Traverse City limits (part 1)

We interrupt the deafening silence on this website with an update…

Travel again! Virginia and I recently ventured up to Traverse City, MI, to visit old friends who moved there a couple of years ago. Neither of us had ever been there, though we’d heard good things about the area and even have access to a resort nearby.


We typically don’t make trips like this, so it was refreshing in a way. First, we rarely drive to a distant location. If we go someplace, it’s via the airport. But we rented a sensible car with good gas mileage and made the five-hour drive from Chicago, listening to newly released music and old episodes of Cabin Pressure along the way. We determined to get there as quickly as possible, so no stops except for gas and coffee.

We arrived at our hotel around 10pm, checked in, and without visiting the room went back out to find food. It was restaurant week in Traverse City, so we had high hopes that were dashed quickly. Instead, we went for solid pub fare at Bubba’s, where a burger and a drink perfectly fit our mental state.


We woke up the next morning to the sun shining on the bay. We didn’t linger inside for long, opting to pull on our coats and get outside for breakfast. We turned right from the hotel, which put us on Front Street, the heart of Traverse City’s downtown and one of its historic districts.

Coffee, books, coffee, books…

We had a light breakfast at Morsels, which also provided a touch of home by serving Intelligentsia coffee. From there, we wandered into Horizon Books, one of two bookstores in the district. After a few minutes checking out the upper floor, we made our way to the sale book section/cafe/piano bar, complete with someone randomly sitting down to play while we browsed. It was almost too charming, but the artlessness of it kept it from becoming quaint.

We continued along and wandered in and out of shops before heading south and east to what we thought was a coffee shop. It turned out to be more of a bistro serving brunch, so why not? We shared frittered croissants and a ham, cheese, and Béchamel omelet, making sure we were full for quite a while. (Not that that was our plan, mind you. It just ended well.)

The second unusual thing about this trip was that we were there specifically to see friends. So after lunch, we walked up to our friend Sarah’s new shop, Sweet Tartlette, to say hello and pick up some of her amazing chocolates, luna cakes, and nougat. We agreed on when to meet up later with her and her spouse Aaron. We’ve all known each other for about a dozen years, and we’re all foodies together. So we planned accordingly.

After dropping off our goodies and going back out for another round of books and coffee, we walked to Aaron and Sarah’s house to meet up for the evening. We got a tour of their home (always a favorite activity of ours) and hung out for a while with the family before heading out. First stop: Left Foot Charley for cider/wine and nibbles. From there, we drove over to a late dinner at Red Ginger on Front Street. Going to both places reminds me of Barcelona, where it’s common to start with tapas at one location before going to dinner someplace else. The key difference this time was the familiarity we had with our companions. After dinner, they dropped us off at our hotel and we set the plan to meet at their place in the morning.

1 Comment

  1. Sounds like you had a great time there! I thought that there wouldn’t be much to do there but I’m glad that I was wrong! yeah!


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