Monday, October 24, 2005

Traverse City

My husband and I spent the weekend in Traverse City enjoying the fall colors. If you've never been to TC, you are missing a treat. Yes, the outskirts look like every other overgrown mall you've ever seen, but the downtown is terrific! It's several blocks of turn-of-the century buildings with a variety of shops, several art galleries, and lots of restaurants, all on Grand Traverse Bay. There are two bays, actually, separated by a peninsula, East Bay and West Bay. We stayed at the Pointes North Inn on the East Bay.

One nice thing about Pointes North Inn is that all rooms face the bay. Our room was on the first floor and the beach was just a few steps from our porch. There are lots of seagulls, ducks, and swans on the beach and they aren't afraid of people. The hotel forbids feeding them. Don't worry, though. Judging by their size, they are not starving.

Speaking of food, Friday night we ate at Mountain Jack's on the East Bay Harbor Marina. From our table we could look out over the marina and see Salmon jumping in the water. Our waiter told us the marina was seeded with about 200 Salmon, so they always have fish there to watch. Very cool!

Saturday we had breakfast pasties at Cousin Jenny's. It's a nice little British-looking cafe that specializes in pasties. They don't have a web site but are mentioned in this article: Delightful Delectables. We didn't realize they are closed on Sunday so we were not able to bring home pasties to fill our freezer. For everyone who is not from Michigan: pasties, pronounced "pass-tees," are the local version of Cornish meat pies, filled with steak, potatoes, and rutabagas. They are especially tasty with brown gravy!

After enjoying the fall colors Saturday, we ate dinner at Amicale, a French cafe. They don't have a web site, but that's probably because they are too busy creating fabulous food (a new menu every season, apparently). They are usually very busy, so while waiting for our table we took advantage of the free wireless Internet at Horizon Books, one of our favorite bookstores just a couple of doors away from Amicale, and checked our e-mail on Roger's laptop. He even posted to his blog! It was the first time I've ever checked my e-mail on a wireless network via a wireless laptop (literally: no power cord or mouse)! I felt so technologically savvy.

The only downside to an otherwise wonderful weekend was the inevitable traffic backup on I-75 south on the way home. We got off at West Branch and made our way back to M-15. Usually taking the old roads is about as fast as the expressway, but this time it took us an extra two hours to get home, probably because of the back up and heavy traffic.

If you are looking for nice place to vacation that's not too far away, I heartily recommend Traverse City. Just avoid I-75 if you possibly can.

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