Heather's Hangout

Sharing the people, places & little moments that make a difference.

Walking the streets of San Francisco April 30, 2017

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Enjoying the waterfront.

After spending a few days enjoying Calistoga and Napa Valley, we loaded luggage into the car rental and headed west toward Sonoma for our drive back to San Francisco. It was misting a little but still mild temps. We took the ‘scenic’ route back, enjoying conversations and laughs. As we neared the city, we stopped in Sausalito for lunch. Sausalito sits at the northern foot of the Golden Gate Bridge. It has small town charm wrapped in its waterfront downtown with awesome views. I was in awe of the numerous houses nestled on the sides of hills and mountains.

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We walked the downtown (which has a large bike parking lot!) before eating lunch at Scoma’s. The restaurant is located on the waterfront and we scored a great window table. There were many fishing boats on the bay. It was fascinating to watch the fog roll in and out. At one point, the Golden Gate Bridge, which was visible when we sat, ‘disappeared’ from sight due to the fog!

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After an awesome lunch of dungeness crab cakes and sandwiches, we headed across the

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Beautiful Grace Cathedral

bridge into the city. We easily found the Orchard Hotel near Chinatown. The hotel staff was friendly and the room spacious and nice. Then we set off to explore. We were near the “Chinatown Gate” so headed that way. Chinatown was busy! People packed the sidewalks and store after store sold a huge variety of almost any item you may think of. I swear some of these stores had items overflowing from their doors! We walked all through Chinatown, which seemed like sensory overload to me after a few blocks. But cool and fun!

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We shifted our direction and walked toward Nob Hill. Here is where we found the hilly sidewalks that often appear in San Francisco pictures! My friend and I are in decent physical shape and had on comfortable flat shoes, but even we started laughing at one point as we turned corners and encountered another street going up. Our goal was the Top of the Mark, thanks to a recommendation, for drinks and great views. Top of the Mark is located on the 19th floor of the Intercontinental Hotel, offering 360-degree views of the city. So you can imagine our disappointment when we walked into the hotel to discover that a private event had the restaurant closed on that particular day! Ugh. We laughed at our luck and instead wandered around the nearby beautiful Grace Cathedral. Then we indulged my final tourist wish list of riding a trolley!

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Looking down (literally) the street!

The trolley ride was fun…..and a great leg workout. Many people already filled the trolley so I ended up standing for our ride. Since you are going up and down the streets, it takes a lot of balance to not move all around. We laughed at the great workout we were getting and how we would definitely deserve a good dinner and drinks!

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The trolley ride took us to the north side of Fisherman’s Wharf, which was bustling with activity. I just love the energy of this city! It honestly makes me smile. We wandered a lot of different shops, enjoyed listening to several talented street musicians, checked out the retired World War II vessels docked near the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, and then rested at a restaurant for happy hour. After refueling our stomachs with great San Francisco craft beer, wine and food, we wandered to North Beach before deciding we deserved a taxi ride back to our hotel. The cab driver was amusing and kind. A brief relaxation provided new energy for another walk around Chinatown before a pizza and beer dinner.

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I’m so glad that we placed downtown San Francisco at the beginning and end of the trip.

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After my trolley ride!

It was fun to explore the bustling city, but nice to have the beautiful open land of the Napa Valley area to soak up the tranquility of Mother Nature. It was a perfect balance of exciting and busy with calm and quiet.

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As we wrapped up our day in San Francisco, I reflected on the adventures. We packed a lot of fun into our days, saw and experienced so many new things, tasted awesome wines and food, soaked in much natural beauty and shed some of life’s stress and overload. I loved San Francisco and the surrounding areas. I will definitely go back.

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Have you been to San Francisco? What’s your favorite area/destination in the city?

 

Travel planning tips February 20, 2017

Travel planning tips

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Traveling has always been a favorite activity. When I was younger, I loved our family getaways (and still do!) and now as an adult, ‘travel’ is a definite budget line item goal so I can afford to plan my own trips and choose new destinations. I love exploring new locations, learning new cultures (even those local cultures in the U.S.!), trying new activities and simply getting away from life’s daily responsibilities and grind.

