What If your Kid Doesn’t Want to March in his Graduation?

Dream!Have you ever tried to cram all your favorite experiences of a certain area into one glorious outing to share with loved ones? Large Anchor Despite our best efforts at persuasion, Joel put his foot down and resolutely refused to let us spend this past weekend attending his graduation festivities.Old-fashioned telephone On the other hand, he was quite enthusiastic about exploring Leelanau Peninsula, so we opted for a family adventure rather than honoring him with all the due pomp and circumstance that he deserved.Summer Sun and Clouds We escaped the summer heat of GR at the first moment we could spring everybody on Friday, but we had a short leash because we needed to be back  The CommunitySaturday night in time for Stephen to serve as worship leader at his church Sunday morning. Leelanau PeninsulaMy goal was to share all of the “best of the best” experiences in the Leelanau area that Alan and I had enjoyed over the years into one compact 30-hour mini vacation! (This map’s in the wrong language, but it shows just where we visited.)Planter of Flowers Tough assignment, and I ultimately failed, but that’s only because there are just too many wonderful places to see…and definitely too many yummy places to eat! Stone Waters Inn. Belaire, MIBut, this is what we did: We spent the night in the Victorian Suite Stone Waters Inn at the Stone Waters Inn, a charming hotel along the Grass River in Bellaire, Stone Waters Inn. Grass Rive, MIwhich is a tiny resort community you’ve probably never heard of, Torch Lake Evening but it’s next door to Torch Lake, which you may have heard of, being Michigan’s Torch Lakelongest inland lake, Michigan’s second-largest lake, and once described by the Torch Lake BeachNational Geographic as the world’s third-most beautiful lake! The DocksideWe stopped for dinner at The Dockside, on the shores of Torch Lake, and then Alden, MIdrove up to the tiny village of Alden, on the east side of Torch Lake, for some of Higgens Ice Creamthe north country’s best ice cream. For instance, I had a “single,” which was one scoop of “Traverse City Cherry Chocolate” topped with a scoop of “Sleeping Bear HIggens Ice Cream ConeDune Hugs” ice cream in a waffle cone dipped with chocolate and Butterfingers crunch. What? That’s a “single?” Does anybody ever order a double? Mrs. Pete'sThe next morning we stopped by “Mrs. Pete’s,” where they’ve been serving up Mrs. Pete's Restaurantfirst-rate home-cooked breakfasts and lunches for nearly 40 years! Sleeping Bear DunesThus fortified, we made a bee line to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Climbing Sleeping Bear Dunesand summarily raced (the kids) or huffed and puffed (the aging parents) to the View from top of Sleeping Bear Dunestop for some glorious views of northern Michigan’s restful lake country. Running Down Sleeping Bear DunesI didn’t time us, but going up was in minutes & going down seemed just seconds!Glen Arbor's Cherry RepublicFrom there, our plan had been to head straight to Glen Arbor’s Cherry Republic Cherry Republic producefor some amazing Traverse City cherry pie and ice cream as our Elevensies treat, Pop's on Icebut we were still full from our killer-good cherry-pecan pancake (etc.) breakfast, Cherry Republic Store so we had to content ourselves by just admiring all things cherry and delicious! MI chairOh, but there was more to do. So much more! After a short break, we drove to  Leland Leland (built by the Ottawa Indians along the Leland River), where we stopped  Leland Falls  at “Rick’s (American) Cafe” for a fabulous lunch of fresh, fresh fish! Leelanau LighthouseAfter lunch, we made it to Leelanau State Park at the tip of Leelanau Peninsula. Leelanau State ParkWe took a short hike along the rocky shoreline of Lake Michigan, Grand Traverse Lighthouseexplored the area around the Grand Traverse Lighthouse, Light at Granc Traverse Lighthouseand toured their little museum. (They even have a fog horn you can blow!) Northport, MIOn our way home, we stopped in Northport to take in the Sailboat on Grand Traverse Bayquiet beauty of Grand Traverse Bay, with its soothing blues Clear, deep water on Grand Traverse Bayand crystal, turquoise waters. (This is looking into about 12 feet of water.) WIld RosesWe’d planned to stop at Boone’s Long Lake Inn at Sutton’s Bay for dinner, Dock A in Northport, MI but nobody was hungry yet, so we high-tailed it downstate as far as Cadillac, Hermann's European Cafe. Hermannwhere we stopped at Hermann’s European Cafe. (This is Hermann from Vienna.)Red Snapper copyHermann has an international reputation and makes incredibly gourmet dishes, Sauerbraten copyincluding some of the best German food we’ve ever tasted outside Germany! Leelanau PeninsulaNow the point of my tale (besides giving you a lovely overview of Leelanau), Smoked Pork Loinis to point out difference in taste and sensibilities. When I’m trying to honor Mussels copysomeone I love, it’s so easy to think of what I’d like…which might be totally Chocolate Torte with Vanilla Sauce copydifferent from what that person would actually like. May I (we) learn to love IMG_9212others in the ways that seem most meaningful to them! And frankly, after all was Smoke Fish Not Tobacco copy said and done, I think we all had a whole lot more fun doing it “Joel’s way.”

“Love…does not insist on its own way” (1 Corinthians 13:5).

5 responses to “What If your Kid Doesn’t Want to March in his Graduation?

  1. It looks to me like you had the ultimate perfection. Way better than graduation festivities.

    • Well, I think as the last-born (having lived through about 18 university graduations for his older sibs already), Joel had endured so many somewhat lest than stellar speeches and hour upon hour of names called whilst unknown thousands marched across the stage, that he really didn’t want to participate when his time came…not to mention almost all his personal friends had marched in the May ceremony. Alan and I really wanted to see him graduate, so he said we could go to his graduation ceremony if we wanted, but he wasn’t going to be there! It was at that point that I started trying to dream up alternative ideas! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Lovely Leelanau | Summer Setting

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