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Kilcherman’s Christmas Cove Farm

October 19, 2016
  • 11573 N. Kilcherman Road
  • Northport, MI 49670
  • (231) 386-5637
  • Website

After spending close to two hours at Leelanau State Park and the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum, we started to head back towards Suttons Bay for lunch.  Before we left the park, the family we were traveling with said they wanted to stop somewhere and get apples.  I had remembered seeing a sign for a farm not too far down the road.  I was leading the way and sure enough, about seven miles down the road, I found the farm I was looking for.

Kilcherman’s Christmas Cove Farm is a little less than a mile from the northern edge of Northport.  The four generation farm was advertising “antique apples” which meant nothing to me.  At first I thought it was “antiques, apples” like you could buy antiques and apples in the same place.

The farm is located just north of the corner of Woolsey Lake Road and Kilcherman Road.  If you’re coming from the south, County Road 640 turns in to Kilcherman before Woolsey Lake Road.  There’s kind of a weird intersection there, but that’s where the sign that got my attention on our way to the state park is located.   Read more…

Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum

October 19, 2016
  • 15500 N. Lighthouse Point Road
  • Northport, MI 49670
  • (231) 386-7195
  • Website

Almost everything I do revolves around food.  That’s why, from time to time, you see blog posts on this blog that aren’t really about food.  They’re about great entertainment spots in this great state….but, 9.9 times out of 10, food is what led me to that spot.

Our second day in Traverse City, we wanted to get away from Great Wolf Lodge for a while.  The last time we were in town, we went out to Mission Point Lighthouse.  J and I really enjoyed the drive out Old Mission Peninsula and climbing to the top of the tower at the lighthouse.  We wanted to do something similar this time…in fact, Mission Point was on our to-do list until I came across another lighthouse that wasn’t much further away.

Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum is in Leelanau State Park at the very tip of the Leelanau Peninsula.  It’s about an hour drive up M-22 from where we were staying in Traverse City.  We were really hoping for a fall color tour along the way, but the leaves hadn’t really started changing yet despite the fact it was mid-October.

J and I have a recreation passport on her car, so admission to the park was free.  Our travel companions did not have the passport, but there didn’t seem to be anyone at the entrance to the park to pay.  The day permit for the park should have been $9.  I know they were going to go back and check before we left, but I’m not sure whatever came of it.   Read more…

Hungry As A Wolf – Traverse City

October 17, 2016
  • 3575 US 31
  • Traverse City, MI 49684
  • (231) 941-3600
  • Website
  • Menu

Our first day in Traverse City saw us in the water park at Great Wolf Lodge for almost three hours.  We had planned on finding another brewery, but we were all so tired that we skipped it.  We were meeting friends at the Lodge and they got a late start, so by the time they got there and got in the pool, we were already pushing dinner time.  We didn’t want to drag the kids out of the pool, get them cleaned up and shuffle them off to another brewery.

All of the Great Wolf Lodge properties have a couple of different options when it comes to food.  There’s the Camp Critter Bar & Grill (which we would eat at on night #2), Buckets Incredible Craveables (a concession stand in the water park area) and Hungry as a Wolf…which is what we decided to do for dinner on this night.

Hungry as a Wolf is a pizza place on the first level of Great Wolf Lodge right next to the water park.  It shares a space with Bear Paw Sweets & Eats.   Read more…

Rare Bird Brewpub

October 17, 2016
  • 229 Lake Avenue
  • Traverse City, MI 49684
  • (231) 943-2053
  • Website
  • Menu

Lots of Traverse City area blog posts coming your way over the next week or so.  We took a little mini-vacation to northern Michigan to take the kids to Great Wolf Lodge just outside of Traverse City.  Of course, we need some mommy and daddy activities too, so we hit up a couple of breweries in the Traverse City area and a lighthouse museum…but we’ll get to all of that eventually.

When we arrived in town on Friday afternoon, we were still a few hours from check-in time at the hotel.  We actually left Kalamazoo early so we could find a place to eat lunch before we did some swimming.

I had a list of breweries that I wanted to try to get to, so J asked me to pick.  We were meeting another family up there eventually and one of the breweries on my  list didn’t have a kids menu online.  I’m always a little hesitant when we go to a place without a kids menu, so I wasn’t going to drag someone else there…so that was our first stop since we were dining alone for this meal.

