We have been so fortune in the Chicago area with the type of fall we have had this year and I’ve been going outside to enjoy it as much as possible! Matt and I took a mini vacation to a small cottage in Newaygo, MI. Close enough to drive to, far enough away to hike and see stars (we spent about three hours freezing and star-gazing on the second night). It was awesome, relaxing, full of fall color, and full of food. We used VRBO to find a sweet deal on the place, which was reasonable and a good find. We were right on the Muskegon River:
We stopped at Crane’s Pie Pantry and Winery on the way up and did a cider/fruit wine tasting. It was something neither of us had done before and was tasty. Who knew there were so many different types of cider? We obviously got pie for later.
We were able to get some hiking in while we were in Newaygo at Coolbough Creeks, which had some nice medium length paths to hike through. Here are a few pictures of the hike. There were red shoe soles so that one didn’t get lost in the woods. Since we’re new to the wilderness, this was a nice touch:
We ended up eating/drinking at Newaygo Brewing Company that night, which was great! The food was nothing to write home about, but the beers were what really stood out. I got the following in a flight:
Each beer tasted like the flavor advertised in the description–Peach, Coconut, Maple Syrup, and Peanut Butter. None were weird/fake flavors and it had Matt and I guessing how on Earth they were able to brew them this way. It was a fun tasty time!
On the way back to Chicago, we stopped at Bell’s Brewery, always a classic for Michigan adventures. Some Bell’s beer is readily available in Chicago, so we decided to get beers that were not while we were there. We also bought a ton to take home with us and an extra 6 pack of both Expedition Stout (one of my favorite beers) and 30th Anniversary Ale (also fantastic) to age. We’ve hidden them from ourselves, so we’ll see how that goes.
The next weekend, I visited my sister when she was sick in the hospital. She’s doing much better now! Luckily, we got to wear some pretty great outfits:
After that mini trip, Matt and I went to Ana and Phil’s wedding! It was a beautiful ceremony and reception in Lincoln Park (our old hood). So nostalgic to spend time there. Congratulations to you two!
The rest of the month was spent with friends doing Halloween activities. I carved a cat into my pumpkin this year:
Matt stayed classic:
Overall, our friends are pretty good with knives:
I made a pumpkin shaped cheese ball for the occasion:
And Emily made Frankenstein rice crispy treats:
For actual Halloween, Matt made ghost truffles:
And Dark and Spooky beverages:
I also took walks by myself throughout the month in Winnemac Park near my apartment and enjoyed the colors changing:
Overall, I’m ready for the holiday season. Ready to spend time with family and friends. Ready to hibernate in Chicago once January rolls around.
Enjoy your time with loved ones!
Ninja Edit for your enjoyment: