A perfect, perfect rainy day. Billy and I originally were going to head to Saugatuck and hang out, but quickly realized that was just a direction, and not really our destination. We wanted to take the day slowly, and if we saw a sign for something off the expressway that sounded interesting, we were going to check it out. So basically, we hit the road and headed west. (by the way, that is not our car, I just loved all their bumper stickers)
We didn't make it too far before we found our first stop off, Hudson Mills Metropark. This is a great metro park! We didn't spend too much time here, just walked along the river a bit, and then looked for a mill that didn't exist. I did spot a multitude of Cedar Waxwings along the river, diving and swooping above the rapids. The park itself was pretty empty, and we blamed it on the gray clouds above, threatening to pour rain at any minute. We made a mental note to come back and kayak here one day.
Further down the road, we saw a billboard for free wine tastings at a local winery, the Sandhill Crane Vineyards. We decided, what better thing was there to do around 2:00 on a rainy Saturday but sample a few wines? And it was a neat little winery! The rain was just gently drizzling when we went in, and the building itself was all warm wood with a wide low slung covered porch that just invited you to sit on it and enjoy a few tastes. So inviting that there weren't any tables left. Nor were there any spots at the bar inside, where you can actually just go and hang out and order regular glasses of wine. But there was a room in the back with tables, and that is where we wound up.
We had a tiny older woman named Alice as our pourer, and she was really kept busy- not just by us, but by everyone in back. By this point, it was pouring rain outside, and it was such a cozy feeling to be inside watching it come down. Sandhill Cranes has an extensive selection, and no limit to how many you can taste. We didn't go crazy, since we still needed to drive home, but we did taste about 6 each. They had some interesting ones with Michigan blueberry flavors and honey, including the Blue Skies Wine, which I loved; Billy really liked the dessert wine Sugar Snow, which had some maple sap flavors in it from actual Michigan Maple syrup, which I hated. But then, I hate maple syrup and maple stuff, so that wasn't a surprise. My absolute favorite was the Abraza, and it had nothing to do with the fact that for every bottle bought, $2 of the proceeds are donated to the Cascades Humane Society. Billy and I would wander into the winery that supports animal rescue, fate kismet and all that. They have three animals, two dogs and a cat, and all are pictured on different bottles of wine. Rusty the Lab is on the Abraza, Rosie the Terrier is on the Sassy Rose, and Miel the calico is on the Miel Amour. The best part is that they are wandering about the property and the building, so we got to meet them.
We had a great time, and actually didn't spend much money. We split a grilled cheese at the Metro Park, and then ordered the Salmon Spread plate at the vineyard, and the total for both came to $10.00. We did buy a bottle or two of wine, but that was not a necessary expense- the whole day could have cost us the ten bucks and the half tank of gas. We found a few new places to visit, and just enjoyed a slow rainy day together. I can't wait for our next rainy road trip!