Friday, July 16, 2010

10 Reasons Why I Love Michigan

10.  Cherries - The sweet were delicious this year and I brought home eight pounds of sour to make jam.

9.    Camping - I grew up doing it and I love showing my kids that they can have fun without the creature comforts they are so used to.

8.   St. Joseph - My college roommate introduced me to this amazing beach town that isn't close but isn't too far away.  Silver Beach is great for kids.  They just added a carousel and a play fountain across from one of the best pizza places EVER.

7.   Oval Beach - The kids and I discovered this beach in Sagatuck last year.  It has great sand, a concession stand and showers.

6.   Wineries - We love visiting the Michigan wineries, sampling and bringing home a bottle or ten.  For some reason, wine is so much better when you know where it came from and have a story to go with it.  Some of our favorite: Tabor Hill, Karma Vista, Lemon Creek, and 45.

5.   Winery Dogs - We visited two of the wineries with the kids this trip.  (I know, mom of the year.)  They had the opportunity to sample some great cherry, peach, raspberry and grape juice and meet three winery dogs.  They were a great distraction while the parents were hard at work deciding which varieties would be coming home.

4.  Family - I have a whole bunch of second cousins living on the Leelanau Peninsula.  Up until last year, I hadn't seen them since I was a teenager.  It was so nice to meet them as adults, catch up with them this year and watch our kids play together, just like we did when we were little.

3.  Fishtown - I spent way too many summer vacation wandering around Fishtown trying to decide where to spend my money.  It is a bunch of shops located on piers along the channel that connects Lake Leelanau to Lake Michigan.  Fishtown is home to the Carlson Fish.  Before leaving for home this trip, I was asked to get smoked whitefish for my husband who couldn't join us this year.

2.  North Bar Lake - I was introduced to this Lake this year.  It is a really, really deep, sandy lake in the middle of the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes fed by a very shallow, sandy channel from Lake Michigan.  The kids played in the lake and the channel for two afternoons.  What was even better was the Lake Michigan beach.  The water was crystal clear, the bottom was sandy, and the sand bar wasn't too far out.  It is my new favorite place in the Leelanau Peninsula.

1.  The final reason I love Michigan - I get to watch my kids jump in the waves, hunt for petosky stones, roast marshmallows, hike in the woods, climb the dunes, and enjoy summer; just like I did when I was a kid.

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