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    An Afternoon on Mackinac Island

    Since we were so close and it’s probably Mom’s last summer in Michigan, we decided to do a quick day trip to Mackinac Island. We were there last year for the Lilac Festival 10K.

    It’s about a 15 minute ferry ride from the mainland to the island. We passed the Mackinac Bridge, which connects the lower peninsula of Michigan to the upper peninsula. (We drove across it last year with David’s family while on vacation!) The Chicago to Mackinac sailboat race going on that day:

     

    Mackinac Bridge

     

    As you approach the island, you can see the Grand Hotel. It’s the setting for the movie Somewhere in Time:

     

    The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island

     

    We spent the afternoon walking around and looking at the cute shops. Mackinac is unique because no cars are allowed on the island. I think they might have a fire truck and an emergency vehicle, but other than that, you get around by foot, bike, or horse.

     

    Mackinac Shops

     

    Mackinac bikes

     

    You have to watch out for horse pies when you walk across the street!

     

    Horse drawn carriage

     

    Mackinac Island is known for its fudge:

     

    Fudge Makers on Mackinac Island

     

    We had lunch at Mary’s Bistro:

     

    Mary's Bistro on Mackinac Island

     

    David got a lamb and bleu cheese burger, I had a crab salad sandwich, and Mom had crab cake sliders. Yum!

     

    Mary's Bistro Lunch on Mackinac Island

     

    The island is absolutely beautiful! It was a gorgeous, sunny day.

     

    Mackinac Island

     

    We walked up to the Grand Hotel. Mom, Mary, and I have stayed at the hotel before. It’s very fancy and formal. After 6 pm, they require women to be in dresses or skirts and men to be in suits. There’s a fee to look inside if you’re not a guest.

     

    outsidegrandhotel

     

    However, there was no fee to eat at the new Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor connected to the hotel!

     

    sadiesicecream

     

    More Hudsonville Ice Cream! Mmmm!

     

    sadies

     

    Mackinac Island is one of my favorite places in Michigan!

     

    Kites on the Mackinac Island pier

     

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    Life is Better at the Lake

    My aunt and uncle own a lake cottage and invited us up north last weekend. (Up north is a very Michigan term… it usually refers to the top of the mitten.) Oh, the memories we’ve made at the cottage! My family has visited the cottage during summers and Christmases for as long as I can remember. There’s 10 cousins on that side of the family and the girls are all stair step in age to each other.

    We had lots of fun playing with my cousin’s daughter, Cammy! She’s 2 and a half and absolutely precious. She loves to swim, build castles, play with Yo-Zoe (Zoey the dog), and blow bubbles:

     

    Blowing bubbles with Cammy

     

    We laughed and laughed that she had named her doll Lois. Here’s Aunt Lois and Baby Doll Lois:

     

    Aunt Lois and doll Lois

     

    It’s tradition at the cottage to write your name on a cup and reuse it during your stay. We had two Davids this weekend, so my David got a little creative with his cup:

     

    Weekend cups

     

    David purchased a fishing license and woke up early to go fishing with Uncle Marv.

     

    Sunrise while fishing

     

    They caught 4 or 5 fish the first morning:

     

    David holding a fish

     

    We had large mouth bass for dinner and they were delicious. David learned how to fillet them!

     

    Uncle Marv holding a fish

     

    Fishermen

     

    The weather was perfect and we enjoyed swimming, boat rides, and tubing. My arms are still store from hanging on so tight:

     

    Wiping out while tubing

     

    It was the first time my cousin Kendra’s boyfriend had gone tubing:

     

    Kendra and David tubing

     

    Cammy loved, loved, loved her watermelon. She had 3 big slices one meal. “I need more watermelon, Yee-ah!”

     

    Cammy loves watermelon!

     

    We had so much fun catching up with everyone, playing games like Four on a Couch and Loaded Questions, sharing meals together, and getting some sun. We couldn’t have asked for better weather or company!

     

    The family at the cottage

     

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    A Morning in Grand Rapids, Michigan

    My mom had a meeting in Grand Rapids, Michigan and invited David and me to come along. Grand Rapids is less than an hour and a half from where we live. While she was in her meeting, we killed some time around the downtown area. We had breakfast at Bagel Beanery, which had delicious bagels, cream cheese, and coffee.

    After figuring out how to get to it, we stopped at La Grande Vitesse. It’s a beautiful steel sculpture by American artist Alexander Calder located in front of Grand Rapids City Hall.

     

    Grand Rapids, Michigan City Hall

     

    La Grande Vitesse

     

    La Grande Vitesse

     

    La Grande Vitesse

     

    La Grande Vitesse

     

    La Grande Vitesse

     

    After that, we walked through the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. Ford was from Grand Rapids and was the 38th president of the United States. He was appointed after Nixon resigned. I learned a lot about the Watergate scandal from walking through the museum.

     

    Gerald Ford Museum

     

    They had fun memorabilia from the 1970’s.  Pet rock, anyone?

     

    Pet Rock in Gerald Ford Museum

     

    I thought these invitations were funny. They were for Gerald Ford’s wedding brunch. The options for “unable to come” are:

      • My wife is pregnant
      • I am in jail
      • I am a Democrat
      • The bank foreclosed
      • I am going hunting
      • Never could stand Ford
      • I am reading the Kinsey Report

     

    Gerald Ford Brunch Invitation

     

    It’s kind of fun being a tourist in your home state!

     

    Presidential Seal - Gerald Ford Museum

     

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    Roses, roses!

    Turkey has so many beautiful roses! They were in bloom when we came in August, and there’s so many in bloom even this month.

     

    Roses in Cappadocia, Turkey

     

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    The Atatürk Mausoleum in Ankara

    Last weekend two friends and I visited Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Atatürk was the first president and founder of Turkey. The museum was a short dolmuş ride from where we live, located just outside of Kızılay.

    Outside the memorial was an area called Peace Park. It had really lovely landscaping and flowers:

     

    Turkish flag garden display

     

    Entrance to the mausoleum was free!

     

    Atatürk Mausoleum

     

    There were traditional and ceremonial guards at the entrance:

     

    Guard at Anıtkabir

     

    Reliefs at Anıtkabir

     

    We went into the museum, but photography was not allowed. It featured items and gifts that belonged to Atatürk and had a large section about different battles in Turkey. Near the end, it had Atatürk’s library. There was so much history! I learned Atatürk adopted 13 children.

    The Hall of Honor holds Atatürk’s tomb:

     

    Anıtkabir Hall of Honor

     

    Ceiling design

     

    Guard at Anıtkabir

     

    It was an overcast day and we got a little rain, but enjoyed checking out Anıtkabir!

     

    Friends

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    Spring Break Part 3: Back in Amsterdam

    We got back into Amsterdam in the late afternoon and spent some time picking up a few souvenirs at the tulip market. We walked around the city for a while, got some food, and enjoyed the canals!

     

    Amsterdam canal

     

    Amsterdam canal

     

    We headed to the airport the next morning and got back into Ankara late Friday evening. It’s amazing how a little time off from school can refuel you!

     

    » Read Spring Break Part 1: Amsterdam
    » 
    Read Spring Break Part 2: Bruges

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