We visited Alpena, Michigan, recently. During our late summer stay, the most exciting part of the visit was seeing my Dad and stepmom. I enjoyed seeing their new home and the improvements they’ve been working hard to accomplish before winter. They also gave tours of their small town, Alpena, on the shores of Lake Huron.
Me: “Let me get a picture, Dad.” Dad: “Why?”
Dad and Linda took us to Nowicki’s, their favorite lunch place. It was easy to see why. They’ve been in business for over 100 years and through five generations. The small restaurant specializes in sausage and brats–of all flavors–Polish, Italian, Philly cheesesteak, mushroom and swiss, feta and spinach, garlic and cheese, potato, and even pineapple (that’s not a complete list). We went there three or four times–my husband’s Polish background demanded a brat fix whenever we visited–and lunch only cost us around $7.00.
Dad: “Did you just take a picture of our food?” Me: “For the memories and blog content.” Dad: Shakes his head.
One of our favorite stops was Island Park famous for its covered bridge designed and built by local residents, Michael and Kimberly Kendziorski, and funded by other families in the community.
It was visually stunning and peaceful.
Across the bridge was a nature trail among the trees, along the water, with lots of birds and wildlife to see. It’s dedicated to the local World War II veterans and water sportsmen.
For me, it was a beautiful spot to get some photos of faces I love.
Dad: “Why do you take so many pictures? Me: “Just smile.”
Dad: “What do you do with all these pictures?” Me: “I keep them for posterity–or blackmail.”
After the park, we took a drive through Amish country into the surrounding areas and got to see a statue of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. We also took photos of the 45th parallel sign.
Linda and Dad also took us to a small neighborhood park located a couple miles from their house. It was another photo stop.
Me: “Let me get a quick picture.” Dad: Shakes his head.
There was an opportunity to see the last of the wildflowers before the cold started taking over.
On one of those Saturdays, my Dad helped Mike put new brakes on the truck. While the guys were busy in the garage, Linda and I visited the farmer’s market in Alpena, had an afternoon caffeinated pick-me-up made by her granddaughter at Cabin Creek Coffee, and visited Thunder Bay Winery so I could pick up a sweet moscato (which they didn’t have, but I got a nice substitute).
It was a wonderful visit to Alpena, but my favorite part was the family aspect. I had a wonderful time spending time with my Dad, getting to know Linda, and having time to talk, laugh, and see a beautiful portion of Michigan.
Me: Hey you guys, we need to get a selfie! Dad: What’s a selfie?
What was the best photo of the trip? The one below. I teased Dad about going out in public in his white socks and sandals (I have pictures, but I won’t share them). I snapped this photo just as my dad just got finished saying, “I love you, too, Butch.”
I love you more, Dad.
Where We Are: Austin, TX Where We Are Going: Jacksonville, FL Blog Post Location: Alpena, MI
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What a fun time and some great pictures!
We had the best time! It was a great visit.
Dads are the best. The more perplexed they are, the better! Too funny.
He’s perplexed more times than not, but I still can’t too much over on him. 🙂
Another delightful post. I enjoyed your conversations with your dad and the fantastic photos.
I love my dad so much–it was a wonderful, wonderful trip.
What a pretty place. Your dad is adorable. Wish mine were still alive. I miss him.
That’s why I’m trying to cherish all the time we have together. Time goes too fast and we aren’t promised tomorrow. 🙁
My dad just made the trip from FL to visit us here in TX. He is the only parent we have left and we are truly enjoying his time here! Love your photo comments. My dad is pretty much the same way. Can’t beat a $7 lunch! What a beautiful park!
I hope you have a wonderful visit with your dad! I’ve loved this year of travel for us because we’ve gotten to spend quality time with our parents. When we were in sticks and bricks it was always on a very short vacation, so the time has been more quality and we’ve really been cherishing it. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Dawn
Dad didn’t help me, Dad did the whole damn thing. I held the flashlight.
He’s pretty amazing like that. 😉
Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox in a place other than Minnesota? Who would have thought?
It is one of the most beautiful place to spend your vacations with the family. Most of the people visitor Alpena, Michigan each year to enjoy and explore beautiful places.