It’s funny how even though Analiese wasn’t with us, I still managed to wake myself up quite early every morning. WHY!? However, it was nice to just lay in bed a little longer and stroll down to a hot breakfast with my hubby in hand.
This is what our second day looked like:
- Devotional: It was a cool, windy morning and the waves of Grand Traverse Bay were impressively strong. But that didn’t stop us from bundling up and taking a seat on one of the lounge chairs to read our Bibles. It was a great start to our day.
- Traverse City: By the time we had walked around downtown the night before, most of the shops were closed. There were a few I wanted to go back to so we made time after breakfast to return. This was not Ross’s favorite activity, but he indulged me nicely.
- Sleeping Bear Dunes: We were told that we MUST go to the Sleeping Bear Dunes. And were pleasantly surprised at how close they were to where we were staying in Traverse City. The drive was beautiful and relaxing. I had collected an array of maps and magazines that helped us figure out how we would attack the massive national park in a few hours. But first, we stopped at the Visitors Center which was conveniently located right on the way to the park entrance. We bought our park pass and were on our way to the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive to take in some of the park’s feature attractions. There were 12 stops along the drive where you can get out and take photos, but the most impressive to us was #9, the Lake Michigan overlook. It was just stunning. Michigan is a beautiful place. This stop is also the place where many successfully run, roll or brace themselves down a huge hill of sand to the shore and then attempt to make the trek back up again. We opted out of this adventure since we did the 1.5 mile trail at stop #7. The Cottonwood Trail was a strenuous one, but we made it! We brought a ton of snacks from home, so we just snacked throughout the day instead of eating a big lunch.
- Glen Arbor: On our way to Pyramid Point, we came across this cute little town with many art galleries that feature local artists. Somehow we missed the turn off for Pyramid Point despite my array of aforementioned maps and our GPS. I had read that this landmark offers a really beautiful view of the Manitou Islands. But, since we were pretty pleased with the view we saw from the Lake Michigan overlook, and we were feeling pretty tired, we decided to head back to Traverse City. Glen Arbor, like Traverse City and every other little town we walked through, was adorned with flower boxes filled with coleus plants. They are such a simple, bright pop of color. I would love to do something like this on our garage windows some day:
- Union Cantina: We were exhausted by the time we returned to the hotel, but we washed up and headed back downtown for dinner. We originally had a reservation at the acclaimed Trattoria Stella, but since we’re pretty much always in the mood for Mexican, we opted for Union Cantina which we had walked by a few times. We split the taco salad with chicken as well as some tacos with chicken. Lots of chicken, yes, but it was SO good! Ross enjoyed a margarita and I, a glass of their house sangria. I love good food. I loved the interior design, too.
- Horizon Books: Our last stop for the night included more coffee at the Shine Cafe located inside Horizon Books. It was here that I found what I had hoped to find at some point during our trip: an inexpensive piece of art to commemorate our trip. J&S framed an entire notecard set in their living room with $4 paintings-turned-notecards. I was stoked when I stumbled across this soft pastels-turned-notecard of the Cottonwood Trail we hiked earlier that day. It’s by local Traverse City artist, Lisa Wilkins Schulte. The colors are perfect for our bedroom. I’m hoping to frame it with an oversized mat and hang it among a few other meaningful pieces of art next to our bed.
- Confession: We actually ended our night watching an episode of “Beyond Scared Straight” on A&E. (I think this confirmed our decision to not have cable.) Have you ever seen this show? It’s crazy.