About This Blog

Don't get me wrong. It's not that I'm not on board with the whole ebook thing. I enjoy books in all their formats. But there is nothing quite like a bookstore with its neatly arranged shelves of books and artfully created displays of new arrivals, best sellers, and suggested reading. I especially enjoy discovering small, independent bookstores and have made it my mission to visit and report back on as many of these gems as I can. That is my focus, but there is really nothing that is off limits as long as it is about books or reading. Hope you enjoy my blog and come back often.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Most Beautiful Place in America, Part I

The Cottage Book Shop
5989 Lake Street
Glen Arbor, MI

There I was. Open road ahead. My only companion, the brilliant blue sky looking over my shoulder through the sun roof. It was Wednesday, September 7, the second day after Labor Day, and I was relishing every aspect of this road trip to--drumroll please--The Most Beautiful Place in America. This past August, tens of thousands of Good Morning America fans voted to bestow that honor on Michigan's Sleeping Bear Dunes, and since I was already at the family cottage barely 2 hours from this esteemed locale, I turned my attention to three bookstores in the area. Click this link (GMA video), watch the announcement video closely, and you will get a brief glimpse of the first stop on my scenic tour, The Cottage Book Shop. The scenic drive along the Lake Michigan coast is reason enough for such a road trip, but when a bookstore awaits, well, it just doesn't get any better.

view through the window
The village of Glen Arbor, a quaint collection of shops and artist galleries in the heart of the Sleeping Bear area, is home to The Cottage Book Shop, a delightfully rustic store recommended to me by a friend. (Thanks, Dave.) Sadly, however, for reasons unknown, the shop was uncharacteristically closed for two days beginning on the day of my visit. I would have to content myself with a view of the shop exterior and a peek through the windows from the front porch. That's right; I said porch. The shop occupies a rustic log cabin, its quaintness a pleasure in and of itself. I knew immediately that I must make it a priority to visit this small shop again. My cursory look through the windows revealed small rooms with log walls displaying, on roughly hewn shelves, a variety of pamphlets and books about the Michigan area and Sleeping Bear in particular. I could only wonder about what other delights this bookstore might house.

To assuage my disappointment, I turned my attention to the town of Glen Arbor which is, after all, a splendid destination in its own right. One of the things this particular area of Michigan is most known for is cherries, and since it was lunchtime, I made my way a scant half block down the street to an establishment called Cherry Republic, purveyors of all things cherry, and also mentioned in the GMA video (see above link). After consuming a juicy cherry burger in the restaurant, I paid a brief visit to the Cherry Republic store. For those of you new to this blog, I make it a point to purchase something from each bookstore I write about, and since The Cottage Book Shop was closed, the Cherry Republic store provided a tasty alternative. I purchased chocolate covered dried cherries (milk and dark) and a freshly baked cherry/blueberry pie, which I might add was one of the most delicious pies I have ever tasted short of my mom's.

But the day was a wasting, and I had two more bookstores to visit. So I bid a fond farewell to Glen Arbor and headed north to the village of Leland.

The journey continues in Part II.

NOTE: I did indeed get a chance to visit this wonderful bookstore when they were open. Here's a link to that post:  Second time's the charm.


KHS Principal said...

Marsha, I am truly glad you are enjoying yourself. I'm jealous of the time you have to explore northern Michigan on your terms, and to visit some really cool places. You are missed, but your spirit carries on, and I'm glad you're following our technology journey as we race to catch up with our kids. Enjoy the colors.


sfaulk said...

I love chocolate covered cherries. The ones I purchased at the Cherry Hut were particularly wonderful.