Hello from Union Pier, Michigan! This morning the family and I embarked on a journey across the great state of Michigan which ended in a little town just north of the Indiana border. Kevin and I had been here to a wonderful place called the Pine Garth Inn about 12 years ago and we were pampered and well fed and luxuriated on the beaches of Lake Michigan. This was pre-kids….we have returned to this little town once since when Mairen was about 2 1/2 and Declan was about 6 months old…..not nearly as pampered or well fed (unless you consider baby food and lentils for my vegetarian daughter well fed). Since then we have spent nearly every summer in West Michigan on the Lake for a week or so enjoying the simple pleasures of sand castle building, body surfing and fly and mosquito swatting. Two summers ago (our last time in these parts) the black flies were such a force to be reckoned with that even on the beach we were constantly being nibbled at. This summer is better….the beach is nearly free of flies and mosquitos and the water is remarkably warm for late June.
We left the house around 10 after having handed off the key to the office to my brother Chuck and handed off the e-MDs installation discs to Nick, the engineer, and with the back of our van crammed with food and luggage and kids we started off. By 10:10 the inevitable question was first uttered, ‘how long until we get there?’ We hadn’t even left Birmingham yet! Thank goodness for portable DVD players! Now when the kids were younger I absolutely poo-pooed the use of these portable babysitters and even thought those folks with the dvd players built into their cars were sort of sad since they were so interested in being disconnected from their kids. About 2 years ago I became a convert. To drive the nearly 4 hours without having to hear things like, ‘he’s touching me’ or ‘stop looking at me’ or ‘you are breathing too loud’ was magical. I arrived at our destination and actually wanted to get out of the car and be with the kids rather than running, screaming in the other direction. The vacation started with a wonderful happy closeness and I have a portable dvd player to thank. Anyhoo, we stopped in Marshall along the way for lunch at the Corner Cafe and sat outside in the sun for our midday meal. We plugged along and arrived at Union Pier in plenty of time to explore our cottage (a gem!) and the beach and water (fantastic!).
The little cottage we have rented looks quite plain on the outside but inside is wonderfully decorated and filled with comfortable furniture. Beautiful prints, bright yellow walls, a skylight and windows galore are at the front of the house with a screened porch the size of a living room attached. The kitchen is small but beautifully appointed and the dishes don’t look like the mis-matched hand-me-downs or flea market finds I am used to. This place is both inviting and relaxing and very easy to live in. NICE
On the way out, I made a few phone calls and other than answering a few emails I have been blissfully unplugged. This is a wonderful and necessary thing at times. I am loving the time away and the time with my kids.
Eat, love and play and each day will be your best!
Molly O’Shea, MD Birmingham Pediatrics + Wellness Center