Friday, April 26, 2013

Moms Weekend at Northport, a post Revisited

 
Here's another place that my girlfriends and I fell in love with last year.
Now I know the reason why Mario Batali
bought a home a here.

July is cherry season and Traverse City celebrates the
Cherry Festival.
This place would be the best area to consider staying at
if you want to be away from all the tourists coming for the festival.

A quiet, romantic place to spend time with your other half.

----

 
 
Still recovering from a fun Kids Free weekend at Northport, 
with my dear Mommy friends.
It was a weekend filled with laughter,
great company,
delicious food and lots of wine.
 Lots of wine!!!

I do apologize for the poor quality of some photo images,
I forgot to charge the battery of my DSLR camera,
so I had to use my iPhone.

 
 
 
 
Northport is at the Leelanau Peninsula in Michigan.
A Beautiful, quaint, quiet town
with hills filled with apple and cherry orchards.
Northport lies near the 45th Parallel.
And Yes,
our friend Sandi made us raise our feet and arms.
Until now, I have no idea why. Hahaha!

 
The drive after the recent rain was a lively scenery,
Lush forests and fields,
one would say,
lends an air of enchantment.
It was a scenery you would see in movies,
thousands of trees,
some with golden leaves formed a canopy over the roadside,
deers on the field,
rays from the sun behind heavy clouds peeking through.
Yes, Mother Nature
surely has it's awesome way with special effects.



UPDATE!!!

Just learned today,
we just missed IRON CHEF MARIO BATALI.
He is spending Thanksgiving at his house at his summer home in Northport.
Shucks!
It would have been so awesome running into him in town
or the local grocer where he frequents.

 
 

 
 
 
Stayed at our friend Sandi's parents Bed & Breakfast.
 
Days Gone By 
is a Victorian Country home and was built in 1868.
 It is less than a quarter mile walk to town shops and the Marina.
And a hike away to this panoramic hilltop view of Grand Traverse.
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Each room has it's own theme, comfortable beds,
and of course spotlessly clean bathrooms.
My room had a great view of the Copper Beech Tree.
The smell of coffee, and baked yummies woke us up every morning.
The mouth-watering breakfast filled our hungry bellies before we left for the days mini adventures.
Jane is the Best Host ever,
she made sure our stay was very comfortable.
 
 
Stone Fence borders the Large property
 
A Large Outdoor Fireplace
 
 
The Copper Beech Tree outside my Bedroom window.
 
 
Our trip was perfect timing for the
Taste of The Season.

Yes, like I said before, there are wineries in Michigan. 
 
My friends and I are not wine experts,
but we are Mommies that have a taste for good wine. 
California still has some of the best wines in the world, 
but Michigan has a few good tasting wines as well.
There's a couple of wines that I happen to like from this wine region.
But there is one that really stands out.
 
Black Star Farms full-bodied Arcturos Cabernet Franc
 is smooth and rich. 
A hint of forest floor earthiness and spicy toasty oak 
is in perfect harmony with the blackberry and raspberry aromas.
The delicate but good structured tannins anchors the finish. 
It is well-balanced, but complex.
 
I would say this is the "Best Michigan Wine."
 
Best paired with any hearty rustic meals.
 
 
The high ceiling and wooden beams felt like I was in a California Winery,
I immediately knew that I will have good tasting here.
 
My puffy eyed face from only 3 hrs. of sleep with lovely Veronica
whose father 17 years ago planted the grapevines the Cabernet Franc is made from.
 She helped us with her expertise in choosing the best wine.
 

 
We visited a few more wineries, 
and encountered some quite happy and very tipsy older couples,
 with their car hitting and scraping every boulder on the side of the parking lot.
The poor car!
No traffic enforcer was in sight that weekend.
Maybe they were at the wine tasting too.



Car on the left, The Tipsy driver hitting the boulders in front and back of the car.
At Leelanau Cellars


 
Sunday,
 we went to get some Antique Apples at the Christmas Cove Farm.
It's about less than 5 miles from the B&B.
John the owner,
had some interesting bottle collections that filled the entire wall of the barn.
And his tin can collections filled the ceiling as well.
As you approach the barn you are welcomed with the sweet aroma of the apples.
Different varieties of Antique Apples
were at the table, and it was our lucky day,
everything was 1/2 off.
 

 
 
 


John showing me his new addition, a  Rare bottle with the print of the Capitol.

Looks like my husband and I. LOL!

 
After the farm we were off to see the Grand Traverse Lighthouse.
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
  
 
 


He turned to face me as I was taking his picture.
 
 Aimee found a cute friend.
Remembering all the Heroes who protected and kept us safe.
Veteran's Day 2012.



After the Lighthouse, we went back to town.
a gift shop with a variety of beautiful things including the Vera Bradley Collection.
Got myself a beautiful scarf and some christmas ornaments.
Every year I get a few to add to my collection.
It was a day of deals,
first we got 50% off at the Antique Apples farm
and here we got everything at 25% off.
 
