Monday, August 12, 2013

Vacation Recap Part 2: Traverse City

The second part of our trip was a little bit different than the first part in Grand Rapids. There was a whole lot more relaxing and a lot less going out and about the town. I don't know if you're like me, but on vacation I like to do as little as possible. I just want to lay on the beach and read a good book. 

Monday we got into Traverse City around 2:00 and checked into the Bayshore Resort. It is a nice hotel with friendly staff, great views (especially of the sunsets), delicious breakfasts with loads of options, and a great beach. It may be our favorite beach because there is a senior center next door so there is no one on that beach at all. Love that. The senior center offered water aerobics every morning and it was so cute watching the ladies. I digress. The best part? Walking distance to downtown Traverse City. That was huge because the film festival was going on so it was crowded and parking was hard to find.

We settled into our room (top floor, yes!!) and made sandwiches (one of our favorite ways to save money on vacation) and opened a bottle of champs to celebrate. After our lunch we explored the hotel, took a walk down the beach and looked at all the gorgeous houses. It was in the low 70s so we took our beach chairs down to the beach and just put our feet in, read and listened to the Zac Brown station on Pandora. Perfection.

We came back up to the room around 5:30 and ordered pizza and just enjoyed our view from the balcony and talked. It is so nice to just be. To not have to do anything or be anywhere. It is such great quality time with Garth where we can just spend good time together dreaming and enjoying each other's company.

At 9:00 we poured a glass of wine and enjoy the show. I was obsessed with the sunsets and took about a million pictures of them every night. So. Gorgeous.

Tuesday we slept in, went down and grabbed breakfast and took it back to our room to eat on the balcony. We took a morning walk on the beach and then read on the balcony for a while. 

We walked into town around noon and explored the cute shops, people watched and then headed to 7 Monks Taproom for lunch. Garth had the BBQ burger and fries. OMG the fries were amazing.

I had the "monk and cheese" and it had fried green tomatoes that blew my mind. So rich. Creamy. Cheesy. My kind of mac and cheese. It was funny because I tease Garth since our first vacation he was watching Rib Paradise on Travel and craved ribs the entire trip. Well we were watching Cheese Paradise and all I could think about was mac and cheese afterwards! I guess this is why we don't watch the Travel Channel when we are at home.

After lunch we walked back to the hotel. It was still a pretty chilly day so we brought our beach chairs down to the water and repeated our routine from yesterday. Reading, Pandora station, toes in the water, and relaxing. 

We made sandwiches for dinner and ate on the balcony. It got pretty cloudy so we didn't get a sunset tonight, but we did see tons of sailboats so that was cool.

Wednesday we went to the Leelanau Peninsula for the day. This was probably my favorite part of the trip. Traverse City is great, but it's too crowded for my liking. Suttons Bay. Leland. Those are my kind of cities. I love wondering around and looking at the cute houses and window shopping in the cute little boutiques. And wine tasting, of course. This picture above was from our visit to Suttons Bay. 

We hit a few wineries on our way to Leland (aka FishTown). My favorite was BlueStone Winery. They just opened this year and we were the first people to taste at this particular side of the room so the owner wanted to do the tasting with us. So fun! He was a super nice guy that we talked to for quite a bit. He recommended our lunch place (more on that later) and we loved the Chardonnay. We also stopped at BoatHouse Vineyards and Verterra Winery before heading to lunch.


Okay, so lunch was the highlight of my LIFE. I'm serious. Best. Sandwich. I. Ever. Ate. A few locals recommended The Village Cheese Shanty and warned us to get there early because the line gets long. Luckily we only had one lady in front of us when we went, but when we left it seriously looked like the above photo. My photo of my sandwich didn't save for some reason, but it was amazing. Turkey. Herb Mayo. I don't even remember what else except the pretzel bread. Oh, the pretzel bread. It had this salty flavor you just weren't expecting. Oh my heavens. I could eat that sandwich twenty more times on this trip. It was just THAT good. 

We ate lunch by this little river that flows into Lake Michigan. Such a pretty view. I think Leland (FishTown) was my favorite. It was such a cute town, I felt like I was on a movie set. I would love to stay in this town and eat at The Village Cheese Shanty every day.

