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Friday, September 30, 2011

The Fish House in Paradise

We can't go through Paradise in the UP without stopping for a fresh fish meal. At the Fish House, they catch the fish from Lake Superior and do them up right. Whitefish is our favorite. They also have a smoked fish pâté and a lovely whitefish chowder. Makes us want to jump in the car and head back up to the UP. The fall colors are peaking up there this week!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Comerica Park: Where the Tigers are Champs!

The playoff games leading up to the World Series begin tomorrow in NYC and not at our own Comerica Park in Detroit. We will just have to whip the Yankees butts in the Bronx and then return to the Motor City to complete the task. Following the game, fireworks will be set off in the stadium for a visually stimulating and colorful display against the green and waterfall fountain backdrop in the outfield. Look for the tiger sculptures and a huge bat when entering the stadium. Bless you, boys!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Rattlesnake Club in Detroit

You can't beat the bargains for Restaurant Week in Detroit which ends this Saturday. The Rattlesnake Club is participating and their offerings will make you drool. For $28 per person you have a three course gourmet meal with choices like butternut squash ravioli, roasted garlic and thyme crusted prime rib of certified angus beef, Maine lobster pot pie or pan seared apple cider cured breast of duck. There are heaters above the patrons on their patio.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Canoeing the Pere Marquette River

A peaceful float or canoe trip down the Père Marquette River rates an awesome ten on our Michigan scale. Named after the French Jesuit priest who explored the region and established the first communities in Michigan in the 1600's, the 66 miles from Baldwin out to Lake Michigan have been designated as a National Scenic River and is known far and wide for its trout and salmon fishing. This shot was taken near Scottsville.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Gratiot Central Market in Detroit

On a recent trip to Eastern Market in Detroit, a young couple had no idea there was another whole area to explore just on the other side of the expressway.  With a convenient pedestrian walkway tunnel, you slide over to the Gratiot Central Market where sights and lovely smells abound. They specialize in meats of all kinds. Here's where we come to buy our shish kebobs, ribs, corned beef, Amish chicken and yellow fin tuna. Most of the 1915 building has been rebuilt due to the two fires it has suffered.  The most recent was in 1995. At least they saved the gorgeous terra cotta wall on Gratiot. Check it out.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Christ Church in Detroit

Detroit's Christ Church on Jefferson is the oldest Protestant church in Michigan, dating back to 1845. Many of the founding fathers' names are well known streets in the city like Trowbridge and Campau.  Beautiful Tiffany windows grace this church that stands in the shadow of the GM/Renaissance Center. Solomon Sibley was a former mayor of Detroit and one of Christ Church's original members. The Sibley House next door to the church was built in 1848 and serves at the parish rectory. Both are National Register of Historic Places.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Vivio's Restaurant in Eastern Market

It's a Saturday morning tradition in Detroit to head over to Eastern Market and have breakfast before heading into the stalls to buy produce.  There are many great restaurants in this area and we think you should check them all out.  We love Vivio's, a 2-story bar restaurant that has been there 44 years. We managed to slide in without waiting for a table at 8:45am, but by 9:30, the wait line out the door was long. Their half pound burgers are served on homemade pretzel rolls with local McMahon's mustard.  Or you can try their lobster BLT's on a fresh baguette! They are famous for their bloody marys served with a Detroit pickle. Metro Times calls them the best in Detroit. Vivio's offers a shuttle that takes you to games and concerts.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Berry Patch Bakery/Gift Shop in Paradise

The Berry Patch Bakery in the UP's Paradise claims to be open 370 days a year. We enjoyed the hearty lumberjack breakfast followed by a piece of fudge with blueberries for dessert. What a unique taste treat. The gift shop was hosting a book signing. Our hostess' t-shirt says it best: Life is great. Bakeries make it better!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Historic Depot in Standish

The local farmers donated stones and helped build this 1889 depot in Standish.  It has been lovingly and beautifully restored. It is used today as a Welcome Center. The trains look like the Hogwarts Express straight out of a Harry Potter movie. The 7th annual Depot Days occur the weekend of September 30-October 2 with a 5K fun run/walk to benefit juvenile diabetes, polka bands, antique tractors and best of all? --there is no charge to get into the festival which is 30 miles north of Bay City.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rivermouth Campground in Paradise

