Join Jake Tobias, Melissa Behring and a host of friends as they travel around Michigan in June. They go on a pontoon boat through the Inland Waterway, from Indian River to Mullet Lake, Cheyboygan, Petoskey, and Charlevoix. They go over the Mackinac Bridge, bike Mackinac Island, Harbor Springs, eat Polish cuisine at Legs Inn, Cross Village, Goodheart. They attack the Upper Peninsula, Marquette, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Miners Beach, Castle Rock, the Au Sable Light House, Tahquamenon Falls, Paradis and Newberry. Plus they cruise Woodward from Downtown Detroit, Comerica Park, the Hard Rock Cafe Detroit, Cliff Bells, to Gusoline Alley, the Royal Oak Brewery and so much more.
We rented bikes from the crew club the other day and went to Al’s favorite fishing hole in Ketchikan. He taught Scott how to fish…l and Scott was the only one that landed anything. So we had a great time finding some charcoal and stopping at the Roatary Park to bbq up our catch. What an amazing day.
I know that those folks from home reading this blog think that all we do is run around and eat… and well, it’s sorta true. Some of the best parts of traveling are exploring other peoples cultures, tasting their cuisine and of course seeing the “famous sights”. Well, if you ever find yourself “Down Under”, and you enjoy a coffee with milk, cream or even a cappuccino or latte… I recommend skipping all of the above and instead ordering a Flat White. I’m sure that my description isn’t quite accurate and I apologize to the barista’s reading this, but here’s how my taste buds experienced that fine hot caffeinated beverage. It has a fluffy, creamy, frothed top, more dense than either a latte or a cappuccino that is only about 1/2 and inch deep; then below that top layer is a mixture of steamed hot milk and espresso that is thick; it also has a nice pressing of crema around the outside edges of the cup and the result tastes of rich and dark beans with the mildness that adding milk to your coffee creates.
From the moment we stepped foot off the ship in Aukland, New Zealand, I knew we were going to fall in love with the country. As we walked through the port authority and out onto the street a lady handed me a map of the central downtown area of Aukland. I had already noted from my Lonely Planet guidebook that we wanted to hit Albert Park and knew it was pretty much walking distance from the ship.
First we walked up Queen Street a few blocks and found some of the famous Arcades that are all over New Zealand and Australian cities. These are small alley ways where they allow only pedestrians. These alleys are lined with shops and different eateries on both the ground level and the upper floor. It’s pretty cool to walk down these little side streets and check out the people in the upper floors hanging out over the street waving and chatting to friends.
Matt and I were starving and on a mission for some eggs benedict. It happens to be both our favorite breakfast food. We cut up the first arcade we saw, Vulcan Lane as it was quite inviting and there were loads of people sitting outside various cafes at tables under umbrellas shaded out of the sun. As we walked by I gawked at everyones plate searching for someone who had breakfast food. At last, in front of the Vulcan Cafe, I saw a guy with an amazing plate of eggs benedict and a cup of coffee that looked equally as tasty. So in we went. First thing that I noted that was also mentioned in my LP NZ guidebook was the fact that many of the cafes in New Zealand actually have the customer order at a counter, then give them a number associated with their order and have the customer sit down. Then when the coffee and/or food are ready, they have a server bring it out to your table. If you want something else, you just go back up to the counter and order it… repeating the number process all over again. This is different than we are used to in the States, but it didn’t bother me much at all.
After a few moments, our coffees came out and then shortly there after our eggs benedict arrived. We dug into the tasty goodness. Here, the “bacon” is more like English bacon where it has both the fatty belly bacon part cured in the States and also a section of the meat next to it that is more like what we’d call ham or Canadian bacon. It’s also not nearly as smokey in flavor as you find in the U.S. Funny part about the eggs is the yolks are quite a bright color of orange here, not at all the dull color yellow that you’d find in the U.S. based eggs. When I was talking to one of my friends, they mentioned that the majority of meat and produce consumed in New Zealand is actually farmed pretty locally to where the restaurants are and sourced directly. As I understand it, they do not use growth hormones and other pesticides that are often found in products in the U.S. You can taste the difference in the flavor here for sure.