Monday, June 30, 2008

What a gorgeous weekend!

It was a great weekend and my family came down to the waterfront a few times, we played bocce ball on the green here and had so much fun! It is a great place to play, to fly kites, or just hang out on a blanket with a picnic lunch. If you don't want to go the blanket route, there is a picnic pavilion with tables just to the right near where the river flows into the bay. Come check out the best picnic spot in Michigan!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

This one seemed appropriate for Sunday..

This is in a beautiful little park downtown near where the river meets the waterfront. It's very green, quiet, and peaceful. The pole has 4 different languages on it, all saying, "May Peace Prevail On Earth". A very lovely sentiment.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Bear-ly There!

The Bear River goes right through the middle of town. There are only 4 bridges that cross the river, so if you want to get from one side to the other, you have to go on one of those 4 streets. The top of this bridge is one of the main highways in Northern Michigan and there is a lot of traffic on it every day. But few ever see the beauty beneath the bridge. There is a lovely hiking path that goes along the river for about 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile through town. When you're on the path, you would never know you're in the middle of a city; it is quiet except for the water rushing by and the birds chirping in the trees. Such a lovely summer hike! You should try it sometime!

Friday, June 27, 2008

What a storm!

We had a doozy of a storm tonight! It was a gorgeously sunny day, temperatures in the mid 80's and so nice. Then, the clouds came, the wind started whipping around, and the rain pelted! It was all over in a few minutes, but it was intense while it lasted!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

This one is at least worth 3/4 of a million!

I do love sunsets here on the bay and if you missed an earlier sunset post, Petoskey is known as the land of the million dollar sunsets. This one is really good, at least 3/4 of a million! The nights can get cool here, even in the middle of summer; it is a good idea to bring a jacket even if it's over 80 in the afternoon. Like today--it was 83 this afternoon and now it's 62 since the sun went down! Lovely Northern Michigan!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

We've arrived into the 20th century!!

We have our first Starbucks in town. I don't know if this is a good step forward or not, that remains to be seen. It is inside a newly remodeled grocery store on the other end of town, which is VERY nice, I must say. I visited there today because I needed cheese and fruit and they have the best until the farm market produce is ready. They had samples of fruits and cheese, even my favorite, Brie! I don't think I've enjoyed going to the store so much for quite some time!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Local Potter: Stanley Kellogg

One of Petoskey's local heroes is Stanley Kellogg. He was a sculpted pottery artist who had studied at the Chicago School of Sculpture and the Cranbrook Academy of Art. He moved to Petoskey and opened a studio in 1948. His pottery was done with a sculptor's eye, making the most of bold angles and shapes. Students came from as far away as Finland to study with him. The studio closed in 1976, but his pottery is still beautiful and functional. His widow actually lived in the house that my parents currently own and they found a few pieces on the property when they bought it. The pieces are lovely colors of blue and green and are very elegant in their form. He made a lot of everyday pottery with unique shapes and finishes and his sculptures are amazing in their detail.

Here is a site with more pictures of his art and the area in that time:

Monday, June 23, 2008


Here is a proposed $50 million building project for downtown. A hotel, more than 160 condominium units, 25,000 square feet of retail space and a parking garage are all planned parts of the project that has been going on since early 2005. But the project has lost its early financing, and bills and taxes are piling up. The developers are still hoping to go ahead with the project, and are searching for other investors. It would be nice to have it completed, but not having a hole over most of a city block would be really nice! Hopefully things will be on track again soon.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Dinner on the Porch!

I went to dinner at Roast & Toast the other night and had my favorite thing--a Lake Street salad. Roast & Toast is located on Lake Street, one of the main shopping streets downtown. The salad is romaine lettuce with mozzarella, dried cherries, chicken, and a cherry-lemon vinaigrette (with a sourdough bread crust on the side). It was yummy! It was finally nice enough to eat out on their back porch which has a view of the bay as well. Such a nice relaxing dinner--by myself, no less!! I had a lovely time eating and reading a book.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Sun Also Rises, but not tonight!

