Traverse City

Traverse City

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Summer Roadtrip 2011

Traverse City is a beautiful city wrapped around the base of Grand Traverse Bay. We checked into the first hotel we saw because it had an amazing view of the bay and sunset. The hot tub in the room was a bonus.

We headed out to the Apache Trout Grill for dinner. The wait was appreciated because it allowed us to sit by the water with a drink and enjoy the view.

The food was delicious, particularly my taste of the crab and lobster bisque. I kept my meal simple with Grilled Ahi Tuna Salad. The tuna was served more raw than my preference, but I was enjoying myself and didn’t think twice about it.

We arrived back at our room in time to watch the sunset. I spent all night pacing in the hotel room with extreme belly pain; it never occurred to me that it might be food poisoning until dinner came up around 5 am. I was finally able to sleep and did so until noon.

I would still go back to the restaurant, the food was incredible and I’m sure if my illness was caused by the tuna, it was an isolated case. Next time, I’ll make sure my seafood is fully cooked.

I expected to be awoken in the morning by an impatient maid waiting to clean my room. In other hotels, the attendants never see the “Do Not Disturb” sign – somehow – knocked to the floor. Instead, I awoke to a note under my door that explained the cleaning staff had stopped by, but respected my request for quiet and to let them know if I needed supplies. I so appreciated the uninterrupted sleep, I thanked the staff at the front desk when I asked for some extra towels. Later that day, I arrived back to a made bed and cleaned room. That’s good service.

We spent a couple of hours wandering around the charming town of Traverse City, I purchased some spices, infused oil and vinegar and saw my first medical marijuana store front.

There are so many quaint shops, historical buildings in a pretty town, I was surprised to discover that only 20% of Traverse City’s visitors reside outside Michigan.

I discovered Trattoria Stella using Foursquare, someone had recommended a basic dish that sounded simple and good. I was ecstatically surprised by the quality and philosophy of the restaurant. Listed on the menu are the farms they purchase their food from, the majority are local and they butcher their own meat. The food and service were the best on the trip.

The location was unique too, it’s housed in the the basement of a complex called The Village at Grand Traverse Commons. The commons is a large scale redevelopment, still in progress, of several historic buildings previously used as the Traverse City State Hospital and the Northern Michigan Asylum.

After dinner, we had drinks on the patio of our hotel and watched the sunset. A relaxing and enjoyable wrap-up to a trip I didn’t want to end. I’ll definitely head back to the area but next time I’ll stay longer and explore more.

Traverse City

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