Monday, September 21, 2009

Past is Present or What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Union Pier, Michigan
Some things never change. As my mom turns into Gintaras Resort it's just like when my sis and I were kids - an expanse of green dotted with little cottages and the big log cabin straight ahead. The tires crunch over the gravel driveway as we're greeted by the soft swish of the pine trees.

I came here for the first time when I was 10, along with my mom, sister Ala, grandma and grandpa. Ala and I had packed all of our own clothes and put the bags by the door. When we arrived in Union Pier we couldn't find our bags. We did put them by the front door, but we left through the back door so our bags were forgotten. Mom wasn't too happy with us. She bought us swimsuits in the next town over and that's all we wore all week. We came back almost every year after that until I started college. It's been over a decade since our last family vacation here.

Ala and I get out of the car and walk toward the office to get the keys and settle our bill. We see the sign at the same time: Free Wi-Fi. There's still no T.V. in the cabins. And no telephones. The best part of vacation here is leaving the world behind for a few days. I'm a little happy that my sister's old laptop keeps losing the connection, and a bit aggravated that it took me two hours to send three client emails.

We spend our days doing absolutely nothing. In the mornings we each take turns walking to the bakery for fresh bread. Then we have breakfast outdoors with a view of the lake. My love for the beach grew here. Heaven is reading a good book while laying on the sand, feeling the warm sun on my skin, the occasional whisper of wind giving me goose bumps, listening to the soft rhythmic lap of the waves rolling onto the shore.

My mom enjoys picking fruit so we find a few farms to visit. Pick some peaches at one place, raspberries in another. We buy some fresh tomatoes and cucumbers at a roadside stand. And we discover Chicken Scratch Farms, purveyors of fresh organic eggs from their own free-range hens.

After dinner we play cards for hours. Then we retire to our rooms. Ala and I sleep in the same room with the same twin beds. Hanging over my bed is the same oil painting of a beach scene. Come to think of it, I saw the exact same scene that day. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The locals like their beach.

Mom & I in front of the Gintaras sign - photo by my sister Ala.

Townline Road & Red Arrow Highway - the center of Union Pier.
Ramberg's Bakery has been here since we were kids.

Mom relaxes with a cup of coffee first thing in the morning at our friend's place.

Raindrops cling to the window screen.

That's mom in the background picking peaches.

Ala and I decide we prefer picking peaches over blueberries. It's a lot faster.

Mmm raspberries.

I took almost this exact same photo over a decade ago. The door was teal then.

A seagull goes searching for food.

Walking on the beach.

A sailboat is framed by the top of the screen door.

Ms. Pacman sits in the same corner as she did over a decade ago.

Painting on our bedroom wall.


  1. Great stuff! I'm glad that you had a great vacation.

  2. Wow...nice pictures and cute story :) aww....makes me want to go now. By the way your mom is really cute!! you all look so much alike. <3