Our ‘cation at the Cotta

posted by Andrea | 07/23/2013

IMG_5147

making a run for it

For those of you who don’t understand Nora talk, the title of this post should read “Our Vacation at the Cottage”.

We spent all of last week lounging and lazing around at a cottage on Lake Michigan with Dave’s immediate family — 8 adults and 3 little kiddos. It was glorious.

And for those of you wondering “don’t they already live in Michigan?” — yes, we do! In fact, we only live about 25 minutes away from the cottage we rented… but 25 minutes is plenty far to go when you live 25 minutes from this!

lake MI

Plus, all Dave and I really want from a vacation is to be out of our “normal” routine and away from our everyday schedule. We want to relax, take a break from house work, yard work, regular work, etc. — and 25 minutes away allowed us to do just that!

Nora had a blast following her older cousin around, playing in the kiddie pool we brought along, and having constant attention from Dave’s parents :)

Dave enjoyed reading, playing cards, eating WAY more than he should have, playing yard games, and a couple intense afternoons of LEGOs (his mom brought a huge bin of their old LEGOs for everyone to play with — Dave was in Heaven!)

I enjoyed literally doing nothing.

I had worked ahead on blogging so all I had to do was monitor comments and respond to a couple emails. We planned all the meals ahead of time so I had mine ready to go and in the freezer. And there were plenty of cousins and Grandparents who were overly eager to entertain Nora most of the time!

So I sat on the deck. I slept in as long as Nora let me. I took naps when she took naps. I ate a fair amount of goodies :). And I never even made one to-do list the entire week!

It felt wonderful.

cheese!

eating apples

Dave and I enjoy being busy and working hard during the day, but it sure was a nice treat to be able to take a full week off from “normal”. It was even more of a treat because this week at the cottage was everyone’s Christmas gift from Dave’s parents (last Christmas) — and you know how much I like practical, clutter-free gifts!

So we’re back to laundry, and cooking, and yard work, and grocery shopping — but we feel refreshed after a lovely week away from our routine.

Sometimes I feel like the best and easiest vacations are the ones with no special activities planned, no super structured days, and nothing fancy or expensive. Don’t you think?

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25 comments

  1. Aa.

    07/23/2013

    We love these kind of vacations, when you go not so far away of your home. We usually go within an hour of driving and we are fortunate that we are surrounded by mountains, our favorite places to go to when we have holidays. We eat well (the fresh air alwaus gives me a big apetite), I examine plants and we walk in nature. Simple is better.

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  2. Rachel

    07/23/2013

    My boyfriend and I live in Baltimore, but he grew up in Traverse City. His parents own a cottage in the Ludington area, and we go every summer. It is truly one my favorite places, and an absolutely fabulous vacation. We’re headed there next week- I can’t wait!

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  3. Debby

    07/23/2013

    Our family heads to Myrtle Beach each summer. True that it is a Mega vacation spot. However, we stay in Surfside which is away from the craziness and our days are spent on the beach, getting shells, and flying kites. My husband and I have gone 18 out of the last 26 years. We call it our do nothing vacation. All of my DH’s siblings go and my grown nieces. Since we don’t live close to one another it’s nice to have a week together doing NOTHING :) Glad you were able to get some relaxing time in. Now, get back to deciding where that veggie garden is gonna go. LOL

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    Amanda Reply:

    We went to Garden City last year and loved it! Way less crowded then MB, but still close enough to go do the stuff if you want to (we only went one day, the rest of the time, we just chilled in Garden City and Surfside)

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  4. Amy

    07/23/2013

    Love the black & white of you and Nora, and the photo of Nora and her granddad in the pool is PRICELESS!!

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  5. Lea Stormhammer

    07/23/2013

    Oh I miss those beaches! (I grew up in central MI.) We don’t have wide sand beaches like that here. I hope to take the kids to Sleeping Bear Dunes too someday…

    We take a ‘vacation” every year to the state park about 20-25min from our house for a week in a Camper Cabin. Like you, it’s more the break from our normal routine with no agenda that makes it a wonderful vacation. Being in nature is a bonus. Plus, the time with family is priceless! We’re hoping my husband’s 3 married siblings (he has 8 siblings total) and their children will join us next year – we might need to tent it but that would be fine too.

    Thanks for sharing – it looks like you had a wonderful time!
    Lea

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  6. Kjrsten

    07/23/2013

    The family and I just spent the weekend in Union Pier, MI for my brother’s wedding. Private beach and clean water….it was perfect! I definitely plan on going back there, and to New Buffalo, before the kids head back to school.

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  7. Mara (@ Super Savings)

    07/23/2013

    I feel more relaxed just reading about your vacation and seeing the sweet pictures, lol! All the pictures are great, but I LOVE the b/w one of you and Nora, and the one of her with Grandpa (I’m assuming) in the pool is precious!
    Where was your “cation cotta”? It looks beautiful. We have so many gorgeous places to visit in W. MI, I just can’t decide where to go. We’re in Muskegon, and definitely need to plan a do nothing vacation. Thanks for sharing!

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  8. Denise Z

    07/23/2013

    I grew up outside of Detroit, and summers were always spent at our cottage at the lake. Your post made me a little homesick!

