The Upper Peninsula – Michigan Vacation Day 1


Mackinac Bridge

While the kids were away at camp this year we had planned to go to Walt Disney World for a parents only vacation. About two weeks ago I realized that it is 90-100 degrees in Florida. What was I thinking? I hate heat AND I hate crowds. We are used to vacationing in Florida between January and March. We went once in May and once in June and both times were really tough due to the heat. I am one of those people that when it gets about 75 degrees I start getting uncomfortable and cranky. So, we cancelled our vacation and instead of heading south we decided to head north.

We have a friend who is from Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan and we headed to her first and then to our dance school friends to find out what we needed to see and do in the Upper Peninsula. We started with a long list of things and decided to take our time and decide as we went what we wanted to do.

The first thing I wanted to do was to cross the Mackinac Bridge. Until we started researching our trip I didn’t realize that this was the only way to get to the Upper Peninsula unless we went all the way around Lake Michigan and up through Wisconsin.

We stopped at St. Ignace once we crossed the bridge to have an early dinner/late lunch at Java Joe’s. This place was crazy! The food was good. The portions were large. The kitsch if the best part. You can’t stop looking at all the cookie jars, mugs, and treats they have for sale.

Java Joe's Van

How did we find this place? By the colorful van out front. There is limited parking out back and in front of Java Joe’s.

Java Joe's - St. Ignace

The bright colors and van should have clued us into what it may be like inside but we were totally unprepared.

Porch at Java Joe's

This is the back porch where we ate our meal. The colorful coffee mugs and cookie jars had us looking around during the whole meal trying to find all the cute hidden treasures. The Flintstone cookie jar and clever sayings on the mugs were great.

Java Joe's Menu

Yes, this is the menu. It was a bit overwhelming but we were told everything was good.

Java Joe's 3

We love Poutine and when we saw it on the menu we had to try it. We are so close to Canada we thought it would be amazing. Nope. This would be much better described as fries with gravy and cheese. It was okay as fries with gravy and cheese but did not give us the Poutine flavor or experience at all. There were no bites of squeaky cheese curds (those who have had FRESH cheese curd will understand). We hoped this wasn’t a sign of the rest of the meal.

Java Joe's 4

The rest of the meal was good, solid food. The Nutella Crepes were light and full of melted Nutella. They were VERY rich and chocolaty.

Java Joe's 5

I had a side of Corned Beef hash and one pancake. Both were good and filling. Yes, the portions are really that large!

Java Joe's 6

After our stop at Java Joe’s we drove about an hour to our final destination the Kewaydin Casino. I am NOT a gambler at all and really don’t like casinos but this hotel was recommended to us and it was well within what we were willing to spend.

In the movie “St. Elmo’s Fire” Emilio Estevez talks about seeing signs for – Fluff and Fold in the laundromat and how when he finally makes it he is going Fluff and Fold all the way. That is how I now feel about valet parking. We used it this trip and I will never go back. It was the best thing at the end of a long day to walk into the hotel and have someone else deal with finding a parking space and bringing in my luggage.

The room was similar to most mid-range chain hotels – Hampton Inn, Fairfield Inn, etc… We had a king bed, a pull out couch and a small desk. The only downside to our room was the serious crack in the sink and a very, slow drain in the bathtub. Other than that we were happy here. They had a sauna, hot tub and a decent sized pool so we are considering taking the kids on a trip to see the Upper Peninsula.

Kewaydin Hotel

Kewaydin Hotel 3

Kewaydin Hotel 2

We arrived about 6:00 and decided after a 12 hour day we were done for the night. We ordered a pizza about 9:00 pm because most of the restaurants in the area had closed including the main restaurant and lounge in our hotel stopped serving food at 9:00 pm. I thought it was odd they stopped serving food at 9:00 pm during the week but there was a deli that was open until 3:00 am during the week and open 24 hours on the weekend. We didn’t know what was at deli and were too tired to go exploring so we ordered out.

