Spend A Weekend In Detroit

I spent a couple days emerged in Detroit’s Motown music history and experienced a Detroit that is “catching the bounce”. I was a bit hesitant to vist at first. It has been a good five years since I’ve been in Detroit and my last visit wasn’t very impressive. However, I’ve been hearing tidbits here and there over the past year that Detroit was on the rise and should be on my radar for a visit.

After spending a couple days in Motown I have to say I’m really impressed with Detroit’s comeback; if ever there was a city that should be dubbed a Phoenix, it should probably be Detroit. From bankruptcy, high unemployment and crime sprees to a vibrant, cleaned upped city that people are proud to call home. I’m thrilled to share Detroit’s bounce back with you.

I kicked off my visit with lunch at The Majestic Theater. The Majestic Theater is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is home to 3 concert venues, 2 bars, the oldest operating bowling alley operating in the U.S., Sgt. Pepperoni’s Pizzeria & Deli and the Majestic Cafe. After a tour of the Majestic I enjoyed a delicious meal at the cafe. Typically I only order seafood when I’m visiting a coastal destination, but I decided to live dangerously and ordered the Lobster Mac & Cheese. It was so very good! I also taste tested the brussel sprouts, sweet potato fries, and crab cakes. Nothing disappointed my taste buds. I have to make my way back to the Majestic for some concerts and bowling. It looked like too much fun.

The Motown Museum was up next. It opened in 1985 to preserve the history of Motown music and “tells the story of how a man’s vision turned into one of the largest, most successful record companies of all time and how the music captured the hearts of young people, not only in America, but across the globe.” (http://www.motownmuseum.org/about-the-museum/). All museum visits are by guided tour and lasts about 45 minutes. Our guide was young, enthusiastic, and very knowledge about the museum. She told great stories about Barry Gordy, who started Motown Music, and the artists that recorded in Studio A. Groups like the Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, Supremes, and Temptations all recorded in Studio A. The Motown history in Studio A is pretty stunning AND during the tour I stood and sang in the studio. It was pretty fantastic!



I topped off the Motown Museum experience by going to see Motown, The Musical at the Fisher Theater (gorgeous theater and worth a visit even if there isn’t a show). The production showcased almost all of the Motown hits and it’s easy to find yourself singing along. My Girl, which I sang in Studio A earlier in the day, was sung on stage that night. I love when things come full circle. Other favorites included Dancing in the Street, I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Pie), I Heard It Through The Grapevine, Money (That’s What I Want), Stop In The Name Of Love and so many more. Of course, watching Motown, The Musical in Motown gives the musical an extra little kick.

The next morning it was a tour with Kim of Show Me Detroit Tours to see how Detroit is making its significant comeback. Clean streets, new businesses, community activities, festivals and more are now a vibrant part of downtown. The current hockey arena is going to be torn down and a new arena is being built near Comerica Park and Ford Field which will allow the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions and the Detroit Red Wings to all be located in close proximity to each other for one giant sport complex. A street car is being installed along Woodward Ave (one of Detroit’s main streets) and will be a 3.3 mile circuitous route passing my some of Detroit’s hot spots.

No visit to the city would be complete without stepping inside the Guardian Building. This Art Deco building is a hidden treasure in the city and is jaw dropping beautiful on the inside. Multiple parks dot the waterfront and provide a great place to have a picnic or to relax.


After spending the morning exploring Detroit I stopped in at Bert’s in Eastern Market (a 6-block farmers market in operation since 1891) for lunch. Bert’s is tied to Motown music as well. Bert’s co-owner, Miller London, was the very first African American record salesman for Motown Records. Bert’s offers goo southern food and bbq.


Overall it was a fantastic trip through the city. If you are looking for a weekend getaway I really recommend a visit to Detroit. Learn more by visiting www.visitdetroit.com.

Welcome back Detroit, you make this Michigander proud.

Winter Fun in Petoskey, MI

When winter arrives in the Petoskey Area, it brings a vibe that’s full of energy, vitality and a zest for fun. It’s an uplifting feeling that covers our ski slopes, shopping districts and special events like a blanket of fresh snow. And it’s one more reason so many people call our area a Michigan treasure.

During the month of January there are a lot of fun activities so bundle up, get outside and have fun in Petoskey, MI!

Discover Michigan Skiing
Now through January 31
Boyne Mountain Resort in Boyne Falls,
Boyne Highlands Resort and Nub’s Nob in Harbor Springs

Winter is a great time of year — if you get out and enjoy it. So why not learn how to ski and snowboard? Play in the snow with the pros at Boyne Highlands, Boyne Mountain and Nub’s Nob, and bring your friends to have fun, too. January is “Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month” in Michigan and this program offers beginners a great way to learn at an affordable rate. Call for information on discounted rates and to make reservations for this great offer from Boyne Highlands, Boyne Mountain and Nub’s Nob.

