Friday, August 28, 2015

A Northern Michigan Libations Tour

We headed back north this week.  This time for Frank's work conference.  We arrived Wednesday in time to watch Lili's soccer game, well Frank got to see part of it before he had to leave for a meeting, but I got to stay for the whole game.  Lil played well, unfortunately the team did not and they lost 2-0.  After the game Lili took out time to give me a quick hug before heading out to one of her friend's houses with the rest of the team. Life is good for Lili at 16, she is sparkly and bubbly and having the time of her life.

Randy went to work, Spence was babysitting so Jen and I went to dinner.  It was nice having dinner just the two of us.  It doesn't happen very often so we took full advantage of our alone time together. I took Frank back a sandwich for after his meeting and then we went down to the beach party that had been moved indoors since it was only in the 50's here Wednesday night.

But Thursday brought sunshine and 80*.  Beautiful weather and you couldn't ask for a more gorgeous setting.

Our hotel is right on the bay and this is the view we had as we were leaving our room on Thursday. It is hard to find, in my humble opinion, much that is more beautiful than Northern Michigan.

After Frank's conference in the morning, lunch was provided and after a short rest we headed out on a Libation Tour that was set up for those attending the conference that didn't want to golf in the tournament that was being held.  We all climbed into two large buses and headed out to get a taste of Northern Michigan.

Our first stop was Bravo Zulu Brewery, owned by a wounded vet and a retired bomb squad police officer. (l-r) I ordered up a flight of all their offerings.  We were all given these nifty little necklaces made of pretzels, cheese sticks and jerky sticks.  As soon as I took a sip of beer, our friend Michelle, commented how she was loving this necklace and was going to make one for when she was watching tv at night, I tried very hard not to spit my beer out while I laughed at that little remark.  Michigan does make good beers but evidently Brian didn't care too much for the Porter.

The next stop was a winery called Left Foot Charley.  This winery uses vineyards and orchards from the local area to make wines and hard ciders.  We had 3 tastings of each.  The white wine blend called Murmur was decent as are many of our white wines. The Red Drive a blend containing Cabernet Franc was weak and lacked body as do many of our red wines.  The Missing Spire Reisling was a pleasant surprise as it was much dryer than I had anticipated and may have been my favorite of the 3 wines we were given to try.  The hard apple ciders are not to my taste, however Frank likes them so he drank my tastings.  I don't see why they would want to ruin a perfectly delicious apple cider by carbonating it.

Our final stop was the Traverse City Whiskey Company, where we ordered cocktails containing Bourbon Whiskeys, one which was flavored with Cherries, a huge crop in this area.  Frank and I enjoyed a whiskey sour made with the cherry whiskey and garnished with a bourbon soaked Montmorency cherry.  Delicious.

We ended the evening going out for dinner with the members of one of Frank's groups that he represents.  We had a lot of laughs and good conversation.  It was a great day.

Frank just came back from his last meeting of the conference so we are checking out and heading over to spend tonight with Jen and Spence.  Randy and Lil are downstate and will be staying at our house tomorrow night when we return.

Hope all of you are having a wonderful last hurrah of your summer as well.


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