November is here

November is here and that means it is time to start thinking about the approaching holidays. There always seems to be art & craft fairs at nearly every school and church during this time of year. Visiting these art & craft fairs is a great way to find unique gifts and support crafty people from all over Michigan. I have found a website that has a listing of all the craft fairs around the state. Check it out: Michigan Craft Fairs

As the cold settles in…

The days seem to be getting a bit cooler each day. It is blustery and chilly – not quite in need of a parka yet, but soon. As we creep closer to winter, what do you do to pass the winter months – snowmobile, ice fishing, hunting, skiing?? Do you embrace the cold and snow or do you reach for a blanket and wait for spring?

September 11

Tomorrow, all of us will be remembering the morning of September 11, 2001. You’ll remember where you were, what you were doing, who you called that day, and most of all – you’ll remember the way you felt that fateful day.

September 11 is a day that will forever be burned into our memories – it is a day of mourning and remembrance, but it is also a day of celebration. Celebrate the memories of the people that were lost, and celebrate the resilience of the American Spirit.

Visiting State Parks

Summer is not over yet, but now is the time to think about campground and harbor reservations for next year. The Michigan DNR allows reservations 6 months in advance for campgrounds and harbors. The campgrounds that are on or near one of the Great Lakes fill up extremely fast.

As an avid camper, I love visiting our State Parks. I am currently planning next year’s camping dates and locations. I know that at the 6 month mark – I need to be ready and waiting at the computer to make my reservations or I will not be getting into the park I wish to visit.

Here is a list of the parks I have visited:

Tawas Point State Park
Tahquamenon State Park
Lakeport State Park
Hoffmaster State Park
Sleeper State Park
Van Buren State Park
Newaygo State Park
Holly Recreation Area
Bay City State Recreation Area
Brighton Recreation Area
Straits State Park

They are all great parks, but my two favorites are Tawas Point State Park and Lakeport State Park.

Tell me, where you have camped and what are your favorite parks.

The Michigan AuSable Valley Railroad

I recently visited Fairview and stumbled upon this hidden gem – The Michigan AuSable Valley Railroad. This amazingly beautiful train ride sits on 40 acres of Jack pine forest and overlooks the Comins Creek Valley.

I had the pleasure of speaking to the owners, Howard and Joanne Schrader about the property. The idea of this railroad came from Howard’s love of trains and ground was broken in 1994 with the construction of the engine house. Over the next 5 years the Schraders built two wooden trestles (one is over 220 feet long), a tunnel (115 feet long), the depot and gift shop, and many more buildings to make this a complete experience for the rider.

There is a 1/4 scale steam locomotive as well as two F-7 diesel hydraulic locomotives. There are 7 passenger coaches each with a unique name.

The Michigan AuSable Valley Railroad is open on Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays from Memorial Day Weekend thru Labor Day Weekend. The steam locomotive runs on select Sundays and Holidays – you can call ahead for the steam schedule.

For more information and directions, please visit: www.michiganausablevalleyrailroad.com

Stop by for a great ride and have some popcorn too!

Woodward Dream Cruise

Each year the Woodward Dream Cruise draws a large crowd of car enthusiasts from all over the country. Over one million people will soon begin pouring into the Metro Detroit area to participate in the Dream Cruise. Some will bring their cars to drive and show off – others will bring chairs to sit and admire all the cars as they creep up and down Woodward. This is the one time a year that people happily insert themselves into a gigantic traffic jam – and love every second of it!

This year the Woodward Dream Cruise is on August 20, 2011. The Cruise runs from 9am to 9pm.
For for information on the Woodward Dream Cruise, please visit:
www.woodwarddreamcruise.com

Royal Oak Outdoor Art Fair

If you are in the Royal Oak area this weekend, you should check out the 40th Annual Outdoor Art Fair. The art fair will be held at Memorial Park (Corner of Woodward Avenue & 13 Mile Road) on Saturday, July 9, 10am – 6:00pm & Sunday, July 10, 10am – 5:00pm.

One hundred artists will be displaying an exciting variety of art which include ceramics, painting/prints, fiber arts, jewelry, photography, sculpture, wood, glass, leather, and mixed media.

Tell us…How many of the Great Lakes have you visited?

The Great Lakes are great – whether your toes are in the icy waters of Lake Superior or on the warm sandy beaches on Lake Michigan – they are all unique and beautiful. Take our poll to see which lake is the most visited by the Michigan Is Amazing fans.

Fourth of July Celebrations

It is that time again – time for fireworks to be lighting the night sky in celebration of our Country’s Independence.  There isn’t much better than sitting outside on a nice night watching the beautiful explosions light up the sky.

Here is a website address that lists all known fireworks celebrations: michiganfireworks.com

You can search by City, Date, or County.