Sunday, June 13, 2010

Northern Michigan, Day 3: Leelanau Cheese, Traverse City, Old Mission Peninsula

On day 3 of our vacation, we spent a leisurely morning at the house. After Steve fixed steak-and-asparagus omelets for breakfast, we did some more kayaking and relaxed, then enjoyed leftover pizza for lunch before heading out to explore.

Since Steve was willing to humor me for "my thing"--ice cream--I was more than willing to go along with "his thing"--cheese. On Wednesday afternoon we checked out a place we had read about called Leelanau Cheese, where you can watch the cheese-making process and also do a wine tasting. Immediately when we turned into the farm, we were greeted with this lovely view of their terraced vineyard:

And then we got to see the bunker where they age the cheese (and the wine, I think):

I don't really enjoy wine, but Steve liked what he tasted, and we both were fascinated by what we learned about the cheese- and wine-making processes. And even I had to admit that the cheese we sampled--a mild Raclette--was really excellent. Unfortunately it was also about $16/pound, so we didn't take any home with us. Instead we headed into Traverse City. I'd been told that Kilwin's, a chocolate shop downtown, also had fabulous ice cream, and it was true--their toasted coconut flavor (the one both my friend and her mom had recommended) was YUMMY.

We did a little window shopping, then walked along the lake a while. One of the things I just couldn't get over every time we saw the water was the dramatic color changes. You'd see green water, and then this clear line where it changed suddenly to a brilliant blue. I tried to capture it in photos, mostly unsuccessfully:

Here we used my Gorillapod (hence the odd angle) to get a better shot of the two of us together than simply holding the camera out in front of us:

Then we went to Pirate's Cove for a friendly putt-putt challenge. To protect my sweet hubby's ego, I won't tell you about how I schooled him. (I will admit that it was about 95% luck!)

After our game, we drove up Old Mission Peninsula. The lighthouse at the end was a bit anticlimactic--not the big tower-type lighthouse we were expecting--and it was closed to tours for the day.
But the drive was totally worth the trip: vineyards and orchards everywhere, overlooking views of Grand Traverse Bay. On the way up, I gaped at this spot and told Steve we had to stop for pictures on the way back. Unfortunately my photography skills didn't do it justice:

Back in Traverse City, we grabbed a simple fish-and-chips dinner, then picked up the fixings for s'mores and returned to the house. To my complete consternation, Steve didn't eat a single s'more--but he built an awfully nice fire for me to roast marshmallows over. And thanks to the citronella candles we bought, we didn't get eaten up this time.

Day 4: North to Mackinac...


Kristin said...

this is great. My sister and her fiance are planning a traverse wine tour honeymoon in October. Would you recommend it?

Danielle said...

Just wanted to say you and your little baby belly look great!