My husband and I are celebrating our 30th Anniversary this year. For weeks we were thinking about how we could best commemorate this particular day. Since we wanted to connect the special day with a trip to Minnesota visiting his family, we decided to take a little detour to visit beautiful Michigan. Instead of taking the usual route we headed north on interstate 75. We were hoping to escape the heat wave but it followed us all the way though Michigan.
Our first destination was Frankenmuth – the Christmas town. After a stroll through Bronner’s biggest Christmas store in the world (?) we visited the more quiet chapel which is a replica of the church in which the German Christmas song “Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht (Holy night)” originated.
During this part of our trip we stayed in “Bed and Breakfast Homes.” Our first sleepover would be in Bay City at the Historical Midland Street Bed & Breakfast. We found the house in a quiet part of town and enjoyed the hospitality of Mr. and Mrs. Joyce Loomis. Since we were the only guests in the house we had the whole upper floor for ourselves. The couple advised us that there was good eating at the Atrium restaurant in the downtown area of Bay City. We weren’t too crazy about the food, that’s why we quickly moved to the river site to watch the sunset where we were serenaded from a close by bar.
The next morning we were served breakfast in the very cozy dining room which was beautifully decorated and the table was set just for us. We had delicious French toast with fresh fruits, coffee and juice. After saying good bye to our hosts we headed to Mackinaw City and admired the impressive bridge which is the official divider between Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. We couldn’t have asked for better weather with plenty of sunshine and as further north as we drove, the lower the temperatures went. On the way to our next sleepover we enjoyed first the drive over the magnificent Mackinaw Bridge and then the south shore of the Upper Peninsula. We saw white sand beaches and a very calm Lake Michigan. The water seemed a little slimy with algae and I didn’t feel like swimming in it, even though many people did.
We had booked a room at the Blaney Park Lodge and found it a little run down. But the owners Howard and Lorene were very friendly and many other guests seemed regular visitors, enjoying the historical lodge. In its heydays the lodge was part of the Blaney Park Resort which was an example of lumber towns that survived in transmuted form where people came by car, horse carriage and plane to discover the peaceful nature surrounding the resort. After a hardy breakfast with oatmeal and blueberry muffins we went on our way.
It was one of my observations while on the Upper Peninsula seeing many little towns as well as, hotels and properties abandoned like ghost towns. As we made our way toward Munising, we decided to take a boat ride to see the majestic rock formations of “Pictured Rocks.”
The boat tour took over two hours as we passed ancient rock formations colored by mineral dripping and seeping from higher places into lower layers and creating the most beautiful colors only nature can paint. Our tour guide explained about the different rock formations and what they represent. With a lot of imagination we saw “marine fleet”, “Indian head”, and many others. During the trip a picture book was passed around and the captain announced that a lucky winner would be announced at the sales desk. Guess what, we were the winners.
That night we found our way to the “Big Bay Lighthouse.” The B&B was housed in the historic lighthouse which was still functioning with its blinker at night. It was a beautiful full moon night and the light house was even more magical. The inside was completely modern beautifully decorated with the light house theme everywhere. We had a very tasty breakfast with other guests and exchanged traveling stories with the light house inn owner, Linda Gamble.
Then it was time to leave the Upper Peninsula and pass through Duluth to find our last B&B at the Superior Gateway Lodge in Two Harbors. The sky became very dark as we drove through town, and we hastened to find the location of our lodging. It was hidden in a big forest outside of town. We finally found the beautiful new log cabin. The owners were not there to advise us but had given us a nicer room to accommodate another family needing an extra room. We met Joe and Pat the next morning. We were surprised that breakfast was not included in the rate. Since we were hungry, we paid the extra fee and were served a lovely breakfast along with the other lodging family.
I like very much the hospitality at Bed &Breakfast lodgings and meeting other travelers at the breakfast table. The hosts have everybody assemble around the same table, serving them homemade fresh baked goods and fruits. I had a very good experience with my four sleep-overs at B&Bs and can promote them warmly. It makes it easier to travel off the beaten path and find remote places in natural surroundings.