We took a little vacation to Ludington over the Labor Day weekend. Linda and I used to visit Ludington quite a bit. Even after Kieran was born we went a number of times. We even camped in the state park back then. However, we haven’t been back to Ludington for a stay since we became a family of five. It was nice to be back!
We surrounded our one night in Ludington with nights in Reed City. So we headed up to Reed City on Friday night. We had dinner at home and then hit the road. We thought maybe Declan and Owen would sleep in the car if we got a later start. That didn’t work all that well, but it was worth a try. Saturday we got ourselves over to Wrights Bake Shop for breakfast. We got enough to take with us for the next day too. It’s always great to visit Wrights!
We made the hour drive to Ludington and got there around lunch time. What to do for lunch?! Linda got a brilliant idea. She suggested we got to Bortell’s. If you ever go to Ludington during the Summer you must eat at Bortells. We were introduced to it by the proprietors of Bed and Breakfast at Ludington where we used to stay. It’s a little way out of town, but quite popular. They do seafood. You pick what you want from their display case, then they take it out and fry it up right in front of you. Oh it is good!
Bortells is on South Lakeshore Drive along Lake Michigan outside Ludington. There isn't much parking in the lot.
Because Bortells is so popular, there are usually cars parked along the road.
There is no inside seating at Bortells. If you want to sit down and eat, there are picnic tables outside.
We got two orders of whitefish, an order of shrimp, an order of fried mushrooms, and an order of fries. Yum!
Since there are five of us these days, our favorite B&B isn’t as good an option any more. So we opted to rent a cottage for the night. The Lakeview Cottages owners were nice enough to rent to us for a single night at the last minute. It was the end of the season so they helped us out. Our cottage (#3) was nice. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but inside it’s good. The kids weren’t sure about the lack of TV, but that’s just fine for Linda and I. It does have Wifi which works for the two of us.
Our cottage was actually the back portion of this corner building.
Here are the boys outside our cottage door.
After we got our stuff unloaded we walked a couple of blocks down to Stearns Park. That’s the city’s lakefront park. The wind was pretty strong, and it had been for a while. It had blown lots of sand off the beach across the parking lot into the grassy part of the park. It was also causing big waves that were crashing up over the north breakwater. We thought it was crazy that there were actually people out on the breakwater while those waves were present. Our common sense was right. On Monday, after we’d returned home, a tourist was out on the breakwater and a big wave swept him right off into the lake and he drowned. You should never underestimate the power of the lake!
The waves are crashing over the breakwater and common sense is apparently absent.
I thought the sky was amazing.
Just a small sample of the sand blown off the beach. The city spent the next week putting it back.
After we walked the length of the park we were at Ludington Avenue. So we headed up the street and checked out some of the shops. It didn’t take long for the kids to get bored with that. We had dinner at the Jamesport Brewing Company. A walk in the dark back to our cottage was fun. When the kids weren’t being raucous we could hear Lake Michigan a couple of blocks away.
Sunday was Big Sable Point day. We had the Wrights goodies that we brought with us for breakfast, picked up some lunch at Subway, and then drove out to Ludington State Park. We parked at the Lake Michigan beach and started our walk to the Big Sable Point Lighthouse. To get to the light you either have to walk along the beach or a state park road. You cannot drive out to it. The walk along the beach is much more fun so we do that. On the way out there was much “I cannot walk one more step” heard from the children. It got better once we walked far enough for the top of the lighthouse to come into view.
Kieran and Mom had lots to talk about on the way to the lighthouse. You can just see the top of it over the grass.
A little further down the beach, now it looks like a lighthouse.
Now the color bands are more visible. The kids were getting more excited at this point.
The fog signal is visible on the left now.
Keepers quarters starting to rise out of the grass.
This view gives quite a different perspective. I didn't realize somebody was looking down at me until after I took the picture.
We paid the keepers and climbed those stairs to the top of the tower.
Hold on to your hats! It's windy up at the top of the lighthouse.
Looking toward the lake from the top of the lighthouse. The replica fog signal structure doesn't actually have a fog signal in it.
This is the view behind the lighthouse from up top.
Looking down at the Keepers Quarters from the top of the lighthouse.
This is the view back in the direction we came from.
Looking down the beach we walk to get to the lighthouse.
We sat down for lunch in the shadow of the tower, but the shadow moved.
From the shadow of the tower the sun cast a bright glow from behind the top of the tower.
There's no bathroom in the Keeper's Quarters, but there is a very fancy outhouse.
This huge tree stump is between the lighthouse and the outhouse
As we started to walk back from Big Sable Lighthouse I spotted this out on the lake.
On the way back from the lighthouse everybody eventually removed their shoes and walked close along the water.
Just can't resist the sand.
One of us was holding this kite for our walk out and back to the lighthouse. There's no better place to fly a kite.
It was a beautiful day to walk along the water. The sun was shining and it wasn’t too hot or cold.
We made it back to Reed City for dinner with Grandma and Grandpa who came up that day. After a nice evening with them the kids slept well. The fresh air and walking helps with that. Monday it was time to head home. It was a short vacation, but a great end to the Summer.