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My wife Deborah is a Michigan girl. Born and raised and proud. She's not shy about it either when talking on blogs and over the Internet. She's "smitten with the mitten," as she likes to tell her out-of-state friends. And a couple of years ago, when we were thinking of taking our vacation out east, she said,



"I don't know. I think I'd like to relax and go Up North. Besides, everything we want to do and our boys want to do is there anyway."



Except whales. And the ocean. She… Continue

Added by Darren King on July 25, 2009 at 10:00am — 1 Comment

one down, more to go

Not a day for yachting you say? Certainly not the most thrilling. Despite thick gray threatening clouds overhead, the Traverse City Yacht Club held it's Wednesday races. And despite the dead calm over Grand Traverse Bay the boats did make it back to the marina, eventually. And I was in attendance.



Inspired by the June issue of Traverse Magazine, one of the items on my summer list was to enjoy a drink on the deck at Scott's Harbor Grill while watching the Wednesday yacht races.… Continue

Added by Rachel North on June 17, 2009 at 11:52pm — 1 Comment

The Cheese Throw Down Afterglow (and a Trip for Tastebud Travelers Who Missed the Party)

It’s been a few days since I’ve attended the Wisconsin Cheese Throw Down at Bowers Harbor Inn, and I apologize for the delay in the post-party blog. But you see, I’ve been in a cheese coma.



This is what happens when a cheese lover attends an event showcasing a thousand-plus chunks of fine cheese and a dozen cheese-inspired gourmet dishes, all of which is washed down with her favorite local beers and wines.



Judging by the turnout (Bowers Harbor Inn, its fabulous new outdoor… Continue

Added by Lynda Twardowski on May 11, 2009 at 2:30pm — 2 Comments

I am the cheese.

Living now in Traverse City, a place I consider a food lover’s paradise, it sometimes shames me that my three favorite foods haven’t changed as I’ve become an adult. They are, exactly as they were at age six: pizza, ice cream, and cheese.



These are my deserted-island three. My last-meal trifecta. My go-to, triple-time-healer of a broken heart, bad hangover or even slightly irritable episode of P.M.S.



I eat the big three, I feel joy. It’s very simple.



They don’t… Continue

Added by Lynda Twardowski on May 5, 2009 at 9:11am — 3 Comments

Carter Oosterhouse in Traverse City

Go ahead women of Northern Michigan, breathe my rarified air. Yep. I touched Carter Oosterhouse, the carpenter-model-star of a slew of HGTV shows (currently, Red Hot and Green and Carter Can). Want the sizzling truth? He put his arm around me. Okay, enough. I'm old enough to be his mother (he was born when I was a freshman in college—I did the math). But here is what I really want to say about Carter: He’s a really good… Continue

Added by Elizabeth Edwards on March 2, 2009 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Meeting Brandon: Traverse City Iraq Veteran Michelle Rudzitis Introduces Me

I got to know Brandon Stout this weekend. Before Saturday afternoon, he’d only been a name—a part of the backstory to the piece I wrote about Traverse City Iraq war veteran in September of 2008 Michelle Rudzitis. On January 22, 2007, Michelle had her leg blown off by a roadside bomb when she was serving in Iraq. Brandon was her driver. The blast killed him.



Since his death, Michelle has gotten to be friends… Continue

Added by Elizabeth Edwards on January 29, 2009 at 10:36am — No Comments

Kids and Cross-Country Skiing in Traverse City

When my husband and I invite kids to go cross-country skiing with us, they've been known to run and hide, or slink off and call their parents to come get them. When we ask parents to bring the family along, they usually hem and haw and say they really should get their kids out skiing—after all, it's one of the healthiest, cheapest sports around—but usually they don't go. They know their kids will whine.



Which would leave me thinking that kids and Nordic skiing just don't mix. Except… Continue

Added by Elizabeth Edwards on January 22, 2009 at 1:03pm — 3 Comments

Riding the Bata Bus to Traverse City

A couple years ago, when the Bay Area Transportation Authority (BATA) opened its downtown Traverse City terminal and expanded its routes, my Up North life took a big leap for the better. I’d always figured I’d pretty well hacked out a good life here in the Northwoods—a house with a view of Sleeping Bear Bay (okay, from the driveway) and a job doing what I love in downtown Traverse City. But that winter commute really started wearing on me. So when I heard that… Continue

Added by Elizabeth Edwards on January 14, 2009 at 2:00pm — 2 Comments

Pilates in Traverse City

I'm 50. It's winter in Traverse City. I have a desk job.



