Travel theme: Bridges

This week’s travel theme was about bridges.  Now, I could have grabbed a few pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge or even the Bay Bridge here in San Francisco.  I could have grabbed one of the many bridges in Chicago that crisscross the Chicago River. Instead, I chose a bridge that is located in one of the most beautiful places in the world according to me- Sleeping Bear Dunes, in Glen Arbor, Michigan.

There is something so special about going “Up North” for the weekend. As a child, I would spend the weekends playing with the other “cabin kids” from sun-up to sun-down. We would swim, bike, hike, and cook hot dogs over a bonfire.  It was non-stop action all weekend long, and I remember being so upset every Sunday when I had to say goodbye to my summer friends for the week.

Now as an adult, I went “Up North” to dull the noises of adult life. From sitting on a quiet dock reading that really great book, to chatting fireside with a glass of locally made wine,  or even getting married in Traverse City, this area has been a blessing for us as a couple and best friends.

If you ever get the chance to visit Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, please take the time and do the driving tour of  Pierce Stocking Drive.  Along your drive, you will see sweeping views of Lake Michigan, stunning sand dunes, and maybe a covered bridge.

So here is my bridge for this week’s travel theme.

Pierce Stocking Drive

Pierce Stocking Drive

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My Favorite Things

So you know how Oprah is always doing her “Favorite Things” show around Christmas?  I was thinking about that last night, and realized I should do the same thing on my blog.  I have just as good of taste as Oprah, but my taste is at real people prices.  So here you go, one of my favorite things.

One of my favorite things is made by a company called American Spoon.  American Spoon started in Northern Michigan in 1981, and you can read their story here.  Now I was introduced to American Spoon around 1999 when my husband and I decided to take a trip “Up North” as we use to do as kids. This was our first introduction into the growing foodie town of Traverse City, as well as, American Spoon.

The first thing I remember when walking into their store was the smell of all fruity jams and spicy salsas making my mouth water.  The second thing was the fact you can try every product before buying.  I hate wasting money, so I love when I can try before I buy. A BIG bonus for those of us on a budget.

This year I was introduced to their Heirloom Tomato Preserves.  I was looking to add a little something to our homemade pizzas, and noticed this was recommended for pizza.  Now I have to admit I was a bit skeptical of buying a “tomato jam” but that quickly changed.  The sweet and tangy taste had become a staple for our homemade pizzas.  My husband has also started to use it on sandwiches and caprese salad. So don’t grab the mayo, grab the tomato preserves instead! I promise it will become one of your favorite things too.

I will also point out; American Spoon also has their own blog and list of recipes.  On nights when I am missing the Midwest, I will look at the blog and recipes for a little nostalgia and inspiration.

So there you have it, one of my favorite things. Actually, most of their products would fall into my favorite things category; but for now I am just going to talk about the Heirloom Tomato Preserves.

Please note: I am not making any money for posting this blog; I am merely trying to promote some companies and products I love and support.