crop happens…

2011/210: Summer Roadtrip, Michigan Part 1

As my persistant stalkers faithful readers know, we had planned to head to Maine this summer, but because of rising gasoline prices we’ve had to change those plans and choose a destination that was a little closer. That lucky destination was Michigan.
On Thursday, July 7th, it was time to pack our suitcases, load up the car, and head to Michigan. We stopped at the Welcome Center just across the border to pick up some brochures. We kind of knew where we wanted to go and what we wanted to see, but you just never know what else you might find.

Our first stop was Saugatuck for some wine tasting at Fenn Valley Vineyards (they had an amazing icewine, but they were completely out of stock) and the combined tasting room of Free Run Cellars and Round Barn Winery. I even talked Greg and Melissa into posing for a picture or two at Fenn Valley Vineyards.

For lunch we stopped at DDD featured Rosie’s Diner in Rockford, just north of Grand Rapids.

We found another DDD restaurant just south of Lansing, that Greg wanted to try for dinner, but because Lansing isn’t that far away from Grand Rapids, we needed to find something to do between lunch and dinner.  The Lansing travel brochure I picked up at the Welcome Center really came in handy, and I found two free things to do.
We went to Cooley Gardens first. It was such a peaceful, beautiful place, with plenty of flowers to photograph… although the mosquitoes were a little annoying to say the least! We were almost the only people there, too.

Next on the list was Frances Park, with great views and a beautiful rose garden. I will bore you with rose pictures some other time, instead, here is one of the view of the river. … and one of Sara, trying not to smile. She was standing at the edge of the circle in the photo below.

When we all started to get hungry, we made our way to Joe’s Gizzard City in Potterville for dinner. Yes, they do serve gizzards, and NO, I didn’t try any! Greg did, though! I can’t remember what I ordered, but it had nothing to do with gizzards! *shudder*

We wanted to get a hotel near Flint, but actually made it to Frankenmuth. Our first hotel choice was completely booked, but thankfully we got a room at the second hotel we tried.

To be continued…..


17 responses

  1. never been as far east as michigan, only to california but it looks wicked!!

    29. July, 2011 at 05:14

  2. Marg

    I am loving the travel trip with you. 😀 It’s fun to live vicariously through someone else’s eyes. Although I would probably take your eyes to a few other places.
    DDD? Diners, Drive-ins and Dives? Omg, my fav show on Food Network 😀
    We’ve done some of the southwestern ones.
    I will tune in tomorrow to see where we go next in Michigan.
    Got my head out the window already!

    29. July, 2011 at 06:40

    • Thanks, Marg 🙂
      Yes, Diners, Drive-ins & Dives. It’s one of our favorite Food Network shows, too, and we’ve been to quite a few of them, including two in your area on our way out to CA a few years ago. That trip started it all! LOL

      29. July, 2011 at 08:22

  3. Gizzard City? ugh. I like how adventurous you all are! Perhaps next year for Maine?

    29. July, 2011 at 06:47

    • LOL yeah, I checked out their website ahead of time to make sure they had OTHER things on their menu, too!
      Right now the plan is to go back to Michigan next year, but you never know, those plans can change at any minute. Wouldn’t be the first time 😉

      29. July, 2011 at 08:24

  4. Hey, are you calling me a stalker???? LOL! I’m a bit behind on my blog reading with the power outage we had, so I have to do some more reading when I get the chance, but I’ve been enjoying what I’ve been seeing so far! Did you meet any bloggers in Michigan? I read several folks who live there, but mostly they are way up north.

    29. July, 2011 at 07:57

    • Are you saying you’re stalking my blog? LOL
      I’ve been getting behind on my blog reading, too, because of those darn vacation pictures. I’m STILL not done editing them!! Hopefully I’ll finish this week-end sometime.
      No, didn’t get to meet any Michigan bloggers. We were hoping to get together with Kathy (she was the only one who knew we were going to Michigan), but then unfortunately ran out of time and didn’t make it close enough to her area. Maybe next year 🙂

      29. July, 2011 at 08:27

  5. doreen3boys

    a pic of Greg AND Melissa………..were they drunk 😉 ? lol. I love that you go to the visitor center to plan out your trip. but I don’t think I could be as adventurous as you and pick a hotel room blindly………..or are you doing research at night?

    29. July, 2011 at 08:19

    • Haha, Greg might have been a little buzzed AFTER the wine tasting, but I took this pic before we went inside. Not sure what happened, must have caught them off guard 😉
      We always stop at the Welcome Centers, because the big “official” Travel Guides can be a little vague, and certainly don’t list everything there is to see.
      Some hotels we pick blindly, although we stick with chains we know (we stayed at a lot of Holiday Inn Express hotels, and Greg also gets points at anything by Marriott). The hotel in Indiana we booked ahead of time because we knew when we would be there and how long we were staying, but while on the road this isn’t always possible. If we knew where we would be the next night, we went online and booked a room, but that only happened a few times this trip. Any other time we had the GPS look for hotels when we were ready to stop for the night. All works out 🙂

      29. July, 2011 at 08:38

  6. Oh, my…love your taste for adventure. Michigan does have many fun places to discover.

    29. July, 2011 at 14:24

    • Thanks! It’s so much more fun than a trip that’s planned out from start to finish. And YES, we needed at least an extra week (or two!) to see everything we wanted to see.

      29. July, 2011 at 15:08

  7. Interesting…I thought I had already replied to this. Read it avidly this morning, eager to hear about your impressions of your Michigan trip. Sounds like fun so far! Great pics. Have never visited any of these places, so it was very interesting!

    29. July, 2011 at 18:41

  8. I love reading about your trips! Sounds like fun!!

    1. August, 2011 at 20:12

  9. Ohhhhh…I used to live in Grand Rapids. Rosie’s Diner is an icon in the area. Loving this road trip! 🙂

    3. August, 2011 at 10:32

  10. I bet you passed by my neck of the woods. So far, it looks like it was a great trip. 🙂

    4. August, 2011 at 17:23

  11. Yet another great collection!

    5. August, 2011 at 17:14

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