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Archive for August, 2009

Gardens are beautiful… even vegetable gardens. More and more people are growing their own food.

Garden (16)Tomatoes on the vine.

Garden (13) A future red bell pepper.

Garden (17)Cayenne peppers.

Garden (20)Wild tiger lilies in bloom.

YardHere’s a shot of the back yard. It’s a far cry from what it looked like this spring. In July, we even re-seeded some areas that weren’t taking so well.

Yard (3)The side yard also is shaping up to be a great place to throw a frisbee to Wyatt or play catch.

Yard (2)The Manitou Tall Ship happened to be sailing by when I was out with my camera. You can’t beat views like these.

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David and I stumbled upon Elk Rapids’ Evening on River Street event one sunny summer evening.
Evening on River St (2)The concept is similar to Traverse City’s popular Friday Night Live events: close down the main street downtown, invite vendors, musicians and nonprofits to pitch tents in the streets, then invite the public to parade around on the car-free streets to connect with neighbors and the community.  

Evening on River St (3)There is something magical about playing in the street. And on Wednesday nights in Elk Rapids and Friday nights in Traverse City- it’s the thing to do!

Evening on River St (4)People tend to come out in droves for these events. It’s great to see downtown’s alive and thriving like this.

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Meet Mae, a female black Labrador Retriever puppy living in downtown Traverse City.
Wyatt and Mae (5)
Mae is a total cutie pie. Wyatt met her first a few weeks ago. Since then, she has doubled in size. For all of you regular readers out there, forgive me for indulging in a little dog love diatribe here…

Wyatt and Mae (9)
Mae likes Wyatt more than he likes her. She kept prompting him to play, but Wyatt was only interested in finding new places to hide.
Wyatt and Mae (6)
Mae, on the other hand, only goes for brief  respites under the bench in the yard. Be on alert at all other times, because she is ready to play!

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A quick weekend visit to Fishtown in Leland, Michigan will remind you to slow down and take each day as it comes. Despite the daunting skies and dooming weather that was imminent, we made the most of it and headed out anyway.
Fishtown (2) Oh, the Janice Sue. An excerpt from the Fishtown Preservation Society explains it all… “Even fish tugs are like family in Fishtown. In 1958 Louis Steffens launched the newly built Janice Sue, which he named for his three-year old niece. Better able to endure ice and waves, steel-hulled tugs replaced hand-built wood tugs. In Leland’s historic Fishtown, today’s visitor can experience one of the few remaining commercial fishing complexes on the Great Lakes.”

Fishtown (8)We ate lunch at The Cove, a mainstay in summertime Leland. The restaurant is perched along the waterfalls of the dam, overlooking Fishtown and Lake Michigan in the distance.

Cove (2)From inside the restaurant, diners are treated to a massive wall of windows overlooking the sights and sounds of a working fishing village and Lake Michigan waves crashing to shore in the distance. The Manitou Islands are just a public ferry-ride away.

While we ate lunch, several brave wet-suit-wearing kite-boarders came surfing/kiting by, taking advantage of the the high-winds and massive waves. I guess they didn’t mind the occasional downpour our two.

Fishtown (6)The docks in Fishtown are lined with quaint shops who earn thier bread and butter during the bustling summer season. There’s a candy store, pottery studio, hat shop, fresh fish outlet, the bread hut, the cheese shop, a shoe store, an art gallery, several clothing stores and charter fishing operations. All this, neatly tucked away along the docks and weathered outbuildings that make up Fishtown. It’s truly unique.

FishtownOf course, an annual trip to the Cheese Shanty for a pretzel bread sandwich is a “must” for anyone local to the region. You know it’s summer when the Cheese Shanty is open for business. Take your sandwich to-go and eat it al fresco in the harbor overlooking the lake, yachts and a northern Michigan sunset. It can’t be beat.

For a collection of Leland, MI photos, please visit my Leland Flickr set.

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The biggest conundrum we have with kayaking is getting to the water. The bay is “just” across the street… the only catch is that the ‘street’ is US 31, a 4-lane divided highway.

Kayak (2)Kayak (3)Kayak (4)

Kayak (5)Kayak (6)Kayak (7)

The process to get into the water is: wheel kayaks out of the garage, down the driveway, on the sidewalk, accross on leg of the highway, into the median, then safely across to the beach.

Kayak (9)

The ‘getting-there’ is a bit of a chore, but the reward sure is worth it!

Kayak (11)

David built his kayak from a kit. You can read more about it in this previous post. To see these pictures in full-size, please visit my flickr page.

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