Category Archives: Road Trips

Mai Tiki Wanna Playa?!

Beach, bonfires, brisket and Paul Bunyan combined with Tiki huts, sand volleyball and waves… am I still in Michigan?!? Yes, about three hours north of Detroit (give or take traffic). We took a little family weekend getaway to Oscoda, MI and had a BLAST!

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It was pleasantly Autumn weather in northern Michigan. The water was chilly, but not polar bear and refreshing to feel the waves lapping at your feet and soothing your soul.

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We tossed around a frisbee, zipped down a twelve foot high metal slide (it was AWESOME) and tried our hand at some beach volleyball.

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The resort is made up of vibrantly colored little cottages on the beach where you can step outside your front door and stick your toes in the sand. Mother Nature put on an awe-inspiring light show at sunset. (We took this picture with our iPhone, imagine it in living color, insane!)

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A mix of sun and clouds wasn’t exactly August beach weather, but we were happy to play in the sand, building and demolishing sand castles. Sand toys, balls and frisbees were all available for free to guests.

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The town hosted a Paul Bunyan Festival the weekend of our trip (September 20-22, 2013) with bountiful sights to see! A doggie costume contest, a brisket and ribs contest (yum), a wood carving contest (think chainsaws and bear statues) and plenty of carnival food and rides. There was even a real life Paul Bunyan giving free axe throwing lessons, now THAT was a sight to see!

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There was a huge wooden slab target surrounded by massive hay bales to arrest any wayward axe tosses. Most people landed the target with no problem. Paul Bunyan’s favorite advice to give is often something I say to my two and a half year old, “finesse not force”. We sat and watched men and women of all ages and physical stature give the axe throwing a try, it was definitely something I will not soon forget.

Resort Details:
Mai Tiki Resort
3322 N. US Route 23
Oscoda, MI 48570
989-739-9971

We liked:

The beach

The kids pay area

The full kitchen

There was a bonfire on the beach every night with wood and chairs provided

The box fan in the unit (there is central air, but the fan helped as a noise buffer for our toddlers bedroom)

The charcoal BBQ grill for each unit

Free wifi

Flat screen TV with cable that also accepted a DVD player (movies for our toddler to watch as needed, it rained for about two hours one day).

We brought:

Food to grill and snacks to munch

Marshmallows and sticks to roast them
(There is a Walmart, other chain stores and mom & pop shops within a few miles north and south of the resort to buy whatever you need)

Charcoal and lighter fluid

Paper towels, plates and napkins because there is no dishwasher

Kitchen towels, bath towels AND beach towels (we will also bring tupperware for food storage and our own sponges for dish washing next time)

Oh yes, we brought beer and wine too

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Sure, I would have liked an updated decor with tile floors and new everything, but for the price and locale, it really was a good value. I can appreciate that sand and lake weather can beat down the exterior and interior of a place more than I could imagine, but the manager/owner seemed to take care with heart. There was always a friendly helpful answer to every question we had both before and during our stay. Even when we locked ourselves out, he was kind and gentle with helping us back in.

We really liked our stay and would go back again.

In no way did the resort compensate me to write this review, as always, these are just my opinions.

Where was your last weekend getaway?

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678 Mile(s): A Top Ten list

Six hundred and seventy-eight miles one-way in a car, twice in five days… Just me and my toddler… TOP TEN:

1. I love the rest stops on the Ohio Turnpike.

2. I hate the tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike (holy $28!!).

3. I hate driving in the rain. Especially when I have to keep adjusting the speed of my windshield wipers.

4. I hate driving next to trucks when there is no shoulder, we are on a mountain, in a tunnel AND in a construction zone. I blame having watched too many action movies where things tip over and blow up!

5. I get extremely aggravated, irritated and irrationally angered by people who leave their blinker on for MILES!! C’mon people, don’t you HEAR it, SEE it?!? I mean, HOW, HOW do you not know?

6. I love that the Maryland Welcome Center rest stop has a Play scape!! INGENIOUS!! Note: the two people we saw both times through this past week keep this place as immaculate as Italian grandparents kept their tomato gardens… a true beacon on the long, long road.

7. I love that B must have two quarters and a shiny penny to crank out those “penny pincher” commemorative pennies at each and every opportunity. Unfortunately, I’ve discovered half of the machines are not working (at least the ones we encountered between Michigan and Virginia).

8. I love the ocean, buuuut the beach is sandy. Sandy in such a way that no matter WHAT you are wearing, eating, drinking or laying/sitting on, you will be getting sand in your mouth and every other unmentionable, uncomfortable crevice possible. I always forget this when I enthusiastically plan a day at the beach.

9. Hotel pools feel SO chlorinated that I always want to do a Silkwood-style scrub down afterward. (It’s an 80’s movie, called Silkwood, watch it)

10. I love my family. They came in from three states just to hang out for a weekend. I love my sisters gourmet, no-carb, perfectly portioned dinners (I think I lost weight, thanks sis!). I love my brothers constant joking about how he hates the water and hates heights, but he is special forces in the Navy and jumps out of airplanes INTO water for his job! I love the scruff of my dads beard on my cheek when he gives me a BIIIIG hug every time I see him.

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My hubby had to work this Holiday weekend so I called my long distance family and arranged a last minute gathering of a few of us in Virginia Beach. I’m glad we came!

Tell me about YOUR Labor Day weekend…