Monday, December 21, 2015

Back to Michigan: Traverse City to Harbor Springs for Boyne Highlands

I was really excited about my first trip to Boyne Highlands Resort in Michigan. I was especially thrilled that my brother, Mark, was coming with my niece and nephew (although I wished my oldest niece could come too).

The plan was to all fly into Traverse City Airport, have lunch, and then make a visit to Bowers Harbor Vineyards before leaving town.

This was my third trip to Traverse City and while I didn’t have a lot of time, I wanted to at least get one more of their fabulous wineries covered. My friend Mike Norton, Media Relations Manager at Traverse City Tourism, thought Bowers was not only a great winery, but as family friendly as a winery can be.

You know what they say about the best laid plans. I arrived in Traverse City to find out the family had missed their connection.

I knew immediately I where I was when I was looking for a cup of coffee. After all, where else would the coffee machine offer “Cherry Pie Cappuccino” other than in Cherry Capital Airport!

I collected my things and headed downtown. Mike was away on vacation and I arranged to meet with Jennifer Case for the trip to Bowers, but I was running early so I first stopped downtown for lunch at Greenhouse Café.

My Rueben sandwich and potato soup was a perfectly satisfying pair for the cold day. I finished up and walked over to the Traverse City Convention and Visitors Bureau to meet Jennifer.

It was a short walk and she was ready when I got there to take the drive to Bowers Harbor Vineyards on the Old Mission Peninsula.

I had never been to Traverse City before in the snow and it made for quite a beautiful scene, especially and this winery.  

The tasting room at Bowers Harbor is very comfortable and I was surprised at the huge selection of wines.

I wasn’t driving so I tried quite a few. I was especially fond of their Block II Riesling, Unwooded Chardonnay, and Gewurztraminer. Even though I’m not a big red drinker,

 I did enjoy sipping their 2012 Wind Whistle Claret. They also had a tasty Blanc de Blanc Sparkling wine.

On the way back to the airport we made a quick stop at one of my favorite Traverse City wineries, Brys Estate.

I had a wonderful visit there with the owners a few years ago and wanted to stop in and visit. They weren’t there, but I did get to enjoy a glass of their Riesling.  

My brother, Jacob, and Moriah had just arrived, but their luggage had not.

We picked up the rental car, but couldn’t leave Traverse City right away to drive to Boyne Highlands Resort because the family’s luggage was arriving on the next plane.

I suggested we head to the Grand Traverse Pie Company.

My niece, Moriah, happens to be a big fan of pie and the rest of us were more than happy to go along for a little something to tide us over.

We decided on an apple crumb pie, and chocolate cream pie, and the February special – cherry pie with a chocolate ganache topping. They were all great, but I don’t think I have to say how amazing that one was.

Jacob also insisted he was hungry enough for a chicken pot pie and we all tasted a bit of that before we hit the road.

It was about an hour and a half to Boyne Highlands Resort in Harbor Springs, Michigan, and the ride was just beautiful through the snow covered rounds and lakes.

We arrived just in time for the welcome reception. We quickly dropped our things in our room and headed to meet Marketing Director Erin Ernst and the other journalists and their families at the Slopeside Lounge.

Erin had set up a nice spread for us that included cheese, pizza, hors d'oeuvres, and desserts. I also sampled a Gingerbread Coffee cocktail, while Mark tried some Michigan beers.

It had been a long day for all of us so we were back in the rooms fairly early, but excited for an upcoming day of skiing, snowboarding, and more fun at Boyne Highlands Resort

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