Tag Archives: scenic drive

METAMORA: Horsin’ Around….

27 Aug

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Today is an Alice-in-Wonderland kind of day. Instead of a rabbit hole we are in Lapeer County, Metamora to be exact. The area is known for its striking beauty; the landscape is one of mature trees, century old barns, elevation changes and gorgeous countryside. You can board your horses, golf at an award-winning golf course, hunt pheasant, learn to drive a carriage, ride a horse and stay at a bed and breakfast. The opening day of formal hunting is a big event, a tradition here since 1928, they still do things the old-fashioned way with the blessing of the hounds and riders wearing formal hunt attire. The Metamora Hunt Stable Tour is today, our ticket gets us an inside look at 8 stables tucked into the tranquil terrain.

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Kris is at the wheel of the Wrangler as we meander narrow, rolling, scenic dirt roads. Let me start off by saying I know next to nothing about horses, hunts or hounds; we are drawn to the tour by the sheer beauty of the area and curiosity of the lifestyle. Our first stop is the Metamora Hunt Club kennels on Barber Rd; here we buy our tickets, walk the grounds and visit with a couple of the horses. Standing at the fence they come right to us, being an animal lover I’m excited to see the horses up close, they’re magnificent. Over at the kennels a constant stream of hounds pass through the dog door from the building into the yard. They are playful, active and anxious for attention from the humans standing at the fence. A quick look at the map to get our bearings and we’re off.

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Ordinary mailboxes line the road, the canopy of trees conceal the majesty of the land and homes beyond, when we reach the next address we make our turn onto a single lane, gravel drive, even rows of Pine trees line the sides making a dramatic entrance. Structures on this 30 acre property are Tudor style, putting us in the mind of a gentlemen’s farm. The stable, built in 1981 has a timely feel to it, a group of young women in riding pants and tall boots are gathered outside talking polo. There are no horses in the stalls right now; a guide invites us into the tack room for a cold beverage and a snack. The tiny room is extremely cozy, wood-paneled walls, saddles, ribbons and trophies add to its appeal. Outside we walk the property, a series of jumps is set up in one area, horses visit with old friends in another, the house sits leisurely in the distance.

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Old Magnolia Farm on Hosner Road is next. Built in 1860, the large white house sits under a blue summer sky, a series of arches enclose front and side porches, detailed cut-outs in the wood trim and wrought iron make it fancy.  The current owners had the facade restored to its original grandeur; while they were at it, they built a stable too….. The buildings are lovely; the sight of the stable against the backdrop of pristine pastureland is breathtaking. Lanterns hang from the extravagant covered walkway, flowers burst from urns along the way. Inside, the stable is done in knotty pine with a stamped concrete floor; there are 6 stalls a wash stall, feed/washer dryer room, workout room and tack room that also serves as a lounge. We climb up to the hayloft stacked with fresh-cut hay, it smells nice, through the window we peer out over the grounds, there are 100 acres of riding trails, wooded areas and hay fields. Downstairs we stop in the lounge, cold drinks and horse-shaped, sugar cookies await us, it’s air-conditioned too! Out back horses graze, black split-rail fencing follows the slope if the land.

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Quail Hollow Farm on Oakwood is next, here they breed Oldenburgs, which originated in Germany, and Labrador Retrievers. We follow others on the tour to the stable area, an old turquoise Chevy pick-up is stored in a garage, window boxes overflow with geraniums and lobelia. The farm is home to 10 horses, 4 dogs, 3 Shetland sheep and chickens along with 3 Morgan horses. Haystacks fill one area of the stable, we are greeted by the dogs as we make our way out to the sheep, they’re people friendly and come right up to us. The horses are wearing fly masks, this protects their delicate eyes from the annoyance of flies, they can see out of them easily. I visit with the animals while Kris is hard at work taking pictures.

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Back on Barber Road, Willow Pond Farm is stunning! The stone and wood  gambrel roof stable is painted a placid green with white trim, black split-rail fencing surrounds the greensward. A jockey statue stands by the open stable door, inside we are treated to imported English stalls and South American Foxwood, it looks like fine furniture. A horse is in his stall facing us, he takes pleasure in the breeze the large fan creates. Upstairs in the hayloft trap doors allow bundles of hay to be dropped directly into each stall, through the windows we look out over the well-manicured lawn and stately home. We visit with another horse in his stall, this one faces the outdoors, he’s perfectly groomed in chestnut-brown with a white diamond shape on his head. This gentle giant is delighted to have so much attention, I think he’s posing as Kris snaps a photo. Weeping Willows surround the family pond, they even have an Olympic sized outdoor ring on the property.

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We arrive at Bedrock Stables and park in the shade, an American flag mounted to a white Victorian home flutters in the breeze. On the other side of the driveway two large red barns await us. The homestead was established sometime in the mid to late 1800’s, the barns actually pre-date the house, originally used for farming, one is now a stable the other a Bed & Breakfast. We start in the stable, a woman points out features of the building, we’re excited to learn a Kentucky Derby contender is in one of the stalls. Next door the barn is now used as a bed and breakfast and meeting space; the interior oozes a rustic charm. The wood and beams are still original from around 1860, visitors parade through the guest bedrooms, kitchen and dining space, I carry my glass of lemonade to the silo, this is super-cool! With just a table and chairs the view looking up is something else. The open stairway leads to the second floor recreation room complete with pool table, juke box, bar and large stone fireplace surrounded by a comfy seating area. The barn is often rented out for weddings, what a lovely setting.

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Springbrook Farm consists of 200 acres, the main residence, built around 1860 still stands gracefully on the property. The old dairy barn with its gambrel roof has been converted for horses, it is believed the structure is a “Sears Kit Barn” dating back to 1929. The stalls are knotty pine, antique-looking light fixtures are mounted to the kelly green ceiling. The hayloft is completely open, trusses visible, impressive, Kris likes the old tractor and antique farm equipment. We walk the peaceful grounds, the panoramic view from here is spectacular, heavenly; meadows, fields, woodlands, highlands, downs, knolls, well, you get the idea. The rich beauty unexpected, picturesque. Following the trail we end up at a HUGE red building under construction, this will be the 30,000 sq ft indoor riding arena. The agricultural fields have all been turned into hay fields. On the walk back we visit with the horses and admire their view.

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Our last stop on the tour takes us to Fiddler’s Green on Sutton Road. This enchanting small farm includes an eye-catching Saltbox style house, a three-stall barn and a carriage barn. The yard is surrounded by attractive flower gardens and quaint seating areas. The owner greets us in the stall barn, she tells us her two horses are rescues, they certainly look content. The tack room is painted barn red with a white ceiling, ribbons hang above a dresser, there are horse statues and paintings, quite dashing. The property is landscaped wonderfully, an attractive mix of colors and textures, walking back we see carriages parked near the stone wall.

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Finished with the tour we are ready for a late lunch; Kris makes his way down pretty roads ending up at The White Horse Inn on High Street in the village of Metamora. You may have read about the Inn or seen something on the local news about this place. Founded in 1850, it operated continuously for 162 years closing in 2012. New owners came in, shored the place up and put on addition; much of the materials used in the renovation came from the owners own wooded lot in addition to recycled wood from a nearby century-old farm. Jean Louis Sauvat flew in from France to do the charcoal images of horses in the main dining room. The doors re-opened to the delight of those who have been coming here for years and those dining for the first time.

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Step inside the building and feel like you are in an up north lodge, the grand stone fireplace takes up a large wall, wide plank floors and a wood beam ceiling make the space welcoming, homey. There’s a sitting area to wait for a table or just hang out with friends and have cocktails. The bar surround is made from reclaimed wood, high top tables fill in the space between the bar and main dining room; this is the section we like to sit in. After placing our order I page through a coffee table book on Lake Superior, the dining room is filling up quickly. Our lunch arrives, the maurice salad is reminiscent of the one served by Hudson’s; iceberg lettuce, thick strips of ham, turkey, swiss cheese, pickles, hard boiled egg and of course that signature maurice dressing. The black bean quesadillas are served with salsa and sour cream. The food is good, but the ambiance is what makes this place special. 

FENTON: Daytrippin!

9 Sep

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It’s a hotter than expected September day, a good excuse to escape the city and head north for the day!  We are taking a northwesterly scenic route through the country; roads wind, twist and turn past long-standing barns, fields of corn, old-time churches and historic homes. The mild summer has left the landscape green, horses graze behind split-rail fences, here and there maple leaves are thinking about changing colors, the ride is peaceful and relaxing. We arrive at the Heavenly Scent Herb Farm in Fenton, an unexpected surprise on White Lake Rd. A 1910 barn is painted to look like three European storefronts; the rustic, quaint, interior is filled with lovely things for the home; candles, cement statuary, charming decor items, body care products and spices. Pumpkins and Halloween items are on display. There’s a buzz of activity; chairs and tables are being set up for a wedding that will take place later in the evening. We head outside for a stroll through the gardens, there’s beauty in every direction. Pathways lead us through a series of themed gardens; metal sculptures, ground covers and annuals fill large beds, hanging baskets overflow with pastel-colored flowers. An old shovel has been transformed into a piece of art; a hummingbird design as been laser cut into the rusty metal blade, items on display are available for purchase.

