22 October, 2007

Black Squirrels, The Ice House and Cookies

Our first stop in Michigan was Traverse City and the Leelanau Peninsula. The weather was gorgeous as we drove along the water from town to town visiting wineries and a unique place: The Cherry Republic. As the name implies, they specialize in all things cherry! Life is one big bowl of sweet tasting goodness there. Our trunk was filling up (this was even before the apples went in) with Christmas gifts and holiday treats to share, it was a perfect day. We happened upon a black squirrel while walking that day, not only had I never seen one before-- I'd never even heard of one! It was hard to get a picture, too; I couldn't get very close. Since returning home I've learned that they're not uncommon in the northern Midwest and near Ontario; it's actually a squirrel with an over-abundance of melanin, the opposite of an albino squirrel! We left Traverse City in a cold, driving rain the next morning and headed toward Mackinac City via Grayling and... The Ice House Quilt Shop! The Ice House was warm, welcoming and friendly; everything a quilt shop should be... especially on a cold and dreary day! Large, bright rooms well-stocked with bolts upon bolts of fabric arranged by color and type, a fantastic array of completed quilts (artfully displayed) to inspire, and a well thought-out, centrally located machine area (it's a Bernina dealership) where exhibited models can easily be demonstrated in full view of potential customers. I found some coordinating pieces of the Roman Holiday collection, by Moda, for my "four patch posies" WIP and also discovered a stunning scrappy-quilt made from a pattern, which, I was told, is "not yet available" (the story of my life! arrghh...)! Of course, this may just prompt my next "mission".

The remaining drive from Grayling to Mackinac City only saw the rain intensity increase, as well as the wind. We ate lunch before securing our car in a lot and boarding a ferry for the 20 minute crossing to Mackinac Island. We hired a bicyclist (with a mounted cargo basket and bungee cords) to take our suitcases to the bed and breakfast where we were staying, there are no cars on the island; only pedestrians, bicycles and horse-drawn carriages. The Bay View turned out to be a short walk from the ferry and, to our amazement, we arrived just in time for cookies-- home-baked and warm, right out of the oven! Oh, yes, we knew right away; were going to love it here...
Life is Good!

16 comments:

Nancy said...

Oh, this sounds just lovely!

quiltteacher said...

Sounds like the beginning of a wonderful vacation.

Su Bee said...

Oh gosh how beautiful! I've always wanted to see Michigan - thank you!

Kyle said...

I'd like to see a picture of the afore mentioned bike...

paula, the quilter said...

If there are only bikes and pedestrians, is there anything like a rickshaw for those humans who can't walk very far?

Ancestor Collector said...

We had a lovely day on Mackinac Island a few years ago. We really enjoyed the fort there and taking a long walk around the island. It is such a throw-back in time. The picture of your suitcases on the back of a bicycle in the pouring rain isn't a good one in my mind! I hope the weather improved for the rest of your time there.

DubiQuilts - Debbi said...

Happy to read you had a great vacation. I love Traverse City and Hubby and I would love to retire up there.

CONNIE W said...

Now this sounds lovely! What more could one wish for?

Nane said...

Hmmm..maybe I could pedal a bike and get paid in fabric.

meggie said...

Lovely pictures.
All sounds divine.

Tanya said...

It sounds like a lovely time. I've never heard of a black squirrel either. Are they cute? Sort of like a black cat with a bushy tail? Just in time for Halloween!

keslyn said...

Sounds like a couple of very special days, enjoy
Kerry

mamaspark said...

You gotta love TC and all the cherries and all the wine! They have amazing wineries, similar to Nappa Valley. Were you able to check any of them out? We love Mackinac Island too. We took DD1 and her friend from Australia there as our daughter wanted to show it to her friend. I'm so glad you enjoyed my state!! It is a beautiful one with a lot to see.

Shelina said...

It sounds like a great trip - thanks for taking us along. I haven't been to Michigan either - except for passing through to Canada, and maybe a hotel / conference center.

swooze said...

Welcome back. Sounds like a fabulous trip!

Nan said...

Your trip sounds like it was lovely, rain or no rain! Love the story of the black squirrel - I hope to see one someday, too.
The quilt shop sounds like a wonderful place - how can a warm, inviting place as a quilt shop be called The Ice House!
I can't wait to read more.....