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  9. Evie

    07/23/2013

    BEST kind of vacation! Oh man, the Legos on an old tablecloth……….does that ever take me back to when my sons were kids!! I definitely recognize that *look* in Dave’s eyes as he searches for just the piece he needs! Love it! Dave’s Mom was brilliant to bring those along!

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  10. Linda

    07/23/2013

    I agree with you Andrea! People ask me all the time……”why do you leave your home with a beautiful pool and a big yard to go camping”? It’s easy – if I am home I can’t sit! There is always work to be done! I truly enjoy my camping time even if it is close to home! :)

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  11. Sarah

    07/23/2013

    Looks lovely! I’m getting us ready for our own version of a simple low key vacation with very little pre-planned. Our “getaway” is one hour away. It is nothing fancy or exotic but that simple break from routines and the business of life, work, kid schedules, etc is very much cheerished.
    Happy Summer!

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  12. Irina

    07/23/2013

    I JUST came back from a family cottage vacation a few days ago, and we definitely had a great time relaxing and taking a break from our daily routine. Now back to the grind!

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  13. JoDi

    07/23/2013

    YES! The best vacations are laid-back with lots of free time to hang out and relax! This sounds like a wonderful vacation. So happy to hear that you all had a great time!

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  14. Chris

    07/23/2013

    Your vacation sounds wonderful! Michigan is my favorite place to vacation, especially the “west coast”. Last summer on an anniversary trip, one of our bed and breakfast hosts recommended Ludington State Park to us and we spent the day there – it was beautiful and fun. She told us it was the prettiest state park in the midwest. (Do you know if your in-laws found their cottage on a site like homeaway.com? )

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    Lisa Reply:

    We are going to Ludington this coming week. Glad to hear you loved it, we are excited to use our park pass this year. Best part about living in Michigan is experiencing Pure Michigan whenever you want (if the schedule allows it).

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  15. Lee Cockrum

    07/24/2013

    Looks like the vacation was nice and relaxing. I love a do nothing vacation too.

    I am finding it very difficult to read your blog now with the horrendous pop up ads. I read on my iPad or iPhone, so I don’t know what it is like on a conventional computer. On the iPad and iPhone it covers the screen, and most of the time I cannot even find the x to close it. So I end up closing the page and reloading. It is very frustrating.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Hey Lee, I’ve just had 2 others complain of this yesterday too — but only on iphones or ipad. it seems there is something going one with one of the ads when people read my blog from a phone or tablet. I’m not 100% sure what or why (I should have NO pop-up ads on my site) so I’ll look into this today. Thanks

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    Lee Cockrum Reply:

    Thanks! It says “ads by Vdopia” at the top, and is something about natural gas.

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  16. Kelsey

    07/24/2013

    Your pictures are adorable!
    This post has me positively giddy because, while we’re only 20 minutes from Lake Michigan (Grand Haven), we’re leaving Saturday and trekking a couple hours to Frankfort, MI to celebrate our first anniversary! My vacation responder is ready to roll out, we’re planning to eat local food (read: donuts from the town bakery), and aiming to spend the week with sun, sand, and a few good books.
    Isn’t Michigan a great vacation spot?

    P.S. Glad you got some R&R – that’s really my only “goal” for our get-a-way (besides the donuts). :)

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  17. Kathryn

    07/24/2013

    Wonderful! Looks like the perfect vacation – especially with little ones! We’ve been doing something similar with my family for the last several years. We rent a giant beach house with my 2 sisters, their families, and my parents (although we go about 2 1/2 hours away.) My siblings and I are a bit older than you (all in our 40′s now!) so with each of us having 3 or 4 kids, we are now up to 18+ people. We also plan all our meals ahead of time, so my question for you is….what meals did you bring? What worked well for you? When I try to please everyone, it gets too complicated! I need to keep it simple…

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    Andrea Reply:

    I brought disposable pans of lasagna and enchiladas. Another family brought pulled pork in a crock pot and brats on the grill. We had leftovers one night, and another family baked some chicken while we were there. I’d suggest not trying to please everyone — that’s impossible with 18+ people! My thoughts are as long as they aren’t deathly allergic to whatever I’m making, they can eat it (or make a sandwich instead :)

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  18. Melissa

    07/24/2013

    I can see how couples with children would really enjoy this kind of vacation. At this stage in my life though my husband and I have no children and only get two weeks vacation to spend together so we prefer to have more structure to our vacations. Not that every minute is planned…but we like to have one or two major events to structure our vacation around.

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  19. Erin

    06/17/2014

    Andrea-any chance you’d share the name of the cottages, or area that you stayed at? We live in Illinois and we’re thinking about Michigan for a vacation this year. I’d love to be right on a beach.

    Thanks! Erin

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    Andrea Reply:

    Hey Erin,
    I honestly have no information on the cottages because Dave’s parents booked everything. I couldn’t even tell you the name of the street we were on… it was in Holland though :)
    This year, we’re staying in South Haven but that’s all I know — I’d go to vrbo.com and search there.

    Also, I’m not sure if you’re looking for this summer or next summer already, but most of the cottages I’ve been to in the course of my life are booked up by Christmas time for the following summer! Crazy, I know!

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