 



They had an array of  yummies for their customers. A very nice gesture.
 
 
We then strolled to the Marina.
A Perfect day for it,
the sun decided to grace us with its presence.
The Marina was empty, and so was the beach next to it.
No one in sight, not even the seagulls.
 
It was just a few days ago when I was missing the beach.
And here I am, what a beautiful sight!
 
The breeze touching my face was a kiss of relaxation.
Hearing the ocean crashing, waves hitting sand, then pulling back to the bay.
The sound of the waves in the morning is just refreshing.
The water in different shades of blue.
The water was crystal clear
you can see everything living below it,
  the soft powdery sand cool to the touch. 
Ahhh ... life at the beach is what I want.
 
 









 
 
 
This has been a fun weekend with great friends.
We all deserved the break from our busy everyday life.
Thanks to our wonderful husbands who gifted us this luxurious weekend.
Who unselfishly stayed behind taking good care of our precious ones at home.
 
 
 




 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

CHARLEVOIX the Beautiful

 
 
As promised,
I am re-posting some of my favorite trips of all time.
I hope you will be able to find your perfect family vacation this year like we did.
It takes lots of research in planning for the right vacation for a family with little kids.
Here's one we took last year of a beautiful place we never knew existed
especially when you mention that it is in Michigan.
When you say Michigan, the first thing comes to mind is Detroit.
Slowly,
 we are discovering that there is more to Michigan than just Detroit.
 
 
------


After getting back from vacation,
I am exhausted, and have just been resting
and gaining back some energy to get back to normal routine.
This was an activity filled vacation.
Not just a lounge around the beach kinda vacation.

It was Love at First Sight for my husband and I when we visited Charlevoix last year.
We stayed at the beautiful Inn at Bay Harbor at the neighboring town Petoskey.

This year we decided to rent a house at the lake.
I found a great cabin just perfect for my family and my cousin Pam's family who shared the house with us.
The owner Lizz is just the sweetest and most helpful.
She had the house fully stocked down to bug spray and sunblock lotion.
All you need to bring are your clothes and groceries.
I even went home with clean clothes,
thanks to her washer/dryer all I needed was to put the clothes away when we got back.
The kids especially enjoyed S'mores night.
And of course their own little hideaway,
the loft where they all slept.
The basement had a Ping-Pong table Foosball, Television and some games.
If you come with a pet,
the backyard is fully fenced and she even has dog crates in the basement.





With the ages of our children,
the beach is the only fun place to take them for now. 
The only place where we won't hear the two ugly words ... "I'M BORED!"
My husband and I want to visit family in Europe,
but I guess that will be a separate trip with no kids in tow.
So for now,
here's our little version of Europe in our new home State
... Pure Michigan.


Charlevoix truly lived up to it's name
"CHARLEVOIX THE BEAUTIFUL".


It's the Little Europe of the North.
Rolling hills full of beautiful wildflowers, a Lavender Hill, a Sunflower field,
Marina filled with million dollar yachts and sailboats.
Beautiful crystal clear water lakes, whitesand beaches.
People on their bikes. Beautiful Homes built by Earl Young.
Beautiful weather, great tan,
and of course, delicious food.


The next few days,
I will be sharing with you the rest of the gorgeous sights
 from other neighboring beautiful places we've been to.


Flower Fields
Lavender Hill Farm 
So fragrant but definitely buzzing with millions of bees. Hubby had to stay in the car because of his allergies with bee stings.


 SUNFLOWER FIELD
Doesn't this remind you of the movie Under the Tuscan Sun?
Don't exactly know which town it was,
my husband woke me up from my nap while driving on our way to the vineyards.
What a way to wake up!
As you can see my eyes are all swollen from the nap.
But hey, I don't mind if the photo background is this gorgeous.


WILD YARROW FLOWERS
Took tons of photos of my daughter of "whom I should not show her face" at the acres of rolling hills filled with these beautiful wildflowers.



 We went Sailing.


Hubby & son helping out with the sail
$6.5 million House for sale with 2 boat garages.
This house was featured at HGTV.
Sailing Lessons for kids


The Belvedere Club Cabanas


Jumped off the sailboat and swam. Little Taz not too happy.
My kids enjoying the whitesand beach with their little cousin Paige


Crystal Clear water




GOOD EATS




Walked around downtown and stopped by for some ice cream and a sample taste of Murdick's fudge.






            photo credit: Whitney's Oyster Bar
Had a delicious dinner here. Kudos to the chef.
Everyone in our party was quite happy with what they had for dinner.
Great view of the Marina from the upper level of the building.



 HOMES built by Earl Young

Hobbit Home


Mushroom Home




And here's a shot I took of the beautiful view
 that everyone that lives in the northwest coastline 
enjoys every night at sundown.


 
Have a great time!!!
 
 
For the House Rental contact Lizz:  615 410 1114
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