Travel can range from fabulous jet-setting to faraway lands, all the way to measly adventures easy on the pocketbooks. My boyfriend Tom and I couldn’t quite afford any fancy vacations just a few months out of college, (not even a quaint bed and breakfast was within budget), so the Fall and Winter of 2009 brought some drivable getaways rewarding us with some unexpected adventure.
First came the next best thing to a hotel or hostel… a tent. After a stop at Costco to fill up on hotdogs and beer, we drove over 2 hours east into Buchana, Michigan to an adorable camping resort, Fuller’s. The sizeable camp grounds have been around since 1887, giving them a vibe of simpler times and small pleasures. Tom and I set up camp at the top of a hill, hidden beneath some of the tallest trees I’ve seen. We were the only ones on the hilltop that night which brought absolute serenity. After unloading our massive tent and food, we made our way down to the beach where we napped and swam away the afternoon.
We cozied up by a fire, roasted hotdogs, burgers, and
marshmallows, and sipped champagne out of red Solo cups. Our slumber was peaceful until we were unpredictably disturbed in the middle of the night.
Knowing we were the only humans on the hill that night and fighting the pitch black surroundings, we pondered at what could be causing the ruckus just a few feet from our tent. Was it a bear? A deer? A lioness? Frozen in fear, I sent Tom out with a flashlight to investigate. Sure enough, a mischievous raccoon had found our bag of marshmallows accidentally left outside by yours truly.
The next morning we awoke to a beautiful sunny day and an empty bag of marshmallows. We set out for the beach again and met up with a co-worker of Tom’s and his charming girlfriend. The foursome enjoyed some beach volleyball
and swimming – and just as a rainstorm began to set in, I noticed something out in the distance along the shore… a giant blob! Of course the next move was to sneak over to the three-story wooden platform leading to the giant, air-filled
mat calling our names. One by one, we flung our bodies onto the weight of the blob, catapulting the next person high into the air only to splash face-first into the water. This was GREAT fun.
Thank goodness for our two non-amateur campers who kept us dry in the tents they set up to prevent rain, well-fed, and occupied with games. The rain finally subsided in time for some games of bags and lots of drinking around
a bonfire into the wee hours of the night. To avoid a soggy floor beneath a haggard tent, Tom and I opted to sleep comfortably in the car.
A dirty shower in the public restrooms later, Tom and I bid adieu to Fuller’s Campgrounds and made our way to the nearby sand dunes in perfect weather.
We spent the day traversing the dunes, jumping cliffs, climbing trees, and playing like kids. A gorgeous sunset and couple of beers later, we hit up Blue Chip casino for some ill-advised gambling. Later that night we were happy with the trip we had made on less than $100. We were also happy, however, to be reunited with our beds.
For Photos of this trip, see Buchanan on the Photos Page, or CLICK HERE.