Two years ago, when I was 48 and it was winter and I had a desk job, I looked down at the midlife crisis my body was in and asked myself if there wasn't some remedy. I think I may have found it. One ingredient to this cure is across the alley in back of my office on Front Street, around the corner and up the flight of steps next to the Omelette Shoppe on Cass. The scent of warm raisin bread with frosting follows me up the…

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Added by Elizabeth Edwards on January 8, 2009 at 1:00pm — 1 Comment

Help with Holiday Pie (Crust)

I spilled the beans that I can't make a good pie crust (or, to be honest, any pie crust) in the October issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan's Magazine. Since then, I got a little help from my friend, Olida, a homemade Michigan apple pie lover transplanted to NYC, who had been experimenting all summer with her pie crust while awaiting fall apples. Now she's a pro, even mixing Gruyere cheese in the crust of her apple pies.



Here are… Continue

Added by Emily Betz Tyra on November 25, 2008 at 4:00pm — 2 Comments

Shop Traverse City for Your Next Renovation

My husband and I are starting our second renovation project in two years. After 26 years of marriage, we feel that our relationship can finally withstand it. A year ago we remodeled our kitchen. This renovation is for two bathrooms that haven’t been updated since Hubert Humphrey ran against Richard Nixon in 1968. That is excepting the red magic marker graffiti my son scribbled on the wallpaper when he was 4 in 2001.



Our contractor, Kevin McCarty of… Continue

Added by Elizabeth Edwards on November 17, 2008 at 12:07pm — 2 Comments

My Money is on Northwestern Michigan College

I had lunch at Blue Tractor with my old friends from Northwestern Michigan College on Friday. I say old because we have known each other for at least 30 years (classes of 1978 and ’79), and because all but two of us forgot our reading glasses back at the office so we passed one pair around the table so we could read the menu.



Bruce Byl got the group together, seven of us—some of us see each other often, others only now and then—and he came equipped with donation forms for NMC’s… Continue

Added by Elizabeth Edwards on November 10, 2008 at 3:36pm — 8 Comments

Ultimate Up North Kitchen Tour Countdown: It's Tomorrrow!

I just checked the weather report for tomorrow, November 1--it will be mild temperatures, dry and partly sunny. I can't think of more perfect weather for the Ultimate Up North Kitchen Tour. If you don't have your ticket yet, don't worry. Just choose one of the homes/kitchens near you to purchase your ticket and get a copy of the directions. Here's a list of the homes and locations--and if you have any questions at all, please call me on my cell phone, 231-624-1524. We'll see you out… Continue

Added by Elizabeth Edwards on October 31, 2008 at 12:09pm — No Comments

Mapping My Life Up North

As children, my brother and I lived with our parents in a suburb of metro-Detroit. But really, we grew up on the lakes and rivers of northern Michigan. There, our father gave to us the values that come from experiencing first-hand, nature and wildlife. Hiking for hours through the Porcupine Mountains seeing black bears, camping along Grand Traverse Bay, fishing the flood-waters of the Au Sable River. We always stopped for lunch on a sandbar and the evening always ended with a roaring…

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Added by Darren King on October 30, 2008 at 6:30am — 4 Comments

Distill My Heart

For reasons I won’t get into, I headed down to Right Brain Brewery in Traverse City’s warehouse district yesterday afternoon about 3:30. And there, sitting outside by the alley, were a dozen old bourbon casks just off the truck from Kentucky.



Why bourbon casks at a brewery? The inventive John Niedermaier, Right Brain's brew master, took a break from his work stacking 50-pound bags of malt--just off another truck--handed me a small glass of… Continue

Added by Jeff Smith on October 17, 2008 at 9:00am — 3 Comments

A Grand Moment (Vote by Oct. 28th!)

I was coming into the office from the alley a couple of mornings ago and saw Brian Beauchamp, a staffer from the Michigan Land Use Institute, right upstairs from us, loading boxes into the backend of his Subaru wagon. The boxes weren’t large -- about a foot high and sized to hold a normal sheet of paper-- but they weighed 80 pounds or so and the Subaru was sagging low. He had lots of boxes. Brian has a big smile, but this day it was especially bright because he was beginning to distribute… Continue

Added by Jeff Smith on October 10, 2008 at 10:53am — 1 Comment

Northern Michigan Kids at an East Coast College

I flew into Detroit Metro yesterday morning on the 6:20 flight from Burlington, Vermont. It was parents’ weekend at Middlebury College and I was visiting my daughter, Cassidy, a senior there. Driving north out of the city was a white-knuckled ride through detours and construction zones. At Clare I finally breathed out and reveled in the spectacular stretches of rural highway lined with just-turned maples.



That drive was a pretty solid metaphor for how I feel about raising my kids in… Continue

Added by Elizabeth Edwards on October 8, 2008 at 2:30pm — 2 Comments

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