Aaron’s Bachelor Party

Over the weekend we went to Traverse City to celebrate Aaron’s Bachelor Party. A super nice cabin a few miles outside of the city and right next to the lake that meanders all the way to Lake Michigan was rented.

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The river was watched…

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…Burgers were flipped…

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…Drones were flown…

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…Baseballs were hit…

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… and we spent an evening in the city to visit the Right Brain Brewery where we tasted their beer and got a private tour by the head brewer who happened to be a member of our group. After that we walked further into traverse city and ate some burgers.

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On Saturday we wanted to do a kayak tour into Traverse City. The rental place suggested a drop-off location half way between our cabin and the city. Two single kayaks were part of the cabin equipment and in order to simplify logistics, Blake and I took off right from the cabin for a long ride on the river. It turned out that this was the best decision of the weekend. At this point, the river still was very fast and the ride was a blast. One had to be careful when going through the light rapids and to avoid larger stones in the water. It was very challenging and definitely a step up from what I was used to.

Boardman is running hot today!

A photo posted by Blake (@blakewoods) on


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Two hours later we met with the rest of the gang to continue the ride – now with a much more relaxed pace on a wider river behind a dam.

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The weekend was a lot of fun, the cabin a great choice and the kayak ride my absolute highlight.

Mackinac Island

Before the 4th of July, Jessie and I took a few days off and we drove to the “Ju-Peeh” as the cool kids here call it. We went camping in St. Ignace which is a small town right behind the Mackinac Bridge that connects the upper and the lower peninsula.

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We camped in a state park which was surprisingly well equipped. For a few bucks per night you get plenty of grass for a tent and a car. Each space also comes with it’s own fireplace and a bench. The showers were perfectly clean and warm.

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From St. Ignace we took the ferry to Mackinac Island which reminds me of Baltrum because it is another island that is “car-free” (and smells of horse poop).

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I brought my bike and Jessie rented one on the island. We spent pretty much the whole day exploring the island that has a nice paved 8 mile long circular track along the shoreline. You can also cross the island on paths that are a little bit more challenging and explore the landmarks. One could even spend a few days there and go running, hiking and horseback riding.

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After we came back from the island, we drove an hour into the U.P. to visit the Tahquamenon Falls. The upper peninsula is an area with not much going on and you I get really nervous with only gas for 100 miles left in the tank. Luckily, after a few miles we found a gas station where you even could pump before you pay (European style!).
I was a bit disappointed, though, that we didn’t see much wildlife except from a squirrel at the falls and the swarm of bugs smashed on the front spoiler.

All in all this was a super fun trip and I’d love to go there again – maybe for some hiking.

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Engagement Shooting

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Yesterday I went to East Lansing with Lindsey and Aaron. We did a kind of belated engagement shooting after they got engaged last year. They wanted to take the photos on their university’s campus where they had met.
For me this was a great opportunity to try out portrait photography. That’s something I had not really done before and especially if it’s related to marriage, there is a lot of pressure. It was great, though, to do this with friends who can’t really be mad at you when things go wrong.
They both did a great job and got more and more relaxed after the first few shots (and after the beer for lunch). I didn’t really have to tell them much how to pose which was was good because this really seems to be the tough part. I should really study poses more and try to look for the tiny details in them.
All in all this was a fun trip and time flew by. I got to know a new small and cute city, another American university and a party location.

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