So I have constantly been thinking about this post and literally have thought about writing it everyday since we actually got back. We had an awesome time on our second anniversary trip. We did end up going like 9 days early cuz we have had weddings the weekend before and after our actual anniversary which is October 2. So here was our story....
Thursday night the 20th after Ben and I got out of work we headed straight up to Mackinaw City to our hotel. We stayed here every night to make it easy and more relaxing not switching hotels every night. So we got in about midnight and just unloaded and walked around the hotel a little bit and checked out our view from our room balcony. Which was awesome we could see the bridge lit up at night and it was beautiful! ... and a little cold.
First off I have only been to the U.P. briefly one time and didn't go far in and only to a few spots on one day so this was all new for me.
Friday morning we woke up and ate a big breakfast (we ate at the hotel every morning) and then headed out for our day trip to the U.P.. Let me just say right now the weather wasn't the best the whole weekend but we didn't care. So it was raining our whole ride over the bridge and all the way up to Tahquamenon Falls. The whole time I am glued to the window looking for Moose. I desperately wanted to see one. Actually any wildlife at all! We get to the falls and its raining pretty hard so Ben and I go into the gift shop and look around for awhile. The rain slowed to a light rain and we thought that would be the best time to go. So we headed down the path towards the falls and by the time we got to the first staircase to head down to the brim of the falls it was raining hard. When we got down and I am ready to take pictures at the brim, its downright pouring. So Ben is holding an umbrella over me while I am trying to take the best pictures I can through the rain. So back up we went, (I had to rest, holy cow all those stairs are exhausting) and back over to the the second set of stairs to walk down to the rivers edge to get some pictures of the falls from the different view of being down and not up. By the time we finished that set and conquered all the stairs, the rain had let up for the most part and we were hungry from all the walking so we ate right there at the Falls restaurant and brewery. It was about 2 and we didn't want to ruin dinner so we just split some appetizers and of course Ben got a brewery sampler! After that since the rain had lightened up we went to Oswalds Bear Ranch. Completely awesome! We were a little disappointed that there was a federal law passed that apparently we aren't allowed to pet or hold the bears anymore but we still had a really fun time watching all the bears interact and Ben had so much feeding them apples. He of course had to feed apples to like every bear in every cage and I think we spent more money on apples then we did to visit there haha. However he did get the bears to do some pretty cool stuff for those apples. We would definitely go back there or recommend it to anyone. If you have a soft heart for animals its definitely worth it. Next we drove and took some off the beaten path roads around (my face still glued to the window looking for wildlife) to end up at Sault Saint Marie. Once again we get there and its pouring so we decided to head to dinner first. Which we got an awesome recommendation and ate at a restaurant called Antlers. Which was really incredible. The whole place is covered in Antlers, deer heads, wildlife of every kind and I mean covered. There is no wall space. Just animals. It was really neat and Ben and I basically spent the whole time looking around. Food was great and we saw a rainbow out the window over the straights that I of course had to take a picture of. After dinner we headed down to the locks and sure enough a enormous ship was coming in right at sunset, so we watched that for a little and since it was still raining just headed back towards Mackinaw. Friday (other then the rain) ended up being so much fun even though it was a lot of driving. The fall colors were starting to turn and we just had a blast being with each other and seeing new things. Once we got back to the hotel we played around in the water park for awhile and relaxed in the hot tub and then headed to bed to rest up for another fun day!
Saturday morning woke up and after breakfast we headed over the bridge again and this time headed East on highway two and wow what a beautiful drive along Lake Michigan. We ended up going to the Zoo and of course when we get there it starts raining lol. But by the end it was clear and it wasn't that big but we did spend awhile there feeding animals. Ben is a sucker when it comes to being able to feed animals so once again we got some feed and hand fed a lot of the animals. On our way back from the zoo we stopped at the deer ranch and decided to check that out too. Basically we should of brought our own apples and carrots for all these animals since Ben ran out of food at the first fence in the deer ranch feeding all the fawns. So we ended up getting more food and spreading it out to all the deer in there. There was a huge 8 point that Ben loved and couldn't stop feeding and petting him and thinking it was completely awesome that he was that close to it and at the same time secretly wanting to kill it. Definitely got some great pictures there too. After some scenic stops along the way back home we went into Mackinaw City and got a late lunch of appetizers and drinks at Oreillys Irish Pub and found out Woodchuck does a limited supply of Pumpkin Cider and I loved it. We really wished they had it in stores. I love trying new ciders. Spent our time walking around Mackinaw City in shops and getting fudge and then ate a big dinner at Dixie's. It was another really fun day with some great memories in there (even more then I shared but gotta leave some for just Ben and I) and that evening we spent some more time in the water park. They had this monkey bar thing made out of ropes built over the water and I kept trying to do it but couldn't make it pass the first one (it kills your hands) and Ben could do the whole thing and all the little kids kept watching him in awe. They also had some water slides that were fun we did and a lazy river.
Sunday morning we packed up and checked out and took the scenic way to Traverse City, driving through Petoskey and Charlevoix. Once again raining most of the drive so we didn't really want to get out and do shops and stuff in the rain. Just outside of Petoskey though we came across a fish hatchery. Which in the blog post before this I talked about how cool it was visiting the wolf lake one. So we definitely wanted to stop and it was closed but we walked around for awhile and found some really cool ponds and viewing areas to see all the fish. Once we got back the visitors center was open and we gathered more information on all the fish hatcheries in the state and where they were. There was one on our way home from Traverse City so we wanted to make time to stop there. So we headed out and to TC and once there went to a few shops downtown we wanted to get too and then ate at our favorite restaurant there North Peak and we had wild boar pizza and cherry chicken wings. Their food is so delicious! From there we went to the fish ladder downtown and onto the Fish Hatchery at Platte river which was closed but they had this cool self guided tour following fish prints and so we were able to view all the ponds again plus go into the hatchery this time and see the fish too. Just not an actual tour but since we did that at wolf lake we knew what the machines were and plus there were signs to read too. At this one there was a river water filtering system and Ben walked out onto a cat walk thing (which was for workers only) but he wanted to peek in at the contraption filter and he found a turtle that was belly up and stuck in there so he felt really cool that he rescued the turtle :)
After that we headed back home and it did feel good to be home but we were really sad the weekend was over and yet extremely happy with all that we did and how much fun we had. It was wonderful to just do something together and time reflecting on our two years of marriage and that our love really does grow stronger every day. It has been the most incredible journey and I couldn't ask for a better partner.
I have been so busy with fall photography work so I havent had time to edit our trip pictures yet but here are a few pics just straight from my camera of our trip.
Ben and I at the falls
At the locks with a boat coming through
Ben and his Buck at the Deer Ranch
Feeding the peacocks at the zoo
Bear Ranch, see his heart?