Family · Travel · Weekends

The Great Upper Peninsula of Michigan [Part Two]

It’s been a week since our time in the U.P. (that’s “Upper Peninsula”), and the sparkling clarity of the air and waters of the northern towns of this state has slowly become nothing more than a distant memory.  So it’s about time I get back to putting pen of paper (fingers on keyboard?) and recollect the two days spent in the small town of Bellaire, MI and the Shanty Creek Resort.

Shanty Creek Resort (Bellaire, MI)

In all honesty folks, by the time the husband first began talking about this year’s ACP conference (several months before the actual conference), I was already so stressed out from work, I would have been happy simply hiding out in some motel on the outskirts of town.  I was THAT desperate to get away.  So when he said the words “Shanty Creek Resort,”  all I heard was, “Shanty Creek RESORT“…as in getting away…relaxing…an actual VACATION!

I was already planning out what to pack…
about three months prior.  Sad, I know.

But once we got there, we realized that (other than the four golf courses around the resort), there wasn’t much to DO.  If this had been an actual vacation and not a tag-along trip to a medical conference, I would have been pretty upset at the choice.  My husband (and his brother, who also came into town for the trip) wouldn’t have minded so much…they could just golf all day.

And while I can play, golf is not my idea of a fun vacation.

Despite the lack of the usual list of activities we city folks would be used to finding on vacation, there was no doubt that no big, attraction filled city in the world could have provided us with the gorgeousness of the scenery around the resort.

The Legend Golf Course – this is where I played possibly the worst round of golf ever.  The course itself was awesome…and I simply loved taking photos of the surrounding scenery.  But my performance was so dismal, I gave up after the 14th hole.  The round was a lot more fun once I gave up playing…because I could focus on enjoying my surroundings instead of hitting that blasted ball down the fairway, onto the green, and into that little cup in the ground.

You can tell the husband is in golf heaven.
Brother-in-law can’t complain either.
It was scenery like this that made the golfing bearable.
Despite their cool demeanor, they were absolutely ecstatic.

But luckily for me, the entire weekend wasn’t all about golfing.  My hubby and BIL did go out of their way to find things that I could possibly enjoy.  So we ended up exploring a couple of the surrounding towns.

The first was exploring the town of Alden, MI.  There were some store names listed on the brochure that interested me, so I asked to stop there first.  The “shopping” (if you can even call it that) was a major disappointment – there was only one boutique we went into that had a relatively interesting collection.  But nothing I would buy for the prices they charged.

However, the one thing that Alden did have that took my breath away was this…

Welcome to Torch Lake!
This was by far one of the most beautiful and peaceful sights I have ever experienced in my life.  It was a relatively small area where locals could dock their small boats.  But the size didn’t take away from the spectacular views of the absolutely clear lake and amazing blue skies.
Just LOOK at that water!  SO CLEAR!!
I took this on my iPhone…no filters…but STILL postcard perfect!
…and just to prove we were physically present…
…our obligatory Asian tourist photos…
Of course, despite the fact I could have sat out by that lake all day and just sit and take in the tranquility and beauty of that lake, there were other places to see (plus my vacationing buddies were getting bored).
The following day, we decided to try downtown Bellaire to see what we could see.  We had already decided to eat lunch here…

Welcome to Shorts Brewing Company!!

BIL & Mr. Owl
When one visits a brewery, one must partake of their signature wares…
(well, not me…I don’t like beer…BLECH!!)
2 x 5 Beer Sampler = 10 Unique Brews
…and yes, real food was consumed…
I liked the peanut butter and jelly dip best of all!
After lunch, we walked around Bellaire…and apparently ran into some sort of festival.
Can you guess what the theme was?
…one of these things is not like the others…

After lunch, we headed back to the resort to cheer on the MSU Team in the Doctor’s Dilemma (the hubby, being the team alternate, was filling in for one of the members who could not attend).  No photos of the event because, sadly, they lost.  But that was okay…they had a great run during Double Jeopardy and held their own.  And it wasn’t all bad that they lost…at least we got to leave right after the round was over so we could get back to East Lansing at a reasonable time.

So overall, I give our “U.P. Excursion” 4.5 of 5 stars.  Sure, there wasn’t much to do (that I actually enjoy doing on any given vacation).  But the amazing weather, the beautiful scenery, and the small town vibe really was good for the soul.  I honestly would not mind living in the U.P. (maybe when we retire…I think I would get bored if I tried to live there before retirement age).

I HIGHLY recommend that everyone visit the 
Upper Peninsula of Michigan at least once in their lifetime. 

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