Our Amazing Return Visit To Spring Lake, Michigan

2 months ago our family took the most lovely vacation to Spring Lake, Michigan. We rented a cottage literally on the lake and we spent a week frolicking in the water, playing in the sand, eating delicious food, and quarantining ourselves in the most wonderfully safe way. Before we even left, my husband had booked us a return visit over Labor Day weekend and we literally counted down the days from the second we got home until this last weekend. Read all about our first trip to Spring Lake HERE.

I mean…how could we NOT want to return when this was our backyard???

(For another video of this gorgeous view, check out my video on THIS POST)

I spent this last trip reading The Lies That Bind {Emily Giffin}(affiliate). It was the only book that I read while I was there and finished about 2 hours before we left to come home. I will have my full review posted later this week!

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I present to you…the best meal of the trip. Village Baker PERFECTION. We ate there not once, not twice, but THREE times over a 2 day span. IT’S SO DELICIOUS AND BEAUTIFUL THERE. One of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to. Absolutely love it there.

2 eggs, cheddar cheese, grilled Asiago cheese scone. And heaven. Little bits of heaven sprinkled in throughout. Omgggggg…..

We found a gorgeous bike trail in Hart, Michigan. Stunning bike ride AND every street sign has a heart on it?! My dream town 🙂

Back at our cottage, my husband and my kids spent hours fishing and caught so many fish! My choice: The Lies That Bind > squirming, bloody fish.

Meanwhile…

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My favorite Amazon product traveled with me!

Early morning reading by the lake while everyone else was still sleeping. THE BEST.

View from outside the kitchen window. So breathtaking, right? See that chair and table? Still set up from my reading scenario the previous day. LOVE.

Wouldn’t be a vacation without me noticing the local library as we drove past, lol.

I saw these earrings in a gorgeous beachside boutique and I think they might be the best thing I’ve ever seen. The Golden Girls! The Clintons! Donald Trump! Rebecca and Jack Pearson! Macaulay Culkin! Meghan and Harry! Justin Bieber! The cast of Friends! Justin Timberlake! Beyonce and Jay Z! Taylor Swift! Omgggggggggggg

Kim and Kayne! I WAS DYING.

Love this sign so, so much.

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. IT’S NOT HARD, PEOPLE.

This was actually our 6th visit to beautiful Michigan and each time we come, we fall more and more in love with the picturesque beach towns, the gorgeous water, the friendly people, and the delicious food. 2 years ago, Jon and I came for 4 days all alone while my parents watched our kids. It was quiet, relaxing, and lovely! You can read about that trip HERE.

During that trip 2 years ago, I came across the cutest coffee mug in one of the stores in Grand Haven. I even took a picture with it:

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I’m not sure why I didn’t buy it but that mug has literally haunted me for the past 2 years. When we were shopping in downtown Grand Haven this past July, I was determined to figure out which store I found it at and to see if by some miracle they still had it! I described the store to another shop owner in the area who immediately told me where the shop was located. I was so excited! I went straight there…and discovered that half of it is now a dog products store (??) and the other half is now a toy store…and although they DID randomly have tons of mugs, none were mine. I even sat there and went through EVERY. SINGLE. MUG. BOX. in search of my special mug. Nothing. The man working gave me the name of another store down the strip which had bought lots of the goods from the store when it was divided up. So….I dragged my family to yet ANOTHER store in search of my mug. Found the store, did not find the mug. I went into a bunch of other stores on the strip in hopes that THEY might have it and…nothing. I was brokenhearted but accepted that it just wasn’t meant to be.

Fast forward 2 months later and we were in the brand new to us town of Pentwater, Michigan (side note: LOVED THIS TOWN). My daughter and I were walking through an adorably cluttered store where you literally had to look evvvvvvvvverywhere because there was so much to look at. I spy old school trolls (the BEST) on the ceiling!

So her and I were walking along when suddenly…

I grabbed her arm and just stared. She followed my eyes and exclaimed, “CUP OF HAPPY!” This mug is even more beautiful than the original and so much more “me”. Totally meant to be. SOLD. I have happily used it every single day since we’ve been back.

Best, happiest souvenir. Literally brings me such joy when I use it! Totally worth the 2 year wait.

Thank you, Michigan, for once again providing our family with the very best memories. Already trying to figure out when we can return!

I hope you had a lovely long Labor Day weekend! I’ll have my review of The Lies That Bind posted later this week!

