Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Traverse City’ Category

About a month ago on a sunny early spring day, we ventured to the tip of Old Mission Peninsula. It’s a beautiful strip of land that separates Grand Traverse Bay in two: West Bay and East Bay. At the base of the peninsula it’s about a mile wide and extends northward about 20 miles to the very tip. I’ve written about adventures on the scenic peninsula here, here and here. Our travels led us to the Old Mission Point Lighthouse .

The lighthouse is located on the 45th parallel which is half-way between the North Pole and the Equator. There is even a nifty sign that depicts what other cities around the world share the 45th parallel alignment.

The water levels in Grand Traverse Bay and the Great Lakes are very low (as evidenced by the pictures below) and have been for several years. I’ve read that they are expected to be even lower this year, but hope with the above average snow/rain this spring will increase the lake level.

Even with snow on the ground, the spring sun was warm and welcome after an entire winter of grey skies. We walked the shoreline and rested for a bit atop the rocks and absorbed the suns rays.

Read Full Post »

A winter post! (Sorry about that folks. This has been sitting in my drafts for a while now.) David and I got out of the house for a few Sundays in late winter to enjoy the special Sunday rates at Traverse City’s Mt. Holiday. For just $10 a lift ticket on Sunday mornings, it was too good of a deal to pass up. We met up with another couple and the guys did all of the slope action, while the ladies stayed warm in the lodge catching up on life, reading magazines and tending to her 2-year-old.


Mt. Holiday itself is a charming little ski hill located east of downtown Traverse City. The amenities include a lodge, restaurant/bar, fireplace and changing facilities. The family friendly non-profit ski hill facility is operated by a board of directors. The community-run ski hill is a bit of a rarity. The longtime owner of the ski facility tragically died tending to the hill he loved in 1999. Then the community rallied over the next few years to purchase the hill and continue to run it as a ski resort. It was incredible foresight on behalf of the greater Traverse community because Mt. Holiday is a gem! It very well could have been sold to developers for a housing development.


After hitting the slopes, the boys would join us in the restaurant for some beverages and lunch. Our friend’s son enjoyed every minute of it. He spread out his car collection and made friends with many of the skiers who were refueling in the lodge. Mt. Holiday is truly a family friendly establishment where people of all ages are enjoying the joys of winter. Doesn’t that warm your heart?


Not that I’m dreaming of winter when the warm weather has just arrived… it just gives me the warm fuzzies just thinking about taking our son to learn how to ski there someday. Thanks for being there Mt. Holiday!

Read Full Post »

Movies were free all week at the State Theater downtown for Spring Break. Last week, we went to see Fast Times at Ridgemont High… 1982 flashback! Caddyshack was showing after Fast Times, but we didn’t stay for the double-header.

Instead, we headed over to the Blue Tractor for dinner because we happened to have 2 coupons for $2.95 burgers from the Blue Tractor… talk about a cheap date*!

*It wasn’t totally cheap… because we did have the couples special at the movie theater (2 drinks and a large popcorn for like $8)… and at the Blue Tractor we added a basket of fries for $3.99, my fruity N/A drink was $2.99 and David had a $6 beer… so it wasn’t a complete cheap date… but it was still a lot of fun!

Read Full Post »

Downtown Traverse City was the place to be on New Year’s Eve. The Cherry T Ball Drop, a charity-based event for Goodwill Inn, is Traverse City’s version of New York City’s famed ball drop. Since the Traverse region is the cherry capital of the nation, our New Year’s Eve celebration included a giant cherry ball drop in the heart of downtown.

At the stroke of midnight, the crane holding the glowing cherry dropped it to the stage below. Then fireworks ensued in front of the stage while the crowd of an estimated 12,000 celebrated with friends and family.

2011 is shaping up to be a banner year. Our house is becoming very comfortable and this spring will mark our 3-year anniversary in this house. We have really transformed this former duplex into a warm, inviting cozy space. We are still planning a big upstairs renovation this spring and outdoor landscaping will take priority on the to-do list this summer. There’s a lot to look forward to in 2011. Cheers!

Read Full Post »

Yes… the National Cherry Festival was eons ago… but a photo of the front lawn in July just makes me smile this time of year. Today, it is only 45 degrees out, rainy and damp. The sky is grey and cloudy.

This post had been sitting in the hopper for months, mainly because I didn’t capture any decent pictures of the air show. The Blue Angels are just too darn fast for my Kodak EasyShare. However, today the pure blue sky and white cumulus clouds looked downright alluring. So enjoy this little trip down memory lane. July will be here again soon.

For now, I’ll enjoy the crisp, clean fall air and grey sky. Tis the season, afterall.

Read Full Post »

OK. I realize the Cherry Fest was weeks ago, but that just is evidence of how behind I am with this little ol’ blog of mine. Please forgive me and read on.

