Sleeping Bear Birding Trail revisited

I posted this a little over a year ago.  Somehow it hasn’t caught on.  If coming to the area, bring your binoculars !


Exciting news, the Sleeping Bear Birding Trail (SBBT) is now open. All along M-22 from Manistee, past the Wayfarer, through the dunes and to Traverse City – all 123 miles, there are 34 recommended birding sites.

A number of entities were involved in the creation of the trail. Namely with the Michigan Audubon Society, the Leelanau Conservancy as well as the National Lakeshore

Welcome to Michigan’s first birding trail

My Summer on the Front Porch

This has been my most wonderful summer since we came to live in Michigan.  Thanks to my reliable little helper Kamrie and some of her compadres for cleaning for me and Mike quitting his job.  Of course it helped that we had only enjoyable guests (almost) this year.  What a treat.
I have been able to enjoy my front porch more then ever before.  What fun to sit there and wave back at the “wavers” in the cars going by.
Ahhhh, a front porch, who needs anything else?!

I must say, thinking about this last season, this area sure has changed and then again it stayed the same.   The folks that come to enjoy themselves here are very much interested in keeping the area pristine and they really are “into the nature thing”, lol.
Water sports are definitely pushing hard to be the No.1 activity these days. Hiking and biking are not far behind. Of course that doesn’t mean that just plain old “laying on the beach” is no longer important. We’ve had many couples staying with us specifically to lay around on the beach and get chocolate brown before having to go back to work.

Long story short,   Thanks everyone for a most enjoyable season, for your business, for your friendship. We hope you went back home refreshed and feeling well and that your tank is full until you can come to Benzie County again   :heart:

Heehee, one really bad picture but there you have it – The Front Porch

Sis came to visit

Never a dull moment (in a good way)

The short version of what’s below:

Come to Frankfort for a day of excitement.

read on

Lake Express at her slip in Muskegon, Michigan...

Image via Wikipedia

Announcing a Special Event in Frankfort.  For one day only, on  Sunday June 5, 2011  the Lake Express is coming to town.  I’ll just post what they want you to know.
“Join us in Frankfort, Michigan on June 5, 2011 for a day of open house tours of Lake Michigan’s high speed ferry and two special excursions on Lake Michigan.

Sunday June 5th will include a variety of on-shore activities and a special opportunity to view the Lake Express up close and meet members of the ship’s crew during a tour of the ship.


The Lake Express will be available to the public for free tours from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Immediately following the morning Free Tour portion of the visit, the Lake Express will hold two special reservation-only tours and excursions. Reserved tickets will allow a limited number of people the special opportunity to experience a ride on the nation’s first high speed auto-passenger ferry. Riders will be taken on a full speed run on Lake Michigan where they will be treated to the unique blend of modern amenities and speed that have been mainstays of the Lake Express service between Milwaukee and Muskegon since 2004.

Advanced reservations for the 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. excursions are available through the links below. $10 per person – proceeds from each trip will be donated to benefit Frankfort-area community groups.


The Lake Express will arrive at Lake Betsie the evening of Saturday June 4th after completing a record-breaking speed run from Kewaunee, Wisconsin – crossing Lake Michigan in just 1-1/2 hours, the fastest ever crossing of Lake Michigan by a ferry.


Tickets will be available for pick up at the event. Reservations are recommended because space is limited.

*Reservations originally made for the postponed May event will be honored at the June event.

Visit this website for more information and to

reserve your tickets today.”

Why I Love Winter in Michigan!

I looked out my bathroom window this morning and could not believe my eyes.  It had snowed A LOT last night.  And now the sun is shining brightly, the sky is this amazing, cold, blue color that let’s you know that it is winter

The first couple of pictures were taken out the upstairs window…( I know, through the screen. It’s freezing cold, I can’t open the window and take out the screen)


See on top of the cans?  From nothing at all yesterday afternoon to this:

By our recycling station – looking out to M-22

The “Madonna tree”  in front of cottages 2 and 3.  This tree got it’s name from a dear friend and guest from Delaware. Next time you are here, look at it’s trunk and you will see why.

Cottages 8 and 9

Front yard

Morning Mists

Rantum Bassin, at Sylt.

Image via Wikipedia/ Sylt mudflats

The days are growing shorter and the mornings are crisp and “snappy” – exactly how I like it.  I could never imagine “going south” for the winter months like so many of our neighbors here do.  Ok, I would go to Walt Disney World for a couple of weeks but that’s it!

It’s the fall and winter here in Michigan that I look forward to.  I love the crisp air and the cold nights; even rainy days are fantastic.  Of course this is all so great in my mind because I relate it to my days on Sylt, where I grew up and met Mike so many years ago. 

Sylt is where we would walk on the beach in the cold seasons and then, all frozen, go to a Cafe’ or Bistro and have something scrumptious to eat and drink.  The time of day didn’t matter, life is a lot more laid back there than anywhere here in the US – could be after a morning walk going to have breakfast at Cafe’ Wien and top that off with a glass or two of champagne…  I could go on and on.

A few days ago, there was such a crisp morning. After dropping Marc off at school, I just had to take pictures of the fog and mists over the bay…

Thursday morning

I think it is safe to assume that spring is indeed here now.  The sun comes up shining brightly every day, just like we expect it.
This reminds me of our first spring here in Michigan.  The weather that year was just delicious.
We arrived on March 11, 1995 at the old Traverse City Airport.  All four of us arrived and one (Mike) went back to California on that very same plane that we had arrived in.  Mike had to go back to close up our house in Rohnert Park and give the keys to our realtor and to drive my Bronco with his Grand Prix on a trailer back here.   He finally arrived about 4 days later with our neighbor, very good friend and godfather to the boys, Mark.

Where was I?…
Yes, our first spring in Michigan was, for lack of a better word, amazing in more than one way.  The weather was one, the cottages were another.  It was so fun to own all these little houses.  It was fun to get them ready for guests. Thank goodness the season started of slowly.  In those days we were still open all year but it was of course slow in the colder months.
Poor Mike had the most work and the most awful work to do.  So many things were in disrepair.  There were gas leaks under the cabins which were fixed with duct tape.  He fixed all of that for good.  He spent so many hours under those little houses, I would have been claustrophobic for sure.  He did find some “treasures” under there though, among them old Whisky bottles, lots of them 🙂
Most of the cabins were in bad shape, but worst of all was # 8 . During that first season we didn’t really rent it out unless we had nothing else left – which wasn’t very often.  The carpet left a lot to be desired and it was so very dark inside with all that fake wood paneling, yikes. That has changed a lot, it is now one of the guests’ favorites.

Enough for today, I’ll leave you with some downtown pictures that I took this morning. I paid a little more attention to the little buildings behind the larger houses, the little garages and outbuildings that were converted into cottages. There are some really pretty ones.

Little cottage behind the Carter's houseLittle cottage behind the Carter’s house

Another alley cottageAnother alley cottage

This garage in an alley is bigger than some homesThis garage in an alley is bigger than some homes