It was time to head home after another adventure with my friend Lisa, but I wanted to squeeze a bit more into the Michigan experience.
We had an early breakfast with J. Michael DeAgostino, Public Relations Manager for Grand Traverse Resort. I wanted to hear about the seasonal activities available here that I might be able to check out on future visits.
He told me about the exciting winter he was looking forward to at the resort, with snowmobiling, snow shoeing, ice skating, cross country skiing and even dog sledding. All of these winter sports operate out of the golf pro shop, which is a busy spot in the spring, summer and fall as they have three award-winning courses and a golf school here.
We bid J. Michael farewell and made a stop at the Dylan’s Candy Store in the hotel’s lobby. I had never been to this outlet and I definitely felt like a “kid in a candy store” with all these options. I was overwhelmed , and had a long drive ahead of me, so I decided to escape quickly with just a few interesting lollipops while the candy buttons attempted to call me back to my youth.
The drive from Traverse City to home is a long one. Lisa and I decided to break it up by stopping in Grand Rapids. I had never been before and Janet Korn of the Grand Rapids Convention and Visitors Bureau invited us to lunch at one of the city’s popular restaurants.
The owners of Bistro Bella Vita are known in Grand Rapids as they also have two other eateries. I can’t speak for those, but I certainly enjoyed this one. The menu used a lot of fresh local food, including lots of vegetables. We started out with a yummy, house made Hummus Trio and some Mushroom Crostini.
Lisa and I couldn’t decide what to choose from the vast menu so we shared the Harvest Ravioli and Michigan Turkey Sandwich. The ravioli was stuffed with sweet potatoes and mushrooms in a roasted vegetable, honey-truffle sauce. It was unique and incredible. The sandwich – smoked Michigan turkey with cashew butter, red wine-cherry jam and goat cheese on sourdough – was equally satisfying.
We talked about Grand Rapids, which has its own Beer Trail, as well as five museums, antique galleries and high end boutiques, hotels and spas. We also discussed a visit to explore more of it on a return visit (hopefully this spring). It would have been nice to spend more time there, but it was time to go to my favorite place of all… home.