Friday night we left work early and hustled to our hotel for sunset on Houghton Lake... But it was overcast so no sunset. Boo! It was still pretty though.
We grabbed Buccilli's Pizza because we heard it's the best and it was pretty amazing.
Our hotel had a water slide and we went down that thing about 100 times. It was really fun... and fast! We felt like kids.
There was also a lazy river that was fun to float on. It was even more fun to swim against the current in the loop. Great workout.
We slept in, ate breakfast at the hotel and then headed to Traverse City. The sun even came out a few times and it was in the 70s. Ahhh-mazing.
Happy to be away, can you tell?
Gosh, Grand Traverse Bay is so pretty.
We ate a late lunch at Apache Trout Grill. I really came back for this Shrimp and Lobster Bisque. It is insane.
The white fish sandwich and fries were pretty spectacular as well. This place is pretty much a must now anytime we are in the area. Great food. Great views of the lake. Great service.
After a delicious and hearty lunch we headed up Leelanau Peninsula for some wine tasting.
We went to Brengman Brothers first. It was such a cute little place. Super modern. Barn kittens roaming. Good wine. The peninsula was hosting a Reds of October event so we got to try a featured red at each wine tasting.
We went to Shady Lane Cellars next. This place was just packed. So many buses! We squeezed into a spot and did our wine tasting and got the heck out of there as another bus was unloading. Crazy!
Those views! I can't even. So pretty. There was an English Bulldog right by that stool I'm standing next too. Lola. She was just the sweetest. She would just roll onto your shoes and let you pet her forever. So sweet.
Lastly we went to Willow Vineyards. They had cider tastings with the most amazing views. I'm not always a huge fan of cider, but these were all really good. Crisp. Light. Not too sweet.
I'm not sure if it was because of the Reds of October event or what, but it was just super busy. So many tour buses. So many people. It was getting close to check in time at Shanty Creek so we headed over. We even got upgraded to a suite with amazing views, jetted tub and kitchenette. It was a bit outdated but the bed was so comfortable. And those views!
We explored the resort. Checked out the pool. Walked around the lobby. Headed to the little village and wandered around the restaurants and shops. We didn't make it to L.Mawby WInery which has great sparkling wine so we picked up a bottle and headed back to the room.
We each poured a glass of wine and sat on the balcony. Did I mention it was in the 70s?! It was so relaxing.
We swam laps at the pool and then changed and went down for drinks and dinner. Gin and tonics, of course.
G got the pizza.
I got the shrimp scampi. Oh my goodness. The shrimp was the best I ever had. G doesn't even like shrimp and he loved it! Such a good meal. The restaurant was cozy and romantic and busy. We had great service and a great time.
Sunday morning we woke up to the sun! Glorious. It was still pretty warm too so we sat on the balcony and drank our coffee. We just could not get over how vibrant the trees were. I heart nature.
We got ready for the day and headed to Short's Brewing Company for lunch. We each got a sampler, of course. They have such great beer. My favorite is still Soft Parade.
G had nachos and I had the grilled cheese (with avocado!). They have awesome sandwiches and awesome service. Such a fun place.
After lunch we walked around downtown Bellaire. It's a cute town, but super tiny. Then we headed to Glacial Hills per our server's recommendation for some hiking. But first we stumbled upon a subdivision with awesome views of Lake Bellaire. Such a gorgeous lake!
We headed to Glacial Hills next and did some hiking. It was beautiful in the woods! I just cannot get over the colors.
We came back to the hotel later that afternoon and swam laps. The Lions game was playing on the big screen so we ended up staying down there for over an hour and a half. And I swam laps that whole time, ha! I was tired afterwards so we came back to the room and had a glass of wine on the balcony.
At 5:30 we went downstairs to The Lakeview Restaurant for dinner. I had a pomegranate martini and it was divine.
I had read reviews that the sunsets at this restaurant were amazing so I knew we had to go. And it looked like we would get our sunset. I was so excited!
G had the steak and I had the lobster and shrimp pasta. DIVINE! I'm really into seafood right now.
FINALLY got my sunrise. Amazing!!! It really was spectacular.
We walked back to our room and G lit a fire in our fireplace.
Monday morning we slept in and enjoyed our view one final time
We checked out and headed to downtown Bellaire because I heard great things about Moka. The quiche was insanely good. It was so thick you would think it wasn't flavorful but it was full of flavor.
We were driving by Torch Lake on our way home so we stopped to grab a picture. This picture doesn't do it justice, but National Geographic sited Torch Lake the third most beautiful lake in the world. Check out these pictures to get an idea of how clear the water is. I have a friend who lives on this lake and she told me about the sand bar. You have to see the pictures to believe it!
We stopped in Gaylord for lunch at Paddle Hard Brewing. I had their Copper Ale and it was probably my favorite beer of the whole trip. The atmosphere was really eclectic and fun with lots of pictures of kayak journeys and stats on the wall. I highly recommend this place.
G and I shared a Spinach and Feta flat bread and it was really good.
We picked Manny up at our friends house where he spent the whole weekend playing with his best bud. Unpacked. Ate leftovers for dinner. Relaxed. G was anxious to watch the Rugby semi-final between South Africa and New Zealand. Those guys are intense! Sadly South Africa lost, booo!
So that was our weekend away. It was so relaxing and rejuvenating. I felt G and I had some good quality time and I'm ready to get back at it!