Last weekend I went to weddings on back to back nights. Or at least I tried to. I didn't feel so great after a few hours at the second wedding and went home to take a shower and hug an air conditioner. Last week was so disgustingly hot it ruined everything. I didn't really cook anything because the last thing I wanted was the oven heating the house and I didn't want too much time tending to a 500 degree grill outside in 90 degree heat with 90% humidity. So last week was burgers, cold sandwiches, grilled chicken and pizza.

This week the weather is considerably cooler, but its a 4 day week and Lauren and I have plans for the weekend. So cooking is nearer the end of the list of priorities than usual. We're heading north to Northport, Michigan where my mom's side of the family calls home. We'll be staying in a cottage/house owned by my uncle, a couple of hundred yards (but right next door) from my grandma's house.

During the 2000 census the population of Northport was officially registered as 648. But Wikipedia says that one of those 648 is none other than Iron Chef Mario Batali. Not only that but they list the area where he owns a house and it is really, really nearby. No matter how hard I try I can't get this fantasy out of my head where we run into him (flat tire on the side of the road or something) and become good friends, if only for a long weekend.
Also, you shouldn't infer anything about where we're staying by its proximity to Mario Batali's home. My mom's family has owned those two properties for more than 30 or 40 years, long before people started clearing lakefront property up there and building million dollar summer mansions.

So this weekend in addition to hanging out with Mario Batali and swimming in Lake Michigan, we're also going to have the opportunity to go wine tasting. See all these red dots and balloons? Those are all wineries. We're staying just north of the where this map cuts off.

And just to give you an idea of the scale of this map. That natural triangular loop between Northport, Suttons Bay and Leland takes 20 mins per side to drive. So in an hour's drive time we could hit 6 or 7 wineries no problem. Madonna's family has a winery in that area, I think its the B balloon or in that area on this map.

In addition to all these we're hoping to spend some time at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore as well as some time hunting for Petoskey stones on the beach at Peterson Park (a 5 min drive). Anytime you can be within 5 minutes of Lake Michigan you know you're going to have an awesome weekend.

And if all of that gets boring we can always head to the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City. I really want to a 72 hour nap and wake up to find out that its Friday morning.


Christie and Jeremy said...

Oh how fun! Jeremy and I were just up there this past weekend. There are definitely some beautiful homes up there. Hope you run into Chef Mario!!

Rach said...

Shut up. Shut up right NOW! I got your text & the suspense was killing me all day. I am so jealous. Dude, if you fricking meet Mario absolutely must be one of THOSE people & demand a picture & tell him that your friend Rachel will covet your meet & greet for the rest of your life. This sounds like a super fun trip. I have never been wine tasting or even to a winery. Our friends just came home from that general area & did a bunch of winery hopping....they had a blast. The cherry festival is cool. I brought the German girls there....and it seemed that every other guy had his narples pierced....very strange. Hope you guys have fun...and I think the weather won't be so miserably hot too! Can I write a longer comment?

Anonymous said...

Saw Mario in Northport August 8th listening to the New Orleans Jazz band in the park. Didn't even know he was going to be there. We were there on our boat, making dinner with 4 other couples and whammy, orange crocs and all there he was right in front of us enjoying a picnic dinner with his own family and friends, I presume. No one bothered him, he was totally left to just be with his people.