Rare Bird Brewpub took over a 1930’s era warehouse south of Traverse City’s downtown near the Boardman River.  The brewpub is nestled between a couple of other retail shops, but it sits right across the street from a working warehouse.  The narrow street has metered parallel parking of which we were able to find a spot right near the front door.  I have to assume there’s a lot or something nearby that can be used, but we didn’t seek one out and nothing popped out at me as we were driving by.   Read more…

Hopcat – Kalamazoo

October 12, 2016
  • 300 E. Water Street
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49007
  • (269) 210-0075
  • Website
  • Menu

Every time a Hopcat would open, I would tweet at the main Hopcat account begging for one to be opened in Kalamazoo.  They answered almost every time and the message was always the same.  “Stay tuned.”  Well, I don’t have to tweet at them anymore.  Hopcat is open in Kalamazoo.

I threw our weekend schedule off by taking some extra work which kept me away from home all weekend.  L was so confused.  She knows I have Friday and Saturday off and when I dropped her off at school Friday morning, I told her I wouldn’t be there when she got home.  By the time I got home Friday night, she was already in bed.  I crawled in bed and snuggled with her for a few minutes, but she didn’t even notice.  The same thing was going to happen on Saturday.  I had a 12 hour day ahead of me, so daddy/L time was going to be short.

Sunday it was back to the regular job, so again, I didn’t get to spend anytime with the family.  J had asked me on Saturday night if I wanted to get up and try to get to Hopcat before it got busy.  I knew it was going to cut into my sleep, but I said yes.  A lunch out would give me a little bit of time to spend with my family on a busy weekend.

Hopcat opened up this past Saturday at 300 E. Water Street in downtown Kalamazoo.  The building, constructed in the 1920’s, was originally used by Grand Trunk Western Railroad as a freight office.  Over the years, it’s been used for a variety of things including a home for Robinson Guitars.  It was bought by Jon Stryker in 2007, but not much was done with it until Hopcat came in to the picture. Read more…

Chicken Plus

October 10, 2016
  • 930 W. Michigan Avenue
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49006
  • No Known Phone Number
  • No Known Website
  • Menu

I really like chicken wings.  I love the places that just bread and fry wings whole.  No fancy sauces.  Just wings.

We don’t really have many places like that in Kalamazoo.  I’ve found a number in Grand Rapids so I get my fix while I’m at work, but options close to home are nice too.

This past Friday, I was working at WMU.  I had a pretty long lunch break and needed to go somewhere off of our work site to eat.  For a couple of a weeks now, I’ve been passing a food truck on Michigan Avenue and since I had the time, I decided to check it out.

Chicken Plus is parked in the parking lot of Bottoms Up Snacks & Spirits on Michigan Avenue right at that weird intersection with West Lovell between Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo College’s campuses.

The truck is pretty new as I’ve only seen it out there for a couple of weeks.  There’s no information about it online.  No website.  No Facebook page.  No Kalamazoo Gazette article.  It’s one of those rare places that only exist in the physical world (right now anyway).

I parked behind the truck in the Bottoms Up parking lot just before 2:30.  I was the only person at the truck so I told the guy working to give me a minute while I looked over the menu.  The menu is simple, but pretty big for a food truck.  They have an assortment of fried foods including several kinds of fish, wings, chicken strips, and a number of sides.   Read more…

Jaspare’s Pizza & Fine Italian Food – Gull Road

October 9, 2016
  • 5190 Gull Road
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49048
  • (269) 382-2900
  • Website
  • Menu

The last three years, at two different schools, L has had a class field trip to Gull Meadow Farms during apple picking season.  This year, it was L, B, and me out for a Thursday morning adventure with her classmates.  J works in the mornings so she’s never able to go and J’s mom was coming to town that afternoon, so J asked if I would pick up lunch from somewhere on the way home.

The field trip ended just a little before 11:00.  Initially, J had suggested Aubree’s Pizza and that was fine with me until I noticed something on the way out to Richland.  Jaspare’s Pizza on Gull Road had closed….BUT, there was a sign that said they had moved down the road a little ways.  In fact, we had actually passed the new restaurant and not even noticed on our way out of town.

The new location for Jaspare’s Pizza and Fine Italian Food on Gull Road is about a mile west of the old location.  The restaurant is in what used to be the Educational Community Credit Union (now Arbor Financial Credit Union) which itself moved just down the street to a new location of their own.   Read more…