Sunday, October 31, 2010

Girls Gone Up North

I've been a little absent from the blogging world lately.  All because I've been very busy.  Busy doing what you may ask....

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.

Front entrance

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'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.  


  1. OMG! What a beautiful place!!! I'm going to have to check this place out!!! Love your photos! Looks like good fun and fun!! :-)

    Would you be able to email me privately on how to find this place (i assume to rent?)

  2. Your blog came up in my Google alerts in regards to Wits & Wagers. I am the designer of the game. I love hearing stories about how others enjoy playing it.

    What a beautiful place. It seems like you guys had a great time.


    Designer of Wits & Wagers
    Co-Designer of Say Anything

  3. How fun Lindalou! You picked a favorite spot of mine and love your lodging ...perfect! Sounds like a fun game and on the list for Christmas ideas.

  4. cool Dominic that you came and visited my blog. The internet never ceases to amaze me.

    We are all big fans of Wits and Wagers. It's a great family game. It is one of our newer games, but it is one of the first ones we play.

    I guess we are going to have to check out "Say Anything".

    We are a big gaming family including the fast approaching Game Day. The day after Thanksgiving everyone comes over for a day of food and games.

  5. ooh, that's neat about Dominic finding you!

    Lindalou - what a bunch of lucky ladies that you planned this! Everyone looks like they had a wonderful, restful, fun time! Your photos are fabulous. I love the one of the two ladies about to get into it. What a fun time. This is inspiring!

  6. You summed it up so well! It was a great weekend and how cool to have the designer of Wits and Wagers show up on your blog! I think I have a photo of the breakfast Caitlin made....I'll search for it. Thanks for organizing it and I'm looking forward to next year.

  7. Lindalou, what a great place! scrumptious meals! and with friends! I can tell you had an amazingly fun time.

  8. Aunt Linda!
    What a marvelous place. I'm SO glad you all got to get away and enjoy good friends, wine, and food in the beauty of northern Michigan! My mom was SO excited to tell me all about your adventures and it made my heart swell to hear the smile in her voice. Thanks for organizing the trip. It did her good to spend time with the girls. :) I wish I could've joined you too, but the booby prize (aka wine from Circa and 45 North) isn't too bad. Can't wait to see you at Thanksgiving! LOVE you.

  9. Sounds like a blast!!! Glad you guys got to enjoy a nice time away!! Love ya!

  10. I must admit to my jealousy, I'm sorry to be so shallow. As a photographer, I have to comment on how lovely your photos are also.

  11. Girls just wanna have fu-un! Glad you got to get away. Looks like it was a blast! Great pics,also.

    ps Wits & Wagers has been quite a hit with my fam too!! : )

  12. This post is so fabulous that I don't know where to start with my comments. And the photos....outstanding.

    Your little mascot (Luke) is just about the most precious-looking child ever!

    Although I loved seeing your lovely face and those of your friends, the food photos left me drooling.

    I only live across the "pond" from the Leelanau Peninsula...can't believe you didn't invite me:)

    I've missed you.


  13. Beautiful pictures! It looks like you hit the perfect peak of our fall color before the crazy wind storms hit. And Luke is SO adorable!!