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Monday, October 24, 2016

Michigan, 2016

Saginaw, MN to Saginaw MI

The Great Lakes Tour

Two States and One Lake for One Restaurant

So many title options for this posting!

The reason for this trip to visit Bradley's in Saginaw, MI.  Scott and his wife opened Bradley's in 2014, after a year of extensive remodeling.  We were informed the space had been empty for 20-25 years and it was in rough shape - we saw the pictures.  It was in rough shape. They completely gutted the interior going to the studs and beyond.  Pretty amazing work. 

But, I should start at the beginning, which is in Saginaw, MN, just outside of Duluth, where we buttoned up the house and headed out. 

Saturday/Sunday:  Manitowoc, WI was our first stop.  We slept over Saturday night, then Sunday morning toured the Maritime Museum (HIGHLY recommended) and caught the 130p ferry for Michigan.  This was the Badger's last run of the season, and we couldn't have planned better weather for the 56 mile four hour crossing:  70*, sunny, mostly calm seas.  The main excitement of the trip was the ferry hauling one of those mega-semi trailers - the XXL trailers that haul wind turbine generators and wind turbine blades around here.  Yes, they backed one of those trailers into the ferry.  How cool is that!?!  

Sputnik crashed in Manitowoc
Manitowoc WI, Maritime Museum

The Badger docking

Loading the mega-trailer on the Badger. 

Sunday:  We arrived in Ludington, MI, about 630p-ish, but because we were among the first six cars ON the ferry, we had to wait.  Mostly we had to wait until they could pull afore mentioned trailer off. So it was about 730p before we made it too our B&B, where we discovered a very unfortunate mix-up had occurred.  Because the Innkeeper was very apologetic about the error, I won’t mention the establishment.  Mistakes happen.  In a nutshell, another person by my first name checked in (sans reservation) but he thought it was me, and thus, when I showed up, the mistake was revealed.  Being a Sunday night during non-peak tourist season, I wasn’t worried about procuring a room at a hotel and, in all honesty, the Comfort Inn was a very nice room for about the same price.  After a late dinner, we crashed.

Departure from Manitowoc, WI

56 mile crossing - four hours

Arrival in Ludington, MI

Monday: We toured the Big Sable Lighthouse, drove up to Douglas Valley Vineyard, then tootled across the state to Saginaw, MI and checked into our hotel. 

Big Sable Lighthouse, Ludington, MI

View of Michigan coast from lighthouse  
Douglas Winery

Tuesday: Saginaw we toured the Castle Museum in downtown Saginaw, MI.   Another HIGHLY recommended museum.  We easily spent about 2 ½ hours there.  Bonus!  Castle Museum is only a block from Bradley’s! 

Castle Museum

Bradley's Restaurant - I highly recommend it!

We surprised Scott, the Husband's longtime acquaintance at the end of lunch rush, enjoyed a fantastic meal (the mac and cheese was amazing!  The Husband had some kind of burger with bacon and fried onions, with a side of truffle fries.  O.M.G.) then introductions all around.  We wandered away for a couple hours so they could prep for dinner, and came back to another great meal (a pork dish for the Husband, Gnocchi for me.  YUM!).  The four of us went out for a round of drinks and socializing before calling it a visit and saying good night and best wishes.

Wednesday: We were on the road again.  Up to Bay City for breakfast at Maggie’s.  We decided to skip the Navel Museum in favor of the 5 hour drive along the shore of Lake Huron.  My humble opinion, won’t need to do that drive again.  It’s ¾ houses/cabins and ¼ visible lake shore.  Disappointing. 

Arrived in Mackinaw City about 4ish, caught the next ferry to Mackinac Island, get settled in our hotel, and found dinner.  

Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island

The Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island (no, we did not stay here...)
Thursday: In the morning we rented bikes and biked the middle of the island because that seemed to have the most historical things to look at, then came back along the shore, where the Husband’s peddle fell off.  Ah, the joys of rental bikes – parts fall off or seats don’t stay up.  Returned the bikes, grabbed lunch, then spent three hours touring Fort Mackinac.  Dinner and called it a day.

Fort Mackinac

Friday/Saturday: Time to head home!  Ferry ride back to Mackinaw City, halfway point being Marquette, MI, where the Husband found the most amazing Cajun restaurant.  Seriously, this place was awesome.  Alligator Bites for an appetizer, Bouillabaisse as a main dish, and BINGETS for dessert!  I FINALLY got to try a BINGET!  Who would have thought there would be such a great Cajun restaurant in downtown Marquette?

Grand Island Harbor, by Pictured Rocks National Shoreline, Lake Superior

And thus, ends the trip:  three lakes (Superior, Michigan and Huron), two ferry rides, all for one restaurant:  Bradley's.   Totally worth it! 


spcoz said...

Nice pictures!! My memories of a similar trip are returning. How much fudge did you buy on the Island?

Kristin said...

We behaved - 1/2 lb of chocolate with walnuts, 1/2 lb of toasted caramel. The caramel was *really* good.

Karl A. said...

Wow, you sure packed a lot into your adventure!

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