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Snapshots of Michigan: Apple Picking + Sand Dunes

Michigan Fall Break

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So another Chino fall break highlight was heading to Michigan for our first time ever.

(Check another state off of your list Simon!)


We drove over on Saturday morning and after a quick picnic lunch (from Blackberry Market, of course), we went exploring.

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We hiked several trails where the forest floor turned to sand before reaching the shoreline of Lake Michigan

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You know how I love a good trail.

Anna managed to find three or four great hikes during our time near Holland.

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The forest provided a little shelter from the crazy winds.

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But then the trees would open up onto these dunes and the wind about knocked us over.

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It’s easy to forget that Lake Michigan is a lake. It feels like being at the seaside!


A cold seaside!

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We stayed near this beautiful lighthouse (lovingly referred to as Big Red), which we walked to several times while we were there.


This photo reminds me how much of the weekend I spent wishing Simon would wear more clothes. Good grief.

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It was so cold in the wind. You had to sort of lean in against it and brace yourself as you walked.

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But even thought it was super chilly, it was so beautiful!

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Later, we got to explore the town of Holland and Hope College, where my niece, Grace, goes to school.


The campus was gorgeous, with tons of cozy nooks for studying or chatting with a friend. We enjoyed seeing where Grace spends her days.


Then, on Sunday we went apple picking at Crane’s Orchards!

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I brought home 40 pounds of apples. 🙂

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After picking apples, we wandered over to the restaurant where they serve all kinds of apple treats and hot apple cider.

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On Monday, after the college kids all went back to school (including Taido), Anna and I took the boys on another hike near Ottawa beach where we climbed a bunch of stairs to lookout over Lake Michigan.

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It’s teeny tiny, but you can see the little red lighthouse from the other direction on this hike.

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We warmed up after our walk with a trip to an Irish pub in Holland.

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Simon was delighted to find shepherd’s pie on the menu,

but he informed me that it wasn’t REAL shepherd’s pie because it was made with beef instead of lamb, in which case it should have been called “cottage pie.”

(Thank you to our friend Claire for teaching Simon the difference when he was a wee lad!)

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After lunch we did one more climb up a BUNCH of stairs.

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This time it was to the top of a place called Mount Baldhead.

We went up one side of the hill on stairs and then ran down the other which was all sand.

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And back out to the Lake!

Then we got lost on some sand dunes for a while before making our way back.

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Up the hill we went again!

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Our last night in Michigan, Anna and I walked down to watch the sunset on the beach.

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It had been a warmer afternoon, so we stayed outside as long as we could.

We got up the next morning and walked to the lighthouse again before heading home.

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It felt so good to walk so much with my sis…such a treat!

And of course, I loved bringing home bushels of apples as my Michigan fall break souvenirs. 🙂

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