Lake Michigan @ Empire Beach

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My loving husband drove me to Lake Michigan on our 20th-anniversary vacation day!

Empire Beach is about half an hour west of Traverse City, where we dined for lunch. Gorgeous weather! Much more pleasant than our visit last fall.

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I still can’t believe our crazy kids traversed that bluff last year!

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What a relaxing getaway!

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Empire Village Park
Niagara St, Empire, MI

Grand Traverse Bay

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Our 20-year celebration continued at Apache Trout Grill, which overlooks Grand Traverse Bay.

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While waiting for an opening in the dining room, we lounged on the deck, watching the seagulls lakegulls and watercraft. So peaceful.

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Here was the view from our dining table just barely inside the restaurant. Those accordian-style glass doors were a brilliant design choice, in my opinion. A terrific view of the bay!

By the way, my Caesar Salad with shaved Parmesan as well as the Fish & Chips were delicious, but Terry reported his burger to be rather ordinary.

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Apache Trout Grill
Traverse City, Michigan
20th anniversary getaway

The Village at Grand Traverse Commons

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To celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary, Terry and I spent a day in Traverse City. One of our destinations was The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, a collection of small retail shops in the beautifully-renovated former Traverse City State Hospital.

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The architecture and attention to detail displayed was simply exquisite.

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There’s an interesting history behind this former state hospital. Several books have been written about the facility, which I hope to borrow from the library. One of Terry’s relatives was a patient and, sadly, died there in 1926. This ancestor was 70 years of age at the time he passed away; I’m unaware of the circumstances surrounding his death.

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I enjoyed these ornate gates.

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I knew my Mom would enjoy this Michigan-shaped license plate collage. Too bad its price sticker wasn’t in my budget:) Since the shop didn’t have room to display the upper peninsula with the lower, the UP was leaning up against a wall inside the shop!

Most of The Village shops were way too upscale for us, but I purchased a few small gifts there. The mystery and architecture of the buildings made the visit worthwhile, in my opinion.

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6.7.14
The Village at Grand Traverse Commons
former Traverse City State Hospital
20th anniversary getaway

scary summer

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BOTH of our young adults completed segment 1 driver education this summer.

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We saved time and money by registering our teens for the same class, but it was especially disconcerting to watch them drive off together! As you can imagine, I prayed fervently during those practice hours with the instructor!

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Update: Both Christian and Rebecca survived segment 1 unscathed, and they earned their level 1 driver licenses by the end of June. They’ve been driving frequently under our supervision, logging those hours in anticipation of segment 2. A scary summer, to be sure!