"Up north is a state of mind."
I always thought that Michigan saying was a little corny until I spent a good portion of my summer here.
It probably only seems different because I'm away from my normal routine and forced to fill my time with more creative resources than I settle for at home. Still, time seems to move a little slower up here. Late nights and early mornings don't tax the body quite as much and afternoon naps are free of any guilt. The days are hotter, the nights cooler and the air crisper.
Dotted along the coast are idyllic little lake towns with their quaint shops and bistros and their grand marinas and white sand beaches. In between are cherry orchards with glimpses of Grand Traverse Bay beyond, antique shops and road side fruit and vegetable stands. You know you're getting close to another town when the snaking driveways are marked by carved wooden signs sporting names like "The Loony Bin" or "Cathy's Cove".
It doesn't matter how hot the day is, the breeze that comes off Lake Michigan keeps you cool and belies the power of the sun's burning rays. And the smell the breeze ushers in is more relaxing than the scent of lavender in springtime. When the water catches the sunlight and sends it blinding in a million directions, I feel as though I was born to live on the lake and am envious of the gigantic house boats floating in their rocking slips.
At the end of the day, pleasantly exhausted from the sun and wind, I sit watching the big orange ball falling slowly to the horizon, widening a trail of fire over the water. My skin feels tight with new color and the strands of hair whipped free of my pony tail lift in the breeze. Thoughts race through my mind and I think, "Up north is definitely more than a state of mind. It's a feeling - a new memory with nostalgia already built in."