For the past several Christmases, instead of buying presents for one another, Pete and I plan things to do together. For example, last year we bought Broadway in Chicago season tickets so that got us four dates for the year! This year we decided that, since our vacation days and travel budget are being saved up for more weddings, we would use this as an opportunity to go on a mini-weekend getaway by ourselves.
We got the idea to go to Sawyer, MI because of a Daily Candy email I got in December featuring the Rabbit Run Inn. The place was so cute, and looked so serene, I figured we could find things to do in the area. When we arrived at the inn we were greeted by the lovely owners who welcomed us in, showed us around, pointed out some things we could do, and left us to enjoy our weekend. And really, how could we not staying somewhere as pretty as this –
On Saturday we drove up to Saint Joseph, a beach town just a little north of Sawyer. The bluffs along the way were really pretty (who knew Michigan had bluffs?!?) but I think I would have enjoyed the town a bit more if it wasn’t freeeeezing cold out that day. I had ulterior motives though as this was also part of my secret plan to get Pete to take a detour to the Habitat ReStore I mentioned before. (I think this is more or less the equivalent of Kristy making stops at Whole Foods when she is in Chicago.)
Also on the agenda for the weekend were stops to some of the local vineyards. We visited Domaine Berrien Cellars which was great because it was small and quiet. Lemon Creek Winery had a large selection of wines to taste from but I think our experience here would have been better if we didn’t come in right behind a very large group of women. Our last stop was to Tabor Hill Winery were the bartenders were very helpful explaining each of the wines. Tabor Hill also has a bar (and restaurant) which overlooks the grapevines on their property so it was nice to end our tasting trip there with a final drink. (The area has several other wineries as well and I found the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail and Michigan Wines websites to be very useful in case anyone’s planning a trip here.)
We ended our day with dinner at Timothy’s in Union Pier, MI. It’s a small place attached to an inn, which I wasn’t quite expecting. Everything we ate was delicious though and presented beautifully. The seared tuna I had was by far my favorite and the best I’ve ever had. Yum. I’d definitely recommend the restaurant to anyone who’s going to be in the area.
I took a quiz on facebook not long ago which suggested Michigan is that state I should live in. At the time, I was more than a little disappointed because I was hoping the results would give me somewhere warmer and sunnier, like California. However, after our weekend I think I might be convinced. I’m thinking something along the lines of a farmhouse with a lot of land and big trees (no actual farm though, I don’t wake up early enough for that). Where the snow somehow seems charming and magical, not just dirty and irritating. Somewhere like that could be nice.