We spend every Fourth of July Up North in Boyne City, MI with my family. I have been going there since childhood and it is nostalgic for me; some of my best memories are from Up North. The Fourth would definitely not be the same anywhere else. I just love it.
We spent the first morning getting my dad’s boat washed, waxed, and ready to go for the weekend. This family picture sums up my family much better than any type of professionally posed one does!
Vacations Up North are never short of good food and laughter. My brother Paul used his smoker a few different times for ribs and a pork French rack. We spent a lot of time sitting around the smoker in the driveway; we decided this might be hillbilly, but we didn’t care! My family tends to razz each other and between all of us, we shared lots of funny stories that had us laughing the whole vacation. This is just the way my family rolls and I love it.
We also spent a lot of time in the backyard and on the boat. The backyard overlooks Lake Charlevoix and you couldn’t ask for prettier scenery. The lake is 13 miles long so you can really spend an entire afternoon just cruising the lake, and we did. My dad always brings his CD collection on the boat and my family’s favorite boat ride music includes Kid Rock, Bob Seger, and Jimmy Buffet. There is nothing like Summertime in Northern Michigan by Kid Rock blasting, a cold beer in your hand, and the wind blowing in your hair!!! Love it!
I get my love for cooking from my family. I was able to contribute a Raw Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad to one of our dinners. It went great with my brother’s pork French rack and my mom’s sweet corn on the cob. Perfect combo.
My dad is known for his fried fish. It is something family and friends look forward to. He is a fisherman and catches most of what he cooks. When he fries fish Up North he always sets everything up on his tailgate and we usually gather around to watch and fight for the first few crispy pieces of walleye.
Cody and I rode our bikes into town one morning for breakfast at Cafe Santé. He had Eggs Benedict and I had a French Omelette with wild mushrooms, spinach, and Gruyere cheese. Both of our meals were great! The restaurant has a cozy, eclectic vibe and I think it is a must-visit if you are in Boyne.
One of my favorite things to do in Boyne is visit the Farmer’s Market. There is always in-season organic ripe fruits and vegetables, fresh flowers, and a whole slew of baked goodies. My favorite vendors are Farmer’s Daughter for their dried cherries and Mrs. Morrison’s Pantry and Art for her pepper jelly. Every year, we buy pepper jelly and spread it over cream cheese for a Fourth of July appetizer.
One of the main events in Boyne over the Fourth is the parade. It is so fun to walk around and be part of the hustle and bustle. The entire downtown literally fills up and the streets are lined with people. To get a front row spot you have to be out super early in the mornign and stake your claim!
Magic had a ball too! He swam, played with my mom’s dogs, Molly and Lola, laid in the sun, and ran up and down the dock countless times. By the end of each day, he was pretty much wiped out and laid down anywhere he could!
It takes a lot for my family to get organized for a family picture. My mom managed to make it happen on the last day! This photo is a great reminder of the most important thing in life: family. The Fourth of July is not only vacation to me, it is quality time spent with the people I love the most. I am so glad my family has this tradition.