As summer came to a close, and before our family members jutted off in their separate directions, we decided to do a family trip to Michigan as our eldest child ,Pete, was about to attend grad school at U Mich. Pete and Jane (Mrs. Stray Dog) drove up to lovely Ann Arbor so that mother could put finishing touches on her boy's apartment. Once done there, the two drove to Traverse City where they met me (billy-Mr. Stray Dog) and our two girls Stella and Franny (Stella was in between jobs and moving from DC to Nashvegas, and Franny was about to leave town back to her university in Rome, Italy). We're Southerners. Southerners go to Florida or Georgia or North or South Carolina for summer trips-- either to the beach or mountains. We'd heard of Lake Michigan trips, but then that's for Yankees we thought. We realized quickly what those Yankees were hoarding this piece of paradise to themselves ;)
We called up our long time and great customer, Maggie Mielczarek of Leland Gal for suggestions. She gave us a couple of places closer to Ann Arbor, but those towns were pretty booked up. So she said, if you want to take the hike, it's nice here in Leland. She recommended the Jolli-Lodge and what an old school, kind of creaky, delightful family place to stay, run by the Jolli family since the Fifties. There happened to be one apartment open, so we took it.
The Leelanau Penninsula was sweet and open to exploration--just like the little towns-- and everything within spitting distance. This is cherry and apple country, but they discovered it was great for grapes back in the early 70s and are now making some great wines with lovely testing vineyards. We were impressed with Good Harbor and Dunebird.
If you are on the Penninsula, you can not miss Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park and the Empire Park Trails.
Jolli-Lodge is just down the road from Leland, MI, or as they affectionally refer to it as Fishtown.
There is great shopping in town. The night we arrived was Store Walk nigh,t and the town was mingling and sipping and visiting all the stores. Very civilized! This is where our friend Maggie's store is located.
One of our favorite food stops was Farm Club a farm to table restaurant gathering spot. Such a treat.
The trip was a family favorite. Equal parts relaxation and exploration