And then I come back from my vacation and say stupid stuff like, “Phew, I need a vacation from my vacation.”
Do you know how much I hate myself when I hear myself say stuff like that?
A lot. A real, great big lot.
So my goal for my Labor Day trip to Petoskey in Northern Michigan was to relax and basically do a whole lot of nothing.
Maybe I’d hang out at my campsite by the fire, reading my Oprah magazine. Or hang out on the beach, reading my Oprah magazine. Or go sit in a cute little coffee shop, reading my Oprah magazine.
Because, apparently, you guys, my idea of relaxing involves my reading Oprah magazines. What can I say?
And then I got to Petoskey and it was rainy and drizzly and damp for most of the weekend, and I quickly found out that sitting in your tent watching rain leak in is not really all that relaxing.
Even with an Oprah magazine.
So I grabbed the Petoskey area brochure I’d been actively avoiding in an effort not to overplan, and tried to find some activities that wouldn’t involve being rained on.
There weren’t, honestly, very many.
The brochure was packed full of outdoorsy options like beaches and mountain biking and horseback riding and kayaking and golfing.
But my indoor options were limited to a handful of history museums and an indoor waterpark, which I contemplated going to for all of five minutes until I remembered that water parks are usually full of screamy children and I hate screamy children.
So I decided, instead, to do a whole bunch of kind of outdoorsy things that were near enough to the indoors, so I could run inside if and when the rain suddenly started to fall.
And here they are:
4 Kind of Outdoorsy Things to do in Petoskey When It’s Kind of Raining
1. National Shrine of the Cross in the Woodsthe National Shrine of the Cross in the Woods is, in fact, in the woods.
The grounds were all mossy and piney and reminded me a lot of the grounds of a Japanese temple. Minus, you know, all the Japanese people.
There were a number of small outdoor shrines to different saints, including one for Our Lady of the Highway, who I never even knew existed despite my nine years of Catholic schooling. I felt a bit miffed about that.
There was a woodsy little path that you could walk down to see the Stations of the Cross, which kind of looked like birdfeeders to me.
And there was, of course, a very large cross.
But there were also a number of indoorsy places to visit at the shrine. Including the church.
And a gift shop, which offered a baffling array of items including wooden wall signs offering up inspirational phrases. That is if “Love Shack” can be considered an inspirational phrase.
And shot glasses. Because who doesn’t want to shoot their tequila from a crucifixion-inspired shot glass?
But, best of all, there was a doll museum featuring a collection of 525 dolls dressed in religious garb.
And by “best of all” I mean “MOST TERRIFYING THING EVER.”
I mean there’s really no other word besides “terrifying” to describe the feeling of stepping into a room and being greeted by this — an entire wall full of unblinking little nuns.
All of whom I am certain could see directly into my soul and they knew every single lie I’d ever told.
Including that one time in the fifth grade when I told the nuns at school that it wasn’t me who threw the wet, wadded pieces of paper towel at the bathroom ceiling until they stuck.
(It was totally me.)
2. Visit Harbor Springs and Charlevoix
Harbor Springs and Charlevoix are two tiny lakeside towns that flank Petoskey on both sides.
They are both so ridiculously tree-lined and adorable that they feel exactly like towns invented for television.
And they both have just the right amount of fudge and jam shops, so that when you’re strolling down the sidewalks and the skies open up and you’re suddenly caught in a rainstorm, you can pop in and eat your fill of fudge samples or free crackers and fruit butter until the weather clears.
(I totally did this.)
3. Pond Hill Farm Market & GreenhousePond Hill Farm Market & Greenhouse:
a) They have a winery that does wine tastings.
b) They have goats.
Can we just agree already that ALL wineries should have goats?
4. EAT ALL THE THINGS.
But the next thing I knew I was obsessively checking Trip Advisor for all the recommended restaurants in the area and making plans to visit them all.
Because you know what’s fun about eating?
You can do it come rain or shine!
You can do it while indoors or out!
You can do it while stopping once in a while to breathe or not bothering to stop at all because you’re too busy shoveling a huge pile pierogies into your mouth!
Not that I did this.
(I totally did this.)What’s your favorite rainy day activity to do while traveling?