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There are many factors that help make a trip memorable, fun and smooth. I truly believe that the people you travel with are the greatest factors in a successful trip. Finding someone/some people who are flexible, easy going and can ‘go with the flow’ if snafus happen can make or break a trip. I recall one of my backpacking trips to South Manitou Island with a group of friends – we woke one morning to thunderstorms and hard rain. Three of us girls piled into a tent and spent a few hours sharing stories, laughing, braiding hair and basically making the most of the unplanned event. When the storms cleared, the planned hikes and fun resumed but it was awesome to be with people who shrugged at the circumstance and moved on.

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Hiking outside of Las Vegas

Traveling solo can be fun too. You can set your own plans and pace, and either do as much or as little as you want without worrying about keeping everyone happy.

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Regardless of how and who you travel with, the advance planning of a trip will help ensure you have a smooth, enjoyable time once you arrive at your destination. Here are a few tips to get you started:

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1. Be prepared to spend some time doing research. Whether it was Maui, Ireland, Alaska or somewhere in Michigan, I took the time to check out local websites and read reviews. This up front research helped me know some local spots, things to be cautious about, and feel a bit more comfortable with a new area. This was especially important when I went to Ireland, as despite it being an English-speaking country, it was still a foreign country with different cultures, currency and customs.

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2. Check out the homes, cottages and condos available on rental sites, such as Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO.com), Air BnB, HomeAway.com and others. I found the awesome oceanfront Maui condo on VRBO, thanks to the suggestion of a friend. These options can sometimes be more affordable, spacious and cozier than a standard hotel (I especially like having the option of buying your own food and making meals when you want). Some questions to consider: When were the pictures taken? If there’s a kitchen, what’s included (dishes, coffee, detergent, etc.)? Are laundry facilities available? Is there a local person to contact if something happens? Is there a cleaning fee and other fees not included in the listed nightly fee?

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3. Read reviews. I like to find a potential facility on TripAdvisor to get some feedback. VRBO usually also has guest reviews of each facility. Keep in mind that these reviews are subjective (what one person finds lacking may not be a big deal to another). However, if consistent problems or concerns are listed, it might be time to look at another facility. For example, my family was ready to book a location for our summer trip until we skimmed the reviews and noticed a lot of recent complaints about cleanliness and cranky staff. We moved on. Check dates of the reviews to ensure the concerns aren’t from years ago. If you want to pay it forward, write a review after your trip of the lodging, entertainment venue or restaurants you experienced during your trip.

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4. Look for a Groupon or other discounts in the local area for lodging, meals and entertainment. If you’re looking for local ideas at your destination, search Groupon, Living Social or similar online discount sites for discounted tickets, restaurant and activity coupons. There are a lot of great choices. You may find a food spot or activity that you wouldn’t have known about without searching.

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Exploring Alaska, one of my favorite trips.

5. Cash in credit card or airline miles. Many people don’t know that these earned miles aren’t just for airline tickets. Most of the time you can redeem for car rentals, restaurant gift cards, cameras, hotel rooms and more. Make sure you know the redemption rules to check on blackout dates and fees.

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6. Ask for input from friends and family. A plus of social media is the ability to share your personal business with a large group of people at once. Heck, often times, friends of friends can learn your business with the click of a button. Take advantage of this by asking for input, suggestions and reviews on Facebook, Twitter and other sites.

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7. Be flexible. If you can adjust dates and also be flexible in the type of lodging or car you reserve, you may find a better deal. Also, once you arrive at your destination, be flexible in your activities if possible. I like to have some ideas for activities but try not to set too much in stone so I can be ready to try something new if the opportunity arises. When my friend and I went to Riviera Maya, we had zero plans except relaxing at the resort. However, I woke one morning and decided to hike the ruins. It was fun!

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8. Check out Costco or other member companies. While I haven’t personally used Costco to book travel, several friends regularly book rental cars, hotels and more through the big store and assure me that they receive great discounts.

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If you put a little time into the planning portion of your trip, you can relax and have fun on the actual trip. And the golden rule of travel for me is to take life in stride – you’re on vacation, enjoy it! And don’t forget to take pictures!

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What tips do you have for trip planning?

 

Exploring food and drink spots in Austin, Texas October 24, 2016

Filed under: Random Travels & Exploring — Heather @ 11:17 am
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austinsign_hhWhen I traveled to Austin last weekend for the 20th anniversary of the LIVESTRONG Challenge, I was fortunate to travel with some great friends. In between our LIVESTRONG events, we had time to explore Austin.

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We decided to stay near South Congress so we could walk as much as possible around Austin. A great decision as it was convenient for lots of fun (and I got a ridiculous amount of steps on my Fit Bit)!