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We find ourselves in a charming mushroom-themed garden, it’s the kind of place I imagine Tinkerbell and her friends would live in. Wandering through a narrow gateway we pass a small pond, wood benches encircle large tree trunks, mounds of Hostas show off their lavendar-colored blooms. Mobiles hang from decorative hooks, climbing vines cover arbors, flowering shrubs and funky metal roses grow side by side. The pergola is quite a sight, a gravel pathway is laid out underneath; purple and white flowers are tucked in among lime green leaves in raised beds that run along each side of the structure. We hear the gentle sound of trickling water, up ahead an elegant fountain serves as a focal point. Enormous dahlias in peach, yellow and pink are stunning, bunches of white alyssum perfume the air, a statue of an angel is nestled among the greenery, sedum are beginning to bloom. It’s worth a drive to just come and see this place.

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We park on Shiawassee Ave in Fenton’s downtown area, there’s a lot of activity going on here these days; new shops and restaurants are joining picturesque neighborhoods in drawing folks to town. We amble down the sidewalk, mature trees cast shadows over manicured lawns, enchanting Victorian homes are decked out with urns, flowerbeds and hanging baskets. Each house is architecturally different, some sport columns, others have turrets or balconies, windows are leaded glass, many exhibit sizable American flags.

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Near the Jeep, a row of cute little shops have open doors, inviting people to take a look inside. La Petite Maison is a pretty, little, home decor store. The space is set up like a home with different rooms; new, old and repurposed items accessorize each room in shabby-chic style. The Iron Grate features home goods such as candles, linens and pillows along with an adorable kids section done up in primary colors. Next door is Fenton’s Open Book, you guessed it, it’s a bookstore and next to that is Sweet Variations chocolate shop. We walk through each shop satisfying our curiosities, its late afternoon, time to catch lunch.

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Fenton Fire Hall on Leroy St is the latest addition to Fenton’s growing restaurant scene. The building has stood on this spot since 1938; behind the building is a park and a waterfall, across the street is the fetching Community Center designed by Eliel Saarinen. Brought to us by the same folks who run Clarkston Union, Union Woodshop and Vinsetta Garage, it’s an extremely popular eating spot, which is why we are having lunch at 3 pm on a Friday. To our relief, we are seated immediately, the place smells wonderful, a mix of wood-fire and meat. The menu offers a nice variety without being overwhelming, we decide pretty quickly. The interior pays homage to the origins of the buildings, much of the stylish decorating features the color red, old hoses make up a light fixture, the firehouse theme is carried out well throughout. It doesn’t take long for our food to arrive, metal baking sheets piled high with food are set down before us, just looking at it makes my mouth water! First up, the Korean Pork Tacos; three Detroit-made flour tortillas are filled with the house pulled pork combined with their own Korean bbq sauce, topped with cilantro-lime slaw, the tacos are outstanding, nice choice Kris! The Gather is a house-made vegan patty, wood-fired veggie goat cheese spread, broccoli sprouts, shitake bacon, all stacked on a house-made bun, it’s really good. Then we come to the fries, freshly hand-cut and perfectly deep-fried they are wonderful as is, dipping them in the Fire Hall mayo, takes them up to a whole other level.  When we are finished, we walk up to the roof-top deck strung with lights overhead, you can eat up here, have a drink at the bar, shoot a game of pool or just have a seat and overlook the park. In the stairwell, black and white photos of Fenton’s crew of firefighters hang on the walls, a nice tribute. The lower level has a cozy lounge area with original wood paneling, tables line the wall of roll-up doors, funky red upholstered barstools are pulled up to the bar.

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Just outside is the original pump house, today it serves as an ice cream stand: Pumphouse Custard. What makes this unique is the house-made ice creams, custards and sorbets are made with liquid nitrogen… really! The list of flavors is long: Faygo Rock n Rye, CEO Stout, 24 Carrot Cake, Blue Moon, Gimme S’more, well, you get the idea. You can get it in a cup, cone, sundae, malt or shake. After many samples and much deliberation, Kris chooses the honey cinnamon flavor to have as a malt and I try the Strawberry Basil Bash…. tasty!? Umbrella’d tables with milk crate legs are set up on the patio, eat there or go for a stroll like we are. We walk across the bridge to the park, metal sculptures and colorful potted plants dot the landscape, ducks float in the stream, a photographer is busy taking senior pictures for a group of girls. Yep, it certainly is a nice set up they have here.

