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AuSable Point Lighthouse @ Grand Marais, Michigan

26 Sep

Shipwrecks, colorful rocks, and a lighthouse at the end of a two mile walk.

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AuSable Lighthouse had beautiful views of dunes, sorry I did not get a picture of them.

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Along our walk back to the parking lot we saw several remains of shipwrecks. The signs said one was a ship wreck from 1904 and the other 1918. I am not sure which was which, but they looked pretty cool as the waves hit them.

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I love these rocks.  I took a few little ones home as a souvenir.

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I love the color the sand turned as the sun was going down.

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Here are some other sunset pictures taken the next day, when the waves were a lot calmer.

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I thought Key West had some amazing colored sunsets, but these were gorgeous.  The sky was so orange, it almost felt like the colors were warming me up.

St. Ignace & the Mackinac Bridge @ Michigan

21 Sep

On our drive up to the City of Munising for our sea kayaking trip on Lake Superior, we made an impromptu stop in St. Ignace.  We entered St. Ignace and the Straits of Mackinac area after crossing the Mackinac Bridge.  Which by the way, a few local Michiganian’s told me that crossing this bridge can be scary, and after crossing some pretty tall and scary bridges in Texas, I started to worry.

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Crossing this bridge was no big deal.  Shocking to read that huh?  Coming from me, who gets scared stepping on top of a bucket because it’s too high above the ground.

I found the views beautiful.

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It seemed that there was always a storm right on the outskirts wherever we were.  Thankfully it did not rain on us and ruin our photo opportunities.

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After the bridge we decided to find a place to eat, but couldn’t help to stop again and take in the view of St. Ignace Municipal Marina, which is located in downtown St. Ignace. The skies could not be more perfect.

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Next to the marina is Mackinac Grille, which I think had one of the best views of the downtown area and the marina.

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See the lighthouse in the background?

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An interesting character, isn’t he?

We had whitefish bites and shrimp!

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The whitefish was tastier than I thought.

One of the Michigan blogs that I follow mentioned making a stop at Manley’s Fish Market for smoked fish dip if ever in the area of St. Ignace so, of course, I made a stop.

As soon as I entered the small wooden house that is Manley’s Fish Market, I was hit with a wall that smelled of nothing but smoke, which I love.  I always find it interesting when smells remind me of memories.  My first thought was of my uncle Danny, in our backyard, smoking fish or a turkey. Yum!

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From St. Ignace, Munising was less than two hours away and we really wanting to fit in AuSable Point Lighthouse before sunset, but more on that experience another day.  Happy Friday!

Miners Castle @ Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

17 Sep

We drove about 5 hours to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for sea kayaking on Lake Superior.

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We have kayaked before in The Florida Keys using an open faced kayak, but I have never used a sea kayak before.  The difference is an open face kayak or a sit on top kayak is what the name says, open. It is open to all elements such as getting wet from waves, etc.  A sea kayak has a spraydeck or a skirt that is used to prevent you from getting wet and helps when or if you want to roll your kayak without filing it with water or getting ejected from your seat.

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A sea kayak also has a rudder that is operated by wires that are attached to foot pedals that allow you to control which direction you want to go.  This was Luis’ job.  I enjoyed using the sea kayak compared to the open faced kayak, it was much more comfortable, faster, and glided smoother on the water.

We were lucky that the weather was decent and the waves were very small. The day before our kayak trip, the waves were 4 feet hitting the cliffs.

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Our guide, Carl from Northern Waters was awesome.  He was recently on the cover of Michigan’s outdoor magazine and was very pleasant and patient to teach us the best ways to enjoy the cliffs at Miners Castle.

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Aren’t the layered colors on the sandstone cliffs beautiful? Blues and greens are created by copper, the reddish hues by iron.

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On this day, the water wasn’t as clear as it usually is because a storm had rolled in the day before. It didn’t matter to us, we were still amazed by how clear the water was.  We could see shipwrecks below us as with paddled by as well as some pretty impressive rock formations.

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The view of Miners Beach which is just a few miles from Miners Castle. The sugar sand beach was beautiful and we had it all to ourselves.

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Sleeping Bear Dunes @ Michigan

11 Sep

We could see the Dunes in the background.  We had to have a closer look.

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After all the eating and drinking, Luis and I needed to walk it off so, we headed to Sleeping Bear Dunes and took on “The Climb”.  Doesn’t look too hard…

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After lots of stopping to catch my breathe, I made it!

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Much easier going down the dune.

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A view of the top of the dunes we took while driving through the dunes scenic road.

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After the showers we had in the morning, and the dark clouds we had throughout the day, we were given a pretty impressive view of Lake Michigan right before sunset.

Harvest Stompede’s Wine and Food Pairing Tour @ Leelanau Peninsula

9 Sep

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We participated in Leelanau Peninsula’s Harvest Stompede, minus the running part.  We participated in the wine and food pairing portion of the stompede, held in Leelanau and Traverse City. We were given a huge list of wineries we could drive to along with a stemless wine glass (my favorite kind) for the wine tastings, and you are also given a small dish of whatever each winery is serving upon entry of the winery. The best part is that if you run out of time on Saturday you can continue your tour on Sunday.  Awesome deal!

On our way to Leelanau.

