Sunday, July 14, 2013

CHERRIES JUBILEE

We celebrated another milestone a few days ago...MH's birthday.  The Traverse City area is a wonderful place to celebrate....everything!  It was so much fun we've decided to extend her birthday through July 31.  Why should birthdays be limited to one day when they are as much fun as this?!

The weather in Traverse City has been especially comfortable for summer.  We would compare it to a nice Fall day.  It seems like a cool westerly breeze off Lake Michigan is always prevalent.   If "snowbirds" come from the north to enjoy the weather in the south in the winter, what do you call southerners who head north for the summer?
Traverse Bay, MI
Lower Platte River, Benzie County, MI

Sweet cherries are ripe now and it seems that overnight cherry fruit stands have cropped up everywhere. Some roadside signs advertise "cold cherries", where you walk up to an "honor" refrigerator and leave your money in a basket. Michigan grows about 14 varieties of cherries during the season. Sweet, Tart, Yellow, and now we know how to make maraschino cherries (number 5 dye added to yellow cherries and marinate the cherries until they are like rubber).  We enjoyed a 3-cherry pie last week which may have been the best pie ever!  Second place cherry dessert goes to the cherry bread pudding we shared at Little Bohemia Restaurant (Walter Hagen, the golfer's, favorite hideout) in Traverse City.  This time of year you can find everything from cherry salsa to cherry pop!  It's cherry heaven.
Walter Hagan, Professional Golfer
Neat rows of cherry trees and beautiful grapevines line the sandy hills and wineries, and farmer's markets dotting the countryside attest to the area's rich agricultural heritage. One of the reasons northwest Michigan is perfect for growing cherries, grapes, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries is its proximity to the 45th parallel - halfway between the equator and the north pole - which makes it very conducive to raising these delicious fruits.
Cherry Orchard, Leelanau Peninsular, MI



Black Star Farm Vineyards, Suttons Bay, MI

Black Star Farms - Raclette Cheese

Drive In Movie - Honor, MI
While riding  the Peninsular's scenic shoreline-hugging M-22, we visited Point Betsie Lighthouse, a rock star among lighthouses.  Built in 1858, this lighthouse is the oldest structure in Benzie County on Lake Michigan, and its 37-foot tall gleaming white tower sits 52 feet above the lake and can be seen 27 miles out at sea. Some of the areas 16 documented shipwrecks can be seen from the shore because of the shallow water.
Michigan-22 Highway, Michigan

M-22 South  Highway

Point Betsie Lighthouse - Michigan
 
Lake Michigan Dunes near Point Betsie Lighthouse
 Several of our RV friends are in Traverse City from Florida Grande in Webster, FL.  Marty and Kathy Kimball, drove from Gillette, Wyoming, after attending a Monaco rally before the giant Escapade Rally.  Ronnie and Marianne DiGiglia (drove from Murphy, NC), Dick and Lynn Callaghan, and Gary and Mim Van Horn.  Good food - good times - great memories!  
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