i think we may have started a new tradition for mothers day. or at least maybe i hope that its a yearly tradition. rewind – we were trying to figure out what we wanted to do to for mothers day and thinking maybe hiding out at home or going to pentwater? maybe chicago for the weekend? that was until the leland lodge reached out and invited us up to enjoy mothers day weekend with them. guess how long we had to think about that one.. less than a second.
if you haven’t been to northern michigan specifically the traverse city, leland, glen arbor area pack your bags. you will experience some of the best food, best michigan wines and amazing scenic drives of your life. joe was at a golf outing in arcardia so we met up in pentwater friday afternoon and joined cars to finish the drive up to leland. we arrived to the lodge around 4:30 and were welcomed by Patti and the amazing staff at the lodge. (not to mention the fresh baked cookies) (joe actually thought we were going to split one) (nope). i have to tell you i was instantly in love. maybe it was the cookie? maybe it was the warm reception? or maybe it was because we have the same plaid carpet in our living room as they do in their lobby? regardless we felt right at home. we walked up the steps to our room and unpacked our bags before going for a walk.
the lodge is located about 3 blocks from fish town and the weather was cool and sunny. we had otto in the stroller and we walked around the shops and picked up some smoked fish pate (THE BEST is from fish town) and a block of cheese and crackers. oh and a bottle of wine. we were not quite ready for dinner so we went back to our room and sat on the deck and ate some snacks. i loved that the hotel kept a lot of the vintage lodge charm with the pristine wood panels and key lock doors. it was my kind of place. we decided to go for a little drive and went to black star farms cafe for a wood fired pizza (amazing) and ate and relaxed as long as otto napped. when he woke up … dinner was over and we went back to the lodge for the night.
saturday morning we woke up and went for another walk. you are right by the water so it’s perfect for a morning stroll. i should probably mention that in addition to homemade cookies every afternoon there is also fresh muffins in the morning. we grabbed a muffin on our way out for the walk. we ended up going to figs for breakfast then to the farmers market in downtown traverse city for a while. we are early risers so it’s fun to find some morning activities. you know we went to the giant antique store store downtown. you know, cause it was right there.
we walked the downtown getting a cup of coffee before heading up to tandem ciders for the afternoon for some live music and a barrel tasting of the cider. we’ve always been big fans of tandem but this was something new where they aged cider in different liquor barrels and we got to taste it. we had to pick up a few bottles of our new favorite (farmhouse) as well as some old classics (smackintosh) they also served lunch of brats with a side of sauerkraut. the sun came out and it was a low 70 degrees and perfect. we enjoyed the patio with new friends tasting some cider. once we were finished at tandem we headed on l mawby and then to shady lane cellars and had a glass of wine by the outdoor fire place. after that it was time for dinner.
we had dinner at bogeys which is the lodge’s restaurant. i’m not even kidding.. this place has the best brussel sprouts i have ever had. ever. i know i know. and for those of you who don’t like brussel sprouts.. you just haven’t had them the right way yet. they are flash fried and tossed in parmesan and red wine vinegar. they were so crispy and salty and tart. joe and I finished a giant bowl of them before our dinners. i had the bbq mac and cheese because, vacation and joe had the perch dinner. the best thing was that the restaurant was not too far from our room so if otto need a moment to collect himself we could just quick run to our room. we hung out there enjoying the view of the lake and the golf course before heading out to the community camp fire and roasting some marshmallows and talking to new friends who were up from chicago. it’s amazing the quick sense of community a good old fashioned camp fire can build. i felt like we were in a vacation right out of the 60’s with the lodge, the camp fire, now if only we could have driven our bronco up…
by that time it was 10pm and waaaay past ottos bed time. we walked back to the room and called it a night. the next morning otto slept until 9:30 am! we partied him right out. we enjoyed coffee on our balcony and just had a nice slow morning before heading down to the lodge’s event space for mothers day brunch. it was a beautiful space over looking the golf course and the stunning lake. the air was cool and crisp and the sun was out. we enjoyed our mothers day breakfast before packing up and going on one more walk to to the lake picking up some snacks and sandwiches at the cheese shop for a picnic later.
we said our goodbyes to the staff reluctant to leave but hey, we have sheep and dogs to feed. we took the scenic route home looking at all the old beautiful barns and farmhouses along the way. we stopped at a scenic overlook at sleeping bear dunes to eat our sandwiches and stretch our legs (oh and steal some ramps). we finished the drive home arriving back to our farm around 5pm.
it was the most absolute perfect mothers day weekend. thank you so much to the staff at leland lodge. we have some amazing memories that we will cherish forever. we will be back. thank you so much to tandem ciders for hosting such a great event. you’re always are and will be one of our most favorite places to relax.