Sunday, June 14, 2009

Saturday in New Buffalo Michigan

When I need an inspiration fix, artsy phartzy upload, or just a perfect day....I call on my best gal pal Woz. Her name is actually Linda, but we all affectionately call her Woz (a shortened version of her last name). We were praying for a moderate day and we got just what we wished for - it was drizzly and cloudy but the temperature stayed in the 60's. It was perfect for running around in and out and the rain kept the huge crowds away. The day began early as I have a 45 minute drive to her driveway, and we had breakfast plans at a local eatery. Everyone else had the same plan, so we darted over to Starbuck's instead. So much to talk about, and we never shut up for a minute until we returned to her driveway that night! Oops I'm getting ahead of myself...we had a leisurely drive to New Buffalo and it's always amazing to see how many studios, art barns, or businesses fold up, disappear, or pop up each time we visit. We started in town at a cute shop and as you can see I need some practice at taking my own photos, ha. Now of course my plan was to take photos all along the journey: the inspiring pieces of art we saw and certainly the incredible food we would share - but again I failed miserably as a tour guide. I was having way too much fun to document for later and didn't realize it until we had finished our fabulous dinner!! New Buffalo is the beginning of Red Arrow Highway which winds around along the wooded edge of the Lake through 4 towns. This picturesque drive is peppered with bungalows selling old and new decor items, flea markets, antique shops, snack shops, a Roadhouse, art galleries, trendy clothing stores, handmade art, a Swedish Bakery (which closed before we got there) and so many places tucked away filled with treasures. We saw a chair made from luggage pieces, speciality food items like Key Lime Mustard Sauce, nostalgic jewelry and depression glass. We oohed and aahed, and giggled while we sampled veggie dips set out to entice us, tried on clothes, sifted through baskets and boxes of trinkets and finally took a break at our favorite New Buffalo restaurant for "crabbies" (hot crispy won ton balls filled with crab and cream cheese served with a sweet Barney sauce)- it wasn't crowded and we were seated by the huge windows and chatted while we shared a Cobb salad and our personal selections of soup. Yum. Now back to the trail ;-) There is so much to see, and many of the shops have gardens or fabulous landscaping with huge hydrangeas, and baskets filled with a variety of lush overhanging flowers. When they began to roll up the sidewalk we headed up to Michigan City Lighthouse mall and stopped in a couple of stores there. If you are looking for a good summer read, I hear "The Girls from Ames" is a hot choice. It's about a 40 year friendship between several women. Time flies and now we get on Route 12 for a scenic ride home and along the way we should come upon the brand new restaurant Bartlett's - which we did but after 40 other carloads had arrived and been seated change of plans we will be forced to eat at our VERY FAVORITE restaurant near home. Which we did and had the most marvelous time catching up and sharing all the little details that only your best gal pal wants to know. When I dropped Linda off at 10 p.m. that night, I waved and said goodbye but not for long as we had already thought up at least 4 other excursions we needed to line up in the near future. I dropped into bed with a bigger smile on my face than I'd been able to muster for months, it was such a great day. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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