Mike and I spent the week immediately following our wedding up in northern Michigan! Manistee to be exact. At my grandma's house (although she doesn't live there anymore...that would have been a little weird). Sounds like it could have been about the lamest honeymoon ever, but it was so much fun! And free, which is why we went there. ;) My dad and little sister even came up to the house the weekend before our arrive and stocked the house with food and wine (including a surprise chocolate cake in the freezer with our names on it!). They even went out fishing and caught us a Salmon, filleted it and put it in the freezer so we could have fresh salmon for dinner. They really thought of everything, it was such a sweet surprise!
This is Mike and in downtown Manistee, with the Manistee river in the background:
It was really the perfect relaxing honeymoon. From my grandma's house, it takes all of 5 minutes to get to the beach. So of course we went there just about every day. :) We have fantastic weather too! And if there's one good thing about having a hotter than blazes summer, it's that our frigged Great Lakes finally warm up to the point where they're tolerable! So we not only lounged like bums on the beach, but we did a little swimming too! It was great. Here we are, caught in the action:
We only did two "outings" all week, but they were a blast! First we traveled about 30 minutes south to Ludington State Park. We rode our bikes around a bit, then took a long hike on one of their many trails. It was pretty neat actually - there was a boardwalk where you walked out over the water, across to an island then back again. Then the trail went up kind of high so you got a great view of the water. Very pretty!
But after just one trail we were exhausted. So we decided to call it a day and head into town for a beer. On the recommendation of my friend and fellow-blogger Taryn, we had dinner at Jamesport Brewery. I had a delicious burger with very yummy steak fries. And oh my goodness, the most amazing blueberry hard cider! It was soooo delicious, I would go back just for that!
Our other outing was up to Leelanau and Old Mission peninsulas to do wine tasting in Michigan wine country! If you are a Michigander and you've never been up there, YOU ARE MISSING OUT!!! It is so much fun, you really must go, even if just for a quick romantic weekend get away.
Last year we did wine tasting in this area for the first time and fell in love with the area (and also got engaged! but that's another story...). Last year, we camped at Traverse City state park and did two full days of leisurely wine tasting (one day on each peninsula). This year, being seasoned experts at this, we decided to just hit our favorite wineries on both peninsulas in one day (it's a surprisingly short drive from top to bottom of the peninsulas, so this wasn't hard to do).
Two of our favorites (both of which offer FREE tastings!) - Leelanau Cellars and Chateau Chantal!
Not only is wine tasting a fun activity, but you can also bring home some delicious souvenirs from your trip! Whenever we found a wine that we both loved, we bought a bottle to take home with us. Now we have an entire case of wine to enjoy together. And whenever we open a bottle, we'll be reminded of the great memories of our honeymoon! Which makes it taste so much better than wine you buy at the grocery store. :)
Now, I referred to this as our "mini" honeymoon because the real honeymoon is yet to come! We're headed to...(drum roll please)...Italy and France!!! I am BEYOND excited! We'll be there for a full two weeks. We're starting out with 2 nights in Naples, were we'll see the ruins in Pompeii and Herculeneum. Then we'll travel south to the Amalfi Coast and spend 3 nights in Praiano, 2 on the island of Capri (I think I am most excited about Capri - I've heard it's magical!). Then we take a long train ride across the country to Venice! We'll spend 5 nights there. And finally, we cap it all off with 3 nights in Paris! (well, Mike is actually spending a whole week in Paris to present at a conference there, but I fly home after only 3 nights) Talk about a food adventure! I cannot WAIT to taste all that these two food-famous nations have to offer. :) I'll be sure to take lots of pictures and blog about it when I get back. Until then, arrivederci and au revoir!