Summer Vacations in North Carolina and Michigan

Enjoy this post highlighting favorite summer vacations as part of a blog swap with the 20 Something Bloggers network (


The most exciting summer vacation of my childhood was really a vacation of my youth. I was in my teens, and I had spent my entire life within (let’s say) a hundred miles of the coast at any given time. But when I was in high school and thinking about college, my mother decided we were going to Boone, North Carolina for a week during our summer vacation. We were going To The Mountains!

So we drove and drove and drove across North-danged-Carolina, which I discovered is an obscenely wide state, and I got to watch Mountains loom in the distance as we approached the land of rockslide warning signs and alleged bears. Mom wanted me to check out Appalachian State University, so I did (it was all right). We went to Blowing Rock, where I didn’t throw my younger brother off to see if he’d float back up, an independent book store where I tried to buy my brother books he didn’t want, and someplace where we bought amazing soap shaped like a black bear (the only bear I have met to date).

We also went to Grandfather Mountain, which has a bridge that swings a mile above sea level. I crossed that bridge–twice, I might add, because I had to get back to the minivan or I was going to starve–and that’s good enough for me. Afterward, we drove this giant minivan down a road on the side of a Mountain, or what surely seemed like the side of a Mountain to me, and we once again succeeded in not dying.

It was a terrifying and wonderful vacation. But minivans don’t really belong in The Mountains. I’m not convinced Mouse Mines do, either.


My birthday falls near a particular holiday, and for several years running, my family would take trips to Mackinaw City, Michigan, for the dual purposes of celebrating and vacationing. For those of you who are not familiar with Mackinaw, it’s the northernmost city in the lower peninsula, just below the famous Mackinaw Bridge.

Speaking of that bridge, one of the main attractions in Mackinaw is the Mackinaw Bridge Museum above Mama Mia’s restaurant (best pizza in Michigan, no joke). Sadly, the pizzeria and museum burned down several years ago, though I’m happy to report that they’ve been rebuilt! The museum features an educational film detailing the construction process as well as a gift shop and memorabilia.

Though we didn’t usually do this, I think the perfect way to follow up a visit to the museum is to take a drive over the bridge. It’s five miles end-to-end (taking both shorelines into account), and absolutely beautiful at night. One of my favorite things to do on these trips was look out over the water and see the lights sparkling along the road and up the towers.

Sequestered as I am in North Carolina, I haven’t seen my beloved Mighty Mac in years, but reminiscing about the museum and bridge sustains me during my long absences. This is one summer memory I’ll never let go!

Maureen is about to embark on a graduate school adventure, while Cate has recently completed hers. They first met in college. Their aversion to actual work knows very few bounds, as evidenced by their joint blogging project, What We Covet


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