Thursday, September 11, 2014

Vacation Recap Part Two: Suttons Bay

If you missed Part One you can find it here. Monday we ended up leaving our hotel earlier than expected due to the annoying smoke detector chirping every eight seconds (yes, I timed it). It worked out perfectly though because we got into Traverse City around 11 for a nice early lunch. 

We went to North Peak Brewery, a favorite TC spot of ours. Look at that handsome guy!

I'm sure G ordered some type of IPA and I ordered their Siren Amber. I tried the Beer Cheese Soup and it was really good. G loved it so much I shared it with him. I will definitely get that again! 

During our meal the owner of White Fence called and said our room was ready early. Score! See, it all worked out that we left early from GR. We finished our meal and headed straight over. It started to down pour so badly that we had to pull over for a few minutes. It was quite a scary 15 minute drive, but we eventually made it. Praise the Lord! Of course, as soon as we arrived it stopped raining.

The owner was really sweet. She gave us a tour of our room. The rooms here are gorgeous. Seriously. My pictures don't do it justice, but if you check out this site you will see how nice they are. We stayed in The Cottage Suite and loved the modern, cozy atmosphere and felt like we were truly living in luxury. 

The extra touches were so nice and just put our stay over the top. G and I dream of owning a b&b someday and for as much as we love to vacation we think we would be pretty good at it. I loved that they had local cheese, beer, wine, snacks and tea in our kitchen for us to enjoy. It was sch a lovely personal touch and something G and I would definitely do someday if we get the pleasure of owning our own little b&b.

We unpacked, checked out their notebook of all their recommendations of what to do and what to see (we would totally do that too!) and I checked out the four large book shelves of books to read. I love books! That was so unique and as a book worm I appreciated it.

The rain had stopped, but it cooled down quite a bit. We basically had a private beach, shared only by one other couple. There were some really comfortable couches and lounge chairs with outdoor cushions and a table. We sipped a glass of wine while enjoying that gorgeous view of Lake Michigan. The other couple in the second suite came down with a drink and we chatted with them for a bit. They were an older couple from Colorado that were staying for two weeks. Lucky ducks!

We walked downtown Suttons Bay after our pre-dinner drink. Downtown Suttons Bay was only a 2 minute walk away which was so nice. Yay for no driving! It is a dream of mine to live somewhere I don't have to drive (I hate driving!). Anyways, we walked to Boone's Prime Time Pub. According to our hosts and Yelp this place had great burgers and steak. 

The atmosphere was really fun. It was a cute, cozy place right on the water with a cabin feel. The staff was super friendly and you could just tell this was a local spot because everyone seemed to know each other. Love that. G got the burger and loved it. I got their filet and OH MY GOSH. I didn't have super high expectations because I'm kinda picky about my steak, but it was so flavorful and so juicy and so divine. (I'm sure it had something to do what the big hunk of butter on top). Even G loved it and ate my leftovers later that night as a midnight snack, ha! 

After dinner we walked around the town and then made a cup of tea (Tazo Chai Tea was in our room, my fave!) and headed to the beach before the sun went down. How amazing is that view?! I loved sitting on that beach just the two of us relaxing, talking, laughing. I don't know what it is about being away from work, home, chores, but we are just goofier. More talkative. Laugh more. Relaxed. Dreaming about the future. It was just the perfect setting to do all that. 

Tuesday morning we slept in, made our coffee and breakfast and headed to the beach to enjoy it. The other couple in the guest house had family in town so they weren't at the beach the rest of the trip.  So we basically had this little slice of paradise all to ourselves our entire trip. They did come say good bye to us before we left though. So sweet!

After breakfast it was really warming up so we put on our bathing suits and I read one of the books in the room (French Women Don't Get Fat, loved it!). Ahhhh reading on the beach is my favorite thing everrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. After a couple hours G was bored so we braved the freezing cold water temps and swam. You guys, it was COLD. Like, my feet were numb. I finally had to pull a Baywatch move and just run in. But once we started swimming around the bay I warmed up and really had a lovely time. It woke me up! It was so refreshing and fun to check out the houses as we swam. 

Swimming was the perfect morning workout. Afterwards we dried off, showered and got ready for the day and headed out for some wine tasting. Our first stop was Leelanau Wine Cellars. (Can I just say how amazing going on vacay in September is?!). The rates are lower, the crowds are gone and the weather is still pretty perfect! So we were the only ones in the winery and we asked how many tastings we get. The lady said "within reason" and we nodded. She asked what we liked and we told her our favorites were dry whites so she suggested just doing all five dry whites. Perfect! So we did them and she chatted about the wine and how it's made and the differences in the oak vs. steel barrel chardonnays. After we finished we decided to purchase the Pinot, but the lady asked if we liked dry reds. We said yes so she proceeded to let us try all five dry reds as well!! How fun is she?! Afterwards we thanked her profusely and told her we would take the Pinot and she asked if we liked Port. We didn't know what Port was and she got so exciting and proclaimed "You must try it!" Twist my arm. The port is red wine and brandy and it's really sweet and it goes well with chocolate and it makes you feel all warm afterwards. I loved it. 

So after our first wine tasting we needed to walk it off. And lunch. We headed to North Port first because our hosts said it was a cute town. It was cute and I love checking out little shops and just exploring so it was nice. It wasn't on the water though so I had my heart set on Leland (Fishtown). We did grab donuts from Barb's Bakery for breakfast the next day, but more on that tomorrow. We were now starving and all I could think about was that life changing sandwich from Village Cheese Shanty that I raved about last year and haven't stopped thinking about since. 

Funny story: My boss and his wife were in Fishtown in August and I raved about this place so much that they went. They were there in the peak of summer and had to wait TWO HOURS and then another TWENTY minutes for the sandwich to be made. Yikes. I felt so bad I made them wait and I'm not sure the sandwich lived up to the reputation after all that. 

But my sandwich. Oh my goodness. It was everything I hoped it would be. Seriously, the pretzel bun makes it. The unexpected surprise of the salt. Gosh, I sound like Joey from friends right now with my love of sandwiches. It is just seriously that good. If you're in the area you must go. Since we weren't there in the peak summer this time around we were able to sit at the picnic table right next to the dam. What a view while eating such a yummy sandwich! Seriously. Perfection!

We walked around the town after lunch. I love Suttons Bay, but Fishtown will always be my favorite. It's just so stinkin' quaint and CUTE. And beachy. Suttons Bay is beachy and quaint and cute too, don't get me wrong. Something about Fishtown though has my heart. 

G had to take a picture of this candy store because of the name: Dam Candy Store. We are ten sometimes. Ha! We stopped at Boathouse Vineyards for a tasting and grabbed a bottle and headed back to WF.

We put our suits on and floated in the water for a bit. I got kinda cold so I got out and did some more beach reading. G swam. It was a nice relaxing afternoon. 

We came back and got dressed and walked into town for dinner. We were a bit tired from the afternoon exploring and wine tasting so we grabbed takeout. Hang-On Express got really great reviews so we grabed tofu pad thai and brought it back to our room. We enjoyed a nice quiet dinner before taking our cups of tea down to the water to enjoy the view before darkness took over. 

Wednesday was our beach day. We slept in, made our coffee and headed to the beach to enjoy our Barb's Bakery donuts. YUM! After breakfast we did our usual routine: put our suits on, read on the beach for a few hours (I read, G played on his phone), and then braved the water temps and swam laps around the bay. 

Around lunchtime we showered, got dressed and walked into town for lunch. We decided on 9 Bean Rows solely based on the comments to get their fries with garlic aioli. I'm a sucker for good garlic aioli. You guys, these fries and garlic aioli were AMAZING. So dang good.

But nothing compared to my grilled veggie sandwich with goat cheese on house made sourdough bread. SO. GOOD. G got a lamb burger which he said was pretty amazing as well. It was a great choice for lunch! 

We walked around town afterwards a bit. Meandered into a few shops. I'm the worst. I always want to buy something cute for our house from our travels, but then I can't decide what I want and what will look good and then I justify that it's too expensive and I can find it online and spend an hour in a store and buy nothing. It drives G crazy. 

We walked back to WF afterwards and put our suits back on and proceeded to float all afternoon long and it was glorious. We had to check out by ten the next day so we wanted to soak up that private, dreamy beach as much as we could.

We finally came up for dinner hours later. It was just a hodge podge of leftovers from lunch and thai from our night before and it was excellent. I feel bad that I complained so much about leftovers as a kid because I simply adore them now. I think leftovers taste better sometimes. 

As the creatures of habit that we are, we made our cup of tea and headed down to the beach after dinner one last evening. 

This time though G made a fire in the pit and it was glorious. The water was so calm. The fire was so enticing. The tea was delicious. It was the perfect ending to a perfect stay in Suttons Bay! 

What a stay! I felt like we were in Italy or France living in the lap of luxury. Wine tasting. Swimming. Walking into town for meals. Living the life! It was truly amazing and I'm so glad we finally got the chance to stay here. 

Next up, Traverse City!

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