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While we wandered through much of downtown Austin to see the sites, we also indulged in some great food and drinks. Here are a few of the places we visited:

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Home Slice Pizza: This New York style pizza is available by the slice or whole. It’s so good that you might as well order the entire pie because you won’t eat just one piece! You can eat in or carry out. I love the ‘neighborhood’ feel as you walk in, breathe great scents and indulge in some very good food.

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Snack Bar (adjacent to the Austin Motel). There’s a cool, laid-back atmosphere when you walk into this diner. With space to sit inside or outside in a covered area, it’s a great place to simply hang out. But they also have good food that includes locally grown options and a nice selection of wine, beer and cocktails. Sadly, we learned that both Snack Bar and Austin Motel are scheduled to close Oct. 30 so get there quickly.

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Hotel San Jose’ lounge: This hidden gem on Congress is like walking into a secluded snackbaraustin-signsanctuary. Oddly, the noise of the street seems to disappear as you step through the opening to the garden. The outdoor lounge is surrounded by lush greenery, the relaxing pool to one side and a mellow vibe throughout. I enjoyed a delicious Tokyo Mule cocktail (okay, maybe more than one!). In the evening, the dimly lit area is perfect ambiance for good conversation.

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Torchy’s Tacos: With clever taco names (Trailer Park, The Democrat, and Brushfire), you’re not quite sure what to expect. Thankfully, we were rewarded with good food! I love Mexican so was happy to try this location for lunch. Be forewarned though – the tacos are big and filling! I tried the Baja Shrimp and Chicken Fajita tacos. Both were delicious (although the chicken was a bit spicy) and filled me up.

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Container Bar: Located on popular Rainey Street, this eclectic venue was created using shipping containers. Seriously. It’s a trendy area yet somehow finds a way to be laid-back and fun (only in Austin?).

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Iron Works BBQ: It’s a good thing we walked to/from this place because, holy moly, I needed to burn some serious calories after eating here. Located in a brick red, old iron work shop, Iron Works serves traditional Texas barbecue. With very generous portions of the meat (I think I laughed at the portion of chicken that was plopped onto my plate), as well as several choices of sides , you can’t leave here hungry. The chicken was juicy and the brisket pretty much melted in my mouth. The corn on the cob was yummy. The macaroni and cheese put me over the edge. Food coma.

 

Family camping trip near Lake Huron September 1, 2015

What a view!

What a relaxing view!

I enjoy camping, especially in Michigan where we have some of the best parks and campgrounds. You really don’t have to drive far to find a campground. Most campgrounds have plenty of options for pitching tents, parking a trailer/camper, or even renting rustic cabins to sleep in if you prefer to be off the ground.

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My older sister, niece, cousin and their friends plan an annual camping trip. This year, my sister invited the rest of the family (read some reasons why I enjoy camping). It was the first camping trip for my younger sister, husband and three young kids. My husband couldn’t make the trip, so between the rest of us, plus our cousin and sister’s friend, there were 11 of us heading to Port Crescent State Park in Port Austin. The 640-acre park sits on Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay. There are 142 modern campsites with electrical hookup and a new camper cabin that sleeps six.

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From the metro Detroit area, it’s a nice, relaxing drive to Port Austin/Caseville in Michigan’s “thumb.” You eventually start passing farmland, vegetable stands and small towns. I made it to Port Crescent State Park in approximately two hours.

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The campground was hit with a big storm the night before so everyone was drying out their campsite, including tents, sleeping bags, clothes, wood and more. My mom and niece had to take a bunch of stuff to the laundromat to dry (some of them arrived a few days earlier). When I arrived, though, the sun was out and a decent wind off of Saginaw Bay was keeping the gray clouds moving.

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Port Crescent is a nice campground – I like the wooded sites and well-maintained grounds and bathroom areas. The campground has several access points to the three miles of sandy beach along the Great Lake’s Saginaw Bay. There is also a play structure for kids, as well as the ability to borrow games, books and movies.

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Making sure this is where we want to sleep!

Making sure this is where we want to sleep!

My sister reserved two campsites for our group that offered a spectacular view of the bay. I waited for the younger kids to arrive so they could help me pitch my REI Quarter Dome Plus tent. This backpacking tent is easy to set up, even alone. But I thought it would be fun for my nieces and nephew to help since they’ve never before done it. I went over steps to pitch the tent: I showed them how to choose a spot on the campsite to place the ground cover, then lay on it to look up (make sure no big branches are hanging over the tent in case of a storm that might cause the branch to fall) and also make sure you’re not laying on uneven ground because that very quickly gets uncomfortable. We then spread the tent on the ground cover and connected the pole sections. This tent is color-coded so as long as you can tell the difference between gray and orange, you can connect the poles to the tent! We easily staked the tent and added the rain fly. I usually stake the tent last as it’s easier to move the location or make adjustments if necessary.

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My 8-year-old niece wanted to sleep in the tent with me so we unpacked our sleeping pads and bags, as well as her multiple stuffed animals who also wanted to experience camping. My mom and I then took the kids on a walk around the campground and to the beach on Lake Huron. It was awesome to feel the fresh breeze and cool water! I always love walking through a campground as you often encounter friendly people, and I love watching people having fun together outside.

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Back at the campsite, we ate lunch, then had a fun dance party and limbo contest. When it was time to start a campfire, we sent the kids to forage for firewood and kindling. This provided a fun distraction/game for them, plus helped them feel a part of the campfire process. One tip I’ve learned is to wander the empty campsites in the morning. Many campers will pack up their belongs and leave the leftover firewood in or around the fire pit. And of course the tree branches, pine cones, and dry needles provide great kindling and tinder.

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Making yummy scrambled eggs at the campsite.

Making yummy scrambled eggs.

In the evening, we enjoyed s’mores and stories around the campfire. The next morning was very windy and chilly, but thankfully the clouds moved on by mid-morning and we had a beautiful summer day to enjoy. We enjoyed scrambled eggs, made by adding eggs and other ingredients in a plastic bag, clipped and placed in boiling water for 15 minutes. It’s an easy meal to make, with easy clean up (making it even better!).

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Cheeseburger Festival was occurring in Caseville so a group of us piled into vehicles and drove the short distance to Caseville. It was packed! There was music playing, lots of booths displaying jewelry, toys, clothing and more for sale, plus many food stands to purchase burgers, fresh lemonade, dessert and more.

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Back at the campsite, the kids and their parents went swimming in the lake, while the rest of us relaxed around an early campfire. Dinner was homemade pizzas, which was fun for all of us to make as we got to choose our own ingredients, then cook on a camp stove. These were delicious! The kids especially enjoyed making their own.

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Saturday morning, we visited the farmers’ market in Port Austin. Lots of vendors set up food booths to sell vegetables, fruit, honey, seasonings and more. There is also a flea market with many booths selling a variety of items, from furniture to candles to purses/bags to clothing.

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All too soon, it was time to pack up camp and go home. I wished I would have had time to hike the nearby trails or go geocaching, but overall it was a fun experience camping as a family. We all agreed we will do it again, and possibly longer. Since both adults and kids enjoyed it, we’ll chalk it up to a successful trip!

Enjoying nature!

Enjoying nature!

 

Girls’ getaway to Michigan’s west side August 17, 2015

Filed under: Random Travels & Exploring — Heather @ 9:42 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

MI roadtripWESTsign_Summer

My mom, sisters and I have talked a lot about taking an adult girls only trip, yet no plans have ever been made. So I decided to make the plans. I wanted to take my mom away and invited my two sisters to join us. Unfortunately, my older sister couldn’t get the time away from work so my younger sister and I took off to Michigan’s west side for a getaway with our mom.

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Our destination was Saugatuck, one of my favorite small towns, sitting on the Kalamazoo River. I’ve visited Saugatuck many times and I always have a great time. Which makes for a great trip! I love the people, ambiance, shops, small inns and bed and breakfast inns, restaurants, and beauty. Saugatuck is approximately 2.5-3 hours from the Detroit area, between Grand Haven and South Haven. It’s often connected with its immediate neighbor, Douglas. The area is known for the art and music life. There are numerous activities and events hosted throughout the year.

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Even the birds enjoy relaxing by the river.

Even the birds enjoy relaxing by the river.

We stayed at the Ship-N-Shore Hotel on Water Street. It was one of the best rates for the summer season and had ample room for three of us. In fact, they have made many updates to the lounge area and rooms since I stayed there a few years ago. I loved our vaulted ceiling and tile floor. Our room had a view of the river, which was so pretty and peaceful as boats cruised by. We made use of the outdoor patio tables by enjoying some adult drinks upon our arrival. I also like the location of the hotel as we can walk to all of the downtown stores and restaurants. And we definitely walked….and shopped.

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We enjoyed a nice lunch on the deck at Coral Gable, where we could view the impressive boats docked in the marina. We then meandered through many stores, before relaxing in the hotel lounge before dinner on the deck at The Butler restaurant. We splurged on dessert at Kilwin’s Chocolates (shhhh) – dark chocolate covered pretzel with cherry wine….yum! After some funny girl talk, we fell asleep (it was like old times sharing a bed with my sister – we shared a room growing up so I secretly enjoyed being together again). Another awesome summer Michigan day greeted us the next morning. We wandered through the marina and enjoyed a leisurely walk through town. My sister and I found a soda fountain bar in the back of the Saugatuck Drug Store which we stumbled upon without even looking for it (sometimes the best find!). It was fun watching them prepare fountain drinks and seeing the “old-fashioned” decor. However, you definitely can not be in a hurry when ordering.

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Hanging out at the soda fountain.

Hanging out at the soda fountain.

One store new to Saugatuck is It Is What It Is on Butler Street. Nestled the past four years in neighboring Douglas, the store owners moved their location to Saugatuck when storefront became available. They commented that foot traffic and sales have soared since their move. I loved the store (in fact, visited three times!). Great home decor and gift ideas. A slew of their items are by local artist, Katie Doucette from Polka Dot Mitten, who happens to be their daughter. Her inspirational, original art items were cute, fun and sassy. I bought a few items from the store and am excited to learn that Katie’s items are also available in stores in southeast Michigan.

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I am so happy to have the time with my mom and sister (although we missed not having my older sister with us so the next girls’ getaway will definitely include all of us.). It is important to dedicate time to people important to us, and these women are two of the most important people in my life. We share so many memories and love. It’s nice to reminisce and also share thoughts and plans for the present and future. I liked that we could spend time talking and, most importantly, listening to each other without interruption and in a relaxed atmosphere. And, of course, exploring more of our beautiful home state was awesome!

 

Summertime in Northern Michigan August 7, 2015

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We’re so fortunate to have friends in Traverse City. They’re long-time friends of mine who are also fabulous people living in one of my favorite northern Michigan towns. So I was excited to recently make the trek north for a weekend getaway. Besides summertime in northern Michigan is one of the best seasons. Everything seems prettier, more relaxed and fun when you head north for a break from the craziness of working in metro Detroit.

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LakeMI_HHGJGWe decided to head west toward Grand Rapids on the way so Justin could attend a beer release at Perrin Brewing Company. It was a beautiful Michigan summer day so I was up for the drive and checking out a new brewery. Perrin is located in Comstock Park, just north of downtown Grand Rapids. It seems a little off the beaten path but easy to find. There is a nice selection of beer. I enjoyed Ain’t No Sunshine, a flavorful Belgian ale and their Razzberry Blonde. Justin tried the new release of No Rules, a Vietnamese Porter. I’m not typically a fan of dark beers, but found this to be a smooth, easy drink too. Perrin’s food menu isn’t large but offered enough options, and our choices good.

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After a relaxing lunch, we headed north to Traverse City. Our friends provided a delicious Mexican themed dinner, then we decided to take advantage of the sunshine and warm weather to visit Empire to swim and watch the sun set over Lake Michigan. On our way, we stopped at Tiffany’s Ice Cream for yummy ice cream! The park was fairly busy when we arrived but we played in a small inland lake across from the Lake Michigan beach, which was very quiet. The water was warm and calm. Justin tried teaching me to skip stones across the water (he’s a pro!). I need some work on this. As the sun started to set, we walked across the parking lot to the beach, set up our chairs and settled in for the show. A group of paddle boarders headed out to enjoy the sunset from the water (Note: we were surprised, and disappointed, to see the lack of safety measures taken by this group. Only one of 12 paddle boarders carried any type of light source. It seemed so unsafe to me. How would someone be found in the dark waters if they needed help?). The sun was beautiful and peaceful on the lake. We happen to be outdoors for the Blue Moon. The moon appeared so large and clear above us. It was fun to watch it on our way home (a little tricky explaining to a four-year-old why it wasn’t blue!).

