Wednesday, July 13, 2011

IMG_3092We are on a short family vacation up North in Michigan about 4 hours north of our homes. Great to be with our kids and grandkids for a few days without all the pressures of daily life. Swimming, rafting, visiting Janet’s family, many of who live up here, and visiting fantastic Catholic sites and even a shrine.

On Friday we will visit the Shrine of the Cross in the Woods which is the largest crucifix in the world. The kids love praying the Stations of the Cross through the woods and looking up at the HUGE Jesus on the cross looking down at us (see my picture below).

IMG_3042Tomorrow we go rafting and then swimming in Lake Huron and feeding seagulls (I will catch one so the kids can see it up close and touch it, I’ll post the picture tomorrow :-). It is also good to see Janet’s uncles, parents and sisters.

Today we took the ferry across the Mackinaw Straits to visit the place where Jesuit Father Marquette brought the Catholic Faith to the Indians here. Mackinaw Island still has a great reminder of this devout Jesuit father. See the picture below where some of the grandkids are climbing up the statue of Fr. Marquette, a man of incredible heroism and missionary zeal.

IMG_3099Below see the “Tree Bark Chapel” built in 1670 by Catholic missionaries for the Indians who converted to Catholicism. It was very moving for our family to step into this bark chapel and pray.

My son Jesse, my son-in-law Ben and I decided to leave our wives and kids in the town watching the horse-drawn carriages and visit the Butterfly House (where the kids walk through a breeding cage for butterflies where they all land on the kid’s heads and hands).

IMG_3058And off we went to run around the island of Mackinaw. It is a beautiful island and the road around the island (no cars on the island, only horses and bikes) is eight miles long. We ran at a pretty good pace so that we got all the way around the island in 1.5 hours even though we stopped once in a while to stretch, take pictures and enjoy hte beauty — 8 miles!

To see this run with a video of maps, pictures and videos, click here.

After that a nice lunch and more family time together. Updates the next day or two.

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IMG_3105IMG_3051Cross in Woods smt.jpg

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