Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Fast Fiesta Trip!

Monday morning we woke up in our own bed after a whirlwind trip to Traverse City and down the west coast of Michigan in two days, visiting all of the lighthouses along the way. My car had started making some loud noises on the trip home, so we took it in and found out it needed a new wheel bearing.

While that was getting fixed, we took off in Mr's car for the Fiesta Factory in Newell West Virginia-over 4 hours away! I was so shocked when he asked me if I wanted to go!! I felt like a kid in a candy store!! I wandered around the seconds room, loading up crates. Then I wandered around outside loading up crates. They had recently held a tent sale and hadn't brought all of the stuff in to the seconds room.

Then I wandered around the main retail store, several times. I kept finding things I needed couldn't live without wanted, and I kept ooh-ing and ahh-ing, and adding things to my pile. Mr was very patient and very helpful (carrying my crates)-he's usually very impatient and tapping his foot to hurry me along. He actually made this whole day to be all about me-and it was so much fun!!!

I finally finished and nearly had a stroke at how much it all came to! Especially when the lady wrapping my stuff got it all into two small boxes!! Most of the things I bought were seconds, except the poppy colored things and the marigold and candy corn shakers. I even found a couple of shirts!

The ride home seemed shorter even with the massive rain storm making it hard to see and drive! I'm still grinning ear to ear and chuckling that we made that trip-all in one day!

 Two marigold plates and a lapis plate

 Ivory disk pitcher, poppy disk pitcher,ivory, marigold, scarlet, flamingo, turquoise and lapis sauce boats-along with the one thing Mr BHTS wanted...a lemongrass latte mug---disappeared from the counter between Monday night and Tuesday morning when we left again. I think our oldest son must have liked it...shoulda got a few more!

 I was hoping to get a full set of different colors of the mixing bowls,but they only had this big one in peacock and a smaller one in red. I already have the red one.

When we got home, my car was home and Mr's bike was home. The boys picked them both up for us. It's amazing how much your kids will do for you when they are trying to get you to get out of town so they can live like slobs for a week!

Tuesday morning included a Costco run for my mom and a car that was packed to the roof! So many people made comments about my full carts in the store as I was walking around! I had 3 pkgs of paper towel and 3 of toilet paper as well as a bunch of other stuff that my mom needed. I finally told one older guy why I was buying so much, and he laughed and said, "T.P. for the U.P.-eh".

When I got home, we rearranged the car, loaded in our stuff and took off for my parents house in the U.P.. We both were thinking we could have really used the cashier at the Fiesta store to pack our car for us! We managed to make a quick stop at one of my favorite places-The Antique Warehouse in Saginaw! I found an orange pyrex 502 and a sun purple medicine bottle.

Of course, we ran into more rain. It rained most of the way up.It is raining today, but tomorrow is supposed to be decent. We are leaving for home on Saturday with my parents. Just a quick trip down and back up in the same day to go to my aunt's 70th birthday party and a cousin's grad party. Then back to "God's Country" for another week.

We went into town today and visited a few places. I'm hoping to get to Harbor Wear, and Scalawags in Mackinac City either tomorrow or Friday, and sometime next week a trip to the Soo and hopefully a few of my other favorite places. Other than that, I hope for lots of time floating on the lake and dunking a few worms!

Traverse City to St. Joesph...Michigan's West Coast North to South

Our vacation has begun! On Friday, Mr. BHTS and I left home and headed north to Traverse City. Our goal was to see as many lighthouses as we could along Lake Michigan and Michigan's west coast. I found a website called and saw a map they had of all of the lighthouses on the west coast and thought it would be a fun adventure to try to visit them all.

The first stop was on the peninsula in Traverse City at the Old Mission Point Lighthouse. We spent a little time in T.C. while we were there, but it wasn't our main stopping point so, we kept moving. We did stop at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons. It used to be an insane asylum called the Traverse City Hospital, but now it is full of shops, restaurants, condos and vacation rentals.

 The lighthouses were jam-packed with people, so it was really hard to get any good photos. I'd like to go back in the dead of winter and take more photos-can you imagine how cool they would look with the ice and snow piled up!?!?

 It was raining pretty hard when we got there, so I didn't spend much time trying to line up good shots. I would have liked to have gone down on the beach for a shot, maybe next time!

The Hessler Log Cabin was on the same property. If you walked around to the back, this is what you saw.

The asylum had several buildings and it is massive and gorgeous and there is so much character in the architecture. I could wander around it for an entire day just gazing at every nook and cranny. I'd love to see some of the condos or vacation rentals to see what was done to make them a home.

We tried to visit the music museum, but we were a little late getting there. They closed at 4:00 and we arrived at 4:14! We were disappointed that they had such short hours, but it isn't that far from my parents house to make a day trip to T.C., so maybe we'll get a chance to visit some other time-soon I hope. If you're interested, you can find out more about it here.

Point Betsie Lighthouse in Frankfort, built in 1858. It was closed so we couldn't get any closer.

 Gorgeous houses in Manistee!


