On Thanksgiving night, the family and I went for a hike in Muskegon State Park. We decided to go off-trail to a plateau overlooking Lake Michigan, and in the dark we ended up a bit lost. Not so lost that we needed to be rescued, but lost enough that we weren’t sure how to get back to a trail. So instead of backtracking or searching with flashlights, we headed straight for our constant, Lake Michigan. We hiked down “Sugar Bowl,” a huge series of sand dunes, in a fierce and freezing windstorm. The stars, the waves, the air - it was all amazing. When we got home my dad made hot cocoa.
The next morning, still digging sand out of our ears, we headed downtown for a slice of Brie from the Cheese Lady and a couple bottles of wine from Clay Avenue Cellars. The Cheese Lady has become a staple of my Muskegon shopping and dining experience, and Clay Avenue Cellars makes probably the most interesting wine in the entire state. Their new Pumpkin Patch wine is fantastic - a light white wine, with simple, almost indiscernible hints of pumpkin, clove, and cinnamon. If anyone is looking to buy me a Christmas gift, I’ll take a case of this stuff. Thank you.
Sadly, downtown Muskegon, even with its new face lift, was a ghost town on Black Friday. Some of the shops weren’t even open - tragic to see all that money go out of town - a self-inflicted wound. Well, I for one will not drink the Dharma beer or eat Dharma oats. I will catch my own fish (“Brie”), hunt my own boar (“wine”), and feast. I reject strip malls and Best Buys in favor local business.
I had initially intended to put together a huge list of local Michigan stores and products, but most every other blogger beat me to the punch. Instead, I offer just a few of my favorites and encourage you to support local businesses this holiday season. Further, I encourage everyone to buy me cases of wine. I promise to share.
For Michigan shirts, read my post, “Love Me Some Michigan Shirts,” with links to the merchants.
The Detroit Free Press just posted an article on the Buy Michigan Now campaign, “‘Buy Michigan Now’ Gives Boost to Businesses Across the State.”
There you have it, my Christmas wish list. And if you want to buy me a new truck, those are made in Michigan too. What’s your favorite local Michigan shop for the holiday season?