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headin’ north to michigan’s up – day 1

We kicked off our summer adventure yesterday with an eight hour drive north to Michigan’s UP with our first destination being Chassell, MI at the base of Keweenaw Peninsula. We arrived around 5:30 and just chilled and explored the little cottage where we’ll be staying for the next week. It’s really quite nice–simple, small, but clean and cozy. I could [singlepic=613,200,200]Our Journey Northget used to it. The backyard borders the shoreline of Lake Superior’s Keweenaw Bay. It comes complete with its own beautiful rocky shoreline and a couple of Adirondack chairs pointed toward the sea (yes, it feels like a sea, truly). Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world (by surface area, if you want to be technical). It is quite amazing. We are on a bay, so its full magnitude is somewhat hidden from our current vantage point, but we are no less impressed.

Aidan was thrilled to be so close to the lake. We weren’t in the house five minutes and he was galloping off to the shoreline to collect rocks, dip his toes in the rather icy water and explore to his heart’s content. You hear so often about kids being bored with their everyday lives and desiring the likes of Disney World or some other amusement to keep them from falling into a coma. But Aidan finds such absolute joy and wonder (and for hours) just by picking up rocks, smelling wild flowers, and climbing up and down a rocky hillside. He says this is the best vacation ever (but he always says that).

Anyway, today we headed north up US41 to Houghton for yummy lunch of seafood before visiting Waterfront Park–home of the amazing “Chutes and Ladders” playground. This playground was something else–boasting a series of, well, chutes and ladders, but one such chute was the longest most intense slide I’ve ever seen at a playground. It took like 15 seconds to ride its entire length–yelling and laughing the whole way down. Aidan, thought this was the greatest thing ever. One time it sounded like he was literally tumbling head-over-heels through the entire tube; he was screaming the whole way. Once the slide spit him out at the bottom into the sand, he jumped up and screamed, “I wanna do it again!” And off he went. The park also had a small beach on Portage Lake where we waded and collected a few pretty stones for the collection. (We only took a few small ones ;-)

After a full day at the park, we checked out the local Econofoods grocery and picked up some food for the cottage, where we built a fire in the backyard and roasted soy hot dogs. Aidan polished off two full dogs plus his veggies–which is a quite a bit for him. It was a great first day. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings. Check out a few of our photos so far below.

I’ll be doing my best to chronicle our adventures in the evenings throughout our trip, so stay tuned for more updates. Tomorrow, I think we’ll be heading up the Keweenaw Peninsula to Copper Harbor.

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