well we are getting back in to the swing of things from our last family getaway of 2018 and spent it up in northern michigan. the more we go there the more i just fall in love with it and hope that each year i get to spend more and more time there. northern michigan has something special. michigan itself is special but northern…man they have it.
you go there and you just are instantly part of this community of people who just care. even perfect strangers ask you how you are doing, how was your holiday season. you feel instantly welcomed. better yet, instantly relaxed. we have been fortunate to head up this year for 3 out of the 4 seasons. summer, fall and now winter. winter…might just be my favorite so far. it’s cozy, it’s sleepy, it’s curling up by the lodge fire with a mug of mulled wine. the towns shrink and the days are shorter but there is just something absolutely magical in the air up there.
we stayed at our leland lodge. i accidentally left out favorite but decided to keep it because that is what it feels like to me. our leland lodge. when we go there it just feels so homy. we went with another couple and their son this time because it is the perfect place for a little getaway with the little ones. there is non stop things to do there for both kids and adults. i can’t wait to go back when otto is old enough to go sledding. they have an amazing sled hill that overlooks the bay. and when you are done outside you can come in and take advantage of the hot cocoa bar. there are tons of trails for snowshoeing and cross country skiing. joe and i have that on our list to try someday. the air was cold but the sun was out and that gave everything a beautiful white glow and made your cheeks warm.
while we were there we got to visit some old favorites as well as try out some new fun places. we hit up shady lane which was a favorite of mine last time. they have an amazing outdoor fireplace to sip wine next to but since the cold and..babies we were inside by the window overlooking the snowy vineyard. we had an amazing tasting experience complete with cheeseboard by lindy. she was so awesome at explaining why michigan wines taste the way they do. i love learning how the soil, the heat, the air, the moisture etc all affect how the end product, the wine tastes. i think we all agreed that the sparkling resiling was our favorite of the day. we all went home with a bottle or three of it.
after that we sensed the boys needed a nap. so we headed to the lodge to check in and get situated. by the time we were there the boys were ready to party again so we went and got lunch at bogeys. this place has hands down the best brussel sprouts in the area. maybe even michigan. they are crispy and vinegary and ugh so good but we saved those until dinner. for lunch i had the whitefish chowder and it was amazing! we hung out at lunch watching the light snow and the football game before heading out to round two of tasting.
we hit up the boathouse vineyards this time. this was a new one for me. we decided (since the boys were finally asleep) that we would all split a bottle. we had the boathouse red and it was one of the better michigan reds i’ve had! i liked that it wasn’t overly sweet. my photos didn’t turn out but i’ll post some later of our haul! after our bottle was gone we headed back to the lodge and hung out by the fireplace while the boys played for a bit and stretched their legs.
we had an awesome dinner at bogeys which worked out great. the restaurant is on the first floor and our rooms were just up the steps. we were able to have the baby monitors at dinner so we could have parents night out while the boys slept away. i had the mushroom onion burger and it was heavenly. i don’t order a lot of burgers when i’m out to eat because we have a freezer full at home but this one was amazing. the caramelized onions and sauce were so so good. and of course..brussel sprouts. after dinner we moved back out into the lobby where there are big leather comfy couches and a hot fire. we broke in to one of our bottles (or two) from the day and sat, hung out and watched more football. The lodge had trivia that night so there were so many fun people around that ended up joining us and watching the game. during commercials we got to know people and what brought them up north. everyone from school teachers on break to retirees, people from D.C. and more were just hanging out watching football. it was such a good, restful night.
the next morning we woke up and got fresh muffins and coffee from the lodge before heading to market 22 for brunch. it was the cutest place! i’ve never been there before but i’m for sure going back, especially for the pizza that everyone keeps talking about. i had a breakfast sandwich and joe had the burrito. ottos little friend linden and her mom ended up coming for a cup of coffee and before we knew it, it was baby palooza at market 22 haha. it was yet another cozy northern michigan experience drinking coffee having breakfast. we hung out there for a while before hitting up a few more wineries.
we went back to blu stone from this summer and l. mawby. the cafe from black star was closed but they had their porch closed up with fires and heater inside that you could get a bowl of chili and mulled wine for $15. it was perfect to do with kids because they could scoot around a bit and mom and dad could enjoy some lunch without being in the main tasting room. it was about 3pm and we had a 3 hour drive ahead of us so sadly we said our goodbyes and headed for home.
it was probably the most relaxing thing to do after a busy holiday season. just drive around and meet new people, enjoying northern michigan and all that it has to offer.