Return from Up North

Last week we took a family vacation in the Upper Peninsula. We spent most of the week at a beach house on Lake Michigan near Manistique and then finished up with a night in Newberry.

On our way up north, K and I stopped in Clare for some of the famed Cops and Doughnuts sweet treats, which did not disappoint.

Vacation doughnuts! At Cops and Doughnuts

I wouldn’t have remembered them, but their highway billboards worked to give us the idea. ADVERTISING WORKS.

Our "cabin"

This beach house was lovely! It had plenty of room for all of us (me and K, my sister and her husband, my folks, and my uncle) and a beautiful view as well as access to a private area of beach.

Our view this week. Not too shabby!

Most of the fam took advantage of the opportunity to play in the water, and I happily spent time admiring the water from the deck and the family room.

I'm melting - gif

The first full day we were up, we went to Pictured Rocks and did some hiking.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

We had beautiful weather and I managed to get a minimum of bug bites despite it being a little more intense outdoorsyness than I was expecting.

We also took advantage of having a captive audience in the house to play some tabletop games, including Dixit, Ticket to Ride, Quiddler, Settlers of Catan, and Boggle.

Who's adorbs?  Coraline!

Coraline helped.

Later in the week we went to Tahquamenon Falls, where at the Lower Falls the majority of our group took a rowboat to the island, but K and I opted to walk the trail alongside the falls on the mainland (see again: melting).

Tahquamenon Falls

At the Upper Falls, we noted the majesty and then ate dinner at the Brewery (all state parks should have a brew pub on site).

Tahquamenon Falls

It was a tiring but fun vacation! I have to admit to being very happy to be home again, though – after a little bit of travel I always remember that I’m just more of a homebody.

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Ticket to Ride

We went to the latest meetup of the Mount Pleasant Board/Card Game Group last weekend and learned to play my new favorite game, Ticket to Ride.

Ticket to Ride

I’d heard that it was a fun game but never had a chance to play it until now. It was nice that several friends also came (four of the six FunderAchievers were there, actually!) and we felt right at home. The night before, we watched the TableTop episode featuring this game, which was both a great explanation of the basic rules and an entertaining show featuring several people we like.

We played two rounds of this game, and I tied for winner on the first game! I think we’ll definitely pick it up for ourselves pretty soon, since we had such a good time playing it.

We also tried out my pal Kristin’s newly acquired edition of the Murder She Wrote Board Game. Dun dun DUN!

Murder She Wrote board game

While this game is definitely fun for a fan of MSW purely on principle, it is definitely not the most well thought-out game I’ve ever played. It’s quite complicated and there are a TON of rules and things to remember purely about gameplay. It also features creepy generic illustrated characters like the one pictured above (apparently they could only get a license for Angela Lansbury’s image, since none of the other usuals are included). Lucky for us, Kristin solved the case pretty quickly, so the murdered was caught and did not get to make a motorboat escape. Phew!

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