PURE MICHIGAN

10 Nov

The trip was wonderful and much needed and I can’t wait to share it all! Add Michigan as yet another place we have had some grand adventures. 🙂

IMG_6693

Friday morning I had a lot to do between 6:30 and 10am! Somehow in that time I squeezed in 30 minutes on the gazelle, drank a juice (I’m so hooked it’s crazy!!), did dishes, packed, got everything ready to leave and, oh yeah, watched children. When Vicki showed up I changed, we packed the car and hit the road going north. We almost never go north on I-69 and it immediately feels like an adventure because the sights are so unfamiliar. After an easy 2 hour drive we found ourselves at our first stop in Marshal, MI- Dark Horse Brewery. This trip is a combined birthday trip for both Zach and myself since it’s smack in the middle of our birthdays so you will see a lot of breweries featured courtesy of my husband. 🙂 Thankfully I enjoy craft beer much more than I did a few years ago! The first thing you notice when you walk into Dark Horse are the literally thousands of mugs hanging all over the place.

IMG_6695

They have an incredibly popular mug club and people who visit frequently all have their own decorated mug to use. There was also a really cool table that had an aquarium AS the table but unfortunately people were at it the whole time and I couldn’t get a picture. It was so cool…I think my cats would like one. 🙂 We sampled 4 beers and each found a favorite among them.

IMG_6696

I got a half pint (a whole pint is too much beer for me!) of a Raspberry Ale that was really good! Dark Horse is also a restaurant so it’s where we decided to have lunch. I got a cup of tomato basil ravioli soup and Zach got this incredibly good sandwich.

IMG_6698 IMG_6699

The sandwich was called an Oh No and it had bourbon smoked turkey, bacon, avocado, a hot pepper relish and maybe some other things. It was spicy and delicious! Luckily I got to have a few bites. 😉 Once we finished we popped into their general store, didn’t see much and then took back off again. On the road to Kalamazoo this time. We hit brewery number two – Bells.

IMG_6705

Bells is a more popular brand of craft beer and a lot of their stuff is available back home in Muncie so Zach and I created a flight of all beers that are not accessible to us at home.

IMG_6711

We also got the “chips and pickle snacks” plate.

IMG_6712

Salt and pepper chips with a beer mustard and a mango-habanero jelly and then pickles wrapped in provolone. Zach LOVED those pickles! Haha I had one and half and he had the rest of them. Our tasting was good here too but after sips of all the beers I avoided two of the dark beers completely, just too many coffee notes in it for me. After this it was on to Holland, Michigan and we were in a race against the sunset. Our next plans were to see the sun set over Lake Michigan but the sky had been nothing but a blanket of very thick, very gray clouds the entire day. I knew our chances of seeing any bit of sun were slim to none but we wanted to see the lake before dark anyway. We parked in Tunnel Park just a half hour before sunset and had to climb the dune to find the beach.

IMG_6726

Everything changes when you get close to the shore in Michigan and it’s so much different than the coast anywhere else.

IMG_6733

We crested the hill to find…

IMG_6739

the ocean!!! Haha or at least that is how we referred to it. It was SO beautiful.

IMG_6754

Even with the clouds we got a bit of light and colors from the sun and everything was picture perfect. Very cold, but picture perfect.

IMG_6769 IMG_6778

It’s so neat to have this view when you face one direction and rolling green hills and trees and valleys the other.

IMG_6774

We stayed until past the time the sun was supposed to set marveling at the surroundings.

IMG_6785 IMG_6789

I mean really. It’s pictures like the one above that actually teach you to be thankful for stormy clouds and gray days because otherwise you’d never see such magnificent things! I love how angry it looks and all the varying shades of color.

IMG_6799 IMG_6823

We stayed to take one more set of scenery photos before we ran back to the car to blast the heat on high.

IMG_6828

It took a couple of minutes for the feeling to return to our hands and feet but it was so completely beyond worth it. 🙂 We visited Coppercraft distillery next. This was a rather…interesting experience.

IMG_6829

We love breweries + wineries but we’d never been to a distillery before so we were excited for something new. This place makes all their liquor in house and it goes through the purest and best of refining processes. Very small bottles sold for over $40 and people were coming in and buying them the whole time we were there. We got a tasting of 4 things and we had no idea what we were in for.

IMG_6834

This had 3/4oz. pours (which doesn’t sound like much, but that’s deceptive) of rum, gin, some type of whiskey and applejack (like a bourbon). We picked them up and smelled them which was a huge mistake. STRAIGHT alcohol (I mean, obviously, what did we expect?!). I was so glad we were at a table in a corner and not tasting in front of the people who worked there because we were making the most awful faces! Haha. What we learned from this is that sampling straight liquor is NOT for us. Trying to take a sip and taste and enjoy it the way you would wine was absolutely impossible. I have no clue how people are able to order just a glass of that and think it’s good. Half-way through we got one of their hand-crafted cocktails just so we had some other flavor to chase these things with!

IMG_6838

Our cocktail, by the way, was excellent. They hand-craft everything and use fresh herbs and all the fancy techniques you’d expect of people making prohibition era style drinks.

IMG_6832

We laughed a lot at this place and had fun, I guess you’d call it haha, but agreed that we NEVER wanted to sample at a distillery again! After this we checked into our hotel, a Comfort Inn- nothing special for this night, and had a little downtime before dinner. We went into downtown Holland and after a short wait we were seated at 84 East, hungry for some supper! Zach got a Shrimp & Prosciutto pizza- it had shrimp, alfredo sauce, fresh spinach, prosciutto, tomatoes and mozzarella.

IMG_6843

 

This was delicious (I had a piece of course) and it made a good breakfast the next morning too. 🙂 I had one of their signature dishes- Baked Spaghetti Pie.

IMG_6842

Don’t mind the smudge on the camera… This was SOOO good. It was ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella cheeses blended with thin spaghetti and fresh basil and baked into a pasta pie and topped with tomato-basil sauce. I ate every. single. bite. I really wish somewhere made this dish that wasn’t, oh, like 4 hours away! Haha. That drink on the left was their jalapeño bloody mary but I didn’t have more than half, it just wasn’t that great and I was over drinking at that point. After dinner we went back to our hotel and watched Django Unchained until we called it a night!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: