Tuesday was our first full day in Mackinaw City. We woke up to the sound of waves crashing on the shore and a breath-taking sunrise. (Brian left the curtain and window open.) The day started off like every other day waking up getting ready and going down to the hot Continental breakfast with lots coffee.
We had decided Tuesday was going to be our exploring day and beach day. It was a high of 75 sunny and no chance of rain. After breakfast we start walking towards town to buy Ella a pair of swim goggles and sand toys for both kids. Which we have both at home, but my sister failed to tell me she was bringing some for daughter.
Once we finished shopping we came back to the hotel to have leftovers for lunch. (pizza from the night before, salad, and chicken from Zehner's). Then it was off to the beach.
Ella loved the beach. She put on her life vest and was ready to jump in. I on the other hand touched the water and it was to cold for my liking. I have turned into a freeze baby the older I get.
Austin preferred playing in the huge sand box. He gave us a hard time when we tried to put his life vest on him. We opted out of doing it since he only went in the water to his knees and we were always with him.
Austin stayed in his sun shirt the whole time he was at the beach, plus was always lathered in sunscreen. We luckily had no issues with sunburn on the kids.
Brian on the other hand is stubborn and decided he didn't want sun screen on and burnt his neck and top of his back.
Speaking of Austin's life vest. Claudia forgot hers so she got to wear Austin's and go swimming with Ella.
While at the beach we saw the Pirate Ship come back to shore. The kids loved seeing it on the lake and not just sitting at dock, but never asked if they could ride it. When we went for our walk we did see kids dressed up as full on Pirates. (One day maybe my kids will like pirates, Brian would be happy)
This was as daring as Austin got going in the lake. Right where he was standing was still sand, if you went out further it was rock. The water was also clear that you could see the bottom most of the time. Lake Huron is gorgeous and so different from Lake Erie. Plus it was so calm.
Now the girls on the other hand, mom can I go deeper, (Brian was in the water also just not in the picture)
After playing at the beach we decided to take the kids swimming in the pool. We walked downstairs past the front desk and they informed us our hotel pool was currently closed due to a chemical unbalance. But we were more than welcome to go use the pool next door. To our surprise the other pool had no one in it. It was like our own personal pool and hot tub.
This was also Austin's first time ever swimming in a real pool (minus our little one in the backyard). He is such a water baby. He had so much fun and didn't want to get out.
Ella loves swimming. She loved being able to jump in the pool. The deep end went all the way to 9 feet.
The rest of Tuesday we drove down to the downtown area again. We did shopping, got ideas for other things to buy, and had dinner at a cute little family restaurant. The waitstaff was so accommodating, but the food was nothing to brag about. Austin slept in the stroller the whole meal and Claudia ended up getting sick. The start of the long vacation.
Wednesday was planned as our water park day for Brian, our kids, and myself. The hotel we were staying at we had free access to 3 local small water parks and a bunch of other pools. My parents had planned on going to visit friends at a local campground and with my niece being sick, her and her mother laid low.
The water parks didn't open until noon and we didn't want to sit in a hotel room with a sicky. (We had a suite that slept 8). We decided to go explore some more. This was Brian and the kids first time to this part of Michigan. When in the Mackinaw City area you have to go over the Mackinaw bridge. It is a must.
It really is a beautiful bridge from a distance. I had been over it multiple times as a kid. It is fun to see how some things changed, like you use to pull over and stop on the bridge, get out of your car and look over the side of the bridge at different look out points. Not anymore. There are signs saying no parking and one that said violators will get a felony. I guess they don't play around anymore.
I have to admit I was not a fan of going over the bridge. My mind went a million miles an hour with what could happen. They were also doing weird construction that scared me. I was fine as long as we were moving, but when we started to slow down I got nervous. I would hate to be stopped on the bridge for any amount of time.
There is a $4 toll one way to go over the bridge, but it is well worth it to get over to the Northern peninsula of Michigan. (yes there is a way around but it takes a lot longer)
The Upper Peninsula is so much quieter, less developed, and beautiful. It reminds me of what I think Alaska would look like. (yes I am weird)
There wasn't much to do up there. We just drove around, saw a few cute little cities and lots of trees. It was a nice relaxing drive.
After driving back over the bridge we stopped at the downtown area and had a quick lunch. Again it was a cute little family owned restaurant, but the food and service nothing to brag about. After lunch we took the kids to one of the water parks near by. We tried to pick one that both kids would be able to do something there with their age difference. The one we choose had a small food that went to 4 feet, a lazy river, 2 large water slides, and an area with 3 kid sized water slides with water towers. Unfortunately, Ella couldn't do the large water slides cause she would have had to go down without her life vest on into a 5 foot pool with no one there to catch her. She luckily didn't seem too disappointed. She had fun swimming in all the other areas. Austin only enjoyed swimming in the pool. He wanted nothing to do with the water slides or the lazy river. We spent a good hour there before the kids got tired. After swimming we went back to the hotel and took a nap.
( I didn't take my phone with me to the water park, fear of it getting lost, stolen and wet. sorry no pictures)
That night for dinner we had amazing Fish and Chips. I forgot the name of the restaurant, but it is was in the little downtown area of Mackinaw City.
While we were out having fun and enjoying our vacation, the rest of my family spend a few hours at the Emergency Room with my niece. She ended up having a 104.2 fever that wasn't breaking with meds. It turned out she had somehow gotten some sort of virus that was taking its toll on her. They gave her antibiotics and sent her on the way. (Unfortunately the meds didn't help to much and she really just slept the rest of vacation and was taken to the ER again as soon as they got back home on Saturday evening.)
I just realized I haven't linked or named anywhere that we stayed. I will do full reviews of the hotels in a later post. The hotel we stayed at was Mackinaw Beach and Bay. The pool we went swimming at and loved was at the Quality Inn and Suites. The Hotel that had the water park we went to was Bridge Vista Beach. Find out more about the hotels HERE!
I'll be sharing the details of what we did the rest of the trip as well as where we stayed in a few upcoming posts. If you have any specific questions please don't hesitate to leave them in the comments! Check out Day 1 of our trip here
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