Posts Tagged With: Traverse City

Traverse City – Our New Hometown


Since the first week of August we have been settling into our new hometown. Traverse City is a resort town in Northern Michigan, and the region has become famous as Michigan’s wine country and a “foodie” destination. In addition to getting used to a new daily routine that doesn’t include schlepping off to the office everyday, the only stress has come from trying to do too much as we fully embrace Traverse City life.

So far we have only scratched the surface of all there is to do in TC. We have taken in our first Traverse City Beach Bums baseball game at Wuerfel Park. Weekly we hit the local Sarah Hardy Farmer’s Market where we have stocked up on fresh, organic, local produce. We have actually canned local peaches and tomatoes that we can enjoy through the winter. We also made homemade pickles and pickled green beans.

Harley rides around the Leland Peninsula and the Old Mission Peninsula have been spectacular. We have attended festivals like “Paella in the Park” and the weekly “Friday Night Live” block party. We also love going to movies at the non-profit waterfront Bijou by the Bay movie theatre.

Of course one of the key reasons we chose to come back to Michigan was to be closer to our kids who seem to be gradually migrating back to the Midwest. Jake and Hilary have visited twice so far, and now that Jessie has completed the Great Loop we get to see her on a much more regular basis.

Our major activity is building our house on the lake (more on that in a future post.) While the house is being built we are spending more days out at the lake canoeing, cleaning up the waterfront, and hanging by the campfire.

Traverse City has been everything we hoped it would be and we are enjoying every minute of being here!


We love the Beach Bums games! Good, American family fun…


I forgot how much fun it is to cut your own grass. I find it to be a very Zen experience …


Saturday mornings at the Sara Hardy Farmer’s market. Michigan blueberries, sweet corn, cherries, and peaches are of favorites so far.


First attempt at canning … organic tomatoes!


Already a peach cobbler from one quart.. Mmmmmm


Been a long time since I bought produce in bushel baskets …


Perfect way to spend a summer evening … Go Beach Bums!


Paella in the Park!


Harley ride around the Leland pennisula with a stop at Fish Town.


Harley ride out to the lighthouse on the Mission Peninsula.


The season are starting to change on our lake front property.


Paddling the canoe around Arbutus Lake.


Exploring the Arbutus Lake chain the old fashioned way …


As we clean up our waterfront, its been fun to hang by the camp fire.


Work, work, work …


Claire teaching Jessie the fine art of making sushi …


Jake and Hilary checking out our waterfront and progress on the house construction.

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tcgcclogoAs I said in a previous post, we rented a house right on the golf course. Since we are new to Traverse City, at least as residents, we thought joining the country club might be a good way to meet people and get connected to the local community. Neither of us had every belonged to a country club before. Claire has never played golf, and even though I love to play I have never been interested in joining a club. For one reason, there are so many great golf courses why limit yourself to one? Also, country clubs always seemed a bit “snooty” to me.

But, if there was ever a time to try joining a club, it was now. Our neighbor next door is a retired state trooper and member of the club. He offered to “sponsor” us, and we joined during our first week in TC.

The next day I played my first round of golf. Claire decided to just walk along with me. The course is short but pretty challenging. I haven’t played a lot of golf since my son went of to college a decade ago, so my game is pretty “rusty.” But we enjoyed being out, and met a few ladies on the course who are long time members. They told us our house used to be the “party house,” and encouraged Claire to begin playing.

A few days later, I played a round with John, or neighbor and some of his buddies. My game was still pretty “raggedy,” but they put up with me with good humor. After the round one of the guys in the pro shop told me my wife had signed us up for the couples scramble on Friday night. I though this very odd, since Claire continued to say she had no interest in actually playing. When I got home, I asked Claire why she had signed us up. She didn’t know what I was talking about … Apparently one of the ladies we met on the course during our first round signed us up!

Claire was willing to give it a go, but said she would simply ride along in the cart while I played. We were partnered up with another couple. They were so gracious and encouraging to Claire that on the first tee she agreed to try and hit a few shots. She did amazingly well considering she has never played! I week later we bought her a set of starter clubs, and we have now played at least a half dozen rounds together. She has gotten good enough to be frustrated when she doesn’t hit the ball well. She is also hitting some of her drives long enough to actually lose a ball or two.

My son has come up from Chicago twice and we have played a couple of rounds during each visit.

We have thoroughly enjoyed the club thus far. The restaurant is excellent, and now that the weather is turning cold we are using the workout facilities regularly. We’ll see if we still use the club once we move out to our new house next summer…


Sunrise on the golf course … This is the view from the living room of our little house on the course.


Most every time we play we see deer and/or turkeys on the course …


Turkey for a caddy.


Claire with her brand new golf clubs!


Still smiling after her first round of golf …


Claire has a very good swing and lots of cute golf outfits!


The Bancino’s are known as the “dew busters” at the club since we are usually the first ones out in the morning …


Jake playing from a fairway bunker during his first round at the club.


During Jake’s second visit we played our annual “Father vs. Son Fall Classic” in the pretty questionable weather. We finished the first round just a thunder and lightening started …


Round one of the Father vs. Son Fall Classic.


We played round #2 in monsoon rain and wind …


One morning I sat out on the patio of our little house while catching up on email and watching the local high school invitational.


Our first dinner at the Club!

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Traverse City: “The Caddy Shack”


We arrived in Traverse City, our new home, on the 6th of August. We rented a house “sight unseen” via the internet. Actually, Claire did a virtual walk through with a realtor via Facetime on her computer. Frankly, there were not a lot of rental options in TC which is an issue that the local government is trying to deal with. Since our new home won’t be completed until next summer, we needed to rent a place for almost a year. We chose a little house that sits right on the Traverse City Country Club. Since we are new to the TC area, we reasoned that the country club would be a good way to meet people and get connected to the local community.

Neither Claire nor I have ever been members of a country club, and Claire doesn’t play golf. Since joining, Claire has taken up the game and we have appreciated open views out our windows. The house is only a few hundred feet from the club house, so we regularly walk over to play golf or have dinner.

The house was about what we expected. A bungalow built in the 1970’s, the owner was an elderly lady who recently passed away. Her family decided to rent the house out until they can decide what to do with it. The place is all 70’s paneling, pink tile, and pink drapes. The carpet (which is everywhere) is new, and the entire side of the house that faces the golf course is windowed.

We love the location and the view, but I am looking forward to having nice kitchen and bathrooms again, and having space for all our belongings. We have filled the two-stall garage from floor to ceiling with boxes and furniture that won’t fit in the little bungalow.  But for the time being, the place meets our needs and we have affectionately dubbed it “The Caddy Shack.”


For the first two nights, we slept on a air mattress while we waiting for the moving van to arrive with our stuff.


Right on time!


Relieved to see the Big Green Egg arrive safely!


Halfway through the process and the garage is starting to fill up. By the time we were done it was floor to ceiling!


Great views, once you look past the paneling and pink drapes …


No patio, but we created a little out door sitting area where we enjoy watching the golfers


We are on the corner of the eighth green and the 9th tee box. Because of the location, we don’t get any stray golf balls hitting the house.


One room is set up as our “project room” where we share a desk and are managing the construction project. The room is full of architectural drawings, sketches, material samples, etc.

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