The Motor Vessel "Once Around"

The Motor Vessel "Once Around"
The Motor Vessel "Once Around" in the Florida Keys

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Little Traverse Bay Area

We arrived at Bay Harbor Lakes Marina on Thursday.  It truly is a beautiful place with all the amenities, four restaurants, health club, pool, shopping and a great staff of young folks on the dock who cannot do enough for you.  We could stay a month!  Jolly Tolly, however, could only stay one night as they have one of those “schedule” things involving work they need done on the boat further down the coast, and a trip home to Georgia.  We hated to see them go, but will undoubtedly see them in or around Chicago or on the rivers in a few weeks.  Likewise, Something Special only stayed here one night, opting to go across Little Traverse Bay to the town of Harbor Springs for a night or two.
A sample of the surrounding homes
and boats
Moonstruck and Once Around were concerned with getting slips over there, so we rented a car here and drove around to Harbor Springs on Friday for lunch and an afternoon of shopping.  Harbor Springs is an upscale town with lots of great shops and sites to see.  While we were gone, our boat was pampered with a professional wash.  She looked great when we returned.
Friday evening we took the car down the other direction, to the east end of Lake Charlevoix.  Nestled there is a little town called, Boyne City.  What a pleasure that was.  We put our name in at the Café Sante on a tip from a local boater in our marina.  The wait we were told would be 45 to 90 minutes, which did not bother us a bit.  Friday nights, Boyne City has “Music in the Streets” from 5 to 9 PM.  There was entertainment of all kinds on every street corner, and all the shops were open for business, and thriving!  We were told that they started this after the economy took its’ dump a few years ago.  It was cool to see a small town flourishing for a change.  Michigan has been hit hard by this “recession” we have been in.  Boyne City seems to have figured out how to make the best of it.
One of the street bands

and on the opposite side of the street...

These folks were enjoying themselves...
Seems others in the state have noticed...
Dinner at the Café Sante was delightful.  They call their fare “Belgian”.  I have the theory that is probably their way of disguising what you might usually see branded as “French” cooking.  Between the four of us we tried the escargot, sautéed scallops, French onion soup, Beef Bourguignon, stuffed pork loin…well, you get the picture, great location, great food, and a cool little live trio playing in the dining room throughout dinner.  This was an evening we and Moonstruck will remember.
Saturday, it rained cats and dogs.  We got tired of waiting for the weather to break and finally headed (again by car) to the town of Charlevoix.  It is a “must see” stop on the Loop.  However, we could not get boat slips there this weekend, and may have to pass it by when the weather breaks to make some headway down the Michigan coastline. 
Charlevoix was a fun town to visit, but they had an art fair (in tents due to the rain) and the place was packed.  We strolled around for a few hours, enjoyed a great burger for lunch, and took “the long way” back to Bay Harbor Lakes.  It is only some 15 miles…normally, but we made a 60 mile trip out of it touring the countryside.
The next few weather/travel days look like an OK day, followed by a good day, followed by a great day.  If that forecast holds, Once Around and Moonstruck will be heading south along the Michigan coastline.  We are toying with the idea of crossing the lake to the Wisconsin side if we get a weather window that works for us in a week or so.
planning and checking weather reports
Tonight we are having a light dinner on the boat as we make our preparations to depart in the morning.

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