Rivermouth Campground near Paradise in the UP puts you right next to the Tahquamenon River. The rustic campground is perfect for tenting and only $10 per night. The brown color of the water is a result of the tanic acid that leaches into the river from hemlock and cedar swamps. This is all part of the Tahquamenon Falls State Park, the second largest in our state. You can also take advantage of their interpretive programs like bird walks or their evening slide show on astronomy, river hunts, and bears.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Chainsaw Carvings in Paradise

The fascinating art of chainsaw carving is fun to watch, if you have some earplugs! Here we see E.K. Lafitte at work creating a popular bear in the great outdoors of Paradise. Edwin chops them out of white pine or white cedar and takes orders and sends them to his customers and everything is 100% chainsaw carved. His repertoire includes bears, eagles, owls, bulldogs, totem poles, Indians, bullfrogs and actually just about anything you want. They are located on Highway M 123 West about 10 miles south of Whitefish Point.

Monday, September 19, 2011

New Lions Exhibit at the Detroit Zoo

There's something new and great a the Detroit Zoo.  The lions exhibit brings the mighty beasts so close you can almost touch them! There is a special reinforced tempered glass that separates us, the gawkers, from them, the kings of the jungle. Hats off to Zoo Director, Ron Kagan, for his constant progress in improving our world class animal arena. This 7500 square foot exhibit doubles the size the lions had before.  The moats were filled in and the glass has replaced them.  Pretty roaring awesome.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Janice Miles Art Gallery in Saugatuck

You are immediately drawn to Janice Miles' watercolors in her Saugatuck Gallery. Hailing from Britain, she frequently paints English cottages and garden scenes. We loved the one of Holland's Big Red.  Janice is passionate about her work and her eyes shine with excitement when she talks about it. Her wonderful husband helps her run the busy shop on Water Street.  We couldn't believe that Janice also knitted the pillows!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pendills Creek National Fish Hatchery

Brimley is home to the Pendills Creek Fish Hatchery which raises fingerling and yearling lake trout to be released in the Great Lakes. 200,000 fall fingerlings were raised for Lake Huron and 900,000 for Lake Michigan. Here, we see a US Wildlife employee at work, measuring their growth. It was interesting to see what seems like millions of trout swimming in man made the ponds.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Point Iroquois Lighthouse

The Point Iroquois Lighthouse in Brimley guided ships in and out of the Soo Locks for 93 years before it was decommissioned in 1962. Built in 1870 out of brick, it stands 65 feet tall.  You can still climb this lovely tower which is a part of the Hiawatha National Forest and absolutely gorgeous in the fall.  A short walk from its lovely beach, it is open every day with its museum through October 15th.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sault Ste Marie's Wolf and Crane

The famous statue of the twins Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, suckling from the mother wolf stands in Sault Ste Marie. It is an exact copy of the famous work which is housed in Italy's Capitoline Museum. Chase Osborn, former governor of Michigan and resident of Sault Ste Marie, gifted this piece of art in 1909 because as the Chippewa legend goes, the Sault area had a similiar history of two young brothers being rescued from a wicked mother by a crane. One of these children ends up the founder of the local settlement. The Crane Statue was dedicated in 1985 by Stella Osborn in memory of Chase Osborn. Ralph Wolfe is the artist.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Newberry's Tahquamenon Falls State Park

This is the land of the "rushing Tahquamenaw" that Longfellow described in his famous poem "Hiawatha". The abundance of fish in its waters and animals along its shores attracted the Ojibwa Indians who camped, farmed and trapped along its banks. Whether you are visiting the dynamic upper Tahquamenon Falls or the lower ones where you can actually wade out in the water, you are in for sheer delight.  The multi level staircase aids visitors in their quest to get up close. The Tahquamenon Falls State Park is located in Newberry in the Upper Peninsula.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mother-in-Law Bridge in Croswell

The Mother-in-law bridge over the Black River in Croswell is a hoot. Also known as the Swinging Bridge, this suspension structure was built over 100 years ago by the Michigan Sugar Company to give their employees a quick foot access to reach their jobs at the sawmill. At the time, the cost for this 139 foot bridge was $300. Like the sign says, capacity is limited to 50 people at a time.  It is so annoying when people jump up and down! You have to put this on your bucket list because it is the longest suspension footbridge in our state.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Flint Rogues Rugby Team

Did you know that the World Cup of Rugby is being played right now in New Zealand? It's once every four years and a pretty big deal world wide.  Our USA Team got beat by Ireland yesterday. Well, we thought you should know that Flint has an amateur rugby team called the Rogues. They gave us permission to use their team photo taken after the Saline Celtic Fest game against Detroit RFC. This team, one of the first rugby teams in Michigan, will be celebrating 40 years in 2012. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Firehouse Detroit on 9/11

