Where to start this story. Several months back, I had this idea that I wanted to gather up all my favorite girls and go somewhere. OK...some of us haven't been girls for a long time, but I'm not letting a little thing like that stand in my way.
I find great joy and comfort in the company of my girlfriends and the thought of sharing a long week-end indulging in food, wine and laughter seemed just what I wanted and needed.
I quickly pulled together a list of all my favorite ladies and emailed them to see who might be interested. Fortunately, I got a very positive response.
The next big decision was where to go. But when you live in Michigan, that isn't really a hard decision....the best place to go is always "Up North".
So I searched the internet and found this beautiful log home on Lake Michigan in the Leelanau Peninsula.
House from Lake Michigan side
Our view from the deck and from the living room
Living Room from the loft
Kitchen from the loft
Dining Room from the loft.
View from the front porch
Even though the color was not at it's peak, there were still areas of bright glorious color.
After unloading the cars...we got down to business. Cooking dinner!
This is me getting ready to start on the Salmon (oh and I'm talking...it's actually hard to get a picture of me NOT talking and with my eyes open).
It was a beautiful piece of Salmon. Better yet, let me show you.
I cedar planked it with a Maple Ginger Glaze. Quite yummy.
The next morning we had a delicious frittata with warm apple bread made by Kathy.
We then headed out for a day of wine tasting. For those not familiar with the Western part of Northern Michigan, it has a climate well suited for growing grapes and there are probably some 30 wineries in the area.
Here we are at 45 North:
Mary and Rebecca
Myra and Sue
Caitlin and Marlene
Kathy and Me
And this little guy came too. (He will be so happy his Muma put him in this hat one day)
We visited Circa Winery next (forgot to take pictures) and then we had lunch at The Knot where we also were able to catch the end of the Michigan State / Northwestern game. There may have even been some singing of the MSU Fight Song. I'll never tell.
Sunday morning after we ate a delicious breakfast of sausage strata made by Caitlin (again forgot to take pictures), many of us headed off for a 3 mile hike at the Leelanau State Park. I can't even begin to explain the beauty we saw on this hike. My camera does a much better job.
We ended up at Cathead Bay where we hike across some small dunes to Lake Michigan.
We had the added benefit that both Mary and Rebecca are horticulturists or "co-horts" as they liked to be called. They provided some color commentary as we walked along...although they didn't always agree.
The hike was an unexpected treat for all of us.
Sunday evening was spent eating (yet again) this wonderful Chicken Broccoli Bake that Sue and Myra made.
Cait and I were then able to introduce the group to two of our favorite games, Wits and Wagers (once Kathy got the hang of the wagering, we were all done in) and Pit. Nothing like a rousing game of Pit to enliven the troops.
It was a fabulous week-end and I need to thank each and every member of our group.
Thanks Marlene for making Mary laugh harder then I have ever seen her laugh and for the yummy Ice Cream Sundaes
Thanks Rebecca for the incredible back rubs.
Thanks Mary for helping us weave our way around the back roads and leading some of the group to Leland for scarf shopping.
Thanks to Myra for just being an all around great help. I'd vacation with you anytime.
Thanks to Sue for turning Luke into giggle man and for all the cookies
Thanks to Caitlin for being my right hand and for showing us the "running man"
Thanks to Kathy for my first yoga class and for making me laugh so many times
And finally...thanks to Luke for just being the sweetest little guy in the whole world.
Do you think he knows it?
And this is for you Cait...
Yes...this was hanging from the beams.