A friend had extra tickets to the Cherry Festival’s “global wine pavilion event” so David and I decided to partake. We joyfully rode our bikes down the TART Trail to the event located in Clinch Park where the former zoo once stood. The only remnants of the old zoo are the imitation rocks that flank the landscape that once provided the allure of natural habitat for the animals.

We arrived at the event area and David continued on to attempt to withdrawal some cash from the ATM at his bank located on Front Street. We both forgot about the Fest’s Junior Royale Parade with the famous Bed Races. Yep, teams decorate a bed and race it down Front Street. Winners are judged by bed design, attire and speed. Oh yeah, and someone has to actually lie in the bed during the heat. It’s a hoot to watch… when you’re not trying to cross a street lined with people to get to your ATM. Needless to say, David never made it across the street even after he tried to go around the parade, but the parade cue went on endlessly down Washington Street. He came back to the wine pavilion without any tenspots, but no worries, the event was all set up to take plastic. Woo hoo.

We sipped our first complimentary wine pour in our commemorative wine glass, toured the tents to scan the wine offerings and plan our next move. We were delightfully surprised to see a fantastic selection of craft beers.

Our table happily drank frothy beers from our wine glass and collectively wondered, “is it wrong to drink beer at a wine event?” In the end, we didn’t care. The Moose Drool beer was amazing and was quite fun to drink from a swanky wine glass. Paired with some amazing pulled pork tacos offered by The Cooks’ House restaurant in Traverse City, we were happy as clams sipping our Moose Drool surrounded by the many vino drinkers.

On our bike ride home, we wandered past the midway, the festival food court, listened to the sounds of  Big Bad Voodoo Daddy playing on the big stage, peeked over the fence of the beer tent and marveled at the many people out and about enjoying a beautiful summer evening in Traverse City. Thanks Cherry Fest, for a nice night on the town.

Read Full Post »

This summer, I started playing beach volleyball with friends on Sunday mornings at 9:30. We play overlooking the blue-green waters of Grand Traverse Bay. The busy TART trail runs behind the beachfront courts and is always bustling with activity. An occasional onlooker will pause for a moment or two on the many benches along the trail to watch our group play.

I had forgotten how much fun it is to play a team sport and how short bursts of energy really get the adrenaline pumping. Dont’ get me wrong, we’re not always playing ‘bump-set-spike’ volleyball, but we’re putting forth a solid effort while laughing, listening to music and having a good time. Inevitably, we end up with sand on our arms and legs from all of the digs and diving for the ball, but it’s nothing that a dip in the bay can’t fix.

There are plenty of nets, so gather up some friends and have a ball!

Read Full Post »

Ok, so this little Vasa winter wonderland cross-country ski excursion actually took place back in February, but who’s keeping track anyway? I was just happy to be outside in the great outdoors getting some excercise and snapping a few pics.

The Vasa Pathway is a scenic and challenging trail that is groomed regularly for Nordic skiing fans. The trail is busiest in the winter months although the trail is also a haven for mountain biking in the summer. And since it took me so long to write this post , I’m happy to announce that I mountain biked the Vasa single track on Saturday. Other than the visual blight due to the DNR’s logging that occurred in the fall/winter, the trail is fast, technical and in great shape! There were only a few patches of snow left in the woods.

No matter the season, the Vasa trail will welcome you. So go for a glide or a roll through the woods of Northern Michigan. Isn’t it why we live here?

Read Full Post »

Recently, a friend and I met at the Boardman River Nature Center and walked the trails along the Boardman River’s Nature Education Reserve. It was one of those walks that totally rejuvinates. We were drenched in sunshine, absorbed by beautiful surroundings and shared great conversation.  I came home even more energized after the hour+ walk.

The trails hug the river and wind between dense Cedar trees.

The trails feature several bridges over running creeks.

We found evidence of a busy beaver who had gnawed down a tree along the river bank.

Go see it for yourself. http://www.gtcd.org/contact/

Read Full Post »

Our new mayor in Traverse City, Chris Bzdok, has a healthy outlook on the future of our town. He comes from a mindset of environmental sustainability, and works to balance the needs of Traverse City while keeping the big picture in focus.

He is redefining how the City Commission acts on projects, proposals and citizen input. Instead of waiting until the end of a process to invite citizen input, he’s looking for it up front. His new website, PlanforTC.com, enables residents to proactively voice their ideas and input on proposed projects or make new suggestions.

I’m confident that Chris Bzdok will lead us in the right direction during his two-year term as mayor. Here’s to 2010 and a prosperous Traverse City!

February is bound to be a hot month with the new Traverse City National Writers’ Series set to feature the likes of Tom Brokaw, Woody Harrelson, Mario Batali, James Bradley author of “Flags of Our Fathers”, and Walter Kirn writer of “Up in the Air” to name a few. To cap it off, on February 19-21, Michael Moore and Jeff Garlin from “Curb Your Enthusiam” have teamed up to create the Traverse City Comedy Arts Festival! It’s going to be a banner year!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.