Happy National Cherry Festival Week!

Last weekend it was 96 degrees, windy, and humid!  … and yes, after a bit of anxiety, I gave up my weekend on the boat to celebrate the opening weekend of the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Michigan with no regrets.

First of all, the Blue Angels were in town!  Any time of day, you could look up and see them practicing performances.  I even saw a few of them fly over my house Saturday afternoon during their show. Such a thrill to see them again!

Once the excitement of the Air Show died down, we made our way from the Turtle Creek Casino, via Lyft driver, to the festivities at the Open Space.img_6592

What a great view from the backside of the Beverage Tent!  Ohhhh… They have a great selection of beers, along with wines from Chateau Grand Traverse, as well as Cherry Margarita’s, and refreshing Adult Lemonade, and bourbon cocktails.  (So glad Lyft and Uber have become a part of Traverse City’s culture… getting around is a breeze when someone else is driving!)

The opening concert of the week; Pat Benatar and Neil Geraldo, with Loverboy as an opener!  Wow…  what a fantastic night of my kind of music…  80’s all the way!

My very first concert I ever went to was in 1982 at Castle Farms in Charlevoix, Michigan…  Yes… it was a Loverboy concert!  They were just as good this day, as they were back then.  The aging rockers put on a great show!  (Of course, the audience, including myself, was equally as aging!)

Of course, Pat Benatar and her husband Neil Geraldo, put on a great show as well.  So much talent in one night!  Many of their songs brought back great memories and prompted the crowd to stand and cheer!  My “fun meter” was off the charts, and I woke up with a very scratchy voice on Sunday from all of the “woo hooooing!”

All this, in one night… and the festivities have just begun…  More big name concerts from Dan & Shay, Sheryl Crow, Dustin Lynch, along with a few more are in the lineup for this week.  Of course, any night of the week, locals congregate at the beverage tent for refreshing adult beverages and good company.

A visit to the Gibby’s Fries trailer is a must as well…  It’s a long time Traverse City favorite!

Other events this week, Cherry Pie Eating Contests, Cherry Pit Spit, Kids events, parades, and much more!  Check out the event schedule at www.cherryfestival.org!

Oh… and Sunday while I was at a family picnic on East Bay, the Blue Angels were visible in the distance once again during Sunday’s airshow!  Where is a good camera when you really need one?

So, if you are near the area this week, make sure you join the rest of the crowd to celebrate everything that is Cherry!  … and enjoy those Fireworks on the 4th, whereever you may be!img_6623

Weekend fun… transitions from winter to spring in Traverse City!

A lovely glass of Pinot Blanc with Lunch at McGee’s 72…

Check out the views and enjoy a glass at Marivinyards on Old Mission Peninsula.

Pose for a selfie at Peninsula Cellars, and have another glass of wine…

Visit The Oosterhouse’s Bonobo Winery and soak in the views…

And watch the icebergs float by on East Bay…

Suds and Snow 2018… Traditions continue!

Every March, Northern Michiganders see the first signs of spring. The sun comes out, snow starts melting, craft brewers set up for a party in the woods, and lots of people come out of hiding after hibernating all winter. Yes! This weekend was the Annual Suds and Snow Ultimate Party in the Woods! So we headed up the hill to Timber Ridge RV Resort and Campground on the East side of Traverse City to join in on the fun!

My great friend Joyce and I equipped ourselves for a great day!

Turns out a lot of people showed up for the great time! Craft Brewers came out from all over Michigan to serve up their best icy cold beverages… Short’s Brewery, Bell’s, Founder’s, Storm Cloud, and North Peak were just a few of the booths set up out in the woods. If you couldn’t manage to find a beer you liked, there were also Ciders and Wines as well. The event is one that my friends look forward to every year! Did I mention the bands that played throughout the day were amazing! It’s one of the ways we get through winter.

I always run into people I know! This fun lady is a friend from high school, Laurie Phillips. Always ready for a good time! She’s just one of my favorite people!

Hanging out at the Tiki on Wheels created by John and Debbie Russell from Bellaire, Michigan.

So next March, if you need a boost to get through those last weeks of winter, don’t forget to listen for the party in the woods! Suds and Snow

Timber Ridge Resort

The Rise and Fall of the Shopping Mall?

In the late 1960’s, shopping malls popped up all around the country. I remember, because I was a kid way back then, and one of my favorite pastimes was loading up into the car with my mom, Grammy, and aunties to hit the Paka Plaza in Jackson, Michigan. It was a joy to wonder through the toy department at Sears Roebuck to pick out the favorite teddy bear. If I remember correctly, I picked a somewhat girly bear. My cousin, Erin (yes, thats you dear!) picked the cuddly brown bear with the boy clothes. She was much more of a tomboy than I was back then. (Strange how my memory works!) While my mom and my Aunt giggled about sizes marked with TT… They said it meant “teeny tiny” size!

