Thursday, July 2, 2009
Thursday, July 2
#1 - Jerry and I, Al and Carol Szpek (our intrepid tour guides)
#2 - This is what a 450' sand dune looks like (Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes NP)
#3 - Our introduction to smoked fish sausage (YUMMY) - Historic Fishtown, Leland MI
#4 - Historic Fishtown, Leland, MI
#5 - Ice cream on the hoof...eating ice cream at the source...Moomer's
I slept late but it felt so good to stay in bed hunkered down under the covers as it is pretty cold here although they say it is going to start warming up and the sun will come back...Jerry got up and took dogs for a walk, then walked down to the farmer's market here at the campground. He called me and after I made coffee, went down to join him. When I arrived he was talking with a man down there about the campground. I found some wonderful strawberries, strawberry jam, lettuce and a delicious pecan cinnamon roll....Jerry was still talking to this guy so I joined them and his wife came over and that is how we met Al and Carol Szpek (pronounced speck) who wound up showing us around for the whole day....we had the best time....
Al grew up here in Traverse City so he really knows his way around. We couldn't have asked for better tour guides!!!!!!!! After driving through Crystal Mountain Resort which has wonderful, unique cabins and all sorts of amenities, we then drove to Interlochen which is a world famous music school and they have fabulous concerts there w/ really big name performers....we stopped at a farmer's market where we got some very fresh asparagus and a couple of other things, then to Frankfort and Elberta on the wester coast of Michigan. We had lunch at a place called Dinghy's and it was great. There is a lighthouse on the end of a jetty but we did not have time to walk out to it....there is so much to do and see here that we could not possibly do it all....
One of the many highlights of the day was the drive through the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore...huge sand dunes - a one point you could get down to the water but only by going down 450' of loose sand (see picture) THEN you got to climb back up!!! We all declined to try it - a brief stop at another dune where lots of kids were playing and a park service gift shop where we were able to get a stamp for our National Park Passport. From there we went up Leelanau Peninsula to the town of Leland where the great attraction was Fishtown...an historic section of town on the harbor that was just really picturesque...it reminded us of Peggy's Cove in Nova Scotia. The biggest reason for going there was Carlson's - really great smoked fish - salmon, whitefish, trout, PLUS their own smoked fish sausage which is truly a taste treat!!!!!! It was sooooo good!!! Of course we bought some to bring back to RV and had to get a link to eat on the way...also got some smoked salmon and a piece of whitefish. It was really really good so we will have a great dinner tomorrow night. We could have spent several days exploring this area, but we were so lucky to have such a personal tour with folks who really know the area...PLUS having a great time with them as well.
They picked us up at 10:30 a.m. and we did not return until 7 p.m to the RV....well past the dogs' bladder capacity, but thankfully no accidents and they were REALLY glad to see us!! With that business taken care of, Al and Carol picked us up again and we headed to Culver's for a "butter burger" dinner...great fresh hamburgers - as good as In and Out in CA. Then off to Moomer's...a unique ice cream joint.
According to the press stories proudly displayed in the store, Moomer's has been voted the #1 ice cream store in the nation....we're still fans of Ted Drewe's but this was awfully good ice cream...the uniqueness of this place is that the ice cream joint is located on the dairy farm where they have the cows and the milking operation. The milk is sent off to be pasteurized then returned to them where the make the ice cream on site....There was a line out the door, but it moves pretty fast and you take your ice cream outside and can sit overlooking the cow lot - complete with the cow aromas. They milk about 50 cows a day and it is very interesting and a real treat. Jerry got butter pecan with huge pecans in it and I got "cow tracks" - vanilla w/ peanut butter cups and chocolate chips. It was a so much fun.
After exchanging emails, phone numbers and addresses, we went back to the RV and to bed!!!