South Pond at Lincoln Park Zoo

The other day I arrived early to pick up Carrie from work and had some time to kill.  I decided to go for a walk and check out the newly rehabbed South Pond at Lincoln Park Zoo (the Pond is not actually part of the zoo, it’s part of the park, but LPZ is responsible for it now that the rehab is done).

If you’re unaware, the pond just went through a major rehabilitation project to turn it into a more natural habitat.  You can read a little more about the project here: Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo.

At any rate, they did a magnificent job.  Walking around the pond, the feeling is of being far away from the city, except you have the magnificent skyline as the backdrop.  It’s a wonderful experience.  Some of the indigenous plant-life that was added has not fully grown out yet, but when it does it will add to the allusion of being a million miles from nowhere.

If you’re in the city, or coming for a visit, it is definitely worth checking out.

I took some photos while I was there.  You can head over to my Flickr page to check them out: South Pond at Lincoln Park Zoo.

South Pond at Lincoln Park Zoo

Saugatuck, Wineries, and South Haven

(I’m going to try to wrap up the rest of the trip in this post.)

Monday we drove up to Saugatuck.  On the way, we stopped at a large antique store that’s on the way into town, if you’re coming from the south on Blue Arrow Highway, called the Blue Star Antique Pavillion.  We spent quite a bit of time wandering around in there.  It’s pretty big, with a huge inventory, including a big section of old records.  I spent less time looking at the records than I would have liked, but I did see a few things I should have picked up (but didn’t), including an original copy of Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk.  (I didn’t have any cash on me a the time, and didn’t want to use a credit card.  By the time we went back later, they were closed.)

Next door to the antique store was the Saugatuck Brewing Company.  This wasn’t on our list of brewpubs to visit, so we decided we’d come back later that evening.  When we did, we only stayed for one beer.  It was an alright place, with decent service (it seemed like a family run place), but the beer just wasn’t anything special.  (We ended up going back to New Holland.)

Anyway, the rest of the visit to Saugatuck was pretty uneventful.  It’s a nice little town, with all of the expected touristy small town stores.  Nothing big.  We did stop by Kilwins Chocolates and Ice Cream, which was definitely worth it, and there was a small store specializing in different types of spices and spice mixtures.

The next day (Tuesday) we planned on hitting a few wineries.  We went to Fenn Valley, and then to the tasting room for Warner Vineyards in South Haven.  (Both had good wines, but nothing we tasted was all that extraordinary.)

We decided to get lunch in South Haven, and then, since the first time we went there it was evening, we decided to just spend the rest of the day there.  It was a break in our plans, but we ended up having a really nice time walking down by the pier and beach.  Sometimes ditching your vacation plans is the best plan.

(I’ve added a few pics from this second visit to South Haven to my Flickr page, as well as some panoramas from various points during the trip.)

Still in a spontaneous mood, when we left South Haven, we actually just decided to drive home that evening, instead of the following morning.  We had done pretty much everything we wanted, and it wouldn’t take us long to pack and hit the road, so that’s what we did.  It would be nice to get home, and we’d be able to spend the next day just relaxing with no plans.

South Haven

The first night we were in Michigan we drove from the cabin we had rented to South Haven.  We had dinner at Clementine’s, which is a nice place with a few good beers available, and decent (not great) food.  However, their menu is in desperate need of being updated – it felt like we had time-warped to the late ‘70s or early ‘80s.

Anyway, after dinner we went for a walk down by the lakefront.  It happened to be right after sunset and the sky was a beautiful, rich purple.  I ran to the car to grab my camera, but was too lake to get any shots while the sky was at its most brilliant.  I did manage to take a few good pictures, though – which have been posted to Flickr.

It was a pretty uneventful evening, which is not an entirely bad way to start a vacation!

Flickr Upgrade

I finally upgraded my Flickr account to “Pro”.  I did this for a couple of reasons:

First, I was coming up on the 200 picture limit of the free account, and I have a bunch of stuff from this weekend to upload yet.

Second, I never realized that with the free account you could only see the “large” versions of the pictures (1024 px max on the longest edge) if you clicked on “all sizes”.  Some of the photos just aren’t as impressive if you can’t see them larger than that (particularly the panoramas).

So, go check it out.  Like I said, I’ve got a lot of stuff that I’ll be posting over the next couple of days.