Pure Michigan | Fennville, Saugatuck, and Grand Rapids

Pictured below:

Apple picking at Crane Orchards. The Saugatuck waterfront on an Indian summer afternoon.

Not pictured:

Blazing fall colors bordering the highway as we drove to Fennville. The heartbreaking decision not to stop at Pleasant House in Three Oaks along the way. Our first stop, lunch at Crane’s Pie Pantry—the orchard’s kitschy companion pie restaurant, filled with vintage ephemera on every surface (we ate our pie and cider doughnuts at an old school desk). Then, at the orchard, the apple-tasting stations where a grandmotherly woman insisted on feeding us slices of every kind of apple, so as to better guide our decision-making on which apples to fill our arms with, at which point we developed a mutual obsession with the Northern Spy. The incredible oversight of not stopping at Virtue Cider for a tour. The walk around downtown Saugatuck, with a notable stop at my childhood favorite Kilwin’s to drool over the ice cream flavors and the display devoted to fudge. The drive to Grand Rapids, where the late afternoon was spent sampling the entire slate of beers at Founders’ Harvest Festival, where the just-released, wet-hopped Harvest Ale stole our hearts. The dinner at Brewery Vivant, a brewpub whose stunning setting is a former funeral home with stained glass windows—please, please try the chicken and waffles if you’re in town. And the stroll around hushed, rainy downtown Grand Rapids afterwards, marveling at how cool the little city was, where we wondered aloud if it’d make a good home for us someday down the road.

Now that we’re emerging from the big freeze that was this winter, we’re already starting to plot our next day trip.

Camera: Mamiya 645AF
Film: Kodak Portra 400