Saturday, September 01, 2012

Frankenmuth Michigan - Around Town

We got up a little later than usual this morning and went downstairs for the complimentary continental breakfast. Just as in Grayling, there was no bread for toast. On the plus side, they had microwaveable Jimmy Dean bacon, egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches so it was more satisfying than usual.

We walked down to River Place, a collection of shops made to resemble a Bavarian village. Heather and Tom wanted to get some old time photos made and the shop opened at 10:00. Prior to that, the place was empty enough to swing a dead mountain lion.

Heather, Tom and Sandy at a downtown fountain

I didn't write down what it was but I liked it

River Place is quiet before 10:00 AM

It is quaint in a  contrived way

With all kinds of strange shops

Visions of Penny.....


Torture the diabetic

Tom and Heather select their outlaw photos

After the photo shoot, we caught the first sailing of the Bavarian Belle. The boat is owned and operated by a father and his two sons and takes up to 150 passengers on a one hour narrated cruise up the Cass River. The boat served several other places before being bought and transported here overland.

The Bavarian Belle and covered bridge

Awaiting departure (the stones are from the Niagara Escarpment)

Good popcorn but much of it was fed to the ducks

Under the covered bridge

Our captain for the cruise

The Bavarian Inn

In 1986, the water was within inches of overflowing the concrete wall

Marv Herzog Hotel (built 2007)

 Frankenmuth Brewery (Star of the West Milling Co in background)

Owl on the brewery

Heritage Park

Wheelchair accessible kayak launch

Lush vegetation

Man made inlet where the Bavarian Belle winters

Leaves changing colours already

Stack won't fit under covered bridge

So they tip it

After the cruise, we took another walk through River Place and checked out a few of he shops.

Too true

I know it is Star Trek but we could use it too

OK, I'd worry about the kid who asked for this

Shopping done, we stopped at the Bavarian Inn for lunch. I wanted a bratwurst on a bun and that is what they had. It was pretty good. Then we went back to the hotel for a bit before deciding to take the truck to Birch Run, a huge collection of factory outlets. We walked a ways and the reconnoitered from the free trolley shuttle. Then we visited a few shops including Golf Mania, Columbia, Under Armor as well as some others. I guess buying wasn't on our mind today because we returned empty handed.

Birch Run shuttle trolley

Birch Run water tower

On the way back from Birch Run, we stopped at Bronner's Christmas Wonderland. This is the Wall Drug of Christmas stores. It has pretty much everything except, oddly, there is no electric train running around a Christmas tree. And that seemed like a natural.

Twelve months a year

Heather looks at ornaments

this whole section was devoted to Polish Christmas

Anywhere that has a miniature bass clarinet must have everything

We did buy something here

Seasonal plate (they were from St. Thomas and know Rachel McAdams)

Back at the hotel, we parked the truck and walked downtown for supper. T. Dubs was pretty busy but there was one booth for four available and we took it. The food was quite good. "Wicked good" according to our server's T-shirt. I asked who the Mainer was and she said the owner came from there.  The only downer was a crying baby but that was not the establishment's fault.

Sandy outside T. Dubs

Waiting for food

Royale With Cheese?????

There is a D on the end. Really!!

After supper, we walked down the the square and hired a carriage for a half hour ride. Jordan was our driver and Fred was our horse. He was a white (formerly grey) Percheron draft horse retired from an Amish farm. He only works every second day here but still wasn't the fastest thing on four legs. Still, we had a nice ride as Jordan told us all kinds of interesting historical tidbits about Frankenmuth.

Arched doorways and steep roofs identify Christian homes

Jordan hands over Fred's reins after the ride

Jordan told us the glockenspiel (actually a carillon) performance would take place at the Bavarian Inn at 9:00 PM. The bells would sound the music as the carved figures re-enacted the story of the Pied Piper of Hamlin. The tale was narrated in English and then, without the figures, in German. 

We has some time to spare so we walked up and got ice cream first. I had a single scoop in a waffle cone with dark and white chocolate around the rim. It was huge and, when the chocolate broke away, it ended up taking much of the side of the cone with it. I tried to eat it all but ended up throwing a some away while trying to keep the residue off my hands and clothes. Then we settled in to watch the glockenspiel show which was entertaining and a little bit different.

Glockenspiel Tower - Bavarian Inn - Frankenmuth Michigan

After the show, we walked back up the hill to the hotel where we turned in for the night.

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