Spring Apple Cider at Yates

Yates Cider Mill - photo by Michael Dwyer

Landmark Cider Mill Opens on Tax Day The late start to spring, a dusting of snow, and cleaning up the yard might remind you of last November – so you had better go to the cider mill too. Yates Cider Mill opened Tuesday for a spring pressing. Occasionally, Michigan apple growers have a surplus of apples in cold storage that allow cider mills to offer a pressing this time of year. Yates did this a couple of years ago. At first, the mill was planning on two weekends back in 2012, but the word … [Read more...]

Silver Ball Madness Returns to OU

The 2014 Michigan Pinball Expo Returns to Oakland University April 3-6

Silver Ball Madness Returns to OU By Michael Dwyer More than a hundred silver balls will be rolling next weekend at the 2014 Michigan Pinball Expo at Oakland University. For 57 hours, pinball players of all ages will be sending those silver balls towards targets, ramps, and other creative scoring components to rack up points on their favorite pinball machines. Once spread across the country in arcades, pool halls and bars, many of these machines fell into the hands of collectors. … [Read more...]

An Early Spring for Couples in Kentucky

Ale-8-One Factory Tours are Family Friendly - photo by Michael Dwyer

A Couples Weekend to Lexington, Kentucky, part two By Michael Dwyer and Sonya Julie Spring comes about a month earlier in Kentucky compared to Michigan. Head south for an early spring and a couple's weekend. Shopping Around Lexington  This extraordinary bookstore, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, with its massive domed structure is home to thousands of titles, gifts, educational games, and the popular Bronte Bistro. Priding itself in being an integral part of the community, Joseph-Beth … [Read more...]

A Couples Weekend to Lexington

And They're Off at Keeneland Race Course in April - photo by Michael Dwyer

A Couple’s Weekend to Lexington, part one By Michael Dwyer and Sonya Julie  All About Horses Lexington, the Horse Capital of the World, is where visitors can experience the Kentucky Horse Park, take a horse farm tour, or go to the races at Keeneland Race Course. A one of a kind educational theme park, the Kentucky Horse Park,  hosts equine competitions and working horses. They opened to the public in 1978 as a family-friendly venue dedicated to the relationship between human … [Read more...]

Travel Dreams 2014

Races at Keeneland Race Track in Lexington KY - photo by Michael Dwyer

I have travel dreams just like everyone else. Twenty-fourteen will take me to new places, I will return to some old favorites, and I will try to fulfill ongoing travel dream adventures. Here we are, entering month three of the new year and even if you enjoy what winter brings, the snow and cold are making the year feel extremely long. Travel planning brings a warm light onto my soul as I rifle through my 2014 calendar – when am I free, when am I busy – outlining my travel schedule. … [Read more...]

Go Play in the Snow

Michael Dwyer snowmobiles around the Great Lakes

Whether you want to blame Old Man Winter, Jack Frost or Punxsutawney Phil, the snow keeps coming and coming. With at least six more weeks of this, you may as well enjoy the winter. Cross Country Skiing There are two basic kinds of cross-country skiing, Classic style and Skate style; either way, it’s quite the workout. Take advantage of the local Metroparks or county parks and try it. You can rent skis from REI or some of the parks rent as well (call ahead and ask). Downhill Skiing … [Read more...]

Snowshoe to the Eben Ice Caves

Michael Dwyer is behind the ice curtain at the Eben Ice Caves in Michigan's UP - photo by Kirsten Borgstrom

Snowshoe to the Eben Ice Caves By Michael Dwyer This winter has provided Michigan a plentiful amount of snow to keep enthusiasts eager to engage the outdoors. While cold weather and weekend snowstorms slow down the tourist action, those looking to brave the weather will find pure Michigan enjoyment all around them. A trip to the Upper Peninsula before the white stuff melts may be just the thing one needs. The Eben Ice Caves in the Rock River Wilderness area of the Hiawatha National … [Read more...]

Michigan Skiers Now Skiing

Terrain Park Action at Mt. Brighton

By Michael Dwyer Follow this Link to: Read Rochester Media’s Start of Season Ski Report First The Middle of Winter Southeast Michigan skiers and snowboarders are now hitting the slopes, again, at the local resorts. “The early start was nice to have” said Mark Tibbetts, general manager at Mt. Holly in Holly, MI. However, “the extreme weather events we’ve had didn’t help,” Tibbetts said regarding the amount of natural snowfall the area had which the villainous cold and the … [Read more...]

Learn to Ski in Southeast Michigan this Winter

Skiers and Snowboards get ready for a run at Mt. Brighton - photo by Michael Dwyer

Area Resorts Open Early Pine Knob (Clarkston), Mt. Holly (Holly), Alpine Valley (White Lake) and Mt. Brighton (Brighton) are the four ski and snowboard resorts in southeast Michigan. These landmark ski hills attract ski clubs, high school race teams, and recreational skiers and boarders from miles around. Snowsport enthusiasts in Michigan had two surprises in 2013; last season stretched to the end of March and this season started earlier than ever. The local resorts opened before … [Read more...]

Cider Mills Wind Down For Season

Yates Cider Mill Still Going Strong in November

Michigan Apples Set State Record It was a good season for apples here in Michigan. The state set shipment records two weeks in a row in October. With 9.2 million total apple trees in commercial production on 36,500 acres, Michigan is the third largest producer of apples in the United States, and distributes apples to 26 states and 18 countries. As one of the largest fruit crops in the state, apples have an estimated annual impact of $700–900 million on Michigan’s economy. “Our … [Read more...]