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Our first winery, Bel Lago served us a small mexican tortilla soup.  I didn’t get a chance to take a pic of it as I was too busy keeping an eye on the dozens of praying mantis that were overtaking the porch. Why is it that I am scared of the oddest things?  We really loved Bel Lago’s cherry wine and even took a bottle home with us along with a praying mantis. Just kidding, even though I am sure Luis would have loved to.

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Up next we drove to Black Star Farms.  This was a really nicely set up place and huge! You can stay the night or two, three, however long you want to stay in their Inn, they have horses, a barn, a cafe, a tasting room, and they make and sell cheese. We really enjoyed the layout and all the details the farm had. We didn’t leave with any wine, but we did buy Leelanau Cheese garlic cheese spread and a block of mild Raclette home with us.

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Next on our list was Chateau de Leelanau, which has a nice view of Suttons Bay.  They served us bacon wrapped pork tenderloin with onions caramelized in apple cider. So good! Wish I had a whole plate of that stuff.  I really enjoyed their Peach Fizz and I believe Luis liked their 2009 Chardonnay Sur Lie.  After our wine tasting we walked across the road to enjoy the view of Suttons Bay and had a little photo shoot.  More on that another day.

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We headed up the mountain from Chateau de Leelanau to Ciccone Vineyard and Winery.  It was the only winery we went to that didn’t have their vineyards all wrapped up which I thought was nice to actually see the grape vines. I also liked that they set up a private room for the Harvest Stompede participates to enjoy their wine and gazpacho, which was very tasty. I had never had gazpacho before, but I have always wanted to try it. The people working there were so nice and even gave me a copy of the recipe.  The other customer also thought they were nice since they kept taking pictures with one of the women who was serving us, but we later learned that the women was actually Madonna’s step mother and that was why people were posing with her. I just thought it was because she was so nice. We left home with a bottle of their 2011 Pinot Noir.

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Our last visit was to a place I have on my to-do list, Cherry Republic.  And yes, you read that correctly, our last place.  We didn’t go to very many, but we felt satisfied with the ones we did visit.

If we lived closer, Cherry Republic would definitely be my weekly weekend spot.  Not only did we try out some nice cherry sparkling wines and ciders, but we were also able to try each of their sodas made with what else, cherries!  All things cherry live here and it was all delicious.  They served three kinds of cherry cheese balls, which Luis fell in love with.  That man loves a good cheese ball ever since he tired one of my grandmother’s cheese balls one holiday visit.  They gave me the recipe for the cheese ball Luis liked the most, and we bought the ingredients from their store to make at home, which I have to make sometime this week.  We also bought a six pack of their cherry sodas; (1) cherry ginger ale, (1) cherry root beer, (2) cherry colas, (2) black cherry cream sodas. We couldn’t leave without having a bite to eat at their restaurant which had a lot of items with cherry in it. I ordered the chili which was sweet, so now I wonder if they might have added cherry to it. No matter, it was good. Even the coffee had cherry in it.  We opted for our favorite black cherry cream soda, so good.

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Afterwards we headed to The Sleeping Bear Dunes before our 3 hour trip back home, but you’ll have to wait for another day to read about that experience.  All I can give you is a little sneak peak of the view we saw of Lake Michigan while at the dunes.

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Now time for my addiction, Sunday night T.V. shows!

Happy Sunday!

Back by Popular Demand

7 Sep

I’ve been asked, err, told to update my blog.  We didn’t do much while we were home for the summer in Georgia and before we knew it, it was time to move again.

It’s been awhile since my last post and even though I am not in Georgia at the moment, but instead living in Michigan, and this blog is still called 1460 Days of Georgia, here is my story so far while in Michigan.

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After a long road trip, stopping to see family in North Carolina, Washington D.C., and Ohio,  we finally made it to our new location this past weekend.  We are now in Midland, Michigan  for Luis’ second co-op with Dow Chemical.  We will be here until mid-December and like usual I have made a long list of things to do and see while we are here.

Midland is considered a mid-sized community with a population of a little over 42,000.  Compared to Atlanta or Miami’s population this seems like a pretty small town to me.  Particularly when you show up for $1.00 tacos and trivia at a nearby bar on a Tuesday night and it seems as though the whole town is there too.

Here is a shot of the main street in downtown Midland, where most of the restaurants and shops are.

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This nicely detailed long road reminds me of Miracle Mile in Miami or the Virginia Highlands in Atlanta.

Every street light has hanging flower planters and there are a variety of cute sculptures of snowmen that have been placed on corners or in flower beds along Main Street, very cute.

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A block away from Main Street, is The Tridge, which is on my list. So, after our dinner at Sam’s Pizza on Main Street tonight, Luis and I took a walk to The Tridge to take a look.

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The Tridge is a three way pedestrian footbridge built in 1981 over the Tittabawassee and Chippewa rivers, The Tridge marks the spot where the two rivers meet.

We are planning on another trip to The Tridge sometime this weekend and visit the Chippewa Nature Center and enjoy the center before it gets too cold. Tonight was in the upper 60’s, which was nicer than this morning when it was in the 50’s.  And it’s not even fall yet.

I didn’t know moving to Georgia would lead me to living in so many other places other than Georgia, or else this blog would have a different title. I guess this blog can still be called 1460 Days of Georgia because, I will return to Georgia and if it wasn’t for Georgia, I wouldn’t be where I am today. So, as long as you don’t mind the confusing title as Luis and I venture around the U.S., please continue to read and continue to inspire me as you have.

Have a great Friday night!