Week 3 was relaxing, especially compared to our first 2. We were stationed in Holiday Park Campground in Traverse City, Michigan for the entire week which made for more down time as well as time to explore the area. We did everything from climbing more sand dunes at Sleeping Bear, to eating ice cream sandwiches at The Little Fleet, an amazing food truck hub downtown.
This is one place we can agree is worth coming back to in the future… we don’t say that often.
Traverse City, MI
Traverse City was an interesting place… in a good way. It was a small city with a big city feel, at the same time very local, welcoming and trendy, it’s the kind of place that made you feel cool just for being there. All the shops sold Michigan-made goods and most of the restaurants boasted their locally sourced ingredients, it was nice to feel like you were part of the community. We rode bikes along the lake front, went to the Saturday farmers market, spent some time on the beach, walked along the harbor, and ate some amazing food!
Holiday Park Campground – Traverse City, Michigan
Holiday Park was a nice campground just off the main highway, but far enough that there wasn’t road noise, which is a priority for us. We booked this campground for their advertised “high-speed internet”…which ended up not working for our entire week which was problematic because Brad works remote, and we are constantly uploading videos and pictures for the blog and vlog which use a ton of bandwidth and take a considerable amount of time. On night one we connected and had full strength service, but wait, it was less than 1mb strong, rendering it completely useless. We attempted to upload 1 video and the estimate was 36 hours to complete. Brad ended up commuting into the city (10-minute commute) to work from coffee shops. We learned our lessons, don’t trust campground wifi as advertised.
Fish Town – Leland, MI
Leland, Michigan is locally referred to as Fish Town, so much so that when we walked
through the shops you couldn’t even find a Leland, MI shirt-they all just said “Fish Town”. It was a very small fishing village jutting out into Lake Michigan. There were endless boutique specialty shops to buy hand made candies, cheese and ice cream. We took this opportunity to get Evelyn her weekly ice cream cone and got mom and dad their weekly coffee… okay twice daily coffee. There weren’t too many activities to do in town, but it was well worth meandering the shops and appreciating the history of this historic fishing town.
Side note – on our way back to Traverse City from Leland we passed through a town called Sutton Bay and had a wonderful roof top terrace dinner at Boone’s Prime Time Pub, we had it all to ourselves, mainly because we eat dinner at 4pm. This was a delicious finish to a nice day.
Iris Farms – Traverse City, MI
The Iris Farms may have been the best stop of the week and they were definitely the most unexpected. Ashley always talks about wanting to visit a cut your own flower farm, but we certainly hadn’t planned that into our trip. However, fate intervened and on our way to the Sleeping Bear we stumbled across the most beautiful landscape of blooming Iris flowers, needless to say we didn’t make it to Sleeping Bear that day. We stopped and walked the expanse of color through the fields taking pictures, watching Evelyn smell the flowers and eventually left with a bouquet of our own which of course took a very picky Ashley a few hours to accomplish.
Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes – Glen Arbor, Michigan
After visiting Silver Lake sand dunes last week we figured why not see what Sleeping Bear had to offer. Sleeping Bear’s sand dune was one massive mountain of sand, by the time we reached the top we were exhausted, Evelyn was trying to sleep in the sand and we were just trying to make sure she didn’t get a mouthful. The drive in and out of the area was absolutely gorgeous, if we had a few more days we would have come back to do some hiking and biking, but even with a year long trip you can’t even come close to doing it all.
Friske’s Farm Market – Ellsworth, Michigan
Friske’s Farm Market was a Harvest Host location that ended up being yet again a great stopping point on our drive north into Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. They are known for their apple orchards, but we enjoyed their pizza the most, with local and fresh ingredients it’s the best pizza we’ve had since visiting Chicago! They also had local dairy farm products so we grabbed a quart of chocolate milk for the road-in those cute glass jugs. We had a scenic orchard all to ourselves which proved to be a great place to rest our heads in preparation for the final push into the U.P
If you didn’t skip down to this part you will recall us mentioning how awful the internet connection was at our camp. Because of this I (Brad) resorted to commuting into downtown Traverse City each morning, grabbing a $1 cup of coffee at Brew coffee shop and then, like any decent millennial, I sipped that cup of coffee for 4 straight hours while I enjoyed blazing fast internet. While I may have felt slightly guilty, that didn’t stop me from enjoying a bit of people watching, working, and a great cup of coffee.
Lucky for you and great for us, we have broken down and purchased a DJI Spark drone. This little guy will fly for 15 minutes getting you and us some of the best aerial footage $400 can purchase. However we got the extended warranty…and why would we do this? Well I read the fine print and after speaking with the associate found that this covers crashes, water damage and anything else as long as I can bring the drone back to the store. To me this means I don’t have to be extra careful or practice “safety first”, I can fly low, fast, and far just as long as I can go retrieve it after a crash. This will be fun!
The morning we were loading up to hit the road we realized just how important your tongue jack is. If you’re not aware, the tongue jack is the thing at the front of the RV that lowers and raises the trailer onto and off of your truck. Well as we prepared to connect the trailer to depart-ours broke, this meant we literally could not put the trailer on the truck and therefore could not leave. We didn’t dive into this trip without knowing stuff like this would happen, so we kept a level head and called the highest rated mechanic that worked on RVs. He told us that it would be about $300 plus parts to come tow the trailer, fix it, and tow it back to our campground, frugal as we are we immediately researched what was needed to fix it ourselves. We found a few YouTube videos, went to Menard’s, picked up a new tongue jack and some stabilizers to support the trailer while we replaced the tongue jack. All of the cost us a whopping $48 and I kid you not we had the trailer fixed ourselves within 1 hour of knowing we had an issue. Score!