Here in Petoskey, the sun sets right over Little Traverse Bay and because of that, this area is known as "The Land of the Million Dollar Sunsets". I think this one comes close! It was a beautiful night and a great sunset. I had just gone on the Downtown Petoskey Gallery Walk featuring 13 galleries downtown and we were all gathered in the courtyard at the Perry Hotel (shown in an earlier post) as the sun went down. Of course, the farther the sun set, the cooler it got, but thankfully, I had a sweater on! The Gallery Walk was very nice and I had a great time visiting some of the galleries that I don't usually venture into. The galleries all donate a prize as well, so after the walk, everyone meets and listens for their ticket number so they can take an amazing piece of artwork home. Unfortunately, I didn't win anything this year, but there is always next year!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Mosaic Masterpieces

I'd like you all to meet Mr. Ed Lantzer. He is an amazing artist in mosaic. He uses 1/2 inch pieces of wood like these in the bowl on the right to create amazing scenes that are larger than life. He has a show in Downtown Petoskey right now until July 7th. He makes tabletops, chessboards, and these panels that depict the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection of Christ. The Last Supper panels alone are over 20 feet long and 7 feet high! The artist is 76 years old and is now working on the Baptism of Christ, having waited until he found the perfect wood with a blue shade for the water. Read more about this amazing artist and his work at:

But if you have a chance, you really need to see these in person on Mitchell Street in Downtown Petoskey.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Petoskey Stones

Petoskey stones are the Michigan State Stone. They are actually fossilized coral from the bay that wash up every spring and spark many stone hunters to comb the beaches here. They are beautiful when polished but can be difficult to see if they are not wet. This is an example of a Petoskey stone that has been cut and shaped like a turtle--if you click on the picture you can see the detail of the stone much better. Jewelry made with Petoskey stones is popular here, although it can be quite expensive as the stones can be hard to find. It's fun having the stones locally and is just one more unique thing about Petoskey!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

It's Raining, It's Pouring...

..the old man is snoring. I'm sure you've heard that rhyme many times before, but it is especially apt this week when we've had so much rain! I can't remember the last whole day without rain, but it has been awhile! It has also been about 10 degrees cooler than normal for this time of year. My flowers and grass are loving it, but I'm really ready for warm temperatures and sunshine, lots of sunshine!!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day!

Today is Father's Day and this is where my husband wanted to come, American Spoon Foods Gelato Cafe. Spoon Foods is a local industry that makes and ships awesome jams, jellies, and condiments from locally grown or wild produce. They have won multiple awards for so many products and at each store they have a tasting room--Yum! Here in Petoskey there is also a cafe where they use their products in the menu offerings. They also make gelato and sorbetto in the Italian style. I've heard it described as the taste of a whole bowl of ice cream condensed into a teaspoon. Each flavor is intense and so good! My faves include combinations such as burnt caramel and chocolate, lime and marionberry, and pineapple and blood orange. It is one of our favorite treat spots downtown and conveniently has a park right outside where our kids love to play hide and seek. Not that there is anything to hide behind besides a few large trees, but they have fun anyway.

Check out American Spoon Foods website at: I highly recommend any of their products!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Today is Flag Day.

Yes, in the United States, today is Flag Day. In Pennsylvania Park in Downtown Petoskey, there is a US flag near the war memorial.

Hemingway Country

The Petoskey area was home to Ernest Hemingway during the summers and other periods of his young life. His family had a cottage on Walloon Lake and there is a restaurant/bar downtown that he used to frequent, called the Pink Pony back then, now known as the City Park Grill. Up here, his father taught him survival skills such as fishing, hunting, and setting up a camp. His book, In Our Time, has a story about the effects of war on a young man who was taking a long fishing trip in Northern Michigan called "Big Two Hearted River". Hemingway is not one of my favorite authors, but it is interesting to know what he thought about this area from his writing.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

It's Lilac Time!

Here in Northern Michigan, it seems that we know where we are in the year by when things are blooming. Months and seasons really don't make sense because the weather often will not correlate to the calendar. So, we mark seasons of change by what is blooming at the moment. And now, it is lilac time. They are so beautiful and fragrant, I wish everyone had smell-a-puters. Lilacs thrive in this climate and we have hundreds in town. Nearby Mackinac Island will hold its annual Lilac Festival in about 2 or 3 weeks and celebrate everything lilac. Join us sometime to celebrate this lovely flower!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Lovely Piece of History

The Perry Hotel is a lovely piece of Petoskey history. It is a historic hotel that overlooks Little Traverse Bay and is beautifully preserved inside and out. There are 3 restaurants here at the Perry, one a pub in the basement with live music on the weekends, another a very nice main floor restaurant that overlooks the bay, and the third is seasonal, an outdoor cafe that overlooks the bay and is set in a lovely garden. The owner, (whom we met at another of his properties in the area when he took care of our hot chocolate cups for us), is very nice and insists that things be taken care of well. I always appreciate a trip to the Perry for dinner! The hotel has been here for over 100 years and has had its ups and downs, but it is a landmark on the bay, and we're glad it's part of Petoskey.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Quill boxes!

