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Trip Five: South Haven, Michigan

We always said we'd be going to Greece for our tenth anniversary. Well considering we're starting a non-for-profit and have two businesses, that just wasn't in the cards this year. However, South Haven, Michigan was a bit easier to pull off. We committed to one another that we would RELAX while there. We left the computer at home, checked our phones only a couple of times and told ourselves it was okay if we didn't explore every detail of the town like we normally try to do.

We drove into South Haven just in time for lunch so we stopped at The Idler. Lots of people told us it was a good place to go for quality "bar food" and for the South Haven ice tea (aka. Long Island ice tea). Yikes! Good thing we each only had one because it was strong! Ha! It was fun to sit on a boat riverside and just take in the breeze.

We then walked off our lunch by exploring downtown South Haven. We had a blast walking in and out of the lake-themed shops, the blueberry store with blueberry beef jerky (no, we did not try it) and laughed at the fishing signs that reminded us of Pat's parents' cottage. We felt warm enough to head to Sherman's Ice Cream for an afternoon treat and ate it while sitting on a bench watching all the boats come into the river. The ice cream was amazing! We might, just might, have had only this ice cream for dinner on Saturday night.

Here's the beach in South Haven. After we checked into our bed and breakfast we walked down to the beach, fell asleep on our towels and read books. See...we relaxed!

And then it was our anniversary night. We scoped out all the restaurants earlier in the day and thought that Mexican sounded really good. We headed to Su Casa and stuffed ourselves silly! I have had my fair share of Mexican food and this tops all of those places by far. We were surprised by the spicy pickled carrots that came with the chips and dip. Hello! Hot and yummy! We both loved our raspberry mojitos and our meals were unreal. We were there for over two hours just talking, eating slowly and laughing at some of our crazy memories from our first ten years.

On Saturday morning we got up, had breakfast downstairs and promptly went back upstairs and fell back asleep. Again...we relaxed! I woke up around 10:30am and decided we could do something that day besides sleeping in our room. But wow it felt good to sleep that late! I can't remember the last time I've looked at the clock to see that time in the morning.

We drove up to Saugatuck to check out the little town there. If I'm being honest I'll tell you that we liked South Haven better but it was still fun to walk around. The reason we weren't such fans was that it just felt a little too touristy, which has it's good things and bad things. One store we had fun looking through was Swell Times. It was filled with old lunchboxes, collectibles and old pez dispensers.

We ate at The Mermaid Bar & Grill and tried the portobello fries. Yummy! We thankfully shared a salad because we still were so full from dinner the night before.

After lunch we headed to the Saugatuck Dunes State Park, hiked through the paths and made it to the beach. It was a really beautiful beach, a bit crowded, but still pretty. It ended up being a super windy/cloudy day so we wrapped up, laid on towels and fell asleep again.

We decided not to follow the gps on the way back to South Haven and instead took the Blue Star Highway. One of our first turns we ran into this awesome antique store. Wish we had a Uhaul to grab tons of stuff (or alot of money)!

We are weird and when we saw this abandoned motel we stopped to take some photos. Anyone driving by had to think we were crazy with a camera balanced on top of my purse on the hood of our Xterra.

When we made it back to South Haven we decided that we weren't hungry enough for dinner so we walked around some more to see if that would make us hungry. We ended up at Black River Books, an independent bookstore. I'm not sure how we always end up in locally-owned book stores everywhere we go but we made ourselves comfortable and explored the collection. They have a rare books room which I so wanted to ask to go into but held myself back for fear of spending a lot of money!

All our walking around didn't make us any hungrier but we decided we should probably have something. So we had ice cream again...because that makes complete sense! And that was a our dinner, and again, we ate it down by the river and watched all of the boats coming in for dinner and going out for sunset.

We headed back to our bed and breakfast, The Sand Castle Inn, which we adored. It was our first bed and breakfast experience and it surprised us. We spent a ton of time on this porch which just screams for you to relax.

In fact, on Saturday night we had some wine on the porch, read books, Pat sketched and we talked late into the night. Couples kept going out to party and then coming in from partying and we sat in the same spot. I love that we decided to just take in the evening.

Sunday was a bit of relaxing after breakfast before we headed back to pick up our boys. We decided we for sure want to go back to South Haven, maybe with friends or just the boys. And I'm proud to say that we relaxed and thoroughly enjoyed it.

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