Your Guide to a Snowcation at Shanty Creek Resorts

If you are looking for winter fun, Shanty Creek Resorts has a lot to offer! This Northern Michigan resort has everything you need for a great snowcation.

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5 Adventures to Try at Crystal Mountain

5 Adventures to Try at Crystal Mountain

Traverse City, Michigan is a very popular destination in the summer for its beautiful water, weather, and a love of all things cherry themed or flavored, as the Cherry Capital of the World…..but you don’t have to wait until summer to experience adventure in Northern Michigan! I discovered why Crystal Mountain is a such a popular “snowcation” destination for winter fun too.

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Things to do at Grand Traverse Bay on a Girlfriend Getaway

Things to do at Grand Traverse Bay on a girlfriend getaway

Our Girlfriend Getaway to the Grand Traverse Bay Area in northwest Michigan, reunited 4 friends from college, from 4 different states! It seemed like something that you could only make happen once in a blue moon between all of our work and family schedules. Well, it just so happened that a blue moon was visible that weekend, so it must have been fate!

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Why snowshoeing is not my favorite but it’s good for me

Why snowshoeing is not my favorite but it's good for me

This winter has been unseasonably warm so attempting to try snowshoeing has been hit and miss all season. I’ve been able to try snowshoeing a few times this winter when we have gotten snow.

Our family’s first time trying was at local Winterfest event.  We tried the types of snowshoes resembled wooden tennis rackets like you see pictures of  Eskimos using.

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What it’s like to try the Luge when you are not an Olympic Athlete

 

What it's like to try the luge when you are not an Olympic athlete

I love when plans work out for a spontaneous adventure. My friend was already coming to town, so I just offered her  the “choose your own adventure” option for her visit.  Try the luge, cross country skiing or attend an ice sculpture festival.  I was sooo excited that she wanted to try the luge too.  The weekend we went was the first time the track had been open all winter due to lack of snow.  This was a Christmas gift I’ve been impatiently waiting to use.

I had tried the wheeled luge track with my kids this past summer and I knew I wanted to come back to try the winter one.

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A Winter Visit To Grand Haven For Lake Michigan Views

A Winter Visit to Grand Haven for Lake Michigan Views

Every time we visit Grand Rapids, Michigan, we make it a point to also try to  visit Grand Haven beach for views of Lake Michigan located about 30 minutes away. No matter what the weather is like during our visit, there is always beauty to behold. This winter was a little different because we experienced the warmest temperatures that we’ve ever had during a visit. The absence of snow and temperatures in the 50’s were definitely unseasonably warm for West Michigan in December.

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3 Ways to Use Coke for a College Football Rivalry Themed Party

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ShareYourSpirit #CollectiveBias

3 Ways to Use Coke for a College Football Rivalry Themed Party

When we moved back to Kentucky, one of the first things my husband did was put a flag up outside our front porch representing his favorite college team from Michigan. We were not even unpacked yet! Our new neighbor across the street, who we were friends with prior to moving away, told his wife that he thought that we moved into their neighborhood after noticing a facebook post with the flag. The funny part is that he is a BIG fan of that popular team from Ohio. Even though our husbands’ have their differences in college team allegiances, they can still set aside their differences and agree on a few things which includes great game day food.

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Tips for a Tubing on the Platte River

Tips for tubing on the Platte River

I love any excuse to be on the water and a tubing trip on the Platte River seemed like the perfect way to spend a few hours of our girlfriend getaway near Traverse City, Michigan.

Tubing Platte River 3

We got our rental tubes from Riverside Canoe. You have the option of tubes with or without a bottom. I’m glad that we chose the types with a bottom. You can also rent kayaks, rafts, canoes and Stand Up Paddleboards from them too.

Riverside Canoe 4

You can pick up any last minute items you need for your trip or souvenirs at their store.

Riverside Canoe

 

After you fill out your paperwork, you follow the guide into the state park. You do need a $10 Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park Pass but it will last you all weekend. One person from your group will drive to the ending point and the rest of your group can ride in the bus. The bus drives to the parking lot and everyone on the bus is dropped off by a trail to the water.

Trail to Platte River

We walked for about 10 minutes on the trail to the water. We were given a plastic bag to put our close in when we got in the bus which came in handy along with a string to tie our tubes together. We found that it was easiest to tie our tubes together to move down the river. It was fun to see how large the groups floating by us got.

Tubing Platte River 7

The float trip was really relaxing! You can get a great tan, enjoy the clear water, and observe the gorgeous scenery around you. Everyone on the river that day was extremely friendly. I think it would be hard to be in a bad mood in such a laid back environment.

Tubing Platte River 6

We were on the river for about 3.5 hours. Our trip was supposed to be 2-2.5 hours but the wind was blowing against us which caused us to walk in the water with our tube toward the end of our trip.

Our float trip ended a little before the Platte River meets Lake Michigan.

Tubing Platte River 15

Tubing Platte River 16

Pick up for Riverside tube rentals was on the right side of the river. It was easy to spot the workers from Riverside Canoe collecting rental tubes.

Tubing Platte River 17

It’s worth walking over to take in the views of the Dunes in the distance after you drop off your tube.

Tubing Platte River to Lake Michigan

Tubing Platte River 18

Tubing Platte River 19

Here are a few tips before your tubing trip

Tubing Platte River 4

1.Wear some form of water shoe.

I wore Tevas which were perfect because they had a strap. You do walk for about 10 minutes on a trail to the area where you put a tube in and you don’t want to be barefoot.

2. If you don’t want to be cold, ask for a tube with a bottom.

You can always jump in the water if you get too warm but your stuff will stay dryer with a tube with a bottom. I found it really comfortable too.

3. Lather up the Sunscreen

Put it on before you go and bring some with you. You can still burn on a cloudy or windy day.

4. Bring a waterproof case for your phone.

If you want pictures during your trip, don’t risk it without a waterproof case. I loved being able to still take pictures while we were tubing.

5. Have towels ready in your vehicle.

Don’t bother to bring them with you.

6. The plastic bag that you get for your clothes can still get them wet.

Don’t rely on the bag for anything valuable. Leave your wallet and valueables in the car.

7. Your keys stay on you. I would suggest tieing your key to your swimsuit strap or getting a waterproof pouch to hold it in.

Also, make sure that you teather anything loose to your tube handle.

8. Wear minimal clothing over your suit if possible.

I wore a coverup over my swimsuit and it got wet in my bag. I would suggest bringing something else to slip on overtop in case your coverup gets wet if you don’t want to change right away.

9. Bring drinks!

We noticed that a lot people even had their own mini tube for a cooler. You will get thirsty while you are out there. You might want to bring a snack too.

10. Ask how fast the river is running that day.

Our tour was supposed to be 2-2.5 hours but it took 3.5 because the wind was blowing against us.

11. Try to make sure that you don’t lose your rental agreement so that you get back your deposit.

My rental agreement came back wet but they seemed pretty used to that.

12. Link up your tubes with the strings they provide if you want to stick together

13. Don’t forget to purchase your Sleeping Bear Dunes National Parking Pass for your vehicle. 

14.Take time to enjoy the view.

Swim when you feel like it. Watch out for tree stumps in the water if you are walking your tube in the water.

 

You can find out more about planning your adventure with Riverside Canoe from their website.

Riverside Canoe 3

 

Riverside Canoe is located at 5042 N Scenic Hwy, Honor, MI 49640.

 

Disclosure: I received complimentary tubes for review purposes. All opinions are my own. 

 

Renting Snow Gear from Get Outfitted

Renting Snow Gear from GetOutfitted

I was given the opportunity to try out rental ski wear from Get Outfitted. I used the rental company on a trip to visit family in Grand Rapids, Michigan. My boys are in a big growth spurt stage and we are constantly discovering items of clothing that fit weeks ago that don’t fit anymore. They also tend to grow out of their ski gear pretty quickly too which made using Get Outfitted a nice alternative to the frustration of searching multiple stores for gear for the trip.

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