Michigan – Now I Get It!

Photo credit - Heather LauGuest blogger Yvonne Bingaman may not live in Michigan, but her heart belongs here. Read about a special mother and daughter vacation to Pure Michigan, and how her mom now “gets it.”

I’ve been visiting Michigan for several years, ever since I passed through on a road trip headed to Iowa. I wasn’t even supposed to stay the night, but I ended up spending three. The next year I returned to spend a week there.

Last year I decided I wanted to take a road trip with my Mom. It seemed like she could use the time away, and some mother/daughter bonding time is always good. I pondered where to take her for several days but kept coming back around to my home away from home, Michigan.

She had never been to Michigan as a tourist so she was looking forward to it, although I think she was a little skeptical.

Photo credit - Yvonne BingamanI took her to South Haven to see the lighthouse, beach, and shops. Then we headed to Holland to take in the Dutch Village and Delft Pottery. We continued up Lake Michigan to Grand Haven where we walked out to the lighthouse and beach. Then we cut across the center of the state and headed north. I know she was looking forward to the trip to Mackinac Island, so it was no surprise that she was excited when we arrived in Mackinaw City.

Michigan Memories of a Mother and Daughter Vacation - Photo credit - Yvonne Bingaman

Michigan Memories of a Mother and Daughter Vacation

Going against my normal policy, I made a reservation at the Quality Inn, in Mackinaw City. I requested a room on Lake Huron. They obliged and we had a room on the first floor with sliders to the beach and the beautiful lake. We also had a great view of the Mackinac Bridge and the ferries returning from the island. Of course, I knew this is what we would get because I had stayed at this hotel previously and been totally amazed at the view. Mom was amazed too. After we checked in, we were sitting there watching the lake and she said “this is so peaceful, it’s just perfect”. Then I hit her with my surprise…that if she’d like we could stay an extra night there. She lit up like a little kid on Christmas. We took the ferry to the island, took a carriage ride, and bought fudge. When we returned, we sat on the beach, sipped wine, and listened to the waves. It was indeed peaceful and far from the hectic world we normally live in. The next day we took a trip to Whitefish Point just to show Mom my favorite place. We returned again to our place on the beach. We tried, with no success, to get a fire started in the fire ring but everything was wet from the rain the previous day. It didn’t matter; we enjoyed it just the same.

It was here in this perfect spot on Lake Huron that Mom told me, “I never understood why you would keep going back to Michigan, but now I get it”.

When we left there we stopped at Frankenmuth and enjoyed a delicious chicken dinner. It was a nice way to end the trip but that time we spent sitting on the Lake Huron beach was what the trip was all about. A chance to share a very special place with my Mom and create forever memories for us both.

Yvonne BingamanAlthough born and raised in Maryland, Yvonne considers Michigan her true home. It is when she is wandering on the beaches of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior that she finds true inner peace. She and her husband travel to Michigan as often as possible, and hope that when they retire they can spend their summers here.

  • Renee Johnston

    Yvonne, Im from Michigan, and moved first to Lubbock, TX and then to Hobbs, Nm going on 3 years now, and I so miss my Michigan! That is exactly where my heart is so I completely unstand your story! Very awesome story by the way!

  • gw

    yes, born in MINNESOTA, raised in TEXAS, moved to Michigan at age 16. Goodness but what can beat our Great Lakes. Thank goodness we are in the north and cold in winter or we would be over run with tourists, as it is we still get a lot of visitors, WATER, LAKES, PINES. just so amazing.

  • Cindy Ruschke

    Come visit us in the Alpena area!

  • Patti and Mark Burnett

    We are from NW Ohio area and we made our first trip to Michigan this past summer. We traveled to Silver Lake on the west coast of Michigan to camp. We absolutely fell in love with the area!!! We are orginially from NNY and this reminded us of home — so its our NEW home away from home! The area was just indescribible — clean, warm and welcoming! We are already planning our next trip back north –oh how i wish I had alot of vacation or was retired to spend more time up north in Michigan!! There is nothing like “Pure Michigan” for sure!!

