I’ve been so lucky to have taken three trips since this summer, but between classes, home renovation projects, and my fall internship, time for blogging about these trips quickly got away from me. So here I am, finally blogging about the trip Connor and I took to Northern Michigan back in August!
In August 2017, I surprised Connor with a trip to Pictured Rocks for his 24th birthday and we absolutely loved it. We both wanted to continue this small summer camping tradition in 2018, so together we planned a trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes for the weekend of his 25th birthday!
We arrived late Thursday evening, set up our campsite just in time before the sun set (literally minutes to spare), and woke up the next morning on Connor’s birthday in the most beautiful campsite.
After opening birthday presents and cooking breakfast, we headed out for what we came for: The Sleeping Bear Dunes!
We hiked our way through the dunes (severely underestimating the shape we were in #OutOfBreath) and spent the afternoon of Connor’s birthday exploring and lounging on the beach of Sleeping Bear Point.
Connor and I had never been wine tasting in Traverse City, so when your campground is only 30 minutes away from downtown Traverse, you make time for wineries…
First stop: Mari Vineyards
And just like that, the view and the wine had us hooked!
After a few wine samples at the bar inside, we chose glasses of our favorites and sat out on the patio already discussing our next trip back.
Next Stop: Rove Estate
I must say, I think we look pretty dang good for getting ready in a tent 😉
Our friends Tom and Kelly planned to join us to celebrate Connor’s birthday and a weekend of camping! Before heading to the campsite, they met up with us for more wine tasting at Rove.
Charcuterie Board: Check
Amazing Friends: Check
This right here is why Traverse City immediately became one of our favorite destinations…
As the sun set on Connor’s 25th birthday, we headed back to the campsite for some hobo pies and s’mores over the bonfire!
The next morning, the four of us set out to find even more amazing views of the dunes.
GoPro in hand, we were ready!
We hiked on the boardwalk trail for as far as it would let us go, then we decided to hike off the beaten path for even more breathtaking views.
That tiny, narrow, winding trail you see going up the side of the dunes — that’s the trail we just hiked…
…and then we kept going…
To the most gorgeous views!
We never tracked the exact distance we had hiked, but we all guessed it to be around 4-5 miles.
We. Were. Tired!
From this view, we could see a beach off in the distance and we were determined to find it (not by foot, but by car of course HA!). We were in some serious need of swimming in the lake and lounging on the beach.
And we found it!!
We spent the rest of the afternoon picnicking and napping on the beach and enjoying every second.
Later that evening, Tom and Kelly packed up at the campsite to head to spend the rest of the weekend at their cabin, while Connor and I were going to camp one more night.
For those of you that don’t know, both of my parents are pilots and are always looking for excuses to fly anywhere. Coincidentally enough, our campground was right next to a tiny, in-the-middle-of-nowhere kind of airport (I’m not even exaggerating, it consisted of a barn and one runway). When Connor and I were telling my parents about it, joking about how much they would love our campsite with the airport so close, they asked us if we wanted them to fly up for the evening to take us to dinner in Traverse City.
We obviously said “OF COURSE”!
And just like that, my parents flew an hour and a half north, picked us up in the plane right next to our campground, and we spent the evening flying over vineyards and sand dunes before landing at the airport in downtown Traverse City for dinner.
Yes, my parents really are that amazing!
Connor flew copilot up front with my dad for the night!
These definitely weren’t the views we were expecting to see this weekend!
It was the most incredible weekend spent celebrating my favorite guy’s 25th birthday!
We left a piece of our hearts in Traverse City that weekend, but don’t worry, we’d be back in November to celebrate my birthday 😉
A blog all about our second trip to Traverse is soon to come!