Friday, August 23rd
Since our plans for touring Colonial Michilimackinac had been derailed on Thursday, we decided to head over to the fort on Friday morning. Unfortunately, as we were getting ready Lily came down with a fever, most likely the same one Hutton had the day before. Since she wasn't feeling very good Em kept her home while we packed up with Drew and Lucy and headed into town.
After purchasing our admission tickets we watched a short film about the history of the fort. The kids sat through this amazingly well; it was only 12 minutes or so, but really it was much more geared for adults. After the movie we headed into the fort grounds, which required a little walk along the lake shore with beautiful views of the bridge.
Outside of the actual fort structure we got to visit with a Native American and a fur trader. Unfortunately it was nearing lunch so the Native American was putting out her campfire but we still got to tour the tee-pees she would have lived and slept in. The fur trader had his canoe propped upside down with a shelter built around it and his goods were out for display.
As we were entering the fort we heard that a musket demonstration was about to take place, so we found some seats and listened to the soldiers talk about their guns and then got to see them being fired. It was right about this time that Drew got a text from Em saying that Lily had gotten sick at home. The poor thing was inconsolable, feeling like crap, and there was a mess, so, well, unfortunately Collin and I and the boys had to finish the tour on our own.
Colonial Michilimackinac is a step back into the 1700's and, as you can probably imagine, one of the highlights of the whole trip for me. I'm no history buff; I'm terrible at remembering dates and, heck, even major events! but I love stepping back into time. I'm not naive enough to think that life was easier back then, physically, I know it was harder, but I imagine the work of those days to be more joyful. To put it simply, my dream life does not involve corporate America. So walking through this village, peeking into the old houses, and watching one of the colonial woman bake bread and whitefish, it was like a dream to me.
As we walked into the church one of the soldiers was ringing the bell to signify the firing of the cannon, which was about to take place outside of the fort walls.
Since we missed the cannon being fired when we were on the island, the boys were very happy to see it here.
After the demonstration, and since we were now outside of the walls and it was lunch time, we decided to take a break for a bit and eat at the hot dog stand inside the grounds. I was joking around with Em that night that this seems to be the vacation of hot dogs. I think we counted 7 hot dogs that we ordered and consumed throughout the week. Now, that might not seem like much but besides the two pizza deliveries, it was pretty much the only other food we purchased the whole week.
The food stand had little picnic tables set up in the shade, looking out at the bridge. There were also many seagulls.
Many, many seagulls.
And remember how Hutt thought every seagull was going to leave him a feather?
There was a lot of chasing of birds, is what I'm saying.
But while Hutt was really just after the feathers, Nolan wanted the whole bird. Bird, bird, bird, come here, bird!
Hutton did manage to collect a feather or two....okay, an ENTIRE ARM LOAD, along with some rocks and bark and who knows what else. And when we told him he had to leave them there, that he could not bring them back into the fort nor could we leave the grounds with them, he had a bit of a melt down.
Keaton really wanted to see the look-out towers though, so I finally just told Collin to stay with Hutton while the other two and I checked out one last thing inside the walls.
Lucky for us we got there right in time to see the cannon being fired again. Keaton was thrilled.
As we climbed back down we saw someone familiar running towards us. Meltdown over! Yay!
So Collin took the boys up one last time....
...and then we followed the path back to the visitors center and headed home.
Once home, we quickly got changed and headed back down to the beach to spend our last hours in the water and sand. The lake was so beautiful on this very last day; the most calm and crystal clear it had been all week, which is saying a lot because it had been beautiful all week long.
Lucy asked Drew to take her on a "boat" ride - the guys had taken turns pushing the kids in the kayaks up onto shore earlier in the week - and we all thought this sounded like a good idea. So, with Nolan down for a nap we each grabbed a kid and a kayak and did a little paddling. If Colonial Michilimackinac didn't make my summer, this definitely did. It's been years since I've gotten the chance to take a kayak out, something every summer I tell myself I'm going to do, but with little kids it's something I just haven't been able to fit in.
Hutton rode on my lap, leaning over every so often to dip his hands into the lake. We headed north up the shoreline, each stroke gliding us further along and although we didn't go for long, it was bliss.
When we got back to shore the kids splashed around some more, there were fish traps set using sand buckets (Drew caught one!) and as we turned away from shore to look at the house, we were already reminiscing about the week and hoping someday we'd be back.
And as if queue, as if it knew it was our last one, that night the sun gave us a spectacular display before we started cleaning and packing for our drive home in the morning.