  • Melody Williston

    We just got back from a hiking trip in the Porkies! Michigan is definitely an awesome place. I grew up in South Haven, 2 blocks from the Lake. My boyfriend grew up in the thumb area, together we love the UP alot. Michigan has alot to offer. On our way home we slowly dragged our feet, stopping at Munising and Mackinaw City. I love the smell of pines, the sandy beaches and the hiking trails. Pure Michigan!

  • brenda

    What’s NOT to love in Michigan??? This IS Paradise on Earth!!! <3<3<3 me some Lake Michigan, muah!!! Btw, I live in Kazoo and am a South Haven FAN . . .

  • Joseph Elden

    My wife and I are avid campers and have now pounded a tent stake or parked a travel trailer in 32 different Michigan State Parks, from Sterling in the Southeast corner all the way to the Porkies. This year we will do our first autumn color in the U.P.

  • Mary

    I was born and raised in California, but moved to Michigan a few years ago when I married my Michigan-born-and-raised husband. We don’t live there anymore, but oh! How I miss it! We lived up in Northern Michigan, and it is so unbelievably beautiful there! Although I lived in California my entire life, nothing has felt so much like home as it does in Michigan.

  • Lisa

    I’ve grown up in Michigan, and spent my summer vacations here…. I’m passing the tradition on to my daughter, and now our summer vacations are spent along the Lake Michigan Shore with three generations…. We could go anywhere for our summer vacations, but always decide that this is the best place to be and always will….. Summer in Michigan is the best !!!

  • Denise

    I was born in East Detroit and had to move at age 12 to Ohio. I am 46 now and miss my home state still. My husband who was born and raised in Ohio is now a huge Michigan fan. We go to lots of Red Wings And Tigers games and this coming weekend we are going up to Oscoda. I grew up going to Oscoda for vacations and my parents even owned property that overlooked the Au Sable Dam. Oscoda holds a very special place in my heart and my memory and I can’t wait to share it with him and my 3 year old daughter. We are going to start taking more weekend getaways in Michigan. I really want him to experience Lake Superior, Frankenmuth, Mackinac Island, and the U.P.

  • Marcia

    I was raised in Fenton, Michigan. My dad, a civil engineer, had projects all around Michigan, and my family camped and traveled all around the state during summer vacations when I was a kid. Our grandparents lived in Hancock, so we also traveled all around the UP. After college, I moved to the east coast. Though I enjoyed trips to the ocean while living in Delaware and Pennsylvania, I kept telling people about the Great Lakes: how they look like an ocean, without the salt, tides, and stinging jellyfish. My yearly visits home were never long enough! I eventually returned to live in Michigan after nineteen years away, and am so happy I did. Even my Ohio-born husband, who now works for a West Michigan beach town, also loves camping and kayaking in Michigan and traveling to our family camp on Lake Superior in the Western UP. No place is better than Pure Michigan!!

  • Jamie T.

    I am very proud to say that I was born and raised in this great state. I have traveled around Michigan on vacations or work most of my life, from Detroit to Copper Harbor, yet I am still surprised at the new places or historical facts I learn about. There is so much to do, so many great people, and so many great places to go it will take years to experience it all. I do go to the U.P. a lot and I agree with Yvonne White fish point holds a place in my heart also. I go there in the winter and I have never experienced fresh air like that, anywhere! “Pure Michigan” is a greatly kept secret that you have to see for yourself to believe.

  • Yvonne Bingaman

    Jamie – My travel blog has another article about Whitefish Point if you are interested, http://roadtripsoftheusa.wordpress.com/2011/07/28/whitefish-point-light-andthe-gales-of-november/ . I’ve never seen it in winter but I’m sure it is amazing.

  • Carol Feltman

    Once you have lived or visited Michigan—your heart always tucks the beauty of the state away. I was born in MI, but have lived all over the states from East Coast, Gulf Coast and now the Northwest in WA. All beautiful places, but none ever compare to the serenity and beauty of my home state.
    I am so glad you Mom “got it”—-welcome home :)

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