Xo,

Jenny

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Our Amazing Getaway to Spring Lake, Michigan

As soon as the pandemic started, my husband immediately began researching lake houses that we could rent.  We wanted a place where we could safely socially distance from others and give our kids wonderful memories.  After months of searching online, he found us the perfect cottage located in Spring Lake, Michigan.  We booked it and immediately I started writing out my list of what to bring in my new Erin Condren planner.  I actually laughed and grabbed my phone to snap a picture when I realized what the very first items were that I had just written. These were clearly quite high on my priority list of items not to forget!  Eventually this entire page was filled with things to bring once I had those first 3 items written down, lol.

And somehow those 3 items morphed into this:

We stopped for lunch in one of our favorite towns…Saugatuck, Michigan.  (Although indoor seating was available at restaurants, we always chose to eat outside at the restaurants we went to).

We arrived at our cottage and the view from our new backyard literally took our breath away.  Perfection.

Catching frogs!

On our very first morning there, my daughter and I woke up before anyone else and snuck outside to read with a view.  I ended up doing this every single morning we were there and it was just as peaceful and blissful as it looks.

Eventually my son woke up and joined us.  American Dirt for me, Babysitters Club book #2 for my daughter, and dinosaur and Elmo books for my son.

So, so happy.

We drove past this hotel and I immediately thought of The Sun Down Hotel!  AHHHHHH!  THIS is EXACTLY how I pictured that hotel to look, even down to the sign.  Such a better image than the one on the cover of the book based upon the descriptions written.  The cover of that book is GORGEOUS but this is such a better representation of how I imagined that hotel to look as I was reading (you can read my review of The Sun Down Motel HERE).

My daughter and my husband fishing!  The view from our dining room window.  So amazing, right?!

Bike ride through a gorgeous forest…

Traveling during a global pandemic definitely was a strange experience.

Obsessed.

Cherry picking!

There was a swan family and a duck family who came to visit us each day.

After being in the lake all day, it felt great to take a shower and feel pretty 🙂

Fact: lobster rolls are in my top 5 favorite foods of all time.  If there is a lobster roll on a menu, I will never even consider ordering anything else.

I brought my laptop thinking that blogging by the lake would be such fun!  This picture would be the exact spot that my computer sat from the moment we arrived until the moment we left.  Never even opened the bag, lol.

Dirt road leading to our private oasis.

One afternoon we sat down to an outdoor restaurant and this was my view.  Ummm YES PLEASE.  As soon as the order was placed, my daughter and I literally JUMPED up to go and check it out!

Oh it was so lovely!  I didn’t take any pictures inside because I was trying not to touch my phone but I could have spent hours upon hours in there.  It was amazing.  We didn’t have nearly enough time but both her and I did manage to each find a treasure to buy.  I was excited to find a book by the same author as The Housekeeper which I really enjoyed (read my review HERE).  My daughter bought a present for my son which he loved!  I had such a nice conversation with the man working and I promised that I would come back!  If you are ever in the area, you need to check this place out…

Pontoonin’!  Always drinking hot coffee, even in 90 degree weather 🙂

So handsome.

I read 1 page on that boat.  Literally 1 page.

My husband took this video and I had no idea…

 

“I’m crushing this!!!” LOL

And now I present to you the most delicious meal of the trip.  Goat cheese, strawberries, walnuts, maple balsamic vinaigrette, and added grilled chicken breast.  OMG.  I loved it so much that I went back a few days later and ordered a second one to go to have for lunch the following day!  Here is a link to the restaurant if you are ever in the area.  DELICIOUS.

Lake lunch 🙂  Day 2 of THE SALAD.

Perfect magnet in a cute Grand Haven boutique.  #truth

Cutest coffee mug from one of our delicious breakfasts.

6 mile family bike ride.  Best bike ride of my life, it was so beautiful!

My family totally indulged me when I yelled “I SEE A LITTLE FREE LIBRARY!”  The 3 of them immediately pulled over to wait for me as I turned my bike around and headed straight back to this little gem:

None of the books caught my eye but for about 20 seconds I debated taking this bookmark ONLY because so many of you ALWAYS call me out for folding down the pages of books, lol.  BUT…then I remembered that I love folding those pages so I left the bookmark right where I found it to become a treasure for someone with better book manners than I 😉

After 6 miles we were SWEATY and desperately needed water.  We found a local farmer’s market and immediately asked where the water was.  The lady watched our 4 faces fall when she told us that there weren’t any vendors selling water!  We accepted our fate and started shopping for other things.  A few minutes later, she quietly told me that she had 3 bottles of water for her personal use but that I could buy them off of her!  DONE.  Wife and Mother of the year when I presented those bottles to my family!  As we were leaving the market sipping our delicious water, the farmer’s market organizer asked where we got them.  I answered “black market” 🙂

We left with fresh raspberries, fresh blueberries, honey sticks, a loaf of bread, and the most delicious water anyone has ever tasted.  Delightful.

