Canuck Seeking A Pleasant Peninsula Pleasantly Surprised

Thanks to Mary Archer for sharing her story about her visit to Michigan.  We love hearing from our audience, so if you’d like to submit a guest blog entry, visit our guest blogger information page to learn how. 

I’ll be the first to admit it, I’m not a fan of traveling. In fact I am quite happy to stay within a 10 km. radius (or 6.12 miles) of my house.  Everything I need to survive and I’m okay with it.  Now (and no offense) one place that I feel a little out of sorts with is traveling out of the country. Like I said, I’m a homebody. So you can imagine the way I felt when I found out my daughter had accepted a softball scholarship at the University of Michigan. It meant I would have to visit. 

Sunset Mist GladwinFast forward a couple months and I’m getting everything ready to make my first trip down to visit my daughter.  Passport - check. Google Map - check. In fact, looking at my bags it looked like I was getting ready to move there. It’s a long drive to where I planned to spend my first night in Sault Ste. Marie. By the end of the first leg of the trip I was pretty exhausted.  What a shame because it seemed like a charming community. Fall is my favourite time of year and what a glorious time it was to be in Michigan. Unlike Ontario, the temperate forest painted such vivid and robust yellows and oranges that it felt like I was driving through an oil painting. I decided that I would take an extra day off when I came back to go explore this beautiful landscape and do some hiking in Gladwin State Forest.  

Well the drive sure did fly by to Ann Arbor. It was even a little longer because I couldn’t resist exploring all these wonderful little towns. If you’re into finding treasures I found plenty of wonderful antique shops, but my personal favorite was the one I found in Bay City which was aptly named the “Bay Antique Center” (1010 N. Water Bay City 48708). I found a beautiful little brooch which I knew my daughter would love as well as a couple other little gifts for Christmas. It was so interesting to learn about the unique history of Michigan. I recommend that people stop in at all the little roadside points of interest. It’s like getting a museum admission for the price of gas. 

Well no sooner than two days since my little adventure started, I got to see my daughter. She even had a surprise for me that evening and we had a wonderful little “tapas” (or appetizers) at a funky little eatery called the Sweetwaters Cafe (123 West Washington Street) and caught a show at the Ann Arbor Civic Theater. It sure was a wonderful evening.  My daughter insisted we walk and I’m glad we did. Such a lively city with so much going on. 

Well the weekend ended faster than I would have liked but I had to be getting back to my regular life. I made plans to come back though for a skiing adventure in Big Powderhorn over Christmas with the rest of the family and we are really looking forward to it.  I’ve heard the snow amazing and if the pictures on the website are real I won’t be disappointed. The only part I didn’t care for was twisting my ankle at a rest stop outside of West Branch. Considering I work for an insurance agency in Canada, it seemed a little silly that I didn’t get travel insurance (seems I packed everything but!). I decide to hightail it for the border. Oh well, you live and you learn. One thing I did learn was that traveling out of your comfort zone is pretty rewarding, especially in Michigan. 


Mary Archer lives in Ontario and works for the Canadian insurance website She enjoys reading, gardening, and spending time with her family.  Let Mary know what you thought of her story by leaving a comment below.