Our family traditions around Independence Day go back to my toddlerhood. We’ve gone up to Northport, Michigan almost every single year.
We originally planned to spend the whole week on the boat in Muskegon, but we ended up splitting the time—three nights on the boat and two in Northport to catch up with family and friends and to head to a birthday party for my cousin’s daughter.
My sister, Adriane, and her family were at the campground across the lake in Muskegon, so all nine of us went for a sail our first day, then we spent the next few days exploring Muskegon’s trails and beaches, watching the sun set over Lake Michigan, swimming in the marina pool and roasting marshmallows over the fire.
Our boat was originally from Northport, and we happened to meet the adult children of the original owner while we were at the park to see fireworks on July 4. It was so cool to their hear stories and to learn more about the sentimental history of the boat. The original owner is 91, and he still plays in the local Northport band (for my Gilmore Girls fans, Northport is the closest thing I’ve found to Stars Hallow, which I love).
Vacation is far from relaxing with two young kids (don’t let those hammock photos fool you), but this is exactly what I want their childhood to be—carefree days outside with their cousins getting messy (so, so messy), playing in the sand and running around without shoes.