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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Superior Lakes Hand Crafted Michigan Mead

Michigan honey is sweet and when it is used in the production of mead the result is some fine tasting mead. we visited   Superior Lakes Hand Crafted Michigan Mead this weekend in Harrison Township.  Their mead  is handcrafted using the finest of ingredients.  Aaron and his partner, Jay  use raw Michigan honey, straight from the beekeeper and it is not  processed.  Most of their fruit comes directly form from Michigan farms.  We love Michigan business that support local farmers!   It is a must to go in for a tasting and a lesson from Aaron on mead and its history and production.    You may find yourself moving away from the wines, beers, and spirits you enjoy now and expanding your tastes to the ancient tradition of mead!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Clinton Macomb Public Library

The Clinton-Macomb Public Library  is a beautiful public facility with something for everyone.   Not only does it have a fabulous book collection, a fun and interesting children's department, it has a great local history room, a computer lab with many computers that all seemed to be in working order, and friendly staff and volunteers.    There is a used book sale going on until Oct 21st.   Tonight kids 6-1 can hang out, eat pizza and watch a PG-13 Zombie movie (in costume if they like).  Overall, this library is a great place to hang out. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Sweet Spot, Troy

The Sweet Spot Candy Shoppe on Rochester Road is a beautiful candy shoppe filled with tempting treats and the temptress is Jennifer Tremlett who has been serving up candy for nearly 2 years here in Troy.   Not only can you walk in to the retail location, Jennifer and her staff can help you sweeten up your corporate or personal events or parties with candy tables stacked  with apothecary jars filled with candy! 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Just Delicious Scones in Roseville

Jennifer Colombo recently moved her Just Delicious Scones in Roseville to a more spacious location.   The ambiance is cozy with lovely tea cups that remind you of your mother's or grandmother's.  The scones are truly delectable!   Jennifer serves you a variety with your tea.  You can also order from a nice selection of quiches and salads for lunch. You'll find these wonderful treats at 28722 Utica Road, just south of 12 Mile.  586-859-814. Website coming soon.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Stormy Kromer hats: Made in the UP

Hats made by Stormy Kromer have been gracing our state and beyond since 1903.  They are a UP legend, begun by George "Stormy" Kromer who used to be a semi-pro baseball player and a railroad engineer. You can get a free factory tour in Ironwood at 1:30pm Monday-Friday. They are hand-stitched and made to fit. They are famous for their wool caps but sell a variety of other merchandise for both men and women including bags, outerwear, shirts, pants and accessories. Thanks for modeling, Monty (he claims plaid is the official color of the UP).

Monday, October 7, 2013

Michigan Military Technical and Historical Society Museum

Michigan Military Technical & Historical Society Museum recently opened in Eastpointe.   We visited for the first time for a movie night to see  “Prisoners in Paradise” about  Italian POW’s in America in WWII,   Prior to the movie we had a chance to explore the museum and hear from docents about the restoration of the pieces displayed.  We also heard from the Director of the Museum some historical background before the documentary began.   We are grateful for the preservation and interest by the Michigan Military Technical & Historical Society (MTHS) in the story of the role played by Michigan's civilian and military personnel in 20th century conflict, showcasing, wherever possible, the products of Michigan’s “Arsenal of Democracy”. 


Friday, October 4, 2013

Michigan State's Broad Art Museum

The Broad Art Museum on Michigan State's campus in East Lansing is committed to exploring contemporary culture and ideas through art. It combines many new pieces with those from MSU's previous art museum, often hanging contemporary next to something very classic.  The museum's façade was created by award winning architect Zaha Hadid and is constructed on pleated stainless steel and glass.  The museum was a gift of Eli and Edythe Broad.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Sun Worshipper in New Buffalo

We do not know who the artist is for this sculpture--yet. It stands at the entrance to the beautiful beach in New Buffalo on Lake Michigan.  He looks like a sun worshipper, doesn't he? He greets the flocks of people coming to view the sunset with open arms. We like him.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Starter's Bar and Grill

Starter's Bar and Grill  had its beginnings in Northwest Detroit and recently expanded operations to Midtown Detroit on Wayne State University's Campus.   This family owned business has been cooking up the best fish for over 30 years.   We loved the generous portion of catfish that was cornmeal breaded with some seasonings we had fun trying to identify. We can't wait to go back and try the BBQ the guests were enjoying at the next table.  