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Back on Holly road we pass a sign with an arrow directing us to the Great Lakes National Cemetery, we make the turn to check it out. Off Belford Rd we spot the stone wall and avenue of flags; American flags as far as the eye can see. Turning into the cemetery we are taken aback by the rows of white headstones. Open to the public during daylight hours, we realize we don’t have much time as dusk is beginning to fall. We drive as far as the main road will take us, the landscape is one of rolling hills and a lake, 544.3 acres in all. Burials began in 2005, by 2013 there were over 16,000 interments; any member of the armed forces of the United States who dies in active duty, or  discharged veterans, are eligible to be buried here. A public information center is located about midway into the cemetery, specific gravesites can be found using an automated gravesite locator kiosk.

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We get out of the car and begin to walk around, it’s beautiful, solemn, peaceful; benches overlook the lake, ducks, swans and other waterfowl are having conversation. Rows of above ground columbariums are near the water, we read the names of those who have passed on. Meandering on, we pass hundreds of gravesites, all branches of the armed forces are represented, as are wars ranging from WWII, the Gulf War and Afghanistan, along with Korea and Vietnam. The oldest birth year I spotted was 1911; many of the deceased were moved here from another place when this cemetery opened. They say they average 10 burials a day, which surprised us. One feels very patriotic walking these grounds, feelings of both gratitude and sadness fill my heart. 

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Fenton: A J Phillips Museum, The French Laundry, Cooks Farm Dairy

23 Sep

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At the first sign of cool, crisp Fall weather our road trip season kicks into high gear, so top off the gas tank, buckle your seat belt and get ready to wear your car out! You may not be aware of it, but there are wonderful scenic roads leading to picturesque little towns all around the metro area.

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Today we are heading northwest to Fenton; a lovely small town great for a day trip. The Shiawassee River flows over a dam and through the park in the center of town, take a stroll  along the walkway by the river, or have a seat under the old-fashioned gazebo; the scenery is pretty as a picture. Large pots are spilling over with brightly colored flowers, people in kayaks paddle down the river, a family feeds a large gathering of ducks on this bright Sunday afternoon. The park is overlooked by City Hall, across the street is the Fenton Community and Cultural Center designed by Eliel and Eero Saarinen. We rambled down the street to the AJ Phillips Fenton Museum which tells the story of Fenton’s history; modest in size it contains an abundance of information. From vintage clothing, tools, newspapers and photographs everything has a tie to the city. The Sights and Sounds area has some great old tv’s  and cameras. The main area is devoted to military and war items; the key piece is a sword belonging to Col. William Fenton himself. It’s really a fascinating place and well worth a visit. The downtown still retains much of it’s historical charm and Majestic century old homes grace the neighborhoods.

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On the corner of Shiawassee and Adelaide sits the French Laundry, an awesome, nearly impossible to get into restaurant. We have been coming here for years and have watched it change from a little one room deli to a full service restaurant. They have stuck with their incredible deli menu (think Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor), and just added to that. Sandwiches are served on great breads and piled high with high quality fillings, everything is made with the freshest top-notch ingredients, coffee drinks and baked goods are out-of-this-world. The place is inviting; the original section has that charming deli feel, while the new section is more contemporary, the patio seating is delightful; which all explains why it is so hard to get into! The weather was perfect; we lucked out and sat at a table outdoors, after staring at the menu we ended up with a #40″Floydian Slip”: Homemade chicken salad, cream cheese, raspberry preserves all rolled up in whole wheat flat bread, so good, you have to try it. Along with that we had a #57 “Peanut Butter & Brady Time”: Peanut butter and strawberry preserves, bananas and vanilla marshmallows all squeezed between 2 pieces of grilled cinnamon raisin bread, As much of a dessert as a meal! I had to have a side of their tasty potato salad too, everything was scrumptious.

