Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Say Yes to Michigan.

Today's post is a three part story, and kinda long-ish, but it's a story I'm fond of, so, yeah. Hereitgoes!
So, about a million years ago, (meaning 4 years), I randomly purchased these postcards from etsy because they were cheap and pretty and I thought they were funny. 
Thus concludes part two of the story. (I never promised they'd be in chronological order.)
A few weeks ago, my husband and I went on vacation. We had meant for it to be the Vacation of all Vacations, and we spent, like, 9 months "planning" it. Why the quotation marks, you might wonder? Well. Our planning process is highly theoretical; we are EXCELLENT at browsing and discussing and obsessive-compulsive-googling, and we are HORRENDOUS at decision-making. Just awful.
See, we have commitment issues when it comes to vacations. I had never really analyzed why all our previous vacations had been meandering road-trips; I thought that we could just book a cruise and buy plane tickets and chill until the day arrived, like normal people. Yeah, no. So after months, long, LONG months of constant deliberation, we were three weeks out from the Official Vacation Week, and we had nothing. No passports, no plane tickets, no hotel rooms, no ideas.
And then I saw photos on someone's instagram, (I can't remember whose, unfortunately!) of Holland, MI. My ideal vacation had included a beach, an Brian's had included sub-90's temperatures... Could it be? Michigan? Fast forward through another sleepless night of airbnb browsing, and the next day at work I met a woman from MI, and while we were speaking, another woman came in, and also started raving about Fabulous Michigan, and the switch in my brain, the broken decision-making switch, dusty from neglect, was flipped. I went home, texted Brian, booked a condo, and basked in the glow of decision-made-ness, as the gloomy cloud of planning-anxiety and exhaustion and uncertainty and googleoversaturation drifted away. Happy sigh!
So we went to Michigan. It. Was. Amazing. I think it was only our second day there, in Holland, (so Dutch!) that I found my new favorite t-shirt. "Just like the postcards!" I thought. "How funny!"
By sheer dumb luck, we ended up being there in the brief time between the summer tourist season and the fall foliage vacationers. We had entire beaches to ourselves (so what if it was a bit chilly!), and we never had to wait to get a table at any of the H'AWESOME restaurants we ate at. (Thanks, Yelp!)
Go to Michigan, people. Or don't, whatever-- it leaves more Michigan for me. I could go on for DAYS; it really truly is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. Photodump!
At some point during our trip, Brian mentioned something about "the last time we were in Michigan." "Whaa??" my brain's atrophied geography skills said; "We've never been to Michigan, have we?!?"

End part three of the story.

So here's part one:

There are two pieces that make up the Michigan pie, one on each side of the lake of the same name. Once upon a time, I took a train with my boyfriend to that "other" Michigan, to visit his sister and go to an apple orchard, and it was lovely.
And seven years ago today, that same boyfriend asked me to marry him. It was one of the easiest and best decisions I've ever made.

So I said yes. (In Michigan.)


rachel said...

What a great (meandering) tale, Lauren! Michigan looks fabulous too. Now you know where to go back to.

Anya said...

You are so right!! There is nothing better than the beaches on Lake Michigan! I grew up in Michigan, went to school in Holland, MI, lived in the upper peninsula for a while. Eventually moved out to Vermont but we go back to Michigan every summer to enjoy it's amazingness!! So glad you found it! Good work on your decisiveness :)

HandbagsbyJen said...

I live in Grand Rapids, MI (about 40 minutes from Holland) and love it. All of the conveniences of a big city and so close to the lake. I am glad you had such a good vacation.

raych said...


Ok and but also, you two are BOTH the Joel in your relationship. Joel has been obsessive-googling our vacation for AGES, and the other day he's like, Come look over my shoulder while I browse and let's get excited and daydream about stuff? And I was like, Ugh, ok...that one. Book that one, I want to go to that one. And done!

In conclusion, I want to oust Brian and marry you but since I CAN'T (already married; not gay; in a different country), I'm glad he did.

amy h said...

Excellent story! And I'll never fight a beach photo dump.

My extended family takes huge long camping trips to Muskegon, MI every year, and I keep waiting for my kids to be old enough to handle this. I think we're getting close. I have good memories of body surfing in Lake Michigan (cold, but kids don't care).

teaginny said...

Awww! This is such a beautiful post Lauren. So sweet.

kathy said...

Yay MI! I need to get out to the beach more. We live in Grand Rapids, but haven't actually been to the Holland beach. Sad, huh?

arajane said...

aw, this is super sweet. c and i are pretty much like you guys... we can't seem to take any vacations because we can't decide on anything. i swear we've been planning a vacation to scotland for years, but still haven't done it. you make michigan look absolutely amazing. i'd totally vacation there.

Jen Petersen said...

I love that I'm the 3rd person from Grand Rapids (GR) to comment. I lived in Holland for 8 years. It's beautiful. I'm so glad you love our Michigan as much as we do:)

Shea said...

I always love your posts, but I think this one takes the cake for favorite. So sweet! (and I loved knowing that you are also an obsessive vacation Googler!)

Rebekah said...

Love your photos!

I went to school in GR and really miss being able to hop in the car and head to Holland. So fun to see a geeked out post about my state. Sometimes I take it for granted.

And happy engage-iversary!

Melissa said...

You are the most awesome storyteller!! I don't think Michigan was ever on my radar until I saw all your instagram pics. It's beautiful!

Carla said...

What a fun post, Lauren! Many years ago I visited Michigan. This reminds me to go back. (You'd like Oregon and Maine, as well! ;)

Jenny said...

loved this post! you are a terrific storyteller!!

Esch House Quilts said...

What a great story, Lauren! Love all the beach photos and that last one of your husband is fantastic!

As an (almost) lifelong resident of Michigan, I'm glad to see people enjoying the amazing beauty of the state :)

Holly said...

Your blog posts are full of win. That is all.

Unknown said...