Lake Life in Northern Michigan

4 August 2017

Our Michigan vacation was a very welcome respite in the midst of July’s crazy. We spent a week at John’s family’s rustic cottage on a small lake near Traverse City, and it felt like a very classic summer vacation: we cooked big meals, we waterskiied and paddleboarded and kayaked, we drank root beer floats, we watched the cousins dig in the sandbox, we played badminton and cards, and we watched the sun set over the water while roasting marshmallows. This is the kind of stuff I live for, and I wanted to share a few photos, if you’d like to see!

Is that not the life?! Much of our time was spent lounging in those Adirondack chairs, reading, chatting, and then walking the few steps to the lake when we got too hot.

Michigan barn

Platte Lake

Lake Michigan

By far the best part of this trip was the people. We were gathered with about 28 extended family members, including all of John’s siblings, spouses, and their kids. We are spread out around the country, which is sad, because we love spending time together!! It was a treat to all be in the same place.


dinner on the porch

We ate dinner perched on the porch steps, looking out at the lake, almost every night. June was a big fan of the setup.

Cherry Hut


Michigan cottage


Pierce Stocking Drive

sand dunes

sand dunes baby

We stuck pretty close to the cottage most of the time, but did make a few trips out for ice cream, lunch at the A&W, and climbing the Sleeping Bear Dunes.

root beer floats

boating life

stand up paddleboarding

roasting s'mores

lake sunset

sunset silhouette

I’ll leave you with perhaps my favorite photo from the trip, snapped mid-run through the towels on the line. Are those faces not pure, unadulterated JOY?

laundry on the line

Happy summer, friends!

All photos by me, John, and my talented siblings :)

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August 4, 2017 6:47 am

Em! I can’t believe this place exists, it looks like perfection. Thank you for sharing and reminding us that simple summer pleasures are still out there, even among the digital, busyness of life.

August 4, 2017 7:47 am

This seriously looks like the perfect summer getaway! So glad to see that you were able to get away with your family to reconnect and recharge!

August 4, 2017 8:11 am

Love all of these sweet photos.. looks like y’all had a wonderful time! :) The last photo is by far my favorite! I love joyful June in her Lilly!

August 4, 2017 8:29 am

June’s pigtails!!! And this looks like the perfect family-filled summer vacation!

Kelly Strawberry
August 4, 2017 8:43 am

So, so sweet! It looks like the perfect vacation!!!! The cottages are adorable and the lake water looks crystal clear! I love all of the pics. So much joy!

August 4, 2017 10:01 am

Oh my word, June on the paddleboard in the hat. The sweetest!!

August 5, 2017 12:29 pm
Reply to  Jess

Ha! I got the largest size because her head is unusually big, but I’m pretty sure it’s for a six year old and I may have gone a bit overboard :)

August 4, 2017 4:57 pm

So beautiful! Love June’s pigtail styles :)!

August 7, 2017 3:11 pm

My favorite part of your trip is the part where we got to see the three of you in our home on your way back! Glad you made it safely back to NC, Thomas fam! :)

Kimberly Gillett
August 10, 2017 11:33 am

The photo of you three walking down the sandune is adorable. I hope you frame it!

Sela Vaughn
August 14, 2017 12:48 pm

Such beautiful pictures! We lived in northern Michigan for a few years and I miss it so much. I feel like it’s a secret no one knows about:) We try to get back to see our friends in Traverse often but haven’t been able to this year. These adorable photos definitely have me scanning our calanders to see when we can get back. Glad you had a good time!