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We left Fenton heading east on Grange Hall road, this is a great route to take; pretty roads passing through wooded and hilly areas. Head southbound on M15 and continue twisting and turning through the scenic countryside. Go east on Seymour Lake Rd, but stop when you arrive at Cooks Farm Dairy in Ortonville. This place is awesome! This dairy farm has been around for decades; think of it as a sort of petting farm that serves some of the best ice cream and dairy products you will ever have the pleasure of tasting. I start out by visiting the baby cows in their little pens; they don’t get cuter than this. The pigs are a little further back from the barns and are always fun to watch. The big cows are doing all the work; someone has to make all the milk. At Cooks they grow the corn that feeds the cows, the cows produce the milk, and the Cooks turn it into ice cream, chocolate milk, butter and eggnog, all available for you to purchase in their storefront. Portions are HUGE, the flavors are incredible, the experience, priceless.

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More Roadtrip; Kalamazoo Valley Museum, Water Street Coffee Joint

18 Sep

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We awoke at Henderson Castle to a bright, crisp Labor Day morning. The Inn was sold out, so once we sat the large dining room table was full. The breakfast selection ranged from toasted bagels, yogurt and fruit to a tasty almond coffee cake. Due to the recent change in ownership they are not yet able to serve hot foods. The conversation around the table was lively and fun, we were the only visitors from Michigan, others reigned from Chicago and Cleveland, and a foreign exchange student all the way from Germany. After breakfast we had time to spare before the Kalamazoo Valley Museum opened, so we thought we take a walk around downtown. Bronson Park is the center point of Central City; this lovely tree lined green space is surrounded by beautiful historic buildings. The County Building and City Hall are lovely examples of Art Deco, large churches from a bygone era stand tall and graceful along with stunning brick Victorian-style homes. A sizable Aztec looking  fountain sprays water toward the sky, a short walk down the center of the park is a reflecting pool where bronze statues of children sit upon pedestals enjoying the view. Lush colorful gardens line the perimeter; a short distance from the Mall benches offer tired shoppers and visitors an opportunity for a little respite. Festivals, concerts and cultural events all take place here throughout the year.

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After our walk we drove to the museum, on street parking was easy, admission is free. This 60,000 sq. ft. state-of-the art building celebrates history, science and technology offering “Adventure you can touch”. Exhibits are interactive and hands-on; fun for all ages but children are especially delighted they can touch almost everything. The diner was quite popular, a tiny girl stood apron-clad behind the counter preparing lunch for her mother out of felt bread, meats, veggies, hot dogs and buns, I wanted to play too. I found the Kalamazoo history area extremely interesting; did you know the Gibson Guitar Corp. opened here in 1902, and produced their infamous instruments in this area until they moved to Nashville TN in the 1980’s, Heritage Guitars are still produced locally. Upjohn Pharmaceutical was founded here in 1886 and Checker cabs were made here too, who knew? They do a wonderful job arranging things so they are eye-catching, they are informative without being boring. Afterwards we walked around, taking in more of the city until hunger drove us back to the car to find a lunch spot.

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Situated on the corner of Water St and Kalamazoo Ave, next to the train tracks, is a charming little place called Water Street Coffee Joint. The tiny building constructed in 1934, was originally a gas station, the decor in the bathroom fondly recalls it’s former purpose. Across the street from the Coffee Joint is the Bell’s Brewery, if you get a chance try their Java Stout; it is made with Water Street Coffee Joint Coffee.  We have been coming to the Coffee Joint for years; they have great coffee and espresso drinks, along with a killer chocolate espresso shake, fabulous hand made desserts, and a nice selection of savories, soups and salads. This place is always busy with a steady stream of folks coming and going, service is friendly and efficient. We were so hungry it was hard to decide which of the delicious-looking items in the display case we wanted, with a little help from our server we made our choices. The outdoor temperature was just warm enough we could sit outside and be comfortable, we found an open space and dug into our lunch. The Thai Chicken Salad was excellent, the chicken was moist, shredded into bite-sized pieces with crisp veggies, it was perfectly dressed. The Italian Torta was everything a good torta should be; tender flaky crust, layers of delicious fillings like ricotta, spinach and tomatoes, warmed and served up in a generous wedge. The sandwich special of the day was a BLAT, you know, Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado & Tomato; It too was tasty, we ordered the half, which was a good decision. It was time to start heading back; we each ordered an espresso and added one of their out of this world “Incredibars”( the name says it all……) for the road.

