A Big Day with Little Temps

It seems like everywhere in the country was cold yesterday, including Texas and Hawaii. Here was no exception. Regardless of the 15-degree temps and 3-degree windchill (-9 and -16C), Petey still needed and wanted to walk, so I layered us both up, and off we went. I know it sounds pretty bad to many of you, but really, once we got going, we were plenty warm. Cold is still cold, though, and after an hour out walking in it, there was only one solution: Polish food.

Sunrays spill over Elk Lake
Elk Lake

We decided to make an afternoon of it, considering our favorite Polish place is a few miles up the road in Petoskey. Some light lake effect snow had blown in, creating dramatic skies and reasons to stop at multiple places along the coast for photos.

Barnes Park – bigger panorama here.

While I examined the ice shelf, Tony and Petey explored the beach. I hear Petey discovered a nice salmon skeleton. I thought about going to find it myself so I could show you, but my fingers had already broken off from the frostbite. You’re lucky it was so cold on the lakeshore. πŸ˜‰

I had originally planned to photograph some Christmas lights in Petoskey during the blue hour, but those plans got dashed upon the icy rocks in Charlevoix. It was nearing sunset as we drove through town, and the low, broken clouds promised beauty.

The weatherman said that the winds were only blowing at 3-mph in Charlevoix, and I say that he obviously imbibed too much eggnog. As I shuffled my way around the icy pier, those brutal winds blew tears onto my cheeks. I’m just thankful they didn’t freeze on my eyelashes. And I’m thankful we waited – the sunset was pretty…even if I almost missed it while taking photos of the waves on the rocks, and Tony had to shout 10 times over the wind to get my attention about what was going on in the sky behind me πŸ˜‰

After the brief show ended, we packed the shivering Petey and our chilly selves back into the car to continue the trek to dinner. Tony had goulash over potato dumplings, and I had a rueben fusion dish: pierogies covered with corned beef and sauerkraut, topped with melted Swiss cheese and thousand island dressing. I told you: it’s the perfect antidote to freezing weather!

After dinner, we strolled around Petoskey, pretending it wasn’t too cold for aimless traipsing. I grabbed a few shots of the lights in Petoskey, and then we grabbed some coffee before doing a bit of Christmas shopping on our way home.

Now that my fingers have grown back, I think we’re going to bundle up for another hike. The tundra isn’t going to take pictures of itself πŸ˜‰


….On a side note, I entered this photo in a contest to be featured on the cover of Michigan Wine Country magazine. There are two contest winners: a judge’s choice and a people’s choice. Voting runs through the 20th, so if you’d like to cast a vote in my direction, I’ll take all the help I can get πŸ™‚ You can vote daily if you’re feeling really generous!

9 thoughts on “A Big Day with Little Temps

  1. I’ll have the potato dumplings with goulash, thank you. And a very hot toddy. As much as I tell you you’re insane to walk in those temps, I have to admit I think I would do the same – at least briefly – for a chance at photos like yours! And my crazy girls just insisted on going for their morning trek in our -11 temps. I hope they don’t freeze in place!

    Sent from my iPad


    • I am not normally a stew-meat kind of person, but I had two bites of the goulash – that means it was good! I’ll skip the hot toddy in favor of a toddy latte. Those flavors go together far better than I’d have imagined. Here’s hoping you’re nice and toasty πŸ™‚

  2. I’m sorry you lost your fingers, dear Heather. (smile) As for that photo contest: WaHOO! I love that you’re participating. I know you’re going to win. OK, I hope.

    • Fortunately they grew back, but it was touch-and-go there for a while πŸ˜‰ As for that contest, I’m glad you’re on my side! Surely your vote of confidence counts for something. (At the very least, it warms my heart, and that’s enough on these cold, cold days.)

  3. I have officially run out of words on your pictures Heather!! Seriously πŸ˜‰ such stunning landscapes πŸ™‚ You are one lucky girl to be living surrounded by such beauty!

    What did Petey have for dinner? Does he like Polish food? Next time please post pics of the chow too! What is ‘rueben fusion’ and pierogies? My curiosity is peaked!

    • Luck doesn’t begin to touch it! Sometimes I just cannot believe that this place is real. I didn’t write about it, but the other night we attended a tree-lighting in town. Each year, the city (Traverse City, our nearest “city” which is actually quite small) erects a giant Christmas tree directly in the middle of a main intersection in town. On the night of lighting, they shut down the main street, and the high school band parades Santa through a crowd (which just parts out of his way…no supervision). Carolers sing, and then we count down till lighting. It’s such a family-oriented magical event, and I just love it.
      As for the food. Petey had his boring old rice and chicken kibble, but he did have peanut butter dog cookies. And he came home to his elk antler and his cow femur with marrow. I’ll work on the chow photos, but I rarely take the good camera into restaurants with me, and I feel like the iPhone butchers indoor lighting :-/ Reuben fusion. Have you had a reuben sandwich? It’s usually corned beef slices with sauerkraut and thousand island (like Russian if you aren’t familiar with thousand island) dressing on rye bread. Pierogies are kind of like Polish ravioli. They’re usually am egg and sour cream dough filled with potato and sauerkraut. They are often boiled to cook, but the place we go sautes them (perhaps after they’ve been boiled, but I’m not sure). So the fusion was pierogies on the bottom, then a layer of corned beef, then sauerkraut, then melted Swiss and thousand island. Phew! Hope that all made sense πŸ™‚

      • That does sound magical πŸ™‚ There’s just something about Christmas that warms the soul isn’t there? Its one reason I’m glad to have been brought up in Goa, even though we are Hindus…it meant I grew up with Christmas sweets and trees and Midnight mass and caroling at a time when the rest of India was still relatively quiet on the festival! Have always loved this season πŸ™‚

        I’m imagining Petey with his elk antler LOL πŸ˜€ Those chow descriptions are mouth-watering! I like the sound of Polish ravioli, not too fond of sauerkraut though. Love thousand island dressing πŸ™‚ Sounds like a right little feast to me! I do agree about lighting and food pics – mine never seem to come out the way the food actually looked!

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