Monday, September 1, 2014

Camping on South Manitou Island

Last weekend was probably my favorite weekend of the entire summer. We headed up to South Manitou Island to go camping with a group of our closest friends. We all arrived to Leland, checked in, ate the most amazing sandwiches in Historic Fishtown, and took the 2-hour ferry over to South Manitou Island. We were able to see the North Manitou Shoal Lighthouse too! We stayed at the Bay Campground, which is closest to the dock and the only campground on the island with clean water to drink. I loved my time on the island. I had been once before, but this experience was totally different. We ended up taking a really long (and hard) hike up to see the Francisco Morazan shipwreck, and to see the Valley of the Giants, some of the oldest cedar trees in Michigan. Afterwards, we hiked up this giant dune, and ran down. We went swimming in (freezing) Lake Michigan, I collected rocks on the beach, and we had the longest hike back all along the beach. At night, we'd sit around the campfire, cook tons of food and s'mores, and relax. At night, we'd walk across our campsite to the beach and turn off our flashlights to see the insanely amazing starry sky. It was unreal. I can't wait to go back already.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

August in Instagram

Follow me on Instagram @SelectPotential

August was by far my favorite month of this summer. I was able to travel around Michigan a lot, spend time with friends, and relax. I have a hard time with relaxing sometimes. I'm always plugged in, on my phone, and signing up for things I probably don't have time for. As much as I say I'm not a "stressed out" person... it all slowly builds up. Getting away and going up north, especially the weekend on South Manitou Island, I felt like I learned a lesson. It's okay if I miss photos on my Instagram feed; it's okay if I don't respond to every email I receive. It was really refreshing to leave my phone at the campsite, and take a walk at sunset down to the dock. We ended up taking a really long (and hard) hike up a giant dune, and running down. But sitting on the shoreline of Lake Michigan, and collecting rocks to remind myself to keep the mentality I had that weekend, I want to move forward in autumn with that same attitude. Slow down, enjoy those moments, leave your phone at home, ditch your to-do list once in a while. Anyway, long rant, but that's what I took away from August this year. Here's a recap of the month...
  • Celebrated family and birthdays with Eric's side at a John Butler Trio concert.
  • Had a girl date with two of my favorite friends/colleagues, Sharisa and Angi.
  • Traveled to Pictured Rocks with Eric; one of my favorite places in Michigan.
  • Saw Munising and Miners Falls.
  • Participated in the Hipsy Yard sale at Cheeky Strut - fun idea!
  • Went camping with Eric and our closest friends on South Manitou Island.
  • Finally got to see the Francisco Morazan shipwreck!
  • Dressed up for wine club (one of my favorite nights of the month).
  • Beautiful bouquet from a new friend (and a huge appreciation for my girlfriends).
I'm looking forward to September. I know I say this all the time, but it's going to be especially busy this month. Two of Eric and my closest friends are getting married (we're both in the wedding), so there are parties, rehearsal dinner, and the big wedding day. I also have a company retreat, celebrating Eric's birthday, dinners with old and new friends, a 5K to run, several shows to attend, a trip to Grand Traverse Resort and then October will be here before we know it! My goal is to hang on tight, and get done what I need to get done... but keep August's mentality in check. Slow down, enjoy these insanely special moments, and be happy where I'm at. xo

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Grand Marais Harbor Range Lights

The final two lighthouses I visited on my trip were in Grand Marais. If you go past town just a little bit, you'll see the lighthouse right in the harbor. There were two lighthouses - one at each end of the pier. I actually haven't seen any lighthouses like these two at all.  These were built around 1895, and both are still operational. The outer range light has been replaced with a modern light, but the inner range light though still uses it's Fresnel lens, one of the few still in use in lighthouses. After this visit, I headed on my 6-hour drive back home! Of course, stopping in Mackinaw City for dinner and peanut butter fudge. ;)

Outfit details:
Lucy Polka Dot Dress c/o White Plum
Chambray Tie Top c/o Meijer

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Au Sable Light Station

On the final leg of our trip, we headed from Munising to Grand Marais to explore a few more lighthouses. Now I have the entire Pictured Rocks Shoreline covered! The upper peninsula, on the other hand, not even close. I can't believe how many lighthouses are up there. It makes sense considering it's called the "shipwreck coast"! We headed on back roads to find the light, every road kept twisting and turning and going and going with no signs, nothing. Finally we saw a sign directing us to the light, and when we got out of the car, we saw another sign that said, "Lighthouse 1.5 miles". So we had to walk another 1.5 miles to get there! Those are some of my favorite ones. Au Sable Light was built in 1874, and it's perfect. I imagined myself just moving right in there. We climbed the tower to the top, and were able to see the Grand Sable Dunes (very similar to Sleeping Bear Dunes). It was a gorgeous view!

Outfit details:
Minnie the Maneater Skirt c/o Lace Affair (similar)
Backyard Bash Top c/o ModCloth (similar)
Madewell The Crisscross Boardwalk Sandal (similar)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Grand Island Harbor Range Rear Light

During our trip to Pictured Rocks, we went to find the Grand Island Harbor Range Rear Light. I had also driven past this one at least a few times before! If you head west from downtown Munising toward Christmas, you'll totally miss it if you're not looking. Eric and I drove past it, and I was like, "Wait! It says it's right across from the "Welcome to Christmas" sign!" Sure enough, we pulled off the road and it was sitting at the end of a tiny dirt drive. After our trip, I saw an aerial view and didn't realize there is a newer constructed lighthouse across the street (called the Bay Furnace Directional Light). After doing a little research, I found out that this lighthouse isn't even the original. There was another lighthouse built in 1868, that was moved at some point to Munising to be a residence. (I'd love to find that someday!) This steel tower was built in 1913, as part of a plan to rid of lighthouses that required keepers. This lighthouse was then deactivated, and replaced by the newer lighthouse in 1969. I loved that we were able to see this one on our trip. Hopefully I'll see it again someday when we head up to my dream trip to Isle Royale. Someday.

Outfit details: