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Travel Journal

A sMITTEN Honeymoon

Honeymoon Journal-July twenty-first through the twenty-seventh, two thousand fourteen.

 

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Birch Run

It is not a secret that I love to shop! With my feet on the dashboard (I am notorious for leaving smudge art on the windshield), I was anticipating our first stop on our honeymoon; Birch Run. Located in Birch Run Michigan, who knew? Birch Run has awesome stores, including The North Face, J.Crew, and my all-time favorite outlet mall store, GUESS Factory Store. I blame my best friend Racheal for this love, I have never left a GUESS Factory Store without a purchase because they are always running awesome deals! Although their logo tees can be a little “flashy” everything else is my kind of style.

Destination “Best” Bloody Mary

During our honeymoon spent swimming in Michigan’s salt free water, I was on a quest to find the best Bloody Mary ever!!  And by best I mean perfectly spicy; and by ever, I mean during the seven days that we had eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner plates. We decided to eat at Uno Chicago located right on the lot of the outlet mall. We ordered the Shrimp and Crab Dip; it was the second best dip on out trip, so yummy and full of flavor!  I had my Bloody Mary made spicy.  (I will be using BM when referencing a Bloody Mary during my post, which, if you are in my line of work, it can mean something totally not appetizing, but it is way easier to just put BM, ha! Anyway…) it was your average BM made with traditional garnishes. It didn’t blow my skirt up is all I’m sayin.

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Frankenmuth

We headed to Frankenmuth; Michigan’s little Bavaria. A lot of people I know of go there for Bronner’s CHISTmas Wonderland; Of course we had to experience Christmas in July for ourselves! This store is the size of 1 ½ football fields and is open 361 days out of the year. It houses over 50,000 trims and gifts and screams Christmas from the ceiling to the floor. The town is filled with shops, restaurants, and don’t forget to sample some cheese! 🙂 I was most excited for Frankenmuth Brewery; founded in 1862 it was one of the oldest breweries in the country. Sadly destroyed by a tornado in 1996 and re-opened in 2009. We grabbed a beer and went on their complimentary twenty minute tour. After the tour we ordered a snack, the flight of beers, and sat on the patio.  It faces the river, so it makes for a pretty site!

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Au Gres

Heading towards St Ignace we stopped for a few tastes at Modern Craft Winery! The walls filled with chalkboard writing from travelers just like us! Reid was that tallest writing on the wall, I wonder that still stands (pun intended). We sampled various wines and even purchased our favorite, Fruit Fusion. The wine has natural flavors of peach, pear, apple, strawberry, and cherry. So pretty much every amazing fruit in a glass, it’s very sweet, but that’s just our pallet likes! I am very excited to open this on our one year anniversary; I almost forgot what it tastes like. We also passed a trout farm that was open for fishing. We did not fish, but we did walk around to view the most trout I have ever seen! Though this town is small it is filled with things to explore. Our next stop was The Bailey one room school house. Built in 1907 of Norway pine, the Bailey School is one of the few remaining one-room, log schoolhouses still standing in Michigan.

* Fun fact- I spent two years in a 4 room schoolhouse, I often rang the bell for recess! It is one of my favorite childhood memories.

We then explored the Sturgeon Point Lighthouse, there are approximately 124 remaining lighthouses that are in good condition lift in Michigan, one historian stated that there were as many as 247. So when I get the chance I like to take in the view around a lighthouse!

St Ignace

We nestled up at a Saint Ignace Bed and Breakfast called The Boardwalk Inn. It is run by a very nice couple. With just one room left due to a sailing competition, they were nice enough to give us a great price and room. Reid and I have traveled quite a bit together, and at any chance we can we stay at a bed and breakfast. It makes our vacation feel comfortable and “homey,” not to mention very romantic 😉 Mackinac Island has many romantic B&B’s but I will get to that stop later.  During our night in Ignace, we had breakfast and dinner at the Galley Restaurant, I of course had their BM with my dinner, it was sub-par (filled me up fast).

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Mackinac Island

The very next morning we boarded the Star Line Ferry from St Ignace. This was super easy if you have your hotel booked. You can simply get off the ferry and start exploring the island. The hotel staff picks up your luggage on bicycles, Or if you are lucky enough to stay at the famous Victorian Grand Hotel, red velvet horse drawn Carriage with beautiful white horses, and a perfectly postured coachman! It is quite the site, something out of a movie. You can just imagine how fresh the air is with its ban on almost all motor vehicles. More than 80 percent of the island is preserved as Mackinac Island State Park.

We had lunch at The Pink Pony Bar and Grille, mainly because it was pink and glittery on the inside, and the outside was a patio near the water with an outdoor bar and pink umbrellas! I loved the look! We listened to a live musician while sipping our drinks and enjoying the BEST dip on our honeymoon!, Smoked Whitefish Dip, it is TDF ;p hands down the best dip we had on our honeymoon, with UNO Chicago being number 2. The food at the Pink Pony was just amazing!

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Our dinner was spent at Goodfellows Italian Chophouse, where I had the best burger on our trip!, this restaurant was located inside a beautiful hotel with a beautiful ceiling mural.

With the food galore we had the night before, I was pretty excited to bike the entire island. Biking the island took us less than two hours! I highly recommend doing this, there is lots to see! Maybe even bring a lunch and having a picnic halfway, I plan on making island time once a year, I love this place!

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Munising

We left the island and headed towards Munising to chase a few waterfalls. This small city has 16 waterfalls :O! We ended the night with a three hour Pictured Rock Sunset Cruise. Though windy the view of the sun beaming off Pictured Rock is a wonderful site to see. I packed a cute picnic for Reid and I (no alcohol on this cruise). We camped out that night at Wandering Wheels campground (next time were getting the tiny cabins they rent, so cute). The next morning we had breakfast at the navigator. This little breakfast spot had an awesome menu and BM! Then we ventured out and saw 9 different waterfalls that day! It was a huge dose of mother nature thats for sure 🙂 Before we left town we ate ice cream at The Falling Rock Café & Bookstore, it’s a neat café with lots of character and their walls are filled with mugs from their “300 member mug club.”

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Drummond Island

Since our honeymoon was filled with a lot of driving, hiking, and camping, I was very excited to hop on the ferry boat, for our next two days, at our family’s cabin on Drummond Island! This is my favorite place to go, and not because that is where Reid proposed, its also Considered Michigan’s playground! Since we are lucky enough to visit Drummond Island twice a year (its a five and half hour drive from Grand Rapids, so as you can imagine its hard to go more) I didn’t really document our vacation here, but I can tell you this..Golfing there is fun and laid back especially for non golfers like myself! The course is split by the islands airstrip. If you eat anywhere try Esthers, just outside of town, for the best authentic Mexican plates. Most of the island does not have cell service so you’ll have to stop at the town’s library to get any mail or phone calls! I love this place, its the perfect getaway!

 

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By the end of our Honeymoon I did not find the best Bloody Mary I did however sample enough and try enough mixes and eventually found a dynamite recipe! From me to you..

 

BLOODY MARY RECIPE

2 shots of vodka (Stoli is smooth)

Zing Zang Bloody Mary Mix

smaller than a half shot of pickle (or just add a pickle)

1 tsp hot sauce

salt and pepper to taste

Garnishes: Olive, Sharp cheddar cheese cubes, celery, *pickle, sometimes I fold cream cheese into a pepperoni and add that too!

Its soooo TASTY!

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