22 August 2007

Michiana holiday

Last week Nancy and I took a brief holiday in southwestern Michigan and northern Indiana. I spent nearly 7 years in the Michiana region while a graduate student at Notre Dame, so this was a return to familiar territory. Moreover I have deep familial roots in both peninsulas of Michigan, the one state in the US with which I tend most to identify.

The two of us had a wonderfully restful time in this quiet part of the world. We stayed at a bed and breakfast near Jones, Michigan, called the Sanctuary at Wildwood, which I would enthusiastically recommend as a vacation spot for anyone, especially first or second honeymooners. It's set on a large, forested property with hiking trails and a stocked pond for fishing, among other things. Here are some photographs of our stay:

Sanctuary at Wildwood

This is the main house, where the owners live and where we were served breakfast:

Sanctuary at Wildwood, main house

We tried our hand at rowing. (Well, I'm the one who did the actual rowing!) This was the first time I had done so, and I caught on fairly quickly. Nevertheless, in trying to photograph some turtles sitting on the water lilies, I managed to frighten them into diving back into the water.

Koyzis in rowboat

On wednesday we drove to Three Rivers, where we discovered a marvellous used bookstore called Lowry's Books. It's definitely worth a visit if you're in the vicinity. It's located on Main Street, which can be seen below:

Main Street, Three Rivers, Michigan

On thursday we drove to Shipshewana, in the middle of the northern Indiana Amish country. It's a tourist town, not unlike St. Jacob's, Ontario. But rather than hitting the shops, Nancy and I visited Menno-hof, an information centre and museum devoted to Anabaptist history. Anyone with an interest in Mennonites, Amish and Hutterites, or who claim this heritage as their own, will find Menno-hof fascinating. I had heard about Shipshewana while living in South Bend, but I never got round to visiting it until now.



We saw a lot of these during our visit. Special lanes are reserved for horse-drawn buggies along the roads, but in my estimation they are not sufficiently removed from the danger of fast-moving automobiles, which should be required to drive much more slowly while passing through these communities.

Amish buggy

On friday we drove back east towards Ontario and found "the longest of Michigan's few remaining covered bridges." It's located north of Centreville and it spans the St. Joseph River.

Langley Covered Bridge

Langley Covered Bridge

We're home again. Back to preparing for the coming academic year.

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