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Harsens Island St Clair Flats Historical Society

Poking around Harsens Island, we had to make a stop at the museum they call the St Clair Flats Historical Society. They are doing a great job preserving the very interesting history of the area in the old firehall across from Sans Souci. The Tashomo cruise ship used to make regular stops at Harsens Island with visitors from the Detroit metro area. How cool to see a replica of this boat on display. An informative island native filled us in on every detail of the history of the area including the South Channel rear light. We definitely enjoyed our time here.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Lucy's FLowers in New Buffalo

The colorful adirondacks chairs out front set the tone for Lucy's Flowers in New Buffalo. Their inviting front forced us to stop...and we bought.  They are not just flowers, but furniture and home décor.  We bought a few super lovely Michigan created things.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

St. Agatha Gagetown

The beautiful old church of St Agatha in Gagetown was established in 1879, although this building was built much more recently.   It appears the school and convent are closed but the church and cemetery are both very well maintained.   St. Agatha is part of the Saginaw Diocese.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Goetz Lockview Restaurant Sault Ste Marie

Whitefish is the predominant ingredient at the Goetz Lockview Restaurant in Sault Ste Marie and it is super fresh and terrific.  Breakfasts are very large, very filling and it's "the place" in town for your morning repast. It's a wonderful nostalgic throwback in knotty pine. Directly across from the famous locks, it's a delightful meal with a lovely view. Thanks for the photo, Marge.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Beignets Food Truck in Detroit

There's a sight of a certain food truck in Detroit that makes our steps quicken and our hearts go flutter flutter and that is Beignet 2 Go. They flash fry these tender little doughy morsels then sprinkle them with pixie dust or something! Try their New Orleans chicory coffee, too. Midweek you'll find them on Wayne State's campus, but on Saturdays from 7am to 3pm they are at Eastern Market on Russell Street. Just follow that divine smell. Thanks for the photo, Moon Choudhury ;}

Thursday, September 26, 2013

River Road Scenic Byway in Iosco County

Have you discovered the lovely drive between Oscoda and South Branch which is called the River Road Scenic Byway? It hugs the Au Sable River for 22 miles and provides some of the most pristine views one can find in our state. It has been designated as a National Scenic Byway. Part of it wends its way through the Huron National Forest. Many trails for hiking and cross-country skiing extend from this byway. Thanks for the photo, Marge.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Port Hope Chimney

The Port Hope Chimney was built by John Gletz in 1858 and is the only remains of the lumber mill established that year by William R. Staffard.  The mill was destroyed by fire.   Farming eventually replaced lumber as the major industry when the trees were gone.  The town of Port Hope grew up around the mill and has some beautiful Victorian style homes.  There is a fantastic camp ground next to the chimney  on Lake Huron, with a baseball field, beach, playground, boat launch, and building.  Along the  old fashioned main street there are with a few antique shops and  a Realtor's office that looks more like a museum  than a real estate office.   A walking tour brochure,with some of the 11 historic sites listed on the National register of Historic Places, is available for visitors.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

51 North Brewing Company in Lake Orion

Lake Orion has a charming little microbrewery off the beaten path called 51 North. It opened earlier this year in a former gas station from 1932, but its makeover is a complete transformation. Chef Mary serves healthier food with nothing deep-fried. Brewer Adam has been winning gold and bronze awards for his hand-crafted beers. Tuesdays they serve tacos all day and night for 75 cents and Wednesdays are trivia night. We went on a Sunday night (SIN nights) where people in the service industry receive 20% off!

