Sunday, August 25, 2013

Up North!

We're back from our vacation and I surely wish it could go on for longer....  le sigh.  Here's a run down of what we did.  We met up with our good friends Jim and Melanie Burke, and they took us around each day, being wonderful tour guides.  They come back to Petoskey, MI, every year.

Saturday, Aug. 17
Niagara Falls, Ontario

Sunday, Aug. 18
Arrive at Petoskey, Michigan, KOA.  We had the Deluxe Cabin, with A/C, gas fireplace, own bathroom and shower, and a kitchen with fridge, microwave, and two burner ceramic cooktop.  Very comfortable! We all went to the Noggin Room Pub in Charlevoix.

Monday, Aug. 19
Had lunch at the Charlevoix Weathervane Restaurant, situated on the waterfront, where we got to watch the drawbridge go up to allow tall masted ships to pass through. I had my first Michigan Perch.  Yummy!! Walked around Harbor Springs, shopped, ate Kilwin's ice cream.  Ate dinner at the Petoskey Brewing Company.  Enjoyed the first fire pit evening of the trip at Mel's folks campsite.

Tuesday, Aug. 20
Began the day at the Brutus Camp Deli for breakfast.  Then on to Mackinac Island!  Rode the Shepler's Ferry out to the Island, saw the Big Mac Bridge on the way, and took the horse drawn carriage tour when we got there.  No motorized vehicles are allowed on the island, except for the police force, fire department, and ambulance. Richard and I rented a tandem bicycle and enjoyed biking around the perimeter of the island, about 7.2 miles.  It was grand fun!  Never have I seen so many bicycles in one place in my entire life.

While we were taking the carriage tour, Jim and Mel rode their bikes around the island.  They did it again with us as we went around on the bicycle-built-for-two.  :)

We lunched at the Pink Pony, where I became enamored with the Rum Runners.  Tasty!  The lunch was fantastic.  Went back there for drinks after our bike ride and was lucky enough to see a tall ship sail in, a replica of the US Brig Niagara (although built with as much of the original ship as possible).

There was shopping on the island, and fudge, lots of fudge.  LOL. We came away with a few pounds of the magical stuff.

After getting back from the Island, we had a late dinner at the Side Door.

Wednesday, Aug. 21
Scored my first winery in Michigan:  Mackinaw Trail Winery.  Came away with a box full, and a bottle of Ice Wine.  Ate lunch at the City Park Grill, then went back to the KOA to get into our swim togs.  Time for a dip in Lake Michigan!

We spent about an hour bobbing around in the water, which was a balmy 60-62 degrees. Refreshing.  lol  I'm actually pointing as Jim and Melanie, who were out deeper in the lake than I was at the time.  It took me a bit to work up the courage to go full immersion, but I did it!

Dinner was at the Polish restaurant, the Legs Inn. We went with Mel's parents, Larry and Nonnie, and man, are they a hoot!!  Such a lovely pair of folks.

Thursday, Aug. 22
Kinda rested today, slept in and then went to Mitchell Street Pub for lunch.Took an afternoon nap.  Had a camp fire and hot dogs and smores for dinner. Got to meet the Activities Director, Ray Baginski and his wife, Gerry.  He took up painting in his 70s and hasn't looked back.  Met a lovely couple from Canada, Chris and Melanie.  They were very funny and we heard a lot of "eh's" from Chris.

Friday, Aug. 23
Last full day....  sadness.  But.. the day contained Wine!  We went around the wineries of Northern Michigan.  First off was lunch at the Apache Trout Grill.  I had the whitefish and it was marvelous.  First winery was the Ciconne Vineyard and Winery.  This is the winery that Madonna bought for her parents. Cool.  Next up, Willow Vineyards, then Black Star Farms.  After that, a change of pace:  Tandem Ciders. Last stop was the Leelanau Cellars.  Yes, I bought from all of them.  I did and I'm not ashamed!  LOL

After drinking our way through the countryside, we stopped at the Sleeping Bear Dunes.  It's amazing how steep the dunes are.  If you are brave enough (stupid enough?) to go down to the bottom, and you find you can't crawl yourself back up, the park rangers will come and rescue you, for a fee.

Dinner tonight was at Bay Harbor, the home of "new money", and ate at Knot Just a Bar.

Saturday, Aug. 24
Breakfasted again at Brutus Camp Deli, cleaned up our cabin and said our goodbyes.  We completely enjoyed our vacation to northern Michigan, and hope to go back again.

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