18 hours of driving, 2 border crossings, a 1-night pit stop in Dundas, Ontario (home of my Uncle and Aunt), two traffic jams due to accidents (two-lane highways that are as straight as can be…pay attention people (no one was hurt in either accident)) and at last, Eliza and I arrived in Traverse City, Michigan. Well, her family’s farm house 20 minutes outside of Traverse City, up the peninsula and right along Lake Michigan. It was a long trip, sometimes a little stressful and exhausting as the scenery along Northwestern New York State, Southwest Ontario, and just about all of inland Michigan is short of inspiring, but the destiny was well worth it. A beautiful farm house set in a cherry orchard with no street lights, cable television, internet, or any other signs of city living that we’ve grown so accustomed to here in Boston, and to top it off, a private beach just beyond the backyard. Days were spent lounging on the beach, searching for Potaskeys (fossilized rocks that can only be found in northern Michigan), kayaking and paddle-boarding, reading, napping, picking fresh cherries to make a home-made pie, mini-golfing, eating ice-cream and home-made fudge, and enjoying the simpler side of life. Nights were spent making bonfires, eating s’mores, drinking local craft brews, riding on jeep trails (Thank you, Ryan Polk, for scaring the crap out of us…) and of course, laying in awe of the vast ocean of stars that can only be truly appreciated in a place that is swallowed up by black when headlights, flashlights, or porch lights are turned off. It was a fantastic trip that brought Eliza and I closer, and changed my opinion of Michigan, which I previously thought of as nothing more than the home to a couple of big college football programs and Detroit. It is truly a beautiful place.