Day 63: Flower Garden, Bug Zoo, Wine

Today was our last full day here in Michigan as we head home tomorrow to begin that dreaded countdown to reality.

Initially, our plan was to visit nearby Sleeping Bear Dunes before the heat of the day took over but the clouds gathering outside and the approaching severe thunderstorm warning suggested we consider a back-up plan.

Knowing we had about thirty minutes before the rain was to start, we drove about a mile up the road to a "self-service flower garden" where the kids picked from dozens of beautiful flowers to create their own bouquet.


. . .

For lunch, we thought we'd check out the Old Mission Tavern which we'd driven by a few times throughout the week. Expecting simple bar food, we were surprised to find that the Tavern was a little more upscale than its name implies.

The food and service were both fantastic but the clientele wasn't exactly tavern-esque. While there was the table of a dozen or so women and girls who I'm guessing have experienced opinions on things like pearl necklaces and sailboats, let's not forget the other tables of retirees dressed a little nicer than I was in my flip-flops and baseball cap. I felt like I was eating lunch in the dining area at the Dirty Dancing resort. The only thing missing was a waiter named Robbie offering us a copy of The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.

[How's that for a deep Dirty Dancing reference?]

. . .

With the rain still falling (but winding down), we headed to Williamsburg, Michigan's G.T. Butterfly House & Bug Zoo. Our kids love nature and we knew this would be a big hit with them.

And we were right.

We started by walking among an impressive number of butterflies and moths as the kids pointed out their favorites.

Then we headed inside for the bug zoo where the giant roaches made the hair on my arms stand up and the tarantulas made Amy find something else to look at on the other side of the room.


Charlotte was braver than we were as she got an up close and personal look at the tarantula.

. . .

With the sun out by late afternoon, it was time for the kids to indulge us in some grown-up fun at another winery. This time Amy chose the Bowers Harbor Vineyard.

A glass of wine for mom and dad. Raspberry juice for the kiddos.

[Note to self: I think Amy could have done this all week. Wine tour. Good idea for future anniversary or birthday.]

. . .

Leaving the winery, we drove past a roadside fruit stand where something immediately caught my eye.

Look closely. You'll see it.

Yeah. There it is.

. . .

We wanted to give the kids one more shot at the beach before we headed home so before dinner we headed back to the Mission Point Lighthouse. The beach below the lighthouse is more of a "look at the water" type place than it is a "play in the sand" sort. Still...there was sand, rocks, and water.

That's all we needed.

Thumbs up. Thumbs sideways. Not sure what Mason's got going here.

We're hitting the road early in the morning. But let's not think about that right now.

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