We didn’t give up traveling in the last year, we just haven’t done much more than sit on beaches. Just what I needed in terms of mental relaxation, but that also meant not a lot of exploration or adventures to write about. That changed today!

Mom and I hit the road today our biannual road trip. This year’s trip was dubbed the Lake Tour as we will be traveling around 3 of the Great Lakes (Huron, Ontario and Erie), and several of the NY Finger Lakes. We left Champaign just after 9:30AM, and we finally checked into our hotel in Dearborn. MI about 8:00 this evening. A long day of driving! We opted to get off I-65 after about 20 miles – the agressiveness of the drivers and construction zones was not a good combo for the driver (me) or passenger (Mom). So we headed to some of the smaller state highways for a slower drive with far fewer cars and much less stress. A good decision, and beautiful scenery, but it made for a longer drive. (We also had to scratch Lake Michigan off our list of lakes for the trip, but I’ve seen it several times before!)

One of the benefits of taking the “road less traveled” is the small towns you get to stumble across. Crown Point, IN is on my list of places to go back and wander through. We drove down Main Street, and saw a little of the town square area. It felt like I had stepped back into the mid 1900’s – stunning architecture, tree lined streets, small shops, and people walking around. Unfortunately, I was driving so I didn’t get any pictures.

Our first (and only) stop of the day was St. Julien Winery in Paw Paw, MI. A much needed break, and the wine was pretty good, too! Very different experience from west coast wine tastings. The tasting included 6 pours of your choice, and they had a rather large selection. Rather than going from whites to reds, they poured based on residual sugar of each wine. A little odd to be bouncing back and forth between whites and reds, but still enjoyable. (I did buy a bottle of chardonnay which was very nice. I almost bought a bottle of bubbly, but I know there will be plenty of opportunity as the trip proceeds.)

Tomorrow will be a slower day, and hopefully less traffic. We even get to use our passports for the first time on a road trip. Stay tuned to see what adventures the day brings – there will be plenty of photo opportunities, I promise!