Ohio State Competition-Night One

Friday afternoon my husband and i began our road trip to southern Ohio. It was only about a 3 hour drive but man was it raining hard. Luckily the heavy rained seemed to disappear when we got to mid ohio. I, of course, had to make a potty stop when we got near Columbus. My husband, conveniently, found a huge Cabela’s to stop at. It was nice to break up the drive and walk around. This place was so big and had a much better selection of clothing then our local one has. Definitely worth the drive and we will go back!

We arrived at the hotel around 4pm. We decided to go grab dinner before it got crowded. Boy am i glad we made that decision. As we were leaving outback, 45 minutes later, they were turning people away because the wait was over an hour and a half long.

That evening my other coach, Roseanna, arrived in town. We told her to go grab food and come eat in our room. The 3 of us enjoyed a relaxing evening in. The ninja mom’s were hard at work though…..they were decorating all the Pink Ladies doors. It was the sweetest thing and I’m so blessed to have these parents as part of my team!

Swollen lips and shaking hips!

What an eventful weekend. My husband and i traveled to southern ohio for a baton competition this past weekend. It was really exciting to have a little bit of normalcy back in our lives. Usually from January to May we travel monthly for competitions but these past 2 years have been very different.

I packed lots of healthy snacks to keep me fueled while staying in the hotel and to snack on during a long day of competition. On Saturday we at out for lunch and dinner. I made healthy choices and did the best i could to keep the calories down. I had grilled chicken and a small amount of gluten. Well by Saturday evening my top lip was swelling. This was concerning because (A) swollen lips are a red flag for an allergic reaction and (B) i can’t miss competition in the morning. I immediately took a second dose of Zyrtec, took a lysine vitamin and applied some Burt’s Bees lip balm. My top lip pretty much looked like i just had lip injections.

The next morning my lip was still swollen but not worse. We arrived at competition at 8am. My groups were first thing in the morning. My veteran groups went ok but definitely not their best performances. I think they had nerves getting back out there. We have lots of work to clean up their routines but i think knowing we have several more competitions this season a fire has been lit. My beginner group (who i was crazy nervous about) did so good!!! That group has a 3 year old and an autistic girl in it. I was super nervous but they lit up the floor as soon as the music started. I almost cried! The afternoon was filled with lots of my girls performing solos. They did amazing! It is so rewarding to see all their hard work pay off!

The girls on this team wore a bow in honor of karalyn who is home recovering from open beard surgery

I took my good camera with me and captured LOTS of action shots. It’s fun to merge my two passions in life and their parents all appreciate the fun performance shots i get of their daughters.

By the time we left the competition, my lip seemed to be some what back to normal. BUT Tuesday morning i woke up with another swollen lip. Is it the chicken? Is it the gluten? A long time ago i had an allergy to chicken, but as my body changed i grew out of that….or so i thought. I have a gluten intolerance but my doctor has always okayed having gluten in small amounts so it didn’t become a bigger issue. Maybe i can’t tolerate it at all anymore? The mystery continues and i will just keep a food diary and try to figure out what is causing this. It also could just be that my endometriosis is flared up and making me super sensitive to some foods right now. Life continues to be exciting!!!!

Our Hallmark Honeymoon has come to an end!

Chapter 12….the final chapter

Ugh i am beyond sad this week is over. I thought places like this only existed in movies. The small towns. The lakes. The people. It was the perfect place for the two of us!

Some fun and unique things we noticed while being in this area up north. No one has wraps or rice on their menus. Blue Gill and prime rib is very common at most restaurants. Also many different types of burgers. Up north is definitely s beef area as it was rare to see grilled chicken on the menu. The main soup at the majority of the restaurants is tomato basil. We may be close to Canada, but we didn’t see any Canadian geese that are everywhere back home. The only seagull sighting we saw was at Sutton’s Bay. We never saw one gym or yoga studio. The sidewalks roll up at about 5pm. The restaurants/bars only stay open until 10pm at the latest. Strangely it is very difficult to find an outdoor store that sells bait and tackle. The news never talks about COVID. You don’t have the crime up there so they news is actually uplifting. They even do a hunting and fishing segment every morning.

Fast food and chain restaurants do not exists! It’s glorious. You want coffee? Go to the local shop? You want a meal? Find a local restaurant. You want pizza? Find a local shop (there arent many) and go pick it up. No one delivers and there is no door dash. You need groceries? You either go to a local market or you make a trip to traverse city. There isn’t curb side service so you better be prepared to get out of your car. There are no drug stores, just a local pharmacy in some towns. J

They don’t have any street lights, but rather they have a large bulb on a wire hanging over the road when there is a cross road. i also love that there are no car dealerships, large buildings or senseless and excessive amounts of plazas.

Grayling MI
His odometer hit 55555 and he was very excited

We are safely home. We are missing the simple way of life and looking forward to visiting again!!!! Thanks for joining in on our adventures with us. Any recommendations for similar destinations in the US?

Sutton’s Bay

Chapter 9….

