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Michigan is a favorite retirement and vacation town

What’s really exciting about this area is that great deals can be found on resort property that is perfect for vacationing, retirement, or earning extra rental income.

Resort Fun

The best part about Antrim County is Shanty Creek Resort. The three villages in this large resort are Schuss, Cedar and Summit. Across the resort are all types of housing, and dozens of homeowners associations.

Schuss Village is the center of the resort’s winter activity, but there are ski hills in all of the villages. Summit Village features Lakeview Hotel and Restaurant, which recently underwent a multi million dollar renovation.

In addition to great downhill ski hills, the resort offers cross country trails and tubing in the winter. Also, four golf courses, indoor and outdoor pools, trails for hiking and biking, and numerous other activities abound in all four seasons.

Water Fun

Lake Bellaire, a few minutes from Shanty Creek Resort, is connected to a chain of lakes including the famous Torch Lake. In addition, the nearby Jordan River offers canoeing and kayaking.

Fishing is excellent on the chain of lakes, where walleye, perch, bass and other lake fish are plentiful. Salmon and trout can be caught on the river and in nearby Lake Michigan. A 58 pound muskellunge caught on Lake Bellaire recently set a world record!

The Grass River Natural Area, a "Northern Michigan Haven for Plant and Animal Life," offers recreational and environmental educational opportunities.

Downtown Bellaire Fun

Bellaire is the Antrim county seat, so downtown Bellaire is able to offer unique shops and restaurants.

Some of our favorites in the downtown strip are Short’s Brewing Company, Toonies, and Lu Lu’s. There is also an ice cream store, Subway and McDonalds just outside downtown.

Several gift stores in downtown sell gifts, clothes, toys and other delights. There is also the Bellaire Smokehouse, which in season offers the best ribs and other smoked meats, as well as locally caught fish.

The Bellaire Movie Theatre shows current movies nightly. There is also a bowling alley in town that is being upgraded to open in the spring, and a unique indoor putt putt golf course inside Papa K’s Pizza Shop.

Don’t forget Mancelona

Mancelona is not as vibrant as Bellaire, but it is very beautiful as well.

In addition to a Subway, McDonalds, ice cream store and bakery, Mancelona also offers a grocery store,
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Our favorite restaurant in Mancelona is Shirley’s, where long time resident Shirley prepares her homemade recipes and mingles with the customers. Next door to Shirley’s is Iron Skillet,
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If you are interested in more information about exploring Bellaire as a place to live, vacation, or invest, please see this website.

Top 5 ski resorts in North AmericaMammoth Mountain, California: This resort is enormous and thus deserving of its name. Located about 140 miles south of Lake Tahoe, the base and summit at Mammoth are 2,000 feet higher than Tahoe,
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>Lynnae's Gourmet Pickles-January's Pickle of the Month!

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Please, please, please let me introduce you to the pickles that have me running straight to the fridge as soon as I get home. Ladies and gentleman, meet the lovely lady Lynnae of Lynnae’s Gourmet Pickles!

These pickles are made in Tacoma, WA by Lynnae herself based on her grandmother’s recipe. She started out much like all of you other picklers out there, making them for friends and family and one day found she couldn’t keep up with the demand AND her day job, so she took some time off and the next thing you know, she’s a full time pickler. Her sister-in-law and another friend have joined in her venture and are the 3 women behind this delicious company. I’m really excited to have these ladies join in on the pickling fun along with my pals over at Miss Jenny’s Pickles! We need more women in pickles!

I think their move to the pickle business was a wise one because I cannot get enough of these pickles. They are definitely unique in that they combine my favorite new sweet flavor with a spear form-YES-these are the first sweet pickles I’ve ever had that weren’t cut into slices. I also really love their balance of sweet and heat and GARLIC!

Look at this picture above-that’s the first jar I opened and the garlic was nice and spicy and lingered with every bite….yummmm….let’s hope they make a pickled garlic soon!

These pickles come in 2 varieties, the Mrs. Pickles which are the original family recipe and the Hot Mama Pickles which have a few added jalapenos for extra heat. I couldn’t detect too much difference in the heat levels but my tongue may be immune since I eat so much spicy stuff, so if you’re nervous, stick with the original but either way you will be pleased with the delicious punch of flavor these pickles pack!

If you’re pickle palate is craving something a little different-try these please!

>A Brief History of My Sweet Pickle Tooth

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As a young child I remember sticking a fork into an unlabeled homemade jar of sweet pickles in the fridge and being totally disgusted by the sweet taste. It was probably more a fault of the surprise than the actual pickles but I was turned OFF for a long time but I’m pleased to testify my sweet pickle tooth has been born again. Hallelujah!

The infancy of my sweet tooth goes back about 7 years ago when I encountered a strange van in Meridian, MS in a hotel parking lot. I was living in Brooklyn but was home for a wedding and had my picture taken, holding a can of beer of course, next to the company logo on the van. It said “Mickles Pickles: The Second Best Pickle In the World”. A few weeks later after some googling, a jar from Picayune, MS was delivered to me in the mail and about an hour later that jar was gone. I’ve since nurtured my tooth lovingly along the way, and Mickles were the perfect intro. They are sliced super thin and have a crispy crunch and a peppery bite, all of which is balanced beautifully. Yes indeed these are not pickles for sharing. Grab a jar,a fork,hide and kiss them goodbye, just as the label advises.

My next phase was satisfied by Wickles Pickles which are cut in thicker slices making them easy to chop and great for adding to dishes like potato salad and such, but as you know already, I hardly experience a pickle other than straight from jar to mouth. They chunky slices are sweeter AND spicier than Mickles but I was now prepared for the sugary kick.

And then came along Harold’s Sissy Sweet Pickles which are the roughest, rowdiest sweet pickles out there. The slices are big chunks and the heat is SERIOUS. Probably the hottest store bought pickle labled “sweet” you’ll ever come across. It was after these pickles that I realized, Oh, I like sweet pickles! I really like sweet pickles!

AND THEN I got 2 jars of Lynnae’s Gourmet Pickles and they have been deemed my January Pickles of the Month, and oh yeah, they are SWEET!

Stay tuned for my post on these awesome pickles that have my pickle sweet tooth smiling!