Saturday, January 2, 2016

New Year - New Beginnings

And so ends a year of writing every day.  Well, mostly every day and occasionally catching up.  But I somehow ended up with 364 posts!

It is some kind of small accomplishment and I am glad to have put myself to the task.  I won't defend all (or most) of the writings as anything special or even good - though there are a few that I'm proud of - but they're all a part of me, laid out for reading eyes, which is something I've always struggled with being confident about.  I'm still struggling with that, but I want to keep pushing myself to write.  So, this year, I'm starting a new blog: 52 Fictions.  The plan is one fictional story a week, worked on day by day.  Occasionally one week's story might be a continuation of a previous one, depending on how inspiration strikes.

So... here goes nothing!

Happy 2016!


I will also likely still post here on occasion, for I have become quite fond of this blog.  :)

Thursday, December 31, 2015

12/31 - New Years Eve!

Day Six - New Years Eve!

We started off our day with a pleasant breakfast at the 1911 restaurant that is a part of the Inn (included in the price of our stay - yay!)  Then we set off to find the Petoskey Farms Winery & Vineyards.  There is a "trail" of wineries up in the area, which this one is a part of - something to bring us back exploring another time.  We were determined to find ourselves a good bottle to ring in the new year, which we did!  "Love" Sangria... how appropriate.  :)  It was a beautiful drive up to the winery and we were some of the first customers of the day, so we enjoyed a very private tasting.

We drove back sans-GPS for adventure and ended up in downtown Petoskey, where we meandered through shops and found some lunch at Jepeson's - a small diner that has been around for 112 years.  After such strenuous work it was time for a nap before deciding how to celebrate our first New Years together!  We found a gorgeous restaurant in Petoskey (Whitecaps) that was insanely delicious and then we headed up to the Boyne Highlands, a ski resort that was hosting some NYE events.  We caught the torchlight ski parade down their main slope, which was beautiful, and their big fireworks show!  Woohoo!

And now we are counting down the minutes until 2016... I am furiously writing to finish this blog project (reflective post to come... hopefully tomorrow?) and Collin is encouraging me by very purposely ignoring me.  :P  Ah, that's love.  Haha.  Time to turn on the Times Square broadcast and watch it in real time, open that sangria, and enjoy our first New Years Eve midnight kiss!  <3 Looking forward to the many to come.

12/30 - Petoskey

Day Five

It took us a little while to get on the road in Traverse City, but luckily Petoskey isn't too far away - just about an hour or less.  On the way we stopped in Charlevoix for lunch and browsing.  It was such a cute little town!  It was a bit on the cold side as we got up there... After about 20 minutes of driving out of Traverse City we were headed right into a small snow squall, which let up a bit over Charlevoix but not much.  Still it was fun to meander the main street of town in the snow.  We enjoyed poking around the shops.  

Then it was on to Petoskey and the historic Terrace Inn, a place where Collin's family had stayed over 20 years ago and where Collin has some of his earliest memories.  It was fun to see which parts of the building he remembered.  The area that the Inn is in (haha) is essentially entirely summer residences, giving the neighborhood a bit of an abandoned feel.  This also means that it is interesting trying to even get in to the neighborhood, as they close most of the roads to avoid extra plowing work.  Again, smart phones are only so smart.  But we were able to make it and settled into another lovely cozy room.  The building is gorgeous -- definitely has the feel of being potentially haunted... but that's as far as I'll entertain that thought.  :P

We had a hard time deciding on dinner but ended up at Mim's, a hole-in-the-wall Mediterranean place down the road with great reviews.  It was indeed worth it!  Then, another night in of planning our New Years Eve day.  :)

12/29 - Adventures in Falling

Day Four

We woke up to a white-blanketed Traverse City - perfect for cross-country skiing!  This was something I had hoped to get the chance to try while I was here.  :)  We rented gear from a local shop and then headed out to find the Vasa Trail....... which we found eventually, in a very round-about fashion.  Smart phones are only so smart.  Luckily, we found a nice quiet trail, perfect for little beginner me.  And Collin was always incredibly sweet about helping me when I fell down, all five times!  :)

It always felt really good to get back up after falling, no matter how much a particular fall shook me up from how it occurred.  Just the getting back onto your feet again is a kind of accomplishment.  Then when you actually start gliding along, you feel on top of the world.

The scenery was stunning and so peaceful.  A perfect adventure.

Later that day we met up with another set of Collin's relatives, who help manage the resort we were staying at.  It was lovely hearing more memories of his early years.  :P

12/28 - Traverse City

Day Three - The Storm Day

Breakfast at The Inn at Ludington was exquisite and more than enough reason on its own for us to discuss returning someday for a longer stay.

Fueled up, we left for Traverse City on the early side because of storm warnings, though we decided that the scenic route (up M-22) was still an okay way to go, as precipitation wasn't predicted until later in the evening.  We were treated with gorgeous views of wide valleys to the inland and lovely water to the lake side.  And we managed to beat the storm!

We were happily impressed with the Pinestad Reef Resort's set up for our room - practically a one-bedroom apartment style.  And we got in just in time; the snow began just as we were pulling in (my wish came true)!  The flakes were small but it was falling fast and piling up.  We still wanted to get out and do something though, so we braved the weather and the night to catch the new Star Wars movie at a local independent theater - a most excellent decision!  When we got out of the film we could still see the car at least, though the snow was really starting to pile up.  We managed to stock up for dinner and breakfasts at a local grocery and then it was time to stay in for the night and watch the snow cover the beach.  :)

12/27 - Ludington

Day Two and we spent the morning in Frankenmuth before heading on a longer drive across the state to Ludington.  We successfully acquired Frankenmuth fudge and poked around some of the silly little stores before getting on our way.  Our three hour drive across the state was not at all difficult, aided by a true road-trip style lunch, aka Erin feeding Collin crackers, cheese, and ham while he drove.  :)

We made good time to Ludington, where we stayed at the adorable "The Inn at Ludington," which was wonderfully Victorian.  Our room was gorgeous (again pictures when good internet is possible.)  We ran out to catch a glimpse of the Ludington lighthouse at sunset, though we decided to not brave the walk all the way out to the lighthouse as the waves on Lake Michigan were starting to pick up.  Then it was dinner time at a local Italian place where we warmed up with excellent pizza.  It was a night in with the movie Alaska, and planning for the next day's travels as the weather was slated to be quite bad!

12/26 - Frankenmuth

Day One of the Grand Tour of the Mitten State!

We started out by heading to Frankenmuth, a Bavarian town about an hour and a half away from Rochester.  It was so cute!  (Pictures to follow with a better internet connection...)

After a few crazy days of lots of family and new faces, it was wonderful to have some time to ourselves.  We walked around the little town as evening fell and ended up at dinner at the Bavarian Inn restaurant, which was quite tasty and festive.  It was pretty dark by that point so we made points of what to view the next day, though we did stop off at the covered bridge, which was right out of a scene from Anne of Green Gables.  My heart was happy.  :)