Want to peek at our vacation pictures?
Before you get to the good stuff (the pictures) here is the scoop on what we did:
We rented a cottage for a week with Cody’s parents, Jerry and Robin, at Timber Bluff in Douglas, MI. Douglas is right outside of the Michigan resort town, Saugatuck. Timber Bluff is a collection of small to medium sized cottages with access to a private deck and a private beach on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. The sunset view from the deck is absolutely beautiful. The private beach area has umbrellas, chairs, and a outside shower station all set up and ready to go for you.
We stayed at the Timber Lodge cottage and it was clean, fully stocked with kitchen utensils and linens, and had a hot shower with good water pressure–if you camp or stay in cottages a lot you know that showers can make or break a trip! Our cottage had a private deck with a chiminea, grill, and picnic table. The landscaping was really lush and provided privacy from the other cottages. Mike, the owner, was so friendly and accommodating. This is the type of place that you would want to rent annually. If you have any questions about Timber Bluff and our experience please feel free to contact me!
I was able to do a lot of my favorite things on vacation, like drink good coffee, try out a new yoga studio, hike, cook, and spend time with Cody, Magic, and family.
Uncommon Grounds is a must-visit coffee shop while in the Saugatuck area. It has THE BEST coffee and has a cozy, funky little vibe. They have great breakfast selections–oatmeal with a variety of toppings including dried cherries and a selection of egg bakes and sandwiches. Their sweets case didn’t look too shabby either!
Before vacations, I snoop around on the Internet looking for yoga, barre, and/or pilates studios to visit. I love group classes and it is always a treat to be able to take one while on vacation. I found Satya Yoga in Saugatuck and was able to take two Vinyasa Flow classes with Stacy. She is one of the better teachers I have had–she starts her class by slowly bringing awareness to your breath and body position while gently moving into a series of challenging, yet doable flows. After her class, my mood was lifted for the rest of the day. The other women in the class were super friendly and made me feel like it was my neighborhood yoga studio. I highly recommend Satya Yoga! By the way, the picture below is Stacy, not me–maybe someday with a lot of practice I will be there!
Another gem of a spot we found was Santa Fe Trading Company. Robin, who has spent a lot of time in Saugatuck, introduced my mom (she came to visit for a day) and I to this store and I knew I was in trouble the moment I walked through the door! Santa Fe Trading Company carries original, one of a kind Southwest inspired jewelry, home decor, clothing, perfumes, and soaps. I LOVED everything! I took away a few treasures of my own and also bought some shower gifts! It must be a well loved shop in Saugatuck because they have been in business for over 20 years. The owner, Korry (below on left) and her sister, Lulu (below on right) were so friendly and fun to talk to–sometimes you can just tell when someone has a good soul!
We ate lunch at Phil’s Bar and Grille. It was highly recommended by many of the locals and is known to have one of the best Bloody Mary’s in town. I had ahi tuna tacos for lunch and they did not disappoint.
One of my favorite memories was the hike Cody, Magic and I took along the beach one morning. Our plan was to walk along the lakeshore from our cottage into downtown Saugatuck and have a nice lunch and a Bloody Mary. We estimated the distance to be about 5-6 miles. To make a long story short, we spaced out the little detail that Saugatuck was just a bit inland and we walked waayyy further than necessary and ended up in and out of the sand dunes with one bottle of water to share between the three of us! I hate to say it but I was just a bit nervous and all I kept thinking about was that I broke my dads cardinal rule of never setting out on a hike without a compass! I will just tell you that a cold cocktail tastes a thousand times better after a three hour hike! That afternoon, Magic literally laid down on the floor and didn’t move until the next morning–I have never seen him so tired!
We did most of our cooking at the cottage. I like being able to control the quality and the ingredients of my meals. Plus, the food we cook usually tastes better and is healthier than a lot of what you can get when you are out to eat.
Jerry is known as a BBQ master in our family. He brought his smoker from home and him and Cody smoked us pulled pork, baby back ribs, and chicken. Everything was delicious but my favorite was the pulled pork–I ate seconds and even had some for lunch the next day. It doesn’t hurt that he makes his own rubs and BBQ sauce–sooo good!
Cody is becoming a master on the Weber grill. He grilled zucchini, asparagus, squash, and even sweet potatoes. All of the veggies were so good that we literally became addicted. We ate grilled veggies at least 3 nights–so good and so healthy!
My brother, Paul, and his girlfriend, Amber, spent a few nights with us. One morning, the boys went out on a chartered fishing trip and caught fresh salmon and trout. Paul and Amber wanted to cook dinner for us so they marinated the fresh salmon and grilled it alongside pineapple slices. It was so fresh. Forget farm to table and think lake to table!
Robin’s sister, Dawn, and her grandson, Robbie, came to visit for a beach day too! Dawn is one of the most gentle, kind-spirited people I know and am so glad she came up to visit for the day! We had so much fun relaxing on the beach with her and watching Robbie play in the sand.
It was so much fun spending a week on the lake, relaxing and taking a break from real life. Everybody was able to cut loose just a little bit, let their guards down and get into vacation mode. There were a lot of laugh-so-hard-you-have-to-pee-your-pants moments. I am hoping this becomes an annual event! Below are some of my other favorite pictures from the week.