Until 2017, My Dear Ludington...
Hi Friends and Family!
For the past four 4th of July holidays, I have traveled to the small and charming town of Ludington, Michigan with my best friend Emma and her family. Emma's dad grew up in Ludington and some of her family still lives there to this day. Although I don't have any family in Ludington, and visiting that city on the fourth wasn't a part of my childhood, these trips have become some of my favorite memories, and a new tradition that I look forward to each year. Unfortunately, due to my Peace Corps service, I will miss two summers in Ludington and I won't be able to return until 2017! Logically, I need to write a proper farewell...
My favorite part about Ludington (and the part I will miss the most) is the people, most specifically, the "Ludington 6", consisting of myself, Emma and her sister Phoebe, their cousins Hadley and Maria, and Maria's friend Madeline. Considering I only see these girls one week each year, they all are truly great friends. Aside from them, every member of my Ludington family treats me as just that - family - even though I am not related in any way. I am so lucky to be apart of such a great group.
**Trying, and failing miserably, to avoid sounding like a Ludington tour guide...** These are some of my favorite activities to do in the Lud (with pics below!):
- Hanging out with the Ludington 6 at the local coffee shop, Redulencia. This coffee shop is so adorable with mismatched furniture, local art, an undeniable hipster vibe, and the perfect iced latte, it's the ideal place to sit and chat, read a book, or play chess.
- Visit the State Park and hike, canoe, or tube down the river. I brought my high-quality Cannon with me for the first time this summer and took some great shots of the beautiful state park hiking trails.
- Beach! What more can I say? As someone who has lived in Miami for over 4 years, the novelty of the beach has worn off on me, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy laying out and spending quality time with friends. And it's adorable how excited people in Michigan get when the weather is finally warm enough to wear a bikini.
- Dune Rides... basically a small, open car driving really fast up and down mountains of sand. It's pretty cool.
- Elk Ranch... a place to pet and feed elk, need I say more?
- Shop on Ludington Ave. You can find some cute boutiques and great antique and photography shops.
- House of Flavors restaurant and ice cream shop. Basically, the best ice cream ever and made completely in-house.
- Fourth of July Parade, Fireworks and Art Fair (admittedly only available once a year, but well worth the wait)
I must admit, since I only visit Ludington in the summer, part of me doesn't believe that Ludington can exist in any other season. The idea of the streets being covered in snow, the beach and lake covered in chunks of ice, or people being too cold to enjoy House of Flavors ice cream just doesn't seem possible to me. (Update: Emma did visit Ludington in the winter and she confirms that, yes, Ludington does exist year-round).
As sad as I am to miss two years of my favorite 4th of July trip, I am so blessed to have a group of people excitedly waiting for my return and ready to welcome me back into the Ludington family. The fact that these people love me enough to miss my presence and wait for my return just melts my heart. I will always have a special place in my heart for these trips (and Ludington in general), and I can't wait to return in 2017!
|Beautiful hiking trails at the State Park|
|Chillin' with my new Elk friends|
|The Ludington 6 at House of Flavors|