There is a large Native American community in the Petoskey area and they have some amazing artwork techniques that have been handed down through the generations. One of these techniques is quill work. It is just as the name says, they use porcupine quills to make designs on birchbark boxes (as well as other materials) and do amazingly intricate work with them! The picture on the right has a small bowl with quills and there are several examples of boxes in the pictures. Some of them are dyed to make a certain color and sometimes only a portion of the quill is used to make a dark or light area of the design. How much patience would you have to have to finish even one of these lovely boxes?!! They are truly works of art.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Just thinking of the past...

Petoskey has quite the Victorian heritage. I can just imagine dapper young men of the day riding a bike like this along the streets of town. Actually, it looks as if this bicycle would be quite difficult to ride. It is so tall that my 6 year old can barely reach the handlebars from the ground--the wheel must be over 40" in diameter!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

My favorite time of the year!

The peonies are starting to bloom! They are my absolute favorite flowers on the planet and I look forward every year to their short blooming season. For the next month or so, my house will smell great! I love to put them in my kitchen, that I've painted pink and raspberry to match the colors of peonies. Such a wonderful time of the year!

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Library Staircase

The staircase in the library is such an interesting place to me. I've never lived where the library had more than one floor before, so this is really cool to me! If you couldn't guess, we spend quite a bit of time at the library, and it is nice to have plenty of room to move around and read. In fact, my daughter can't wait to get her driver's license because the first place she wants to drive by herself is the library!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Leaping Stag

Another of the town's everyday art series. This one is in front of the hospital right now and changes places with the butterfly (from the post a few days ago) every once in a while. It is cast in bronze, I believe, and done by a local artist. It is very detailed, and quite awe inspiring. The whole sculpture and base is about 12 feet tall!

I went to the hospital last night and visited a friend who is sick. My hopes and prayers are with him and his family for a quick and safe recovery!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Take a break...

A small bench amid the trees and flowers, the perfect place to take a break. This is actually right across the street from the marina and right next to the history museum. Our local bike and walking path goes right around this tiny garden and it can be a challenge to maneuver around it, just ask my son! (He had a small run-in with the curb last year, but he rode on again bravely.) Take time to sit and relax today!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

What is Normal?

I love this building downtown, with the Normal Business College still on the building from sometime in the late 1800's or early 1900's. I don't know much about the college, just that it was a "Graves school". I'll have to find out more just to satisfy my curiosity. I just love that they have preserved the history of this building.

Monday, June 2, 2008

A Visit to the Wall

The Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall came to Petoskey this last week and the kids and I went to see it. It was a solemn place, but it was very interesting to see what people had left at the memorial--many flowers, flags, and a few other personal momentos as well. Most poignant was an old battered purple hat, obviously loved and worn by someone special.

I don't personally know anyone whose name is on the wall, but my father was in Vietnam when I was born, and he was able to come back when I was 3 months old. The name of a hometown buddy of his is on the wall. He and his friend had joined the army on the same day from their very small town of 600 people. In the same month that my father came home safe, his friend was killed in Vietnam.

I saw the wall in Washington, DC a few years ago and was moved to be very thankful for those men and women who give their time, their energy, and sometimes their lives to make sure that we can continue to live our lives freely. Not just those who were in Vietnam, but those who were in any war. If this is you, Thank you so much.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Theme Day June 2008: My Local Corner Shop

I chose my favorite coffee shop in Petoskey today! Roast and Toast is awesome! This is just a little peek inside of this fabulous place. On the right, they have all their in-house roasted coffees for sale--I like Costa Rican and Sumatran. If you visit, stop in and have a cup and you'll see what I mean when I say it's the best coffee in the North!