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chalkartTC2015The Traverse City Film Festival was occurring this weekend so downtown Traverse City was busier than usual (which is typically pretty busy during summer!). Our first stop was to check out the Chalk Art & Chocolate event happening near the beach. Several artists were set up to draw chalk art along the sidewalks. As a bonus, a few local stores were selling samples of homemade chocolates. Yum! After we walked around the chalk art event, we wandered to the downtown area. Lunch was at 7 Monks Taproom, which serves good food and craft beer. It was a beautiful day to walk off our calories so we wandered through many of the stores along Front Street. My favorite was the Cherry Republic! The new, larger building houses all of their delicious products (chocolate covered cherries, trail mix, salsa, jam and more!), plus a new cafe, tasting bar (wine and soda pop) and ice cream bar. Is it any wonder that it’s one of my favorite stores?

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Our friends live in a beautiful, quiet area outside of downtown Traverse City, which is perfect to relax in between our activities. You know you’re true friends when you all agree it’s nap time! After a short rest and walk through the neighborhood, we picked up sandwiches and headed to Frankfurt to watch another pretty sunset over Lake Michigan. The wind was a bit brisk this night so I didn’t go in the water. It was another awesome sunset to witness. So thankful for another day on this planet.

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LakeMI_sunsetThe next morning we decided to squeeze in another quick adventure before we departed. The skies were cloudy but we piled in the car and headed to Cedar for a quick stop (and tasting of course!) at Longview Winery to pick up some of our favorite wines. The clouds sprinkled rain on our way to Leland but we continued on. We realized when we arrived in Leland that we had just missed a big storm. Branches littered the ground and a big tree had toppled onto two cars! Thankfully no one was hurt. The power unfortunately went out shortly after we arrived, however, many stores remained open to visitors. We wandered around the small stores near the harbor. Lunch was at The Cove, where it seemed many people were taking refuge from another incoming storm. From our table on the second floor, we watched the clouds gather over Lake Michigan and the waves increase in size. I was happy to be inside a dry building and not on that lake! I adore Leland. It’s a quaint little town with small stores and friendly people. The charter boats to reach North and South Manitou Islands are found here, as well as plenty of fishing opportunities. Leland, known as Fishtown, still operates as one of the only working commercial fishing villages in Michigan.

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It was another great weekend in Traverse City and northern Michigan. I’m always so grateful to spend time with our friends and their amusing, sweet little girl. It’s a wonderful reminder of the great state I live in and the special people who fill my life.

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Finding free (or cheap), fun activities August 4, 2015

kidstrailI’ve been focused on saving money the past few weeks. I recently started paying attention to all the random or little things that we spend money on – Starbucks, Dr. Pepper at 7-11, new nail polish, dinner and drinks at a restaurant – and realize how quickly those add up . So I’m focused on saving rather than spending.

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I took this week off from work, planning a combination of stay at home fun and travel In planning my days at home, I started thinking of free or low-cost activities I could participate in by myself or with others. Here are a few random ideas:

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While I love these buildings for the thousands of books they offer, libraries often also host free classes and programs for residents. These might include computer classes, business tips, children-friendly and local history programs

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Many yoga studios and fitness studios offer the first class free to new clients. Most gyms, such as LA Fitness, offer the first workout or a free weekly pass for new clients. My sister is a big fan of the new TwyFit in Clawson, which offers a variety of classes from kickboxing to Zumba to yoga to strength training. First class is free for new people.

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Nature centers and parks often have walking trails, as well as other activities. Many of the local parks in southeast Michigan have children’s play areas, basketball and tennis courts, skateboard parks and more. Some parks offer public programs. While some parks do charge small fees for vehicle entries, it’s usually free if you walk or bike in. Spencer Park in Rochester Hills and Stony Creek Metropark in Shelby Township are two examples of this benefit.

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MeetupImageThere are numerous Meetup groups that don’t charge for participation in their activities, or charge a nominal fee ($10) for the year to help cover the Meetup hosting fee. Think of an activity that you’re interested in and I bet it exists – Board games, reading, photography, beer tasting, exercise, outdoor, theater and more!

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I love playing games – yard games, cards, board games, pool, ping-pong and more! Don’t own a board game? No need to buy one. Play charades, Simon Says or, even better, make up a fun game to play with family and friends!

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I don’t love living in a short-term apartment while we house hunt, but the amenities of a pool and gym are nice. The pool has been especially nice in the hot summer weather. We’ve hosted our family a few times, and I enjoyed a beautiful evening sitting in a lounge chair reading by the water. Love Michigan summers!

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What are some activities you enjoy for free or low-cost?

 

 
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