And suddenly it was our last day of our perfect getaway.  As my husband and I sat on the beach watching our kids SO happily frolicking in the lake, he pulled out his phone and booked us a return trip for Labor Day weekend!  YESSSSSSSSS!  Best husband and father.  Countdown starts NOW!

And now…we are back home.  Breakfast on our first day back included farmer’s market blueberries and also a mug that I bought from one of my favorite restaurants that I have ever been to 🙂  If you are ever in the area, my whole family and I HIGHLY recommend this restaurant!  This beautiful mug with it’s beautiful memories will make me smile for many years to come.

Michigan cherries have been turned into Illinois muffins!  My husband and my kids say they are the best muffins they have ever had!  Mama for the WIN!  🙂 🙂 🙂

AND I have quite successfully recreated my new favorite salad down to the homemade salad dressing!  NAILED IT!

Thank you all so much for reading about our adventure!  We had the very best week filled with the very best memories.  Socially distanced perfection!

Thank you for allowing me to take a break from talking about books to share a bit of my personal life with you 🙂  As you can see I have been doing lots of reading…and I have 2 book reviews to write and publish for you ASAP!

I hope you all had a wonderful week filled with love and books!

You can read about our trip to Michigan that we took last fall (without our kids!) HERE.

Xo,

Jenny

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

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A Lovely 1 Day Vacation

There is a beautiful beach town located a little over an hour away from my house with a gorgeous lake, lovely stores, and delicious food.  We visit each summer just for a day and it’s such a wonderful little getaway, it truly feels like a vacation!

I didn’t take many pictures because I was too busy enjoying the day with my family (I didn’t even take any photos of the sparkling lake) but here are a few!

In this post  I talked about when I was pregnant with my son and bought him an antique lampshade from an antique store in Wisconsin before I even knew he was boy…here is the store today and the exact spot where that lampshade sat all those years ago:

Tip: Anything is more beautiful when you use a book to display it.

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin is a gorgeous beach town filled with beautiful stores, restaurants (eat at Popeyes…not the fast food restaurant…and request a table with a window water view), boats, homemade fudge, and so much more.

Behind the main strip of stores is a very old and beautiful church which has been converted into gorgeous shops. One of my favorite fancy children’s clothing boutiques of all time was located inside that former church and each summer I would buy TONS of clothing for my daughter. The boutique has since closed (breaks my heart to see it vacant) but tucked behind it still stands a teeny tiny itty bitty bookshop. Of course I had to stop and the people in there were just lovely!  We had a wonderful conversation and they proudly showed me numerous books written by local authors.

Breadloaf Bookshop:

Random photos from the beautiful boutiques…

A baby onesie that made me legit laugh out loud. Hilarious!

Love this:

I posted this story on Instagram…watch both clips for the full story:

 

And also from Instagram, I’m obsessed with my new piece of artwork that I bought that day. Can’t wait to hang this!

We ate shrimp salad while watching the boats on the water, played at a local playground, and of course made a stop at the famous Anderson’s Candy Shop on our drive home to bring back chocolate covered pretzels for my husband.  While we were having such a fun day, he spent the day at work.  We missed you, Babe!  Thank you for working so hard for us!

My daughter came home with a beautiful new skirt, my son came home with a dinosaur coloring book, I bought a pretty necklace and 2 gorgeous shirts, and we also came home with this.  It was on display in one of the boutiques.  It was SO COOL and my kids and I were ALL IN.  Even minimalists like me need to crack for completely unnecessary purchases sometimes 🙂

Another tradition is that I always buy my best friend a scarf from a certain store in Lake Geneva whenever I go!  Her and I share a scarf obsession and this store always has the best ones.  Here is this year’s gift for Amy:

And finally…my daughter’s principal told the students that if they send her a postcard over the summer, they will get to eat a fun lunch with her when they return to school in the fall 🙂  My daughter stood and went through every single postcard before deciding on this one (it’s hard to see but it’s made of foil and sparkly.  It was 3 times the price of all of the other postcards…but my daughter is fancy like me.  I totally get it.  Why buy a plain postcard when you could buy one that sparkles?!?).  She wrote her principal a message on the back and we mailed it off to school first thing Friday morning.  Perfect.

Thank you for a lovely getaway, Lake Geneva!  Can’t wait to return next summer!

Xo,

Jenny

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

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