Traverse City Weekend Getaway

David and I took a well-earned mini-vacation this weekend, driving three hours north to Traverse City, Michigan. I’ve had Traverse City on my radar for awhile, because per capita it seems to have the largest number of Reiki Master Teachers in Michigan. This is anecdotal, but I consider clusters of RMT’s, vegan and gluten-free food options, metaphysical shops, and art galleries as a kind of energetic signature that sparks my interest. We chose this weekend hoping to find peak fall colors, and wow, did we ever! The golds lit up the grey mist, as did friendly locals and cozy food.

I thought I’d share some photos and expriences here since I have a lot of vegan and/or gluten-free readers. Traveling can pose challenges for special diets unless you find yourself in a major city or along the East or West Coast. With all my (43) moves, I’m hard pressed to list another small location other than Sedona or Tahoe with this many vegan and gluten-free choices.

We first stopped in Oryana, a real community co-op that reminded me of the food co-op in Ashland, Oregon. You could tell this was much more than a store. It felt like a community gathering place, and Oryana Cafe is amazing! We got a fresh juice on Saturday, and yesterday I got an almond milk matcha latte. We split their Vegan Reuben and their Grilled Veggie sandwiches:


Those weren’t gluten-free, but they were 100% delicious. So delicious, in fact, that we got one quart each of gf-vegan curried cauliflower soup and lentil soup, along with some perfectly marinated beets. They also had a hot bar with many gluten-free and/or vegan items, plus four vegan hot soups, including an award winning chili. Next time we go to Traverse City, we’ll eat there for at least one meal a day. Even with all the other dining options, the freshness and quality of these ingredients just popped.

For dinner on Saturday, we ate at Red Mesa Grill, a Mexican restaurant that also caters to various dietary preferences and needs. Our waitress recommended we split the Wild Mushroom Fajitas, and even sharing our entree, we were stuffed. Their homemade salsa was the best I’ve had since leaving the Southwest, so good that I liked it even better than the guacamole. This never happens, LOL! I love guac. The salsa was just that good. We found our waitress so helpful in navigating what we could or couldn’t eat on the menu. She offered changes, omissions and personal feedback as a vegetarian herself. They have, on request, gluten-free tortillas, as well as three types of gluten-free beer. We didn’t get that, but they offer it.

We enjoyed talking with locals, like Sue Ann Round, owner of Michigan Artists Gallery. As we entered, we saw a huge painted door, which reminded David and me of my own painted portal doors. This hare, in turn, reminded me of Tania Marie:


This gallery features artists from all over Michigan, but it’s not just a local art gallery. Sue Ann is one high vibe woman! Synchronicities kept arising, and we found her as delightful as all the art.

I’m not going in chronological order, because Traverse City felt like we entered a time warp. We spent hours at Higher Shelf Bookstore and Horizon Books, getting holiday gifts for some friends.

We also found some new crystal friends for ourselves:


We took these home from Nawbin, which from the outside looks just like a bead and knick-knack shop. We had never seen such lively labradorite, and David’s piece on the left is almost nine inches tall! We usually find much smaller pieces or pendants. Nawbin’s selection was exceptional. Labradorite strengthens intuition, will power, goals, and connects the mental and emotional bodies. Plus, it just looks pretty — like water in the sunlight.

We walked through Traverse City and State parks. The weather felt very Pacific Northwest. Although the fall colors popped, the low light conditions didn’t allow David’s phone to capture things as bright as they appeared. Here are some shots from in town and in nearby Peninsula Township:






Giant pumpkins and owls! What’s not to love?!




For reference, the 45th parallel also runs through Yellowstone and Northern Italy. David wanted to document me standing half way between the North Pole and the Equator. After our drive to the tip of Peninsula Township, we hiked around in the rain and then drank in the views the entire way back to Traverse City. Not only did photos fail to capture the sheer magnificence of gold, but a half hour of jiggling with photos and WordPress won’t allow me to share any of the scenic overlooks. You’ll just have to take my word for it or go see for yourself. Gold and green everywhere with little strokes of red. Nature creates the best art of all.

We worked up quite an appetite in the chilly wind and mist, so we stopped for some Himalayan Street Food on our way out of town. Also known as “Nepalese Have Another,” this food truck made us nostalgic for one of our favorite restaurants in Madison, Wisconsin, Himul Chuli. This hot pink food truck in Traverse City, photos of which my laptop likewise refuses to load, was a welcome sight on a grey afternoon. We split the root vegetable curry with a side of dahl, and our tummies went to heaven.

Based on conversations with locals, our whirlwind but extra relaxed trip didn’t even begin to explore what Traverse City and the surrounding areas have to offer. We look forward to future jaunts exploring Michigan’s famous M-22 scenic drive, as well as making our way through the many restaurants and side adventures in different seasons. Our day and a half getaway felt like a full week of rest and rejuvenation.

As usual, though, we felt so good returning to our Dra’Faven in Kalamazoo. Normally, I love living right by a large body of water, but for some reason, wherever we go, no matter how much we love our time there, we always enjoy coming home. To me, that’s worth the vacation, too: huge gratitude and joy in our everyday.

13 responses to this post.

  1. You guys “travel well.”

    Liked by 1 person


  2. I’ve stood at the 45th parallel in northern Yellowstone, close to where a hot springs pours as a waterfall into the Yellowstone river. Thus the name, “boiling river.” One of my favorite places on this earth.

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Posted by Eliza Ayres on October 29, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    Reblogged this on Blue Dragon Journal.

    Liked by 1 person


  4. Posted by PeaceNowFlower on October 29, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    You should talk a trip to Mackinaw Island. You might need to pack your own food because based on the restaurants I’ve been to on the island… it’s a trip back to a time before vegan was understood. However there are lots of portals on the island. Almost as if the whole island is in another dimension. Even off the island in Mackinaw City many of the hotels have an extra dimensionality to them. Natives used to say it was the place the world was created.

    Liked by 1 person


    • Yes, that is on our list for a longer excursion! With David’s new job, he has not had the vacation days available this year for more than overnight trips. My parents honeymooned on Mackinaw Island, so I have know. About it for a long time. Thanks for the tips!

      Liked by 1 person


  5. […] David and I were off on our Traverse City Weekend Getaway, Timothy Glenn returned as a guest on A Fireside Chat with Zany […]



  6. 43 moves?!?! If that’s no typo, that is so ultra-Gemini of you. Always on the move.

    Liked by 1 person


    • No typo. My ex-husband was a photographer, and with me having a “mobile” business, we moved around every 3-6 months for a few years. That adds up after awhile. Since January 2010, I’ve only had 4 moves, so slowing down. My new husband and I bought this house in Kalamazoo, so planning to stay here for a long time. 🙂 But yes, I was ultra-Gemini for awhile. Now I’m moving much more into that Virgo Ascendant, Capricorn North Node, and Taurus MC.

      Liked by 1 person


  7. It’s good to be more grounded (especially these days), but don’t lose your Gemini sensibilities or you’ll get stuck. My sense is that someone is generally moving “away” from the Moon sign and the Ascendant, and toward a fuller expression of the Sun sign as we at least attempt to evolve through this life. With respect to the Nodes’ influence as well.

    Liked by 1 person


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: