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Up North:Day 2

Thursday, July 10, 2014

On day 2 of our trip, we woke up extra early so that we could go eat and jet-ski before finally visiting Old Mission. We had a delicious little breakfast at this French cafe called Patisserie Amie, which was jam packed when we first arrived. They have great coffee and pastries! After our breakfast, we rented two jet-skis for an hour, and later on joked that an hour of jet-skiing per year is good enough- we got thrashed around the lake and caught some major waves throughout the entire hour. Not to mention, the water is freezing! Afterwards, we finally made our way to Old Mission. We visited seven wineries in total which took us around five hours. I don't think I have to explain how beautiful it is there as the pictures are sure to be explanation enough. At most of the wineries, you pay $5 for five samples, and can keep the glasses, which is a total bonus! Here are my opinions on each of the wineries if you ever plan to visit, which I hope you will! I'm listing these in the order that we visited them.

Black Star Farms- The first winery of our day. As far as views go, this was located at the bottom of the peninsula, so there weren't as beautiful views of the lake like with all the other wineries. The lady who poured or wine seemed very knowledgeable. ($5 for five tastings and you keep the glasses).
Hawthorne Vineyards- The second stop of our day and also our least favorite. There were no other people there except for us, which is always awkward because all the staff just stares at you. The staff there consisted of one adult and two kids, 18 years old most likely, who have possibly never tasted the wines themselves, yet were serving them. The only positive was the views, as the building had huge windows on both sides overlooking the water. ($5 for five tastings and you keep the glasses).
Peninsula Cellars- It was okay at it's best, nothing too special. ($8.50 for five tastings and you keep the glasses).
Chateau Grand Traverse- Beautiful views once again, but the line was so insanely long that we just bought a bottle of wine from them and left.
Brys Estate Vineyard- Our favorite!!! The views were amazing, there was a beautiful outdoor seating area, chill house music was playing inside, the staff was playful, and it wasn't overcrowded. We also ordered some food at this one along with one glass of wine and enjoyed it outside. This would be the one winery to definitely have on your list!
2 Lads- Beautiful views and a cool industrial vibe inside the building. This one was also very crowded so we once again ordered just one glass of wine along with some more food haha. This would probably be our second favorite.
Chateau Chantal- Last one! Beautiful views and a beautiful building that also has a bed and breakfast which would be possibly the best place to stay in all of Old Mission and Traverse City! (too bad we had booked so late).

Even though we were full off of wine, we still decided to have an actual meal at Mission Table. It's located on the west side of the peninsula with a direct view of one of the smaller islands. I love the vibe at the restaurant because you have a beautiful group of trees separating the restaurant from the water with the view of the island.

We ended the night at our hotel watching the firework show that the hotel put on. It was a beautiful day :)

Hope you guys visit Old Mission because it really is one of the most beautiful places in Michigan!

Up North: Day 1

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

How was everyone's July 4th weekend? I hope you got to enjoy it and hopefully travel somewhere new! What I love about traveling is that you don't have to go too far to experience a new place. People often travel outside of their state for a vacation, but neglect all the beautiful places that are only a few hours away in their own state! We decided to explore Old Mission Peninsula and all it's wineries, which is about 3-4 hours away from where we live by car.

The first day we arrived, we explored Traverse City, as Dominik had never been there. We ate lunch at Mackinaw Brewing Co. and I discovered beer "flights," which I'd never heard of before. You basically get a a few smaller glasses of different types of beer to try. Since I love trying new drinks, flights are perfect for me! We explored the town, had some sweets, and returned to our hotel for the evening, which was a bit of a drive away.

We stayed at the Shanty Creek Resort, which is primarily a ski resort, but also offers golf for the summer months.The resort is perched on top of a hill so it has beautiful views from which we enjoyed the fireworks that night! (The pictures above are from some of the views we had from the hotel). As far as the rooms go, it definitely needs some updating. The food in their restaurant was okay. I think this would be a great place to stay if you're looking to ski during the winter months, or golf all day, but it was a bit out of the way for us from Old Mission. Since we booked so late, it was one of the only places left with rooms! If you want to go to Traverse City/Old Mission for a holiday weekend, book in ADVANCE!

Our first day up north we took easy since the second day we had activities planned for the entire day!
Stay tuned :)


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

In September 2013, Dominik and I became certified scuba divers. I've always been afraid of deep water, so I decided to face my fear through scuba diving. I have definitely become much more comfortable in the water environment since our certification. If you are interested in beginning scuba diving, there's a few things you should know. First, it's a very equipment intensive sport. And the equipment comes with a hefty price tag. Of course you don't want to be a cheap-o when it comes to buying equipment that supports your life underwater. You will also need to take the course and subsequently pay to take the certification open-water test. This tests all the skills you learned in the course such as mask clearing (what nightmares are made of), manual inflation of your BC (buoyancy compensator) underwater, emergency ascents, etc. This stuff's no joke considering your life depends on it! Despite all this, scuba diving is also a ton of fun! You get to explore a whole new environment that you would possibly never get to see otherwise in real life! I've decided to put up a few of our pictures we took with the GoPro scuba diving in Bonaire, snorkeling in Florida, and from our most recent dive at Gilboa Quarry; hopefully you'll be inspired to learn scuba as well! 

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