Life has a way of getting in the way sometimes. Especially when it comes to spending time with that special someone. Job, family…all the daily demands can steal precious time from your “couple time”. It’s time to get away. Just the two of you. To reconnect and recharge for a weekend. Fortunately, we have a solution. A relationship retreat. Allow us to explain…
You arrive shortly after 4:00 at Grand Traverse Resort & Spa. The ride up the elevator provides a magnificent view of the countryside. The late afternoon sun sparkles on the bay…magical. You arrive at Aerie Restaurant, appropriately perched near the top of the resort, just in time for your 7:00 reservations. The 360-view from up here is spectacular. Start with the popular cheese and charcuterie. Toast your good fortune with a glass of a local Chardonnay. For dinner, consider the cast-iron seared Bronzini filet done with sweet potatoes, local honey and candied pecans in a brown butter sauce. Ask about the daily specials too…the restaurant prides itself on locally sourced, in-season recipes.
After dinner, return to the main level for a stroll through the boutique shops. Treat yourself to a stop at Dylan’s Candy Bar. The variety and creativity is amazing (think Willy Wonka without the ill-behaved kids). Don’t forget an “Up North” memento from 231 The Store. Make your way up to the top again and duck into the lounge at Aerie for a nightcap and a little live music.
The morning sun stretches slowly into your room. It feels so good to sleep in. You gradually make your way downstairs to breakfast. The Sweetwater American Bistro awaits with all the morning essentials. Try the smoked brisket hash or the Sweetwater Benedict…both popular eye openers. Finish your meal off with a second (or third) cup of coffee.
It’s time for some real R&R (relaxation & rejuvenation). Head upstairs to the resort’s full-service spa. You arrive just in time for your relaxation massage…80 minutes of luxuriant indulgence for just the two of you. You can feel your whole body breath a sigh of relief as the tension simply melts away. A warm scalp treatment completes the amazing experience.
Refreshed and rejuvenated, you’re ready for more. The next part of the adventure begins at the base of Old Mission Peninsula at Mari Vineyards. As luck would have it, there’s an empty table on the patio. You quickly secure it and order a couple glasses of the Cabernet Franc. The warming sun pairs perfectly with the magnificent bay view. The feeling is full-on Tuscany. It’s tempting to linger, especially for a tour of the underground wine cellar, but there’s more to see.
Driving up the peninsula, the road hugs the bay, revealing a breathtaking view at almost every curve. You eventually make your way to Chateau Chantal, one of the area’s oldest and most celebrated wineries. You’re here for their Harvest Dinner; a generous seven-course meal featuring perfectly paired food and wine. The smoked quail with oyster mushroom bread pudding is a particular standout. As dinner winds down, the sun starts to sink behind the glowing hills. You both toast the view with a glass of cherry wine. It’s been a day to remember.
There’s a slight chill in the air as the hot air balloon rises into the morning sky. You grip your honey’s hand a little tighter. As the balloon climbs, the view becomes ever more breathtaking. The bay, in all its blue majesty, spreads out before you. The rolling hills seem to stretch for miles. You soak it all in. This is the magic of Traverse City Balloon Tours.
Three hours, and a few hundred “oohs and ahhs” later, you’re back safely on the ground. It’s time for brunch before you head back to “reality”. Stop at Patisserie Amie, a French-inspired bistro on Lake Street, for their signature omelets and crepes. Try the Peasant Omelet with ham, raclette and potatoes and the Crab Mornay crepe. Close your eyes, while sipping a French-pressed brew, and you’re practically in Paris.
With the weekend fading in the rearview mirror, you’re on your way. With the promise that you’ll be back to make more memories. Just the two of you.