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Alley Deck in Detroit

The Alley Deck is a rooftop venue at the Majestic Café on Woodward in Detroit.  Saturday night we were bowled over by the incredible gumbo served here as well as by the outstanding music from Creole du Nord. Lots of people hit the dance floor as we were transported into another world listening to these zydeco Louisiana tunes.  The weather was perfect. Loved that little accordeon and that awesome washboard, so, yea, we bought their CD.The whole event was sponsored by BayouDetroit, whose mission is to bring revival to the French culture that exists all around us.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Lumberman's Monument in Oscoda

For years now we've been trying to find a way to scoot over to the area between Tawas City and Oscoda to see our state's famous Lumberman's Monument. This majestic 14 foot tall statue was built in 1931 by American sculptor Robert Aitken. It pays tribute to the men who forged the logging industry throughout our state in the 18 and 1900's. It is located high above the banks of the Au Sable River in the Huron-Manistee National Forest and well worth a side trip to appreciate its beauty. Thanks for the photo, Marge Mandl.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Octagon Barn in Gagetown

In Gagetown you'll find the Thumb Octagon Barn and its Agricultural Museum. Built by James Luther Purdy in the late 1800's, it has been lovingly restored by the Friends of the Thumb Octagon Barn who also maintain the facility. We happened upon Fall Family Fun Days in Gagetown, where the barn, home, one room school, powerhouse sawmill, sugar shack and grain elevator were open for tours. We learned all about Michigan's bountiful soy crops and had fun perusing lots of vendors and checking out the many baby animals.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Port Austin State Dock

Port Austin State Harbor  is a full service harbor which has been renovated in the past few years, including new utilities and floating docks. It was a pleasure walking the 1/2 mile long boardwalk.    There are water trails for people using non-motorized boats like kayaks, canoes or rowboats. This is such a beautiful area!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Huron City Museum

Huron City Museum  is a historical complex located halfway between Port Austin and Port Hope.   Langdon Hubbard founded Huron City in 1854 which had its start as a lumber town. His descendants are keeping the history alive by caring for the 19th century structures. There are 11 buildings on 10 acres  that were built after a fire in 1881 wiped out the old Huron City. Tours are available in July and August on Fridays and Saturdays.  But even seeing how well the family maintains this property from the outside is a tribute to keeping history alive.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Port Hope Antiques and Collectibles

Summer is over and in the thumb many of the antique shops will be closing down sometime in October. So if you need to get your antiquing fix in consider stopping in Port Hope where you will find Collectible Antiques on the corner of Main and School Streets. We found so many interesting items in this highly organized shop that were reasonably priced. The proprietor is a very nice fellow.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Delaware Park in Sanilac County

When driving around the thumb of Michigan's lower peninsula, we came across Delaware Park. Located  along M-25 near Sanilac, the area is a hidden treasure. No one was there but us chickens on the 111 acres. We explored the hiking and fishing trails along with a beach and saw traces of a cozy campfire. Did we mention the views of Lake Huron are gorgeous???

Monday, September 16, 2013

Lake Vista Resort in Port Austin

We had the pleasure of spending the night at the Lake Vista Resort in Port Austin. The main building was built when Lincoln was president, but the motel rooms and cottages are all updated and very comfortable. We enjoyed their sandy beach, frolicked in the water, then swam in the heated pool overlooking Lake Huron. Located on the tip of the thumb, we had fantastic views of the sunrise and sunset.   The proprietors, Ron and Mary Gottschalk are delightful and keep the place inviting with gazebos and gardens.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

St Columbkille Catholic Church in Ubly

Founded in 1898, St Columbkille Catholic Church in Ubly was is part of the Saginaw County Diocese. The saint after whom the church is named was a 6th century monk from Ireland who established schools and churches in Scotland where he was greatly revered. They also say he is one of the first people to encounter the Loch Ness monster. Services at St Columbkille are at 10:30 on Sunday morning.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Spinning Alpaca Wool

Monica was helping out at Fall Family Days which was taking place at the Thumb Octagon Barn Agricultural Museum when she was offered the chance to learn how to spin wool. She caught on quickly and became a demonstrator!  Right outside the barn were a couple a beautiful alpacas from a local farm.  We purchased a pair of socks made from the wool. They are supposed to keep your feet especially warm.   There are numerous alpaca farms to visit in Michigan. Go get your own pair of socks or maybe a scarf, a hat or a sweater.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Handmade Brooms by Henry