Boyne Highlands SnowSports Academy
(231) 526-3056, boyne.com/boynehighlands or snowsports2@boynehighlands.com
Boyne Mountain SnowSports Academy
(231) 549-6056, boyne.com/boynemountain or snowsports1@boynemountain.com
Nub’s Nob Winter Sports School
(800) SKI-NUBS or nubsnob.com

Bay Harbor Ice & Spice Festival
Jan 16 – 17, 2015
Bay Harbor

At the Bay Harbor Ice & Spice Festival, you’ll see professional and amateur carving competitions where blocks of ice are turned into works of art. These are some pretty amazing masterpieces! Bay Harbor is one of the stops on the National Tournament of Champions for ice carving, and this event is sanctioned by the National Ice Carving Association. More than $12,000 in cash awards will be given away on Saturday. See if your favorite takes home the top prize!

Prizes will also be awarded at the Pro-Am Ice & Spice Chili Challenge, a chili cook-off hosted by the Bay Harbor Association. Taste the culinary creations in both professional and amateur divisions and vote for your favorite.

Also on the schedule is a “Find Frosty” contest for the kids, plus numerous other winter activities for the entire family. The event will conclude with a spectacular fireworks display on Saturday evening in the Village. 231.439.2650

50th Annual Moose Jaw Safari
Jan 17, 2015
Harbor Springs

Join us as we celebrate fifty years of Moose Jaw excitement. There are a few different stories of how the Moose Jaw Safari got its name. The most popular tale told about the 1965 ride relays how the group left Harbor Springs and made it to Moose Jaw Road before turning back. It took several hours to get that far (approximately 20 miles) and the group had used up most of the spare plugs, belts and fuel. Most riders of today’s sleds have no idea how hard it was to go any distance at all on early sleds!

The Moose Jaw Safari starts at 8:30am. This year, the Naubinway Snowmobile Museum will be our special guest. Ride your vintage sled, and you won’t need a Trail Pass or Registration for this event. There’s plenty of room for truck and trailer parking. Take M119 to Harbor Springs and turn left on Hoyt Street. Come on out and ride, Sally, ride! This is an easy ride that will take 2 hours with 15-minute stops. We usually stop 3 times during the ride to visit and keep the group together. Ride our most scenic trails on the way to Larks Lake. The famous bean soup will be ready at noon. You can drive your car to the bean pot, and we have use of the Center Township Hall at Larks Lake. With or without snow, we will still meet at the bean pot for fiftieth anniversary festivities.

Stafford’s Wedding Show
Jan 18, 2015
Bay View

Come to Stafford’s Wedding Show from noon to 3pm and spend the afternoon planning your perfect day with a variety of vendors and wedding professionals. From photographers to bakeries, you can have all of your questions answered at Stafford’s Bay View Inn, one of four of Stafford’s beautiful reception site options. Come see all the latest in bridal trends and enter to win great prizes. Brides & grooms are admitted FREE! 800.258.1886

Boyne City Winterfest
Jan 24, 2015
Boyne City

There’s so much fun to be had in Boyne City. Starting at noon on Saturday, Winterfest brings games, music, a chili cook-off, fat bike races and cross-country skiing. Merchants are even opening their doors for an indoor sidewalk sale. Nearly everything in this family-friendly event is free. Activities are at Sunset Park, Old City Park and other locations throughout Boyne City. Visit the website for times and locations. Come have a blast at Winterfest! 231.582.6222

10 Things To Do This Summer in Michigan

My bucket list for the summer is getting longer and longer. I’ve committed to staying in my state from now until Aug 1, but that’s not a hardship since there is so much to see and do in the Great Lakes State.


1. GO CAMPING.  The past couple summers have been so busy that I haven’t taken time to go camping and enjoy the great outdoors. Michigan is a great state for camping and offers lots of great camping parks.  Our current plan is to go camping once a month. We’ll be starting with a stay at a campground near the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes then move to a campground along Lake Michigan in the Upper Peninsula. and end with a stay near Mackinaw.


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5 Family Fun Destinations in Michigan

Family Fun Destinations in Michigan

Surrounded by hundreds of miles of shoreline the Great Lakes state is the perfect destination for a summer vacation. Museums to forest to waterfalls and beaches there is something for everyone in Michigan. The hardest part is narrowing down where to visit. To help you pick the perfect place I’m sharing a list of the top 5 family fun destinations in Michigan.


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