While the kids were away at camp this year we had planned to go to Walt Disney World for a parents only vacation. About two weeks ago I realized that it is 90-100 degrees in Florida. What was I thinking? I hate heat AND I hate crowds. We are used to vacationing in Florida between January and March. We went once in May and once in June and both times were really tough due to the heat. I am one of those people that when it gets about 75 degrees I start getting uncomfortable and cranky. So, we cancelled our vacation and instead of heading south we decided to head north.
We have a friend who is from Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan and we headed to her first and then to our dance school friends to find out what we needed to see and do in the Upper Peninsula. We started with a long list of things and decided to take our time and decide as we went what we wanted to do.
The first thing I wanted to do was to cross the Mackinac Bridge. Until we started researching our trip I didn’t realize that this was the only way to get to the Upper Peninsula unless we went all the way around Lake Michigan and up through Wisconsin.
We stopped at St. Ignace once we crossed the bridge to have an early dinner/late lunch at Java Joe’s. This place was crazy! The food was good. The portions were large. The kitsch if the best part. You can’t stop looking at all the cookie jars, mugs, and treats they have for sale.
How did we find this place? By the colorful van out front. There is limited parking out back and in front of Java Joe’s.
The bright colors and van should have clued us into what it may be like inside but we were totally unprepared.
This is the back porch where we ate our meal. The colorful coffee mugs and cookie jars had us looking around during the whole meal trying to find all the cute hidden treasures. The Flintstone cookie jar and clever sayings on the mugs were great.
Yes, this is the menu. It was a bit overwhelming but we were told everything was good.
We love Poutine and when we saw it on the menu we had to try it. We are so close to Canada we thought it would be amazing. Nope. This would be much better described as fries with gravy and cheese. It was okay as fries with gravy and cheese but did not give us the Poutine flavor or experience at all. There were no bites of squeaky cheese curds (those who have had FRESH cheese curd will understand). We hoped this wasn’t a sign of the rest of the meal.
The rest of the meal was good, solid food. The Nutella Crepes were light and full of melted Nutella. They were VERY rich and chocolaty.
I had a side of Corned Beef hash and one pancake. Both were good and filling. Yes, the portions are really that large!
After our stop at Java Joe’s we drove about an hour to our final destination the Kewaydin Casino. I am NOT a gambler at all and really don’t like casinos but this hotel was recommended to us and it was well within what we were willing to spend.
In the movie “St. Elmo’s Fire” Emilio Estevez talks about seeing signs for – Fluff and Fold in the laundromat and how when he finally makes it he is going Fluff and Fold all the way. That is how I now feel about valet parking. We used it this trip and I will never go back. It was the best thing at the end of a long day to walk into the hotel and have someone else deal with finding a parking space and bringing in my luggage.
The room was similar to most mid-range chain hotels – Hampton Inn, Fairfield Inn, etc… We had a king bed, a pull out couch and a small desk. The only downside to our room was the serious crack in the sink and a very, slow drain in the bathtub. Other than that we were happy here. They had a sauna, hot tub and a decent sized pool so we are considering taking the kids on a trip to see the Upper Peninsula.
We arrived about 6:00 and decided after a 12 hour day we were done for the night. We ordered a pizza about 9:00 pm because most of the restaurants in the area had closed including the main restaurant and lounge in our hotel stopped serving food at 9:00 pm. I thought it was odd they stopped serving food at 9:00 pm during the week but there was a deli that was open until 3:00 am during the week and open 24 hours on the weekend. We didn’t know what was at deli and were too tired to go exploring so we ordered out.
We hoped to rise fairly early the next day to start our exploration of the area.