Bone Island Grill

@tour_the_town visited local favorite Bone Island Grill recently for a quick lunch.

Bone Island Grill is right around the corner from us and is a favorite fun local hangout. It’s a surprisingly big place seating as many as 170 guests! This is a family friendly warm tropical themed restaurant and bar. They serve breakfast lunch and dinner. They host many special events throughout the year. And offer an outdoor patio as well as conference hall space for private parties.

It was a quiet lunch hour when we visited but the staff was friendly and lunch was delicious!

I enjoyed the pecan chicken salad, the sweet pecans with the perfectly cooked warm chicken on fresh greens with vinaigrette was delicious!

Owned by Karen Drushal and Frank Slaby, Bone Island has played an important role in our community often contributing to various charity events and organizations in the area. They even offer a loyalty program and loyalty fundraising program! We highly recommend that you visit during one of their themed events like retro weekend, slaby-fest, or just a week night of DJ Bingo! Stop in for a visit and try the fish tacos! They’re fabulous too! Enjoy!!

If you’d like to know more or see they’re specials visit them on Facebook! Or instagram! @boneislandgrille

Follow us on instagram for more behind the scenes photos! @tour_the_town

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Jackson Coffee Co.

Snow days are great! Am I right!? With the wind blowing and the snow coming down Amber and I headed out for a days of pics, coffee, candy, and maybe a quick well deserved lunch! We laughed, posed, and all in all had a great time!

Our trip started off with a slow drive to Ella Sharp park for a few pics. We were met by an indecisive squirrel who danced in front of my stopped vehicle trying to decided which snow bank looked less menacing. It was pretty entertaining. A few quick pictures and we were off to downtown!

Once there we grabbed a couple more pics and laughs and headed to Jackson Coffe Co. For a wonderful warm up!

Jackson Coffee Co. Opened it’s doors September 2006 and have made quite a claim to fame in the Jackson MI community. Their locations are a reflection of the community with photos, art, music and more all from local artists and other area businesses. The crown jewel is the downtown coffee house location! This beautifully restored location in the downtown business district is beautiful and easy to get to! The perfect stop before any major …or minor downtown event or excursion. Right away when you walk in you’re hit with the fantastic aroma of fresh roasted coffee! The decor has a fun nostalgic feel and the staff was super friendly and informative!

There are two levels to the cafe’ the lower level with a long counter space for a fantastic street view or a roomy upstairs with seating and a small stage where they host live local musicians on Friday nights. They even offer a conference room area for satelite meetings or small group gatherings.

So what makes Jackson Coffee Co. the best? They slow roast small batchs of perfectly selected beans from some of the best growers in the world! It doesn’t get any fresher than that! But it’s not just coffee they also offer tea, smoothies, and snacks!

If you’d like to try it for yourself visit them at their downtown location on the corner of Mechanic st. And Cortland Ave. Or visit their website at http://www.jacksoncoffeeco.com

@Tour_the_town visits Jackson Candy and Fudge Factory next, just in time for Valentine’s Day! Stay tuned, and get out and enjoy your own hometown…or ours!

Tour the Town!

During a recent hangout with my BFF Amber, we decided we wanted to inspire something a little different for 2019. We were talking about some of the Instagram pages that really strike us, how the imagery makes us want to do more, and travel more, and eat more, and figure out internet fame! We cracked up over how popular some pages are and for such simple content. This discussion became a rabbit hole of ideas and before we new what was happening we were starting something pretty awesome!

We have decided to take 2019 and discover everything we can about our own hometown, and any other place that we might travel too or stumble upon along the way! And whilst exploring we’ll share these adventures with all of you here, along with pictorial reviews on Instagram! You can follow us @Tour_the_Town

Amber and I met 7 years ago when she and her husband moved back to Michigan from South Carolina. Her husband and I went to high school together, he and my husband grew up playing baseball together, and we had one other rather sad connection…. Her son was a cancer survivor and my late son was at the time a newly diagnosed cancer patient. Not something you expect to bond over but there was an empathy there that I needed, and 7 years later I don’t know what I would do without her!

We live a block away from each other in a small Michigan town that we both grew up in. We have thrown parties, held fundraisers, gone to community and school events, and even vacationed together! Our families often feel like one big family and we love that! So now that we are starting Tour the Town we hope you’ll have fun with us, laugh with us, and get to know us a little better.

Since we are so close to our little district of Vandercook Lake we plan to start there! There are a couple of awesome little restaurants right around the corner from us, and we plan to highlight these locations each week, or as often as our schedules allow! This week we visit Klavon’s pizzeria and pub in Vandercook Lake! This locally owned restaurant and sports bar has quite a story to share and we can’t wait to get to it! More soon, until then enjoy some memories from Amber and I. Thanks for following along!

Labor Day at the Last Minute

This past weekend was Labor Day weekend and although I had to work on Saturday, we still managed to fit in a brief get away.  My husband and I love to travel and frequently do quick weekend trips to some of our favorite hangouts. We seem to gravitate toward the water here in Michigan (maybe because there’s water everywhere lol) but this time we decided to try a new… or newer destination. We had both been here before but not in a very long time. I think I was in high school!! We visited none other that Frankenmuth MI.