We came back because we thought it was supposed to rain, but it was gorgeous. Sunny. 80s. We booked it to the beach and spent the afternoon floating on our rafts in the lake for a good five hours. That is seriously my happy place. The water was so refreshing. We came up for a cocktail on the balcony and ordered Thai for dinner and ate it on our balcony. I never wanted to leave this view. Also the show was about to start. Yes, I refer to the sunset as a show. 

We grabbed a glass of wine and enjoyed the view. I mean, gosh. It's so breathtaking. Even just looking at the photo now I'm in awe. The sun literally looks ablaze.

I even clapped after this sunset and people on the beach below did too. So cool.

Thursday was my birthday. I didn't want to make a big fuss or a big deal of it. It was our last full day so I really wanted to just enjoy the lake as much as possible. We did our usual morning ritual - get breakfast and take it to our balcony, take a walk on the beach, read on the balcony for a bit. We walked into town around noon for my birthday lunch. I really wanted a steak, but none of the restaurants had filet mignon and I'm just not a seafood person.

I decided on North Peak Brewery and it was an excellent choice. 

I absolutely LOVED the fried artichoke hearts with goat cheese. Oh my goodness gracious. They were so rich and creamy and indulgently delicious.

We walked back to the hotel after lunch and I came back to this sweet gift from Garth. My favorite chocolates, a red rose and my fave champs:

So sweet! We went down to the beach and spent all afternoon floating in the water. It was a little windy, but it was definitely warm enough to be out in the water. I got a little cold after a few hours and we laid on the beach and read. This is my favorite thing to do on vacation, but it is not up Garth's ally. He gets bored easily doing that. But he laid on the beach with me for a few hours because he knows I love it. 

The Film Festival made traffic absolutely insane outside our hotel and we both just did not feel like driving anywhere. We already had a great lunch so we just walked across the street to this little Greek restaurant and grabbed take out there and brought it back to the room.

I have no regrets. It was a perfect birthday. I'm a homebody anyway and loved eating meals on the balcony. Plus, being on the beach swimming, relaxing, reading on the beach all are my favorite things in the world. So it really was a wonderful birthday. It ended perfectly with a gorgeous sunset and champagne.

I don't know what it is about birthdays, but they just make me feel so blessed and I felt so loved. So thank you all for your kind wishes! 

Friday we did the usual routine: sleep in, get breakfast and eat on the balcony, and then we just enjoyed the view for as long as we could before we had to check out. A storm was rolling in so we didn't get our walk in, but it was fun to watch the storm.

We talked about our favorite parts of the trip and the best food we ate. We planned on spending the day in Traverse City and leaving late, but we were homesick and ready to go home after we checked out.

It was a great vacation and I loved coming home with a few days to rest up and recoup before actually going back to work. I also didn't take AS many pictures as I have in years past on vacations. I was truly trying to soak up each moment and live in each moment as much as possible. It is such a habit and I love taking pictures, so I did take quite a few. But I also found myself not thinking about my camera at times and just enjoying the moment I was in. So there you have it!


Anne said...

Lindsey, that sounds WONDERFUL!! glad you were able to have such a nice time together, and enjoy God's beautiful creation! have a great year birthday friend :)

Kenya said...

You guys sure do know how to vacation great!!!!! Pictures are great! Glad you had a great time!

Emily said...

I want to go to Traverse City SOOOO bad! It's pretty far from us here in Northern IN though! Boo!

~The Neaves Nest~ said...

What a fun little trip! Hope it was a wonderful birthday!

Renise said...

You guys definitely know how to vacation! I love your pictures! It makes me feel like I'm there! I've never heard many good things about Mi - Mostly cause everyone only wants to talk about detroit... You make me want to visit.... And eat my way around!

Lauren said...

what a great trip! I've been to Traverse City a couple times for quick overnight visits...I'd love to stay a few days!

SnoWhite said...

Love, love, love Traverse City and it looks like you guys had a great place to stay and had such a fun time. So glad you took a vacation.