Decommissioned Firehouse 4 adjacent to St Anne's Church in Detroit was the scene of many artists who transformed the abandoned 1897 station into an objet d'art. Those 3 boxes out front cover glass pipes that fire up to synchronized music! The Detroit Film Theatre is showing it tonight on 9-11 at 7pm. Gregory Holm, a Detroit resident, headed up this unique project. It honors all firefighters and is a special remembrance for the 10 year anniversary of 9-11.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Roberts Riverwalk Hotel in Detroit

The Roberts Riverwalk Hotel proudly stands adjacent to the city's premier 5 and a half mile boardwalk along the Detroit River. Part of the Stroh complex, it used to be the Park Davis building's research lab that was built in 1902 and desginated a National Historic Landmark in 1976. This boutique hotel has 107 elegant rooms, many of which overlook the water.  Roberts Bistro and Bar is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, offering both indoor and outdoor seating. If you just want to come down and check it out, happy hour specials occur Mon-Friday.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Detroit Beer Co

The brewery on Broadway has been there eight years now and prior to a baseball, football or hockey game, you just can't get a seat inside! It's two floors high and jam packed when there are any events going on downtown. Their beers are very popular. We loved the Honey-Badger Porter and the Detroit Dwarf.  You can get a sampler's tray of any 5 for $6.50. They are also affiliated with the Royal Oak Brewery.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Car Festival at Frankenmuth

Tomorrow is the big day! Over 200 cars will be featured at the Frankenmuth Car Festival September 9-11. Head out to Heritage Park on Weiss Street for all the fun where you'll see Ronald McDonald, classic muscle cars, bands and dancing and even a water ski show on the Cass River.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Walking Mighty Mac on Labor Day

Nothing beats walking the five miles across Mackinac Bridge on Labor Day. We started at dawn and the entire experience was exhilarating. Tens of thousands of people gathered up north to join Governor Rick Snyder as he led the way.  You even get a nifty certificate to honor the occasion. It is very, very well organized with everyone starting off in St Ignace. Buses are available in Mackinaw City to take you across the bridge to start the walk, or to take you back once you have completed it. What a way to end the summer.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Old Bailey School House in Harrisville

School bells are ringing today for most Michigan students and the Old Bailey Schoolhouse up in Alcona County is a reminder of what learnin' was like a century ago when this one was built. Norway pines were used to construct this one room structure for the children of the logging crews and it was heated with a coal stove. Formerly located west of Mikado Township, it was taken apart and reput together on the Sturgeon Lighthouse grounds near Harrisville for safer keeping. Have you ever hand pumped water before?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Detroit Jazz Festival

Today is the last day of the 2011 Detroit Jazz Festival which takes up 2 millions square feet of downtown space starting at Hart Plaza's riverfront and running up to Campus Martius. "We Bring You the World" has 5 different stages with continuous beautiful music emanating from each all Labor Day Weekend long. For 32 years, world class jazz has been brought to this festival in Detroit and all the entertainment is still free.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Detroit's Whaling Wall

Haven't you ever wondered about the mural of humpback whales on the Broderick Tower in downtown Detroit? It was created in 1997 by the artist Wyland who was born in the Motor City. It has been his desire to share his oceanic life murals with 100 communities across the world and he met that goal a few years ago painting a wall in Bejiing for the Olympics. He graduated from Lamphere High School in Madison Heights where the pool area contains his 25th whaling wall.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

New Holland Brewery

The New Holland Brewery has incorporated the Dutch windmill into its logo.  You've seen their craft beers everywhere; Mad Hatter, the Poet, Full Circle, Sundog and John Stewart the Brewer also make a ton of seasonals like Ichabod Pumpkin Ale and Dragon's Milk. Their pub in downtown Holland is a lively place and their original brewing facility. In 2008, they opened a larger production facility a bit farther north.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Kilwins Chocolates

Did you know that Kilwins with its chocolates, fudge and ice cream began in Michigan?  In 1947, Don and Katy Kilwin opened their first store in Petoskey. Now there are over 80 stores nationwide. The one above is in Holland with a very cool outdoor fireplace. We succumbed to the delicious mocha ice cream on a hot summer day.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pledge of Allegiance in Holland

This statue of children saluting the flag in Holland was done by scultpter Glenna Goodacre. It is called pledge of allegiance. It stands right on 9th Street and Central in the middle of their busy commercial downtown.