Then we moved UpNorth.. Rapid City, Michigan… Torch Lake… Aka 3rd most beautiful lake in the world! No malls.. But we took many long drives back to Jackson to hit our favorite spots, along with many relatives and in 1972 they got a wondrous new indoor mall.. Westwood Mall… This quickly became a new favorite, with its extra expansive JC Penney, and Hudsons!

UpNorth shopping was mainly downtown. Traverse City, with its famous Milliken’s Tea Room, among quaint boutiques with unique clothing items. In 1978, the community scored big with the opening of the Cherryland Mall. The community had come of age with its flagship department store, Prange’s, along with Sears Roebuck and Kmart, not to mention Main Street Sports (Kudos to the Gallagher family!). The place was usually packed with happy shoppers, until around 1991, when the community was introduced to the Grand Traverse Mall. Oh the joy of shopping became larger!

Flash forward to today… Milliken’s is gone from downtown. Westwood Mall is still surviving. Cherryland Mall is now the Cherryland Center, struggling to fill vacant spaces. Multiple stores in the Grand Traverse Mall are slated to close, leaving it’s development company in search of new tenant’s. Who is to blame? Some say Amazon.com.

Well.. Amazon is convenient, but… in my recent travels to Raleigh, NC (Crabtree Valley Mall) and Estero, FL, (Coconut Point Mall) I was pleased to find good busy bustling malls with amazing shopping, and very few vacant spaces! My anxiety about the death of my favorite sport is eased! Now… What are these communities doing that our struggling malls can learn from?

Perhaps its quality over quantity? Maybe it’s the economy setting of the communities? What if it’s simply a matter of making time to spend a family shopping day on occasion, instead of blindly ordering something to be delivered to your door?

This is simply one of the things that randomly runs through my brain from time to time

In the meantime… Get out there and hit those local malls… Make memories! Happy shopping, all!

Today’s lunch time blog! One of my favorite local hangouts… A review of Peegeo’s in Traverse City, MI.

Thirsty Thursday… yes, it’s a weekly holiday where the ladies all meet for dinner and drinks.   This week we ended up at one of our favorites, Peegeo’s on High Lake Road in Traverse City.   I realized I have never reviewed this place before!  So here it goes.

This place holds a little piece of my heart.  The minute you walk in the door, it’s like walking into “Cheers”.  Everybody knows your name (No I don’t run a tab like George or Cliffy…).  After one visit, you are considered a local by the owners, George and Susan VanKersen.  Of course, I’ve been a local to this place since 1992.  So my opinion may be a little biased.  But I do believe its general just a fun place to go!  The bar is lined with locals telling stories and spreading cheer, no matter what time of year it is.

My menu picks:

  • Hangar Steak (George does it right!)  It melts in your mouth!
  • Mexican Chicken wings…  One of my favorites!
  • Cherry Chicken Salad… for those times I feel like a need some veggies.  But it’s soooooooo delish!
  • BBQ Ribs… Mmmmmmmmmmm…
  • Mexican Combo Plate…  So much goodness on one plate.
  • Mike’s Sicilian Pizza…  Seriously the best pizza I have ever eaten in my life!
  • The London Broil… Comfort food at its best!

Of course there’s so many options on the menu other than this.  But these are my favorites!  Did I mention the Mike’s Sicilian Pizza is the best ever???  Check out their menu at www.peegeos.com.

Cheer’s to the local’s at Peegeo’s!  Nice job!

P.S.  to my people at McGee’s in Acme, MI… you are next!  You know I love ya’ll!

Restaurant Review: Calypso Mediterranean Grille on the Munson Miracle Mile, Traverse City, MI

 

After passing a few favorites in search of something different, we landed at Calypso, a new Mediterranean Eatery on Munson Avenue.  Here are some of my thoughts on the place:

  1. There’s been a few restaurants located in that particular building throughout the years.  They have all been short lived, with the exception of “The Clock”.  I think Calypso could be around for awhile!  Maybe I’m just partial to Mediterranean food, but I found this place great!
  2. The pricing… well, it may be a little pricey. But the salad’s we ordered with our dinners were enormous!  Next time, we split the salad.  Dinner pick:  Green Tomatillo Chicken Alfredo.  You just can’t go wrong!  This dish is positively wonderful, comforting, and flavorful.  Overall, the price was worth it.
  3. Tempting options: Blue Cheese Crusted Delmonico Steak… This was one of the specials of the evening.  We may have to go back for this!  Oh… and pumpkin cheesecake…  I passed on dessert this time, but, next time may be a different story!
  4. The service was excellent. We had an attentive professional waiter who knew the menu like the back of his hand.
  5. Will we go back??? Oh, by all means, yes we will!  Calypso is a nice addition to the Foodie community of Traverse City.

Looking forward to my next visit to this one!

For more information on this restaurant, please visit their website at www.calypsogrilltc.com.  ENJOY!