I had a great night’s sleep. The bed was soft, the temperature was perfect, and there were no snoring beagles taking up the whole bed.
I had an Aha moment that is probably really should be called a Duh moment, but if I am going to write a travel blog, I should probably add links just in case a reader wants to visit. So to start off, the cottage we stay at is owned by Jamie and she rents it out. It is called the Blue Door Cottage and it is Sawyer, Michigan. It is next door to Warren Dunes State Park. The cottage permits some dogs and Warren Dunes Beach has a section of beach that allows dogs.
Don’t tell Freckles and Lester. They will be upset I left them at home.
Our plan for the day was to go to breakfast and then head to Saugatuck to meet Betzie. We go there a lot, but we have favorite shops and there are always new ones to check out.
Out breakfast stop was The Early Bird Eatery in Bridgman. We got there at the perfect time, so we were seated right when we came in. Jaime is usually all about the savory and I have a terrible sweet tooth, but we switched things up and I ordered the chorizo omelette and she got the coffee cake pancakes. I inadvertently entertained her when I added a little salt to my coffee. Hear me out. I usually drink my coffee black and if it’s extra bitter, a sprinkle of salt will smooth it out with out making it taste salty. Try it before you laugh.
My omelette was good, but it had one problem. I skimmed a bit when we were talking and it did not really register that it said it had sweet potato puree. I just saw sweet potato and in my mind it registered that they would bee like the cubed and fried crispy version that I chose as my side. When I took my first bite, I thought I thought the egg inside was raw. That is not a good first impression. I figured out what the deal was quickly, but the baby food texture of it was not my jam, so I ate around or scraped most of it out.
Jaime’s coffee cake pancakes were amazing. They had a toffee syrup, with a little icing, and coffee cake crumbles on top. It sounds like it would be too rich, but the syrup was not overly sweet.
It looked like we would arrive in Saugatuck around a half hour before we were supposed to meet Betzie at a newer restaurant we had not been at called the BARge. Subtle, I know. It is a waterfront bar and restaurant that is part of a hotel.
Unlike the Early Bird, we did not arrive at the perfect time in Saugatuck. We could not find parking and we ended up using our 30 minute cushion to find a parking space. Then we knew the BARge was on the waterfront, but we did not know where so when we walked from our car to the waterfront, we picked the wrong direction to go in and we ended up on the wrong end even though we were parked only about 3 blocks away. Saugatuck is one of those weird internet black holes. Your phone will show you have a good signal, but all apps take forever to load which is why we did not check before starting to walk. Oh well, it was a beautiful day for a walk along the waterfront.
The BARge was not particularly well marked, but we found it and got a table in the shade and on the water. We somehow got there before Betzie. I ordered a peach margarita which had peach puree in it, but this was a drink, so liquified fruit made sense. Most of the food had seafood and I am just not a seafood person. It is not a taste I developed living surrounded by corn and soybean fields. We had not had breakfast too long ago, so I was not super hungry. I knew Jaime and Betzie wanted to get the crab cake hushpuppies for an appetizer, but they felt guilty about leaving me out so I told them I wold try one if they ordered it. Who knows, maybe I would surmise myself.
I was not surprised. It was gross, but it got rave reviews for you seafood lovers from the seafood lovers.
For my lunch, I decided to do a theme and go with another Korean fusion type dish. Last night if was Korean beef sandwich, today it was Korean Pork Tacos. They were good, but too sweet. I like my Korean BBQ on the saltier side. Greenbush‘s Korean Beef Sandwich won this round, but the BARge’s peach margarita won over the water I had at Greenbush.
We talked until we were no longer in the shade, then we headed out to do a little shopping and checking out the new tasting rooms that had been added. Betzie had tweaked her knee a bit a few days before, so tasting rooms were a great way to rest it. See what good friends we are taking care of her mobility needs…
I am not a beer drinker, so the first stop was a tasting room for me. It was a new one called Crane’s and it was all about the cider and wines, both of which I find delightful. They also do pies, but we were on a different mission. They had 4 tasting for $5, but we stretched our dollars by sharing anything we tried that the others did not mark. Then the two bartenders had a good natured “fight” over if a cider can be dry and one cracked
open a can and made us judges. Then the other one grabbed what we had left of the dry cider and said, “Here’s a trick the owner taught me,” and he added their cherry cider to it to make a whole new drink. It was a great fun place and delicious! I am so glad they have opened in Saugatuck. This ended up being the only tasting room I purchased from. I got the Blueberry Apple Cider and a limited run called Orchard Rośe, which has apple, plum, and lavender because I have been on a lavender kick. We waited to do our purchase at the end of the day so we would not have to carry the heavy bottles because we are old pros at this.
It used to be that the tasting rooms were free or they let you have a set number of free tastings. Our next stop was the Copper Craft Distillery Tasting Room. They had free unlimited tastings. They make hard liquors like bourbon, gin, vodka, applejack, and whiskey. I have never been able to do shots and I only do hard liquor in mixed drinks, so I did not take full advantage of the unlimited and only tried sips of ones I like in mixed drinks, so I was not stumbling out, but I can see where someone could get to that point. Then when we are about ready to move on, the bartender lets us know they also hav berry lemonade mixed with their citrus vodka on tap as part of the free tastings. It was a generous pour of a quarter of a whiskey tumbler. This was more my speed and you could not beat the price.
We drifted over to the main drag and visited some old favorites like The Butler Pantry that has my altimeter favorite coffee flavor called White Heather that does not taste like a flower. It tases like butterscotch. I have also been known to buy the occasional fun kitchen gadget there, too. We also headed to another favorite called the Spice & Tea Merchants. It is just shelf after shelf of cooking spices and teas. I do not bother with the tea part, but the spices and spice blends they have make me feel very ambitious. I still had plenty of ambition left at home from my last visit, so I just enjoyed the smells and free sample. We popped into the occasional new boutique to check them out, but mainly we walked and talked. There are a lot of clothing stores, but they mainly cater to 15 or 50 year olds, so we rarely go in to those. We ended our time together at a coffee shop called Uncommon Grounds which as Jaime pointed out is a very common coffee shop name. I had a nice iced coffee called Summer Breeze that had (Surprise!) lavender and some other stuff I have forgotten. It was yummy and we all talked way past the time Betzie needed to leave.
We walked Betzie back to her car and said our goodbyes. Jaime and I picked up our cider purchases and headed out back to the cottage.
It was a great day and we were bushed. We tried to stop at an antique mall on the way out of town, but it closed at 6pm. On a weekend. In a tourist destination. Oh, well.
We basically sat quietly in the cottage immersed in our own things, doing what introverts do. A couple of turkeys wandered by the window and through the front yard. At about 8:30, we decided we better do something about dinner or we were going to be hungry and out of luck soon. We had to postpone our visit to the Round Barn Winery for another time when Betzie’s schedule suddenly opened up, so we decided to go to their restaurant called The Public House that was located in a tiny town whose name I do not know and apparently employs all the people who live here year round not in the tourism/brewing industries. It was all small factories and this restaurant. I had a hankering for mac & cheese and they had one with beer cheese and chorizo crumbs with pulled pork on top. It was good. I like Greenbush’s mac & cheese better. I still need to get to the winery someday because rumor is that if I bring my teacher’s id, I can get into their events for free and a discount on wine and spirits. There have got to be some teachers in that family to offer such an important service.
We had a fun day that went all too fast