Thursday, October 18, 2012

Arriving in Michigan

After our wonderful time in Chicago, we flew to Michigan to meet up with a Tauk tour that would take us to see the sites of this great state for the next week!  I was excited to see what Michigan is all about, not too many people I know have visited that area so I really had no idea what to expect!  When we arrived at our hotel in Traverse City, we had the welcome reception and met the people we would be traveling with for the next 8 days then had a wonderful dinner at the hotel.

The next morning we began the day at the Music House Museum.  We learned all about the evolution of all sorts of things such as music boxes and player pianos.  Our guide was very passionate about everything in the museum and played lots of different examples of the priceless things they have in their museum.  It was a pretty fascinating tour.

This beautiful piece is a player piano.  And the roll they played for us was a roll that George Gershwin recorded himself, so it was basically like hearing Gershwin play just for us!
That chaos us is the scroll that this player piano plays from! 
I thought this little machine was pretty cool.  It's a player piano AND player violin!  They play together to create a nice duet.  I have never seen another "player" instrument besides a piano!  It was pretty neat.

This beauty is the pride of the museum.  There only about three of these left in the world, there were originally 150.  It's a big band organ they would play at parties and clubs to give the live band a rest but not stop the dance floor.  It has pretty impressive sound!

After the tour we were free to look around the museum at all the fun things they had.  The building itself was beautiful with stunning antique chandeliers and such.

Then we loaded up in the bus and headed to the Cherry Republic for a fun little rest stop and to get some lunch

During the cherry festival they have every year, they have special "cherry Olympic games" type championships.  One of which is cherry pit spitting, and yes, they do have a certified arena.  I NEED to come back some time during the cherry festival!

Inside the great hall, they have all sorts of cherry merchandise.  Everything from cherry candies, to cherry salsa to cherry BBQ sauce!  I truly wanted one of everything!  Luckily, they had a ton of samples of most of the things they had for sale.  I almost didn't need any lunch by the time we were done in there!  Everything was very tasty!

We, of course, couldn't leave without getting a couple of things to try!  My mom and dad got some cherry salsa and cherry chocolate biscottis.  I got some chocolate covered cherries!

Then we wandered around the itty bitty little town trying to decide where we wanted to eat for lunch.  All the buildings were so cute and charming!

We ended up at Art's Tavern, it was one of the places our guide recommended to us.  It was a fun little local place with that was decorated from floor to ceiling with college flags.  Sadly, no Utah schools were represented that we could see.  Maybe I should send some to them....  Mom got a Ruben sandwich, dad got a cup of soup and I got some jalapeno poppers with cream cheese to dip them in.  The perfect small town lunch. 

Then we set off to exploring the two block town.  We stopped in a few shops and did some window shopping. 

After a little shopping, dad and I ran down to the beach of Lake Michigan to feel the sand beneath our feet and feel that great lake breeze on our faces.  Since the lake is so massive and the waves were white capping, I totally felt like I was at the beach and had to constantly remind myself that I was on a lake shore not the sea side

Then it was back to town to catch the bus and travel on!

Our next destination was Sleeping Bear National Park.  Here we made a couple stops at some very beautiful look out points.  It was such a beautiful day!! But it sure was cold!

Aren't they the cutest

We also made a quick stop at the beach so the rest of the group could enjoy the gorgeous view.  This time I took my shoes off when I got to the end of the board walk so I could feel the cool sand between my toes!  I love that feeling.

After Sleeping Bear, we drove up to Black Star Farms to sample some of their delicious berry juices and wines. 

I sampled some of their delicious sparkling raspberry juice.  We all got to keep the glasses that we drank our samples from, such a fun souvenir.

This is also where we had dinner that evening.  It was all delicious and so fresh!  They grew some of the ingredients for our dinner right outside the restaurant.

After our big day full of exploring Traverse City, we arrived back at the hotel.  Our hotel has a Dylan's Candy Bar in the lobby.  We couldn't resist, we had to check it out.  We had a fun time looking at all the fun and unique candy they had for sale.  We ended up getting a big bag of assorted kinds of gummy bears and a a little trash can full of "dirt balls" which are little balls of cookie dough dipped in chocolate then rolled in crushed oreos!

All our rooms had ginormous bath tubs complete with jets, a massage bar of soap and lot of bubble bath.  I just couldn't resist.  After a long day of battling the coldest of winds at all our scenic stops, a warm bubble bath sounded divine!  And it sure was divine, it was the biggest bath tube I have ever been in!  It was a fabulous way to end the day!


  1. loved the clouds in the pictures of the lake! You caught the magic of exploring small towns!

  2. Kate, your pictures of the coast are unbelievably gorgeous! Holy Candy Store! Can I please live there?!?

  3. I'm so glad you guys brought us back some of those cherry patches. Mmmmmmm!