The state of Michigan has been in the news a lot recently-most of the coverage is negative. All you hear about is the fact that the state is in a financial mess, the job picture is only slowly improving and the two murder capitals of the United States are Flint and Detroit.
Since some of my husband's cousins live near Detroit, as does one of our sons, I feel the need to defend a state with parks as beautiful as any I've ever seen. Sure the big cities are over-crowded and can be violent, but that's the same no matter which state you're in. There are many quaint towns surrounding beautiful beaches. Those on Lake Michigan start with the Warren Dunes and head up the coastline. The beaches on Lake Superior up in the U.P. are unspoiled and gorgeous, with The Porcupine Mountains a great vacation destination. And there are great restaurants everywhere to fit every taste and budget. You just have to know where to find them.
My second son attended Kettering University in Flint, which used to be called G.M. Institute and you used to have to know someone who worked for G.M. to get in. Now it's an engineering/math/business college open to anyone with the drive to excel. Flint is re-positioning as a college town along with other colleges there, including a nursing branch of the University of Michigan.
When we drove up to watch Colin graduate he insisted we go with him to his favorite place to eat, just a short drive up north on highway I-75. We got off on exit 136 for Birch Run, MI. It's the exit for Frankenmuth. Tony's I-75 Restaurant looks like a truck stop, but inside it's a young man's delight. All three of my sons were in pig heaven...literally, because the biggest claim to fame is on the backs of the tee-shirts of the servers: "Got Bacon?"
Colin and his one brother ordered omelets which are made with 12 eggs. The side of bacon is a full pound served with 2 huge slabs of toast. My sons consumed it all, challenging each other until they were both done cleaning their plates and slowly settling into a bacon coma. I ordered eggs and bacon and got 4 eggs with my pound of bacon. I love bacon a lot...just ask my kids why they're embarrassed to take me to breakfast buffets! I couldn't finish. My other son ordered a large-sized burrito and it filled a dinner plate... didn't stop him from eating every bite. My husband ordered a barbecue sandwich and had trouble finishing it, never mind the pile of fries he got with it. My daughter only ate half of her wrap and some of her fries and took the rest in a doggie bag topped off with my left-over bacon. Colin's girlfriend knew better than us what to order and still she couldn't finish her food.
When I questioned him as to how he found out about Tony's, my son said, "Anyone local to the northern thumb area would definitely know Tony's." Now that he lives and works near Plymouth we'll enjoy heading out there to visit. He's told us that there are many nearby state parks for camping. I'm sure that someday my sons will get a hankering for too much bacon and we'll head up to Tony's again. I'll wear looser clothing next time.
Much of the action in my book, The Reluctant Bride, takes place in the Chicagoland area. The two main characters met as teenagers when both ditched school for a day spent sunning and swimming at the Warren Dunes State Park. Once they are dating, Pamela often spends time at a cabin owned by Eric's family, on a Lake Michigan beach. When she gets cold feet and runs away from her groom, she hides at the one place her family doesn't know about: Eric's cabin in Michigan. And when he sees her picture on the news along with her mother and her groom asking her to come home, he guesses where she might have run away to, and he hops on his Harley.
|The Reluctant Bride, partially set in the Warren Dunes area of
southwestern Michigan. Buy link: |
Find out about my work here: www.fionamcgier.com The first page is my blog and please take time to check the other pages with excerpts and links for each of my books. Novels are also available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
And now for a Michigan contest: Leave a comment here about your favorite destination in Michigan. I'll choose a winner on January 20. The winner gets an eBook of The Reluctant Bride.
(pictures provided by author-michigan tourism-restraunts.com)