Wednesday evening we decided to check out the North Country bar and grill in Sutton’s Bay! What a quaint little town. It quickly became John’s favorite. Inside was rustic and the glossy wood was gorgeous. It had a small U shaped bar and less then 10 tables. It also had a heated patio on the side. We sat at a small table for 2. John was blown away with the fish options. I chose a cheeseburger with no bun that they grilled outside! John had the whitefish! We both had a salad with homemade croutons that had a sweet (and delicious) flavor!

After dinner we walked around the park and marina behind the bar. They had an adorable park on the sand and it made me miss my nanny kids. The library was just a cute house. The marina housed beautiful boats. Across Grand Traverse Bay you could see the cherry orchard!

A friendly tavern and fishing!

Chapter 8….

For lunch we stopped at Joe’s friendly tavern in Empire. Another very small town that reminded me of New Martinsville, WV. It had a store or two, a restaurant and a post office. The restaurant was like a small rustic diner. The servers were so friendly and the food was delicious.

After lunch John was itching to fish. We went back up North, just outside of Leland. We found a cute little park with tree trunk stairs leading down to the water. John didn’t catch anything but i think he just enjoyed fishing on the beautiful lake.

Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive

Chapter 7….

As we were driving back up north we saw a sign for a scenic tour. We thought hey why not. We honestly had no idea what we were in for but that’s what makes vacation fun. We are so glad we did this. It was like a behind the scenes tour of the dunes and some beautiful overlook spots of Lake Michigan. You basically drive around this large gorgeous park, through the woods, and then there are parking lots for photo opportunities. This is another must see when you are up at Sleeping Bear!

Small towns, good eats

Chapter 6….

For lunch we ate in the VERY small town of Cedar. Yes the sweet little town with the man in overalls. We ate at the Cedar Tavern. Honestly i think it was the only place to eat, but John saw it on the drive in and wanted to check it out. The inside was rustic and clean. It had a long bar and about a dozen tables. The bar tender and cook were the only 2 people working. There were several other couples eating inside and they all appeared to be locals. The chili was so good! Our lunch hit the spot and we were ready for the next adventure!

For dinner we ate at Dick’s Pour House. This is a bar and grill closer to our cabin. This restaurant was very outdoorsy and John loved it. Our waitress was Roseanne. You know the sitcom? Yep it was her and i loved it. Our food was was really good. John had smelt and he was very excited this was even on the menu!

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Chapter 5….

Tuesday afternoon we dedicated to climbing the dunes. It’s miles of loose sand and the higher you go, the more beautiful the view. You are surrounded by Lake Michigan, farm land and Glen Lake. The climb can be strenuous at times, but i promise it’s worth it. Also doesn’t hurt to be in decent shape when planning on climbing to the top! Enjoy the tons of photos we took!

Sleeping Bear Point

Chapter 4…

Next stop….Sleeping Bear Point. We actually didn’t set out to go here, but on our way to the dunes we saw a sign. First we stopped to check out the old Glen Haven village. Although once a place where docks supplied fuel to steamers, it quickly became a village of farming, canning fruit and now tourism. There are only a few buildings. One is a general store, the second is an old blacksmith building and the large building on the water is the old cannery. This large building was a warehouse where they canned cherries in the early 1920’s. Today it is used as a small museum of historic boats that were used around Glen Haven.

After our tour of the village we headed just down the street to the old coast guard station and life saving building. Inside the museum Mary showed us all the boats and equipment they used from 1902-1939. The Lyle gun was my favorite. They fired this rescue line to boats in distress and used a pulley system to retrieve a stranded boat. The station moved because the sand dunes started to bury it. Behind the building are the tracks they used to transport the boats to and from the water!

Glen Arbor Township

Chapter 3….

Good morning from paradise! This morning we woke up and it was chilly! Fall is definitely right around the corner. We woke up a little bit before sunrise and the inn keepers were just setting up the coffee and oatmeal bar on the main porch. This was just steps away from our cabin and the coffee was SO GOOD!!!

We headed down the M22 to check out another small town, Glen Arbor. As soon as we hit the town we were so excited to get out and walk around. We had breakfast at a small corner bar. Arts Tavern definitely had the small town feel. The decor was sporty and every inch was covered with pennants from every sports team and college in the US!

After breakfast we walked to the lake. It was windy but the water was beautiful. The blue and green was so vibrant and no matter how deep the lake is, you can see the bottom. The sand is soft and very fine. I can’t believe I’m standing on Lake Michigan. I feel like I’m in the Caribbean!

We headed back down the road to explore the town some more. It was quiet and were the only tourists. This town is full of old buildings and unique art pieces. The have a small post office, book store, gallery, clothing stores, ice cream shops, a fudge shop, a small plaza with a hair salon, lawyers office and clothing store. They also have a small outdoor store, real estate office and winery.

We stopped inside the Cherry Republic shop. This was a beautiful little spot. They had a retails shop, a fresh cherry stand, a restaurant and a wine tasting building. They sell more cherry based products then you could even imagine. This place was founded in 1989 and every year it continues to grow.