I decided a couple months ago that I was going to do more this summer.  It doesn’t have to be expensive to travel – I figured there are lots of places I could go on one tank of gas.  My car when full of gas can go 412 miles – that’s a long way in any direction.

My cousin Patty and I talked about getting together TWO YEARS ago at her nephews graduation party.  I know if you don’t make plans, they just don’t happen.  That is my Aunt and my four cousins.  Sadly my Aunt passed away last December.  Patty is on the right.

She’s ten years older than me, and I know growing up, when we did visit my Aunt and Uncle before my uncle died, I think she was in college.  But I was an avid letter writer back in the day and I remember when she got married and moved to California I wrote her lots of letters.  

I left mid-morning on Friday for the 368 mile drive.  The weather was perfect and there was really no traffic to speak of – just a couple lane closure delays once I got on I-137 (I think) but they only lasted a few minutes.  After I got to her house, we hung out on her deck for a bit, and then we headed into town for dinner.

This area in Traverse City is so cool – I think its called the Grand Traverse Commons.  It’s a string of giant buildings that used to be an asylum which was first built in the late 1800s.  It officially closed in 1989, and after many years of neglect, it’s becoming a mixed use property which includes shops, restaurants, condos, and even senior citizen living.  The buildings are also said to be haunted!

Downtown Traverse City is so cute.  I arrived one weekend before the true tourist season begins, which is Memorial Day through Labor Day.


I was getting hungry.  I ate an egg white McMuffin for breakfast on the road, and just had fruit and nuts to snack on.  We stopped at North Peak because Patty said they had good burgers.  Sold!

We had such a nice time catching up with each other, and me getting to know her better.  She reads my blog so she knows all about me.  We had an interesting conversation about our Grandma, and I heard things I never knew.  So fascinating!   Neither of us have very fond memories of her – she was a bit . . .strange.  I may write a post about it someday, but today is not the day.

I got the mushroom swiss burger with sweet potato fries – so good!  Come to find out Patty is a cheeseburger aficionado like me.  

We parked a ways away from the downtown area, so I was happy I got 12,000 steps even with the long drive on Friday.

Saturday morning was cold and rainy.  We drank coffee and fixed breakfast before we headed out.  Her property is beautiful – such pretty views!

Eggs, bacon, oranges and toasted asiago cheese bread – delish!  And she brought out hot sauce – she knows I love spicy shit!

Um, turns out Patty loves garage saling and thrifting as much as I do.  We spent the morning going around town to different sales.  We scored and she got a Weber kettle grill for $10!  We also found a charcoal chimney at another one for $2 – we planned to grill steaks Saturday night.

My biggest score was this Emile Henry pie dish for $4 – which retails for $45!

I also bought this Hannah cup at a garage sale, Hannah used to have the exact same one when she was little.

After that we headed to the farmers market in the rain.  

I bought carrots, cheese, pastries and honey.   

Check out this carrot!

I bought three kinds of cheese.  We got to the car and thanks to square, I got a text from the cheese lady – I forgot my cheese!  We were talking and I had other bags, and somehow paid for it and left it.  We circled back and I got my cheese.  Whew!  Except I left it in the fridge – so I hope my cousin enjoys it. šŸ˜€  This one was interesting with the rosemary.

I am asking any of my gardening peeps if they know what kind of bulb this is – my cousin is an avid gardener, but these just popped up out of nowhere.  The bulbs are very shallow under the dirt – any clue??

I’ll leave you here and will pick up tomorrow with pics from Asparagus Fest! 

Stay tuned for Part 2. 

Happy Monday friends – how was your weekend?  Make it a great day!