Sid’s Resort: A Family Tradition

To many, it’s a secret of sorts. Having lived lots of different places, I realize many people don’t even know of its beauty. But, if you drive up Michigan’s US-23, you’ll find hundreds of locally owned cottages for rent along the gorgeous shores of Great Lake Huron. Born and raised on the east side of Michigan, it’s a long standing tradition in my family that we spend a week at Sid’s Resort, just north of Oscoda, Michigan.

My mom’s family made it their summer vacation spot when she was a child, and my parent’s started taking my sister and I there when we were babies. Now, with a 7 and 9 year old of my own, the tradition continues as we get ready to head to Sid’s in just two weeks.

I read somewhere, a while back, that children’s memories are often best remembered when it involves the experience of camping and/or time spent at a cottage. I really believe that’s true, as I recall so many parts of my life and childhood reflected in the lazy days we spent each summer at Sid’s Resort. It wasn’t the fanciest vacation, but that didn’t matter. It was surely the highlight of our summers.

I remember¦

*Searching for fire wood and mom’s guitar at the campfire.

*Taco dinners, cheez whiz and donuts from the bakery.

*Organizing my bedroom and the excitement of putting my clothes in the drawers.

*Baths in the lake, trying not to drop my slippery bar of soap.

*Having a crush on the boy in the cottage nearby.

*Listening to Belinda Carlisle’s Mad About You over and over on my ghetto blaster on the dock.

*Watching a thunderstorm roll in over the lake.

*Wishing the week would never end, because that meant I had nothing else to look forward to that summer.

Sid’s is simple. A cottage with basic cable, well water, and old wooden furniture. Wooden swings outside and a badmitten net. A game room where all the kids would go in the evenings, to create their world away from the grown-ups.

But what it really was, and what it remains is¦the time with the family. The accessibility of all the people you love the most all there without interruption. The waking up with nothing to do but lie on the beach in front of you. The time with family friends who would rent cottages nearby. The simple joy of reading a book in the sun. Happy hours at 4 p.m. and dinners grilled out on the beach.

We’re headed back to Sid’s in just a couple of weeks. The cottages haven’t changed too much, and frankly, they’re pretty worn out. But, the kids still look forward to the trip every year. It’s an important part of their summer, just as it was for me when I was little. They are busy saving quarters for the game room, and we have some great friends coming to visit for part of the week, just like the old days. My family will all be there, and give my kids the laughs and attention they love for one whole week. We’ll play cards and share stories and laugh until our stomach’s hurt. And I’ll leave grateful that I had one more year at good ole Sid’s with a healthy, happy family.

It’s a tradition that is such an important part of our family history, and we will always remember the moments spent there.

Sarah Cavanaugh is a comedian, public speaker, and improvisational comedy corporate facilitator. For daily rants, sillies and observations on motherhood, you can follow her at or on Facebook here!