When we arrived in Traverse City, Gail and I went directly up the Mission Peninsula to my favorite winery, Chateau Chantal
. For those of you who are not aware, Northern Michigan has an excellent climate for wine grapes - particularly the riesling. It is also famous for cherries. We had a taste of the wines and I purchased my favorite - 'Naughty', a semi sweet red. They also have 'Nice' which is slightly sweeter than the 'Naughty' and lovely partly chilled on a warm summer day. Since I still have bottles of the other wines I like from there, I just tasted the ones I liked and took some pictures. If you get a chance, you must try the Cerise, a cherry port. They serve it with dark chocolate, and it is pretty much orgasmic. There is also a Bed and Breakfast attached, which I just found out about, but my friends spent their first anniversary there and fell in love all over again.
We drove back down the Mission, and out to the Leelanau, arriving at the Homestead around 5:30. The Homestead is termed 'America's Freshwater Resort' because it is on the shores of Lake Michigan, with a beautiful beach, pool area, golf course, tennis, biking, etc and several shapes and sizes of condos or rooms to rent. I've seen some beautiful views from around the world, and the summer sunset over Lake Michigan is still near the top. Our group got two condos, but probably could have squeezed to 1 since our 50% date probability plummeted to 0%. Anyway, at least we all ended up with beds. Our condo had 3 bunk beds in one room and a queen size bed in the other, which was perfect since Megan needed a place to crash on friday.
We went over to the Radcliffe's for pizza and beer. Amazing sunset. The boys cleared out to go to the bar and the girls drank beer and watched chick flicks. Gail reinacted the Rice Krispie Treat incident of 2002, but this time with homemade rice krispies. Yummy.
Today Gail and I made the drive up to the Homestead, choosing to leave early friday to avoid holiday traffic. After an interesting packing job due to the fact my plane was delayed coming into Detroit the previous evening, we left Royal Oak and started cruising up I-75. There was a fashion emergency which required a stop at the outlet mall and resulted in me buying a new black tank top. As we continued north from Saginaw, the sun started shining and it became the quintessential road trip - yummy snacks, open sunroof, great music, funny conversation. And no, it did not take us 4 days to hitch hike from Saginaw. Once you get off the interstate in Northern Michigan, you still have a 71 mile drive on a two lane road. In the winter, it is a major pain; in the summer on a sunny day, the rolling hills, lush trees, lilacs and peacefulness make me simply happy to be alive.