Sunday, July 15, 2012

Days 97 - 101: Lake Michigan: Caribbean in the Midwest!?!

After our Kentucky detour for the 4th, we made a sharp right and drove up to Michigan to see my Grandpa and his fiance, Joan!  

 They are spending the summer at Joan's place on Lake Michigan...
(Looks like some other road trippers were taking a photo with the Michigan sign as we drove past!)

 ...and oh my goodness, we understand why they are. It's gorgeous! Joan's place is in Sawyer, Michigan, in the very southwest corner of the state, right on the lake. This part of Lake Michigan is clear, warm, and shallow. And BLUE. Like the Caribbean. My kind of place! 

Kipper liked it too. Waves, just like the ocean, but without the salt, so he could drink as much of it as he wanted!

 The day after we arrived, Joan & Grandpa took us blueberry picking. There are signs for you-pick whatever (strawberries, cherries, blueberries, etc) all over agricultural areas of the country and we finally got the chance to do it! It was fun and easy. Note all the berries on the bush behind us. And this was only the third day of the season. 

It took the four of us only about 30 minutes to pick almost 8 pounds of berries!

 That's a lot of blueberries. Mmmmm, blueberries....

 After all that "hard" work, we had quite the appetite, which Joan and Grandpa dealt with in the only way possible, with a slab of beef...

 ...grilled to perfection...

 ...and thinly sliced to be served with new potatoes with parsley and fresh tomatoes. Yum.

 And, of course, there was blueberry pie for dessert.

The next day, Grandpa & Joan dog-sat Kipper while Greg & I took the train into Chicago!! So much fun, too much for this posting, so that one'll be separate.  

 Back in Sawyer, our lazy days at the lake continued...

 ...with lots of swimming and ball chasing...

 ...and lounging in the sun, getting to know Joan and her daughter, Carol, who lives in the area. 

 The last night we were there, Grandpa & Joan took us on another outing, a wine tasting at Round Barn Winery and Brewery.

 We wholeheartedly agree!

 They have a bunch of different wines and beer, as well as a vodka, a bourbon, and a rum. And we tasted them all.

 Wine tasting also works up an appetite, so we went to Tabor Hill, another winery in the area that also has a wonderful restaurant. Everything was so good: this is Joan's Alder Wood Grilled Great Lakes Whitefish...

 ...and Grandpa is pleased with his Pecan Breaded Raspberry Chicken. Greg and I also had super delicious meals, but the photos turned out blurry. Shame, my Sauteed Shrimp and Scallops with Bacon on Jalapeño Cheddar Cheese Grits was so good that I'm going to have to figure out how to make it at home. Yuuuuuuuuum.

 Watching the sunset after dinner.

Thanks, Grandpa & Joan, for a wonderful visit! We'll see you (and the rest of the family) at the wedding in San Diego!

Love y'all!

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