You will never find a broom that sweeps better than one made by Henry Tschetter from Rockford who grows his own corn to make them. These amazing brooms last 15 years if properly cared for. Henry has been making sweeping tools for more than 50 years using a machine from the 1800's on which his father and grandfather taught him. We did not know that there was someone in Michigan with this unique artisan skill.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Panda Water Ice in Frankenmuth

Useing only the finest, freshest, natural ingredients, Panda Water Ice on Main Street in Frankenmuth makes these tasty frozen desserts.   They'll take sweetened water flavored with fruit, typically juice or puree, wine, and/or liqueur.  Originating from either a Middle Eastern drink called "charbet" or a Roman invention, the name comes from the Latin verb "sorbere" and the modern Italian verb "sorbire" which means to eat and drink at the same time.   We tried the chocolate coconut--wonderful! The berry was scrumptious and the mango --out of this world.  It is a non-fat alternative to ice cream, but just as satisfying. The customer service here is exceptional.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Novi monument to 9/11

On the south side of Novi's City Hall, they have erected a Monument to 9/11. It is a very moving statue of four NYC firefighters carrying the body of their chaplain, Mychal Judge. The reverend was killed while administering last rites to another firefighter on September 11. God bless all who lost their lives on that day twelve years ago.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dancers on M-25

We haven't placed many posts from private residences in the past, but this sculpture, visible from M-25 in Port Sanilac, forced us to stop when we spotted it.  The dancers?!? made us smile as they are life size, graceful, joyful and there for everyone passing by to enjoy.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Michigan's Soy Crops are almost ready for harvest

Michigan is the 2nd most agriculturally diverse state next to California producing approximately 34 different commodities.  Michigan ranks 12th in soybean production with nearly 2 million acres planted annually.  Approximately 84.5 million bushels of soybeans are harvested annually in Michigan in more than half of our counties. When the crop turns yellow from the rich green, it is ready for harvest by this large harvesting machine that is used solely for this purpose.    Michigan export soybeans to Canada, Japan, Indonesia, China and South Korea.  Soybeans are known as the miracle crop because they have such versatility.   It has two components: oil and protein.   It can be used as a lubricant, paint remover, concrete sealer, bar soap, candle, hairspray, pumice, shampoo, spray foam insulation, anti corrosion agent, clothing, crayons, detergents, epoxies, fire logs, fish food, packaging films, truck bed liner, yarn, bio diesel fuel and for so many other   things.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sackrider Church in Hart

The small town of Hart has been gathering buildings of age and history and moving them into a central spot called their historical district to preserve them. Such is the case for their Sackrider Church, also known as United Brethren. Built in 1897 and part of Elbridge Township, it would have been demolished had it not been for the history lovers and preservationists in Hart. The basement now houses a collection of Indian lore. The pretty little church is often used for wedding ceremonies. During September's Heritage Days Celebration they have a pig roast and powwow and historic arts and crafts.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Sue and Esther's American Tea Room

Tea lovers will seek out Sue and Esther's American Tea Room in Frankenmuth which advertises good food, good friends and good conversation. With its charming décor and display of beautiful hats, patrons enjoy wonderful teas and finger foods, quiches, salads, sandwiches and/or desserts to go along with them. It is often used as a venue for bridal or baby showers and birthdays. They are open Tuesday-Saturday from 10-4.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Michigan's Own Military and Space Museum

Unique cell phone audio tours are available at Michigan's Own Military and Space Museum. Located in Frankenmuth across the street from Yogi Bear's Jellystone Campground, it is filled with memorabilia about our own state's veterans of the seven foreign wars in which our nation has fought as well as our space heroes. With about 400 exhibits, visitors get an appreciation for the passage of time and all the contributions our own men and women have provided that we might continue to enjoy the freedoms we have. They have the largest collection of Medals of Honor in the US.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Krzysiak's House Restaurant in Bay City

Have you been to the legendary Polish restaurant in Bay City called Krzysiak's House? Begun by Don and Lois Krzysiak, it's been doing a brisk business on Michigan Avenue since 1979 serving homecooked fare like pierogis and smoked sausages. Their special egg noodles are even sold by Gordon Food Service. It's a treat just to experience the beautiful original murals and listen to the polkas while eating. This family run restaurant is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner.