If my life were a disney movie, it'd look a little something like this:

I'd live in a castle that closely resembled this:



I would frolic through our property, over the bridge and through the woods.



When I didn't feel like frolicking, I'd drive my teal truck.



Every evening, I'd look outside and see this,


while waking up to this view each morning:



I could (and would) eat this German Chocolate Cake daily and never gain weight,



And I wouldn't need to worry about making complicated dishes, because they'd just magically appear at the table



My prince could fish in the river while he was watching TV



And I'd wake up with this hair each and every morning



Pretty simple, right? Just a normal disney life. I'm not asking for much here.


But for the here and now, it's safe to say that the BEST ending to my disney movie would be to teleport me to Texas this weekend. I'm not sure my teal truck could get me there on time.


GO BLUE!







I have butterflies in my stomach. I'm clapping my hands just thinking about it.
I've sorted through the boxes just to find all my gear. I've found my block M cookie cutter and shopped for yellow ribbon.
What is it, you ask?


MICHIGAN FOOTBALL!
Countdown: 4 days!



Whew... I'm glad I'm not the only one. This is brilliant:



I arrived home from the girl's vacation and had enough time to get an oil change, go for a run, wash some clothes, and eat. Then, we packed up again and headed back up north.

Since we've lived in Virginia, my sis has been in NYC and my brother in Michigan, it's far and few between that we are all in one place at one time; typically once a year during a holiday. It just so happened that everyone had the weekend off, and my sister was in town. 
We all met at the cabin and enjoyed being completely separated from busy lives. We lounged around, ran the trails, had card tournaments, rode the 4-wheelers, and ate way too much. 




We also took a day trip back to Traverse City to see my dad and Cari. Of course, the boys went fishing, so us girls ventured downtown to load up on cupcakes, taste test too many cherry products and overeat at the cheese store.
Why is it that I always overeat every time we go up north?! It's just so cozy and relaxing that somehow I think the calories must not add up.




But mostly, we all just played with Hannah...





She helped cheer us on during our Sink The Battleship games. Essentially, sink the bottle in the lake by shooting it. This kept us busy for hours, and proved that I need more practice.










Hannah is going to take her first step any day now, so I had my camera close by all weekend long.




"Hi guys! I almost got it!"




As we tried to show her how to walk, Hannah felt she needed to show us how to model:






If only everyday we could wake up with this view:




Whew...all the driving is over, with only sweet memories to pack away.

Back to reality!



A few weeks ago, we sat around a table talking about all of the things in Michigan that we have to do before summer ends. I attempted to convince friends- who just moved here- that there was so much to enjoy. So, we planned a trip to prove it. 

First trip: Michigan Vineyards

Something about being 'up north' makes you love Michigan so much more - the quaint fruit stands on the side of the road, open land, friendly people, locally owned restaurants, small boutiques, driving along the deep blue bay of FRESH water...it's refreshing. 






Our plan was to try all 7 of the vineyards on the Traverse City peninsula, but by 6 pm we had only finished 4. (Then discovered an unplanned 5th). What's the rush when you have a view like this?






We hung out on the porches, talked to the workers, met some locals, and took deep breaths of gratefulness. I think, "ahh this is SO fun {insert clapping hands}," was said at least 110 times.







3 of the girls are new to Michigan (from LA, DC and Maryland), so there were lots of 'ohhhhs' and 'aaahhs' at each stop. Annie and I (Michigan veterans) were happy that our newbies were loving their new home. There's a reason there's a song about summertime in northern Michigan...dontcha know (just teasing, we don't really say that.)





We loved how each place had a completely different feel.

Bower's Harbor Vineyard felt like we were sitting on our own back porch, just hanging out with the dog. 








2 Lad's had an incredible view, but we weren't sold on the aesthetic. A little too much of a  'research lab'  look.




I suppose we shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, since we ended up walking out with a box of their pinot.






Chateau Chantal was a little too "touristy" and busy for us. It felt too commercialized rather than personalized (I sound like a bad marketing campaign). Although the experience wasn't the best, we could sit on the porch all day long:








It's safe to say that Brys Estates was an all around favorite. We all wanted to be best friends with, Eric, our server, and we walked out with a box of Riesling - so I suppose he did his job well. 










Since we thought all of the tasting rooms closed at 6 and it was already well after, we ventured to a place I vaguely remembered from years ago. It was called Bowers Harbor Inn back then, and there was a tale of it being haunted. 




To our surprise, it has since been changed to a winery and brewery. 
It is, however, still said to be haunted by Genevive. 








We walked around the property, sat on the grass, watched the sailboats in the bay as the sun came down and listened to country music = bliss.




{self timer mishaps- blame Genevive}






We spent the evening wandering around downtown, indulging in sushi and getting free cupcakes because we stood outside the "closed" sign until someone graciously let us in. We tried not to make our drool that obvious, but, hey, no shame.


I've been "Cheering" a lot lately, but there's just a lot to celebrate and be thankful for. And honestly, how else to end  a post about a vineyard getaway without clicking together glasses and saying "Cheers!!" 




I know, now you want to go because it's a great little getaway. This was the best map that I had found of all of the Vineyards. You can find the info at this link: Peninsula Wine Trail






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