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Aug 6, 2012
01:31 PM

Grand Family Vacation in Grand Traverse Bay Area

Time's precious for this family of four with two toddlers. A northern Michigan camping trip and sand dunes experience was a prefect getaway.

Grand Family Vacation in Grand Traverse Bay Area

With young children (ages 3 1/2 and 5), our summers do not have a start or stop deadline due to the school year. But with my husband and I both working the off-shifts (he is a police officer and I'm an NICU nurse for a local hospital), any couple of days off together as a family is golden.

We decided to go camping in Traverse City – nothing exotic, unless you get fancy with your hobo pie maker! At first, with a ride to the upper part of Michigan with two kids, I think we heard "are we there yet?" a million times. But eventually, we hit another beautiful wonder of Michigan – Grand Traverse Bay – with light blue water and over a dozen sailboats in the water.

Our campground was beyond exceptional, and we had the typical camping experiences. But what made this trip better than the others is the day we decided to experience the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes with our children. Our kids are still of a young age where they will not appreciate or possibly remember that day, but I will always remember their faces when they saw the dunes for the first time. I will remember walking up the dunes with them then stepping back to take in the moment – and watching my husband carry them both up the rest of the way!

I will always have the picture of the three of them running down (and my youngest falling face-first!). My children experienced so much that day. The dunes, swimming in one of the Great Lakes and even getting cherry ice cream. But as a mother, I experienced so much more – and I will cherish the expressions on their faces and the contagious giggles throughout the day.

We didn't have to go far to have a great time: just our "backyard" of Michigan and a little time as a family to slow down and breathe in what matters the most.

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