We kept driving and stopping, driving and stopping and before we knew it, the day was winding down and we were tired of being in the car. We found a little, out of the way motel called the Riverside. It was on the water (marina), off the beaten path and near where the fishing charters leave from. It was built in the 1950's. It was very cozy, but also very clean and very reasonable. We got a kick out of the sign on the wall that said "NO FISH COOLERS IN ROOM". The only complaint I had with the hotel was the wifi. They had it, but not in the rooms. You had to stand outside the office to get it, and since my phone was acting crazy and showing no service for 90% of our trip (I plan to switch carriers as soon as I get home), we really needed the wifi.

When we left then next morning, we followed a sign for an estate sale. It was the last day so everything was half off. The sale was on the third day. There was so much left, it was unbelievable! The home owner was a plate collector, an art collector, and a book collector. The plates were the kind you order from a magazine-the kind with scenery on them. Most were still in their original styrofoam packing packages. I bet there were thousands of them.

I found some old silverware for projects and some vintage souvenir rings that are just cheap costume jewelry. I plan to cut the ring part off and stick the jewel part on a plain long hat pin-that's a project for another day though!

The Manistee Lighthouse park was just a couple of blocks away from our hotel. The lighthouse was actually on the other side of a little bay or canal that lead to the Coast Guard station. We had to get back in the car and drive around through a little subdivision until we found the entrance. There is also a very nice beach next to the coast guard station. It was very humid and very gloomy when we visited, so there weren't as many people as some of the later stops.

 It is pretty sad to see how rusty and crusty it is.

The next stop was the Hart/Mears arTea and Silver Lake Sand Dunes. We stopped at the welcome center to find out what the area had to offer. The very nice older lady working in the center told us that all of the hotels were booked and had been for months. Good thing this was just a stop on the trip and not a place that we planned to stay over night!

The skies stated off sunny and blue, but soon turned hazy. It was chilly. I wish I would have grabbed a jacket for the next part of our adventure-Mac's Dune Rides! They've been in business for 84 years, driving people up on the dunes. They have a special area that only they have permission from the State to use, so there won't be any other people driving around. A buggy was leaving their store about every 15 minutes while we were there, and it wasn't even peak time.

Here we go!!

This is what happens if you fall out of the buggy-LOL!

Stumps and trees molded and shaped by blowing sand.

At one point, the stopped and let us all out to walk around and explore.

After the dune ride, we went down the road a little ways and took a break with an ice cream cone. Se the cute little faces they put on the ice cream?

This is the Little Sable Point Lighthouse. It is just a little ways down the road from Mac's Dune Rides. It is free to enter the park if you have a state park pass, and $3 per person to climb the tower. We both enjoyed climbing the tower. It is 130 step to the top. It was a little challenging with so many people going up and coming down.

Going down was a lot easier on the knees, but harder on the eyes since you could see down through the holes in the steps-I was thankful for the handrail!

 I'd love to see this view on a clear, sunny day!

This is the White River Lighthouse/Station

 It's hard to get good shots when there are so many other people visiting the lighthouses. The red stroller kind of ruins the shots! At other lighthouses you will see people in the shots. I'd like to go back and visit them all in the fall or winter when I have a better chance at getting some good shots.

This was a little museum on the property

Holland Harbor Lighthouse

 Bid Daddy K was he didn't write this, it was already there-lol.

 Some sort of a dredging barge...

After we finished with the lighthouses, we stopped in Douglas at the Blue Star Highway Antique Mall. I was so excited to go antiquing at a new place, that I forgot to take a picture of the outside!! I really liked this little mall great variety, great booths, average prices in most booths, some were way too high, but that happens in all malls. I bought a bunch of old outdoor faucet handles for projects.

Here are some shots from the inside. They have a brewery and restaurant next door, and if you take your receipt you will get a discount on your food purchase. We were there too early for lunch so we weren't able to use our discount. Since it is only 2 hours from home, I'm hoping someday to kidnap Auntie and head back for another visit and hit a few places in between.

The next stop was the Busy Bee Flea Mall. It is a year round indoor flea market. They mostly carried new stuff with one room for used stuff. I saw a lot of plates and dishes that would be good for someone who might want to have a wedding reception with a hodge podge of dishes, but nothing else that I was interested in, Mr. bought a hatchet. He's been looking for a while for one like the one he found, so he was pretty happy with it.

Then we went to an outdoor flea market in Paw Paw. It was so humid and hot and the vendors were selling all of the things you'd find at a Florida flea market, that for a minute, I felt like I had left Michigan! There were very few dealers selling vintage or antique stuff, so we didn't stay very long. I'm glad we stopped, because know I know, and now I'll not have to wonder if I was missing something! We also stopped at a consignment shop, but I didn't see anything there either. It was just fun to be out hunting for treasures again!

We ended up back home Sunday night to sleep in our own beds. I'd recommend the lighthouse tour to anyone who asked if it was worth it. I enjoyed it. Mr didn't care for it very much. I keep telling him, "It's all what you make of it". It was a lot of driving, but we got to see some beautiful homes and buildings and got to see a side of our stat that neither of us has seen before or for a very long time. 

The most disappointing thing was the road didn't really follow the shoreline like it looks like on a map, and when you were following the shoreline, it was a small road with very low speed limits and the trees were so thick you couldn't really see the water anyway.