Spring Vacation

Mike and I decided not to go to San Francisco. We decided that with the house up for sale it would be best to keep our savings account as healthy as possible in this uncertain real estate market. If you were wondering, yes, we've had some interest. Two calls from realtors and one showing as well as a few calls from interested parties who think the property is for rent (it's not). So what did we do with our week long vacation? Of course, we spent the week in Michigan at our river house near the coast of southwest Michigan. It's our usual family gathering place, made a little more special this time because Mike and I went alone and spent our time exploring local cities, while still doing the usual cooking, and hiking.

We hiked almost everyday. It felt good to work off the food and beer and to tire Olive out after a day inside.

We toured Fenn Valley Winery where the 2 hour tour was led by the owner of the vineyard and we tasted the equivalent of a half bottle of wine.

 We went to downtown Saugatuk where we shopped in the little independent shops where we bought olive oils, spices and some chocolate.

We drank coffee as we walked the streets of Holland. Loved the fair trade, independently owned coffee shop, didn't like the cold, "you must not be locals" attitude from the patrons.

We tasted the local, craft beers at New Holland Brewery and grabbed a growler (a half gallon glass jug) of the Golden Cap Saison to go. We also had the best queso fundido with local chevre (I recently learned on The Big Cheese that chevre is french for goat and is used to describe goat cheese in the states. It is pronounced "chev" not "chev-ra" as I previously thought. It's obvious I don't know french) .

I cooked an artichoke. Super simple to cook, but it does seem like a lot of work to peel the leaves off of the entire thing for the small bits of edible flesh near the base. But dipped in a simple aioli, it was delicious.


1/3 cup mayonaise
1 garlic clove minced
juice of half a lemon

Mix. Dip. Eat.

After finding a 7$ midcentury modern nightstand at goodwill, we decided to keep this design style to decorate our room at the river house. We found this matching dresser at the local antique shop. I'll share more soon of the room coming together.
On our last day we went to the shores of Lake Michigan and Mike chivalrously gave me his coat as we braved the wind to take a look at the lighthouse and walk barefoot in the cold sand.

It was a good vacation.

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