We hoped to rise fairly early the next day to start our exploration of the area.

 

 

25 Comments Add yours

  1. spearfruit says:

    Sounds like an exciting but exhausting first day! Look forward to reading more of your travels! Have fun! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Marci-when you blogged a trip to Disney in July (over the 4th) I cringed but held my tongue knowing what a Disney Fan you are and a much needed adult vacay. I also know to well our weather! Who can blame you to switch gears! A December trip down would be special during the holidays. Good to see you visiting within the State you reside the UP is lovely. Enjoy yourselves and stay safe. That is a cray-cray van and joint?! Unique to say the least.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Lol, it was different!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Enjoy and keep us posted. We will be home in Florida tomorrow evening and am I ever ready!!! xx

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Have fun! We are thinking about taking our kids to the U.P. next year, I haven’t been to Mackinac since I was a kid.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      We are seriously thinking of taking the kids next summer too. We had such a good time and think they would love the boat ride, little private beaches and the falls.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yup. We’ve been looking at cabins to rent.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. The UP is the best! The bridge is always a fun thing to take the kids over! Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      I think they kids will love it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely! Very relaxing too!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I think you made the right decision. Not going to FL but vacationing in the UP. Michigan is much cooler and beautiful. We have found that casinos can be a great hotel option too. Thanks for sharing. Have fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great idea to skip an amusement park on a holiday weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      It certainly was. There were no crowds at all where we were.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Doll, You are starting to scare me! A thousand years ago, I spent 5 of my summers working the front desk of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. Best and most fun job I ever had. On your way back from your visit, If you stop St. Ignace you must ask in a bar if they still see the Gabidy. An Ignace’s Insider joke of old.
    It’s doubly funny that you have reminded me of the Grand. I haven’t thought of it in years and last week we stayed for my B’day at The Grand Colonial in La Jolla and it reminded me so my of the Grand and then a week later you do it! You rock Psychic Sister. Happy Birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you so very much! That is so cool that you worked there. I have heard so much about the hotel but haven’t seen it yet.

      Like

    2. koolaidmoms says:

      Ps. Happy birthday to you too!

      Like

  8. Patricia Grattan says:

    Loving your adventures. We went to the UP once…in the winter….briefly. I always thought it might be a good place to go back to. As for poutine — oh yes. Fresh cheese curds — had them once in the Thousand Islands (River Rat brand) and nothing compares. We are looking forward to your visit in less than 3 weeks now and I am offering my house if you want to spend an extra day. Otherwise, Mike is hosting this time as he has all the clambake equipment at his home and has been working so hard to clear his yard of many half dead trees; and he put up a new fence (all is own sweat equity). I have the saltwater and the kayaks at my place, so it is a difficult call where to entertain. Glad you had a happy birthday despite my lack of sending best wishes. We had a very busy weekend here with multiple cookouts, and Brendan and Laura and kids here for three days, so time got away from me. When I checked my calendar I found 7 family (both sides) birthdays and two anniversaries between July 2-6. And 6 of them were July 3! Happy Trails to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you for the good wishes. I understand busy. The family joke is my mother didn’t want me to be born on July 3rd because my grandmother (paternal) and then my father’s sister already had a child with a July 3rd birthday. Then I was born. Nine years later his other sister had a July baby but thankfully it was the 1st.

      Like

  9. Pepper says:

    That was a smart move! I live in Fla and I have a very hard time with the heat and humidity. It was 105 today! And to be outside at a theme park standing in line- a double no way! I’m looking to the day when I can move back to North Carolina and have seasons again. Have fun on your trip!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you! Considering we used to live even farther north in NY I am soooo not a hot weather girl.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow what an adventure Marci! That menu is crazy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      It was hard to even think about what to order because there was so much to choose from.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know I saw that menu and was shocked! So confusing!

        Liked by 1 person

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