After some busy weeks at work and nonstop running around, I was definitely ready for a relaxing weekend. My boyfriend and I were both off for President’s Day this year, so we decided to spend the long weekend at his parents in Michigan. This was my first weekend getaway of 2016 that wasn’t for work. We both knew we just wanted to kick up our feet and unwind, so we didn’t make any crazy plans for our visit other than to hang out with his family and perhaps go out for Valentine’s Day. I was excited for this trip to Michigan, after hearing those ‘Pure Michigan’ commercials nonstop on the radio. It really is beautiful. I would like to explore more some time, but it was snowy and about 20 degrees this particular weekend, so exploring will have to wait for next time!
He took the train a day earlier than me, so I did a quick ‘Galentine’s Day’ brunch with my girlfriends before taking the Amtrak on Saturday afternoon. The Amtrak can tend to be unreliable, but my train was only 20 minutes delayed and I was at the Kalamazoo train stop in about 2 hours and 15 minutes! I love how quick and easy this trip is. I also enjoyed that it was daylight, so I could relax and gaze out the window at the lovely (?) scenery!
Since the Kalamazoo train stop is basically right next door to Bell’s Brewery, we decided to pop in there for a drink. Bell’s Brewery is home to the #1 IPA – Two Hearted Ale. It’s really good stuff! I decided to try their other Ale – Hopslam. It’s seasonal, so you can only get it a few months out of the year, so I was really lucky to try it because I loved it! It’s a bit on the fruity side, but very delicious. After one Hopslam, I was ready to go find some dinner. But, my boyfriend decided we needed a small glass of Mead before we ventured on to the next place. Mead is apparently ‘sweet, dry, crisp wine.’ I didn’t care for it too much.
After Bell’s, we kept on the ‘brewery’ train and took a short drive over to Arcadia. It was less crowded and less noisy, which I prefer. We split a flight of beer here, which was the perfect amount and a great way to try some different beers! I was more focused on the food, so we ordered their beef brisket and mac n cheese. It was amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed everything about Arcadia.
We were back home by midnight and I was excited to sleep in. The next day mainly involved more eating, fireplace sitting and bird watching. We only left the house for a brief shopping trip and to visit with his grandparents. Like I mentioned, this weekend getaway was supposed to be more relaxing. I liked every minute of this day!
For our last day in Pure Michigan, we checked out an old, hole-in-the-wall diner in Portage for breakfast called Antique Kitchen. They have omelettes as big as your head.. for cheap! After our bellies were full, we went to a couple stores and back home for more time by the fireplace – a luxury we don’t have in our Chicago apartments. Our train didn’t leave Kalamazoo until 9:25pm, so we had basically another full day. We met up with a friend at our third brewery of the trip – Latitude 42. I got the Lil Sunshine, mostly because I liked the name, but I also love golden ales. I ordered their truffle fries which did not disappoint.
I was super pumped I got to try all the different craft beers of Michigan! I may have to get this calendar, so I can mark them all off my list! Beer Labels of Michigan 2016 Wall Calendar
When we got home, we relaxed some more and hung out with his family. They showed us pictures from his grandpa’s brother, who was a World War II photographer. This was really neat! He took pictures of the destruction in Europe. He also got to fly around and take aerial pictures during battles.
Our train back to Chicago was an hour delayed (of course), so we left Kalamazoo at 10:30pm and arrived in Chicago around midnight (with the time change). Even though we got back so late, I felt recharged and ready for the week! This weekend away in Pure Michigan was just what we needed. I’m excited to go back in the Spring time when we can visit the lake towns and maybe do some hiking up north!