigan.
From Mackinaw City we stopped at the National Shrine of the Cross in the Woods. I love this park that has not only the Country's largest crucifix but numerous other shrines, a beautiful church, a large doll museum containing dolls clothed in habits and vestments of all the different orders, and a gift store where I bought Lili a clip for her visor reminding her to never drive faster than her Guardian Angel can fly.
We spent this night at the Horton Creek Inn Bed and Breakfast owned by David and Jeannie Babbit. It is set on a wonderful 60 acres parcel and surrounded by manicured lawns and beautiful gardens. A built in pool is available for guest use. We immediately felt at home in this lovely house that is decorated, as is our home, in the northwoods style. The Babbits are very welcoming and we immediately relaxed and enjoyed our time with them.
Saturday was, of course, the best day of all because we were with our Lili to celebrate her Sweet 16. Look at that smile, she melts my heart this lovely you lady of whom we are so proud. We visited with family and friends, we played games, we ate, we drank and we relaxed. The next morning, Randy made us a great breakfast and then we all headed out to the beach in Empire where we frolicked in the cold (read freezing) water for a couple of hours before hitting the road again.
Our last night was spent in Pentwater where we stayed at the Pentwater Abbey Bed and Breakfast. When someone says B&B, the Pentwater Abbey is what comes to mind. The owner, Karen, has the historic home decorated with beautiful antiques. It is comfortable and cozy. Karen is welcoming and friendly, going out of her way to see that her guests feel like family. The Abbey is a stones throw from the beach. After settling in, Frank and I walked down to the beach in the Charles Mears State Park and then headed up the boardwalk into town where we enjoyed dinner on the patio to live jazz music. Breakfast was delicious and Karen graciously shared her recipe with me. I will be sharing it with you soon.
We arrived home in time for me to be welcomed home by the dogs, chickens and turkeys before heading out to a meeting at the church. Tomorrow morning I get to go watch Melody while Tingting attends a meeting. Life is back to normal!!