Playing Winter Tourists At Home

Two weekends ago we had a guest for a few days.  I was a little bummed because earlier in the week we had amazing spring-like temperatures.  A few days of that weather melted all three feet of snow we had in our yard.  It was awesome.  I even got out for an 8 mile run in shorts and a tank.

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Friday morning I woke up to thunder and the sound of rain.  I was thrilled.  I assumed that any remaining snow was gone.  Was  I ever wrong.  I opened the curtain to our bedroom window and may have shouted a profanity or two.  The entire yard was covered in snow.  What the heck?!

Our guest arrived to a winter wonderland.  Yuck!  Sure it was nice to have for awhile, but I am ready for spring to come and stay!

Saturday after Mary’s nap we drove over to Traverse City and wandered around downtown on Front Street.  I will admit that there is something really picturesque about Traverse City when the snow is out.  Street lights are wrapped with holiday lights and the snow dusts the trees that line the sidewalks.

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It is just as beautiful, if not more so, when summer arrives.  With the warmer temperatures you see plenty of tourists and shops are buzzing.

Traverse City is a special place in Northern Michigan.   While you might picture the northern Midwest serving Friday fish fry’s (and you won’t go without finding one here), this mini city prides itself in serving quality farm to table foods.  From sushi, to salads, wood fired pizzas and even French cuisine, you can find it in this town.  The Old Mission and Leelanau Peninsula’s have the perfect land and climate for vineyards, and hops farms are also now abundant in the area.  You will find so many delicious wineries and breweries in the to enjoy. 

We spent our afternoon wandering through shops and picking up some fun gifts and winter sales items.

A trip to Front Street is never complete without stopping at Cherry Republic.  You will find just about any cherry product you could possibly ever imagine here in the “Cherry Capital of the World.”  Rock and I love wandering through the shop and sampling all of the cherry deliciousness.  I am a huge fan of the chocolate covered cherries and we discovered a delicious barbecue sauce and horseradish.  Mary found a perfect cherry ball pit and slide to play in.  Needless to say, we managed to stay there for quite some time.

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Next we drove over to the Grand Traverse Commons.  If you are a fan of history, architecture, shopping, or even ghosts, you will love this place.  This is the former site of the Michigan Psychiatric Hospital.  It closed several decades ago and sat in disrepair while locals fought it’s demolition.  Years later it has been refurbished without losing it’s original character.  Inside and around the grounds you will find shops, restaurants, apartments, condos, wineries and breweries.  We were bummed that our favorite taco shop was closed while we were there but we did enjoy wandering through all of the shops.

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The halls are lined with old photographs and this terribly un-PC postcard that somewhat amused me.

We ended our evening at Red Mesa Grill for some delicious, while not quite authentic, Mexican food.  The burrito might not have been my favorite typical Mexican fare, but I was really impressed by the slowly roasted pork inside.  It was a pleasant surprise.

Sometimes it can be fun to tour your hometown and see it from a different perspective.  While I wasn’t loving  the cooler weather,  it certainly set the tone for a picturesque visit for the day.

Have you ever visited Traverse City or any other places in Michigan?

14 thoughts on “Playing Winter Tourists At Home

  1. I’ve been to Ann Arbor a number of times when I had friends living there.

    In high school my best friend and I cut school a couple of times to play hooky. We did touristy stuff and had a blast.

  2. I’ve never been to Michigan but I’ve been to Ohio a bunch of times 😀

    I had Amber from PBs&PRs (did you read her blog) over two weeks ago and the same thing happened. It was beautiful weather up until she got here and then it was freezing rain during the two days she was here 😦

  3. Been to TC a time or 50. I love it, a little too cold six months out of the year though. Riding in the Northwest Tour so we’ll be up there in June, staying at the Interlochen campground. 😎

  4. Have never been to Michigan but it will be on our list one year! Thanks for the walkthrough of that great little town. I know what you mean about crazy weather…right now we are getting snow again, and lots of it…well lots by pacific northwest standards and it generated a couple expletives too – we just don’t do snow very well in the Seattle area. On the bright side my half on Saturday was dry, cool, and sunny!

  5. Love love love Traverse City! We usually go to Sleeping Bear Dunes (an absolute Michigan MUST) and then hit up TC, it’s one of our Summer traditions. We live about 5 hours south of TC and it’s like a whole new world up there 🙂

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