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Kris always has in interesting way to get from one place to the other; it will always involve good scenery, a winding road and cute little towns. Our maps are decorated with a series of dots marking favorite routes, stars noting something of particular interest or notes telling us “don’t go this way”, the DeLorme series of Atlas & Gazetteers are a staple on any trip we take, their detail is incomparable to other maps. We headed northwest out of Kalamazoo on 43, the route twists and turns as it goes by several beautiful lakes and continues past picturesque farmland into Hastings. Hastings is a good sized town and was named One Of The 100 Best Small Towns in America. Next we take state road 436 east; meandering by handsome horse farms, pretty country homes and a variety of animals including llamas, goats, bulls and sheep, soon the area will have cartloads of pumpkins for sale. 436 becomes Vermontville Hwy traveling through more tiny towns, jog up and over to Holt road then jog down to Howell/Mason rd into downtown Howell. The sun goes down earlier these days, so we like to enjoy the scenery while we can. From there we got on the freeway and aimed for home, it was a great weekend and a great ride!

Roadtrip….M-29 to Lexington MI

26 May

park 477 Lexington Michigan is one of our favorite small town summer destinations. We made our first drive up for the season on Sunday, and Oh, what a day! The only way to get there is the scenic route of course, probably the best place to begin is New Baltimore. Located in the northeast corner of Macomb County the city rests on the coastline of Lake St Clair, specifically Anchor Bay.  There is a small beach , a playground, and a dock for fishing or just staring off into the lake. They have a Sunday Farmers Market beginning July 17, fresh picked local vegetables and herbs, and lots of homemade goodies to choose from. park 457 From here get on M- 29, it will take you east, enjoy glimpses of the bay between cottages and restaurants, maybe stop in at a roadside vegetable stand, the road continues south through St John’s Marsh. Driving through the marsh is intriguing, there is water of some sort on each side of the road, look for wildlife in the marsh, swans and heron are a common sight. Finally you will head back north up the St Clair River. From here the scenery goes up a notch, the river is less obscured. Algonac is another little town on the water, it has a pretty riverside park where you can stop and stretch your legs. Marine City is the next teeny tiny little town, it has it’s own charm, and seems to be on the upswing.  The historic downtown lies just east of M-29, paralleling the river. We stopped  in at an old fashioned candy store called “The Sweet Tooth“, right on Water Street. It’s really cute inside, they have all the candies from my childhood; like giant Pixie Sticks, Zotz, Blow Pops, and those crazy Necco Candy Buttons; the little pastel candy dots that you end up eating as much paper as you do candy, yeah, those! It’s a place that brings a smile to your face everywhere you look. If it’s a nice day get a hand dipped Hudsonville Ice Cream cone and take it outside to Riverpark to enjoy. The view is as pretty as the ice cream is good. park 451 Bask in the scenery as you make your way, the river is a gorgeous bluish green, it was such a spectacular day for our drive the sunlight danced upon the water. Elegant Victorians, richly decorated Tudor homes and cottages are intermixed on the west side of the road, each looking like they belong, newly built mansions sit back in the distance. St Clair is next, this is a higher end town than the others, the residences here reflect money. Palmer Park is perfect for sitting and watching the freighters go by or taking a stroll along the boardwalk. The St Clair Inn has been around since 1926 and is on the National register of Historic Landmarks. All done up in it’s English Tudor style, it takes you back to a grander place in time. Stop in for a meal or stay for the weekend. park 546 park 472 park 488 Port Huron is the big city with the spectacular view, there’s just too much to list here, so look for a future post about it. I will say this, drive through the historic downtown, it is quite lovely, at its end veer right. Head back to the river and drive along taking in the sights of the Blue Water Bridge, sailboats, Canada, and of course Lake Huron. As you pass the Thomas Edison Inn follow Gratiot to continue the scenic path and avoid the malls and traffic of the everyday life. park 513 park 533 I believe it is 22 miles north on M-25 to Lexington, it is truly a one stoplight town, so don’t miss it! As you make your right turn at that light, you will suddenly feel like you are on vacation. In the distance is Lake Huron, all blue and picturesque, on the right are quaint shops, and restaurants. Lexington T-shirts and hoodies hang in doorways, tourists carrying double dip cones and sporting hats and sunscreen peruse the sidewalks. For all the years we have been coming here Sweetwater’s is where we eat, and what we eat is pizza, either a Sweetwater or a New York, and a Greek Market Salad, you can’t go wrong with an order like that. Sit outside and feel yourself relax, do some people watching as sun worshipers head to the beach. After you have eaten head to the lake yourself, there’s a extensive pier that takes you out in the lake, bordered by huge rocks floated down from Rogers City.  It’s an excellent getaway that lets you enjoy one of our states most significant assets, our Great Lakes, and Lake Huron certainly is great.  park 500 park 511