Visiting the lazy harbor town of St. Joseph, Michigan, has become a tradition with my friends Jill and Bethany. In March I book our “rental”, which is the home of friend who graciously allows us to borrow it for the weekend, and is conveniently located three blocks from a public beach. In May and June the emails start flying between Bethany, Jill and myself about who is bringing what grocery items, board games, cards, etc.
We’ve gotten a comfortable routine down. Friday night, get in, unload and grab dinner at Clementine’s. Onion rings for an appetizer are a must – if you’re feeling hungry you can tackle the 12” stack or if you’re just looking for a warm up the 6” is a great option. Main course usually consists of a burger or sandwich. Dessert? Of course! Especially when traveling with Jill. Order the apple dumpling and you won’t be disappointed. After dinner we head back to the house and either head to the beach for the sunset or plan out the next day’s activities.
Saturdays are a mix of wineries and beach. This year we hit up four of our favorite wineries in the early afternoon. Southwestern Michigan is known for their semi-dry whites, which happen to be my favorite types of wines. Our tour started with Lemon Creek Winery (great peach spumante), followed by Tabor Hill (which bottles a demi-sec that’s been served in the White House since the 70’s), then Hickory Creek (nifty apple wine made with 30 different apples), and lastly Round Barn (their Edel Doux is my favorite). We usually back a lunch to enjoy at the beach or at the winery as well. Round Barn has an excellent patio to relax in the outdoors with a meal.
The rest of Saturday afternoon was spent building up our summer base coats of redness followed by cooling off with ice cream at Kilwin’s in downtown St. Joseph. Sunday we cleaned up the house and headed back to the beach for one more round on sun.
I love the time I get to spend relaxing on the beach, talking with good friends and sampling wine. It’s one quality weekend and I’m glad it’s become an annual summer tradition.