Monday, October 27, 2014

24 Hours in: Northern Michigan: My Mini-Vaca

Do you love fall colors? How can you not?! So get in your car or head to your nearest airport, because you need to take a trip with me to northern Michigan.

via Marty All Over Michigan
Where I live in East Lansing the leaves have mostly fallen off the trees. But north of Grand Rapids? As of last Thursday, they were still in their full glory! 

My mom, Sophie Kinsella, and me

I headed "home" for a mini-vacation in the middle of last week. My mom and I were off to a National Writer Series event with Sophie Kinsella, whose latest book Shopaholic to the Stars had been released the day before. We are huge fans of her books; I binge read everything under her pen name before the event. (She also released several best sellers under her given name Madeleine Wickham before the first Shopaholic book was published.) Anyway, Sophie/Maddy is absolutely just as funny and sweet as her characters!

This was my outfit inspiration for the night. If you haven't read Shopaholic, the main character, Becky Bloomwood, loves fashion. Whatever I wore had to be Becky-worthy. My outfit was put together within the limits of my budget: black crewneck from Old Navy, fleece leggings, emerald green jeweled flats from Target, and statement necklace from Anthropologie. And Sophie/Maddy complimented my necklace!! (It's also the necklace I wore on my wedding day. That thing gets around!)

When we got to downtown Traverse City, my mom and I stopped at Espresso Bay for some coffees while we chatted in the big sofas by the fireplace. You must check out this post which has even more great information about the area and nearby Suttons Bay.

Then we headed out for a bit of shopping in the cute downtown boutiques. In high school I spent a lot of time and babysitting money in Traverse City; in fact, I think I drove up at least once a week. Ah, to be a teenager again! My favorite store back then was a funky place called Irreverence that sold Doc Martens, manic panic hair dye, and message tee-shirts. Sadly, it is long gone. A women's clothing boutique called Kay's is in the space now, I think. Although the ladies working there didn't remember Irreverence, they did love my camel swing coat. :)

After shopping my mom and I headed over to Sorellina for dinner. It was AMAZING! We ordered bruschetta and the house red wine to start, followed by their eponymous salad. It's a baby spinach salad with candied nuts and feta topped by a citrus vinaigrette like no other. 
photo by Carin Cryderman
My mom and her friends call it "the Italian place" and love to go there when they are in town shopping. She and one of those good friends are in the center of the above photo by my friend Carin. 

My parents live only about an hour from Traverse City; however, if they did not I would have loved to stay at the Park Place Hotel, which is where I'm quite sure Sophie/Maddy stayed because I saw her walking back there from shopping before the event!

The hotel is within easy walking distance of everything in downtown Traverse City and has a gorgeous view of the Bay. The number one reason I want to stay there, though, is its verdigris tower. It's just architecturally so beautiful.

Before heading home the following day, I went off on a little research/shopping adventure in my hometown and discovered Orinoco, a hair and makeup salon run by New York-transplant Vivienne Kessler. The salon is inside her home which is a historic old Victorian home. She even has her own line of mineral makeup!

I also stopped at the Ideal Kitchen and took home one of the cutting boards shown below, shaped like my home state with a star denoting my hometown. 

Overall, a fantastic mini-vaca in the middle of the week!


  1. Love Traverse City too! Red Ginger is really good too - there is a small rooftop seating area that is a great place in the summer.

  2. I love her books, the food sounds amazing, and that cutting board is so cool. It looks like one of those live-edge pieces!


Thanks so much for commenting! I love to read what you have to say. ~Carrie


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