Last weekend we decided to take a day trip to Marine City, a small water town along the St Clair River. We headed out with all three kiddos in tow (we’re practicing for a four-hour drive to the northwestern side of the state later this Fall). It took a little bit of time, but once we got our “little” family of five all ready to go the twins were so excited to be “going somewhere!”
After making it through the country roads full of corn fields and barns, we arrived in Marine City where it seemed as though we found a little piece of the South in the North! Unbeknownst to us, the Maritime Days festival was in full swing, and one of the events taking place was a karaoke contest where the majority of the songs chosen were country songs from the 90s through today – save for the incredible rendition of Radiohead’s “Creep” by the one girl in the town wearing all black and who had pink hair, who I thought at first was a remake of the song by a female artist playing to pass time until the next contestant took the stage; she was that good!
The downtown area was neat and full of shops and restaurants, including 10 antique shops and a bed and breakfast that I would love to get away to for a weekend in the future. The Maritime Days festival provided several food and dessert tents and other fun stuff, but we opted for the regular Marine City businesses since our mission was to experience the places we had been told about and to check out.
We enjoyed a great lunch at the Marine City Fish Company patio where our kids were AWESOME. Seriously, we were in shock. When the twins had to go to the bathroom and I learned there was a line I had to wait in while the hubs was with the baby at the table, I was sure it was going to be the twins’ downward spiral. But I was wrong, even getting compliments on how well-behaved they were. I’ll take it! And we couldn’t let the gorgeous day on a patio for lunch go by without trying to Michigan brews. My daughter’s “Unicorn Magic” even made an appearance in the photo op, and my daughter was less than amused, haha!
We promised the kids ice cream since they were so good at lunch, and we headed to The Sweet Tooth where we found an incredible array of glass jars with old school candies and gumball machines, as well as where Wyatt almost caused us to buy an entire jar of some hard candy due his inability to keep his hands to himself. However, he learned real quick not to touch anything else and we grabbed our enormous servings of ice cream and headed out by the water to enjoy them.
I was shocked about was just how incredibly beautiful the water is at the St Clair River! Absolutely the most gorgeous blue and it took everything in me not to run and jump in, although everything in me was a lot considering I had three kids, I finally had time to do both my hair and makeup for the day and I’m still cursed with wearing nursing pads in my nursing bra to keep from breast milk leakage incidents, but still, I wanted to swim SO BAD! A girl can dream, right?
The best part about our day trip? Just the mere fact that we did it. We rarely get out and do anything because of the kids instead of for the kids. We tend to get bogged down in the little things we can do around the house, try to just sit around and relax, or just to try and avoid public meltdowns and the work that goes into a family outing so often that we teeter on the verge of doing our kids a disservice. We always have some sort of excuse as to why we can’t get out, and even if we do, we don’t make it very far or for very long. So I’m pushing more and more for us to get out and about! We may live in Michigan, but that doesn’t mean we can’t act like tourists, right?! How else are we going to get to know our home and start to enjoy it?
What do you catch yourself missing out on because of your kids, for fear of your kids losing it while out or just the sheer fact that there’s so much involved in taking a family of five (or even more) out to experience places, activities and more? What types of activities do you find success in when getting toddlers out of the house for day trips or even longer? Yes, life changes drastically when you have kids, but it doesn’t mean it has to end. We just have to alter what we do, where we go, and the expectations that we have. For example, just expect for there to be some meltdowns and mishaps, then when only a few happen (or possibly none!) you feel REALLY good about your decision to get out!
Here’s to growing a pair and letting go of the fear!