Over the holiday weekend, a few of us attended the wedding of some dear friends at Millcreek Barns in Watervliet, Michigan, which was beautiful if a bit toasty (brides-to-be: Millcreek doesn’t have air conditioning, so spring for fans if you’re doing this in the summer or a 100-degree weekend like we had). Oh, wait. You don’t know where Watervliet is? That’s alright, it took us a little while to find it, too - it’s a small town near Lake Michigan, about a two-hour drive from Chicago in normal traffic, and about five hours in Chicago holiday traffic (as people who have lived in both New York and Los Angeles, we were a bit surprised by how much worse traffic was in Chicago… that’s a post for a different day).
As we prefer to do, we spent our first night staying with friends near Logan Park, which is a fun, no-longer-urban-pioneering neighborhood outside the loop in Chicago (see? We can talk like locals anywhere! It’s the magic of hopara). While we’ve been to fantastic restaurants with them - we love Longman & Eagle and we’ve had great brunches at Jam (although we think that the omelet is better than the much-ballyhooed french toast), we were only in town for a night and wanted to go out on the town. Our friends procured tickets to the grand opening of Revolution Brewing’s Kedzie Brewery. To those of us not from Chicago, Revolution Brewery is the cool, local brewery (Goose Island is the maligned sell-outs, according to people we spoke with; to be honest, we thought that they both made a great beer). Our night went like this: buy tickets for beer, wait on line for beer, get beer, go back to the end of another line for beer, get beer, get food from one of the many foodtrucks invited to the event (we loved the Brown Bag Lunch Truck’s pork), and repeat. Needless to say, we were very, very inebriated the next day, and were only able to make the wedding thanks to eating a late-night pizza from Bella’s. We’re not sold on this entire one-slice-of-pizza-has-10,000-calories thing that Chicagoans seem to love, but since it made us feel better, we won’t get into the who-has-better-pizza-post (or the dashes-can-be-annoying post, either).
After picking up a few people from the airport, we made our way to Bridgman, Michigan, which, we’re told, is to Chicago as the Hamptons are to New York. It is very pretty out there - we admit it, we thought that it was a swinging place to veg out for a few days. We’re not going to recommend a place for you to stay here — we stayed with family, and we think you should find someone who lives there if you want to visit as well, since the reports from the wedding were unkind about the level of lodging in the area (usually, we inspect everything, but come on - we had other things on our mind). Plus, this is the main reason why we say this post is about living like rich Chicagoans — we definitely felt that Bridgman and the surrounding towns were there for the sole benefit of people who lived there.
We found some excellent food and drink — we enjoyed the homebrewed spirits at the Journeyman and thought that the food at Soe Cafe did a great job of showcasing local ingredients. For lunches, we liked Froelich’s in Three Oaks. We were told to do a quick drive-through at Jones Berry Farm; alas, at that point, we were playing by the fire pit, swimming in the pool, and hiking along Lake Michigan, so we missed it. If we get another invite (hint, hint), we’ll do it! The locals also told us to check out the Lemon Creek Winery (alas, we imported our wine for the weekend from Napa) and to hike along the sand dunes at Warren Dunes State Park; we skipped this one because, well, we were just feeling lazy.
By the end of the weekend, we were as relaxed as if we’d been to the beach at the Hamptons the entire time… except for that darn Chicago traffic. We’re hoping that helicopter rides between Chicago and Bridgman start getting really popular so we can make the trip without the frustration (and that we can find someone to pay for said helicopter rides for us). Also, we need to give a shout out to the good folks at AAA, who pulled our rented minivan off the side of a cliff near Lake Michigan (we’ll tell you that story another time).