Welkommen

Frankenmuth is a couple hours north east of us, and seemed like a good fit for a quick stop vacation. We however didn’t take into account that this was after all a holiday weekend in a tourist town. We didn’t make reservations ahead and upon arriving found that all of the hotels were fully booked except the Frankemuth Motel. Now, I’m not usually a fan of Motel’s but this was a surprise, a little dated but clean, spacious, and the staff was very friendly. It was a quick walk from there to the Main st. action.

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Once checked in we traveled over to main street to see what was happening there are a tons of little shops and specialty stores.  We walked and walked, stopped by the Historical Museum, listened to the Glockenspiel, walked the historic covered bridge, and took in the sites…Did I mention that this place is literally coated in tons and tons and tons of gorgeous flowers!!

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They had flowers everywhere lining the streets, hanging from the light poles, across all the building fronts, it was beautiful! In the evening we visited “the Tavern” a local hangout bar, it was OK. traveled from there to Tiffany’s there we had a couple of drinks and appetizers, and shared a dessert. It was a nice quiet laid back evening.

The next day we had lunch at Zehnder’s. They are famous for the chicken dinner served family style with all the delicious sides you can eat. We opted out of an all you can eat menu and order individual meals.

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Now I usually order a pretty healthy entree’ I’m not overly picky but I don’t like a lot of heavy food especially early in the day.  So I thought I’ll play it safe and order a hot chicken sandwich… This was not an ordinary chicken  sandwich…

What I thought I was getting… Chicken on sandwich bread or bun with lettuce, tomato, etc… something like this…

Chicken sandwhich

What I actually got was a monotone plate covered in gravy! It was like drowning in gravy lol. Everything gravy…gravy…gravy…gravy…

Zehnders chick sand

Although not what I was expecting I ate it and it was delicious and I was super sleepy the rest of the day lol.

We let our food settle after that on the Bavarian Belle Riverboat tour, this is a nice relaxing tour of the river and the surrounding hotels and establishments there is an entertaining tour guide telling you about the boat, the covered bridge, and many of the area attractions that can be viewed from the river.

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We ended our quick visit to Frankenmuth with a trip to Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, a huge holiday store with everything you could possibly think of that is holiday related. I remember it as a kid and it’s still that awesome.

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So all in all a nice trip away and something a little different that our usual get away. If you’ve never visited Frankenmuth I highly recommend a visit. It has a lot of beautiful sites, shopping, attractions, and a little old world German/ Bavarian flare. Thanks for reading!

 

Cheers to 20 Years!

Cheers

Today my husband Andy and I celebrate 20 years of marriage. It’s quite a milestone, and I’m both glad and sometimes a little surprised we made it this far lol. One thing they don’t tell you when your young and in love is that marriage is HARD! You have to be willing to work at it, and understand that not every moment of your life is a family picture… Christmas card…pumpkin spiced latte…perfect date kind of day with your spouse.

In twenty years we’ve lived together in three different homes, our first was a tiny two bedroom bungalow with dated blue carpet… but it was perfect for us then. We’ve lived through the births of three beautiful babies, and survived the devastating loss of our Logan.  We’ve collectively held 8 different jobs, and now live in the challenge of working together. We’ve made countless friends, enjoyed hours of fun together, and have done a bit of travelling.

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In twenty years we have learned how to both communicate effectively, and shut each other out… not a proud moment usually. We’ve laughed, cried, screamed, sulked, joked, surprised, and most of the time loved each other. On less of a becoming note I will say though that we have also hurt each others feelings, forgotten to be the most responsible people we know, called each other terrible names, and yes even contemplated a divorce. What you come to realize after 20 years though is that all of it is normal, and sometimes expected and although not always fun, it’s part of life.

I’ve enjoyed the last 20 years.  There are things I would have done differently but I would never change the person that I have spent those 20 years with.  So, Cheers to 20 years Andrew Richard Bailey. I love you.

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Guy Fieri’s Las Vegas Bar and Grill- Review

Each visit to Las Vegas is like a little mini food vacation too. We always seem to find that one place that was just the highlight from a food standpoint. On this trip it was celebrity chef Guy Fieri’s Las Vegas Bar and Grill. You probably know of Guy Fieri from the popular Food Network Program; Diner’s, Drive-in’s, and Dives. Guy has traveled all over the world sampling the best of every region he visits!

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The restaurant itself is located in the Linq Hotel and Casino, and features a large outdoor patio dining area that faces Carnival Court Bar, and Harrah’s Hotel and Casino. We have walked passed this place a thousand times, usually right after eating somewhere else and each time had said..” Ah, we should have eaten here!” It always appeared to have a fun, and relaxing atmosphere.

We found our way there right at lunch time, it was busy and there was an estimated 20min wait. We were patient and waited, they seated us within the estimated time. The staff was friendly and professional. The restaurant itself although busy didn’t feel cramped or chaotic. We requested patio seating, and enjoyed some people watching while we ate.

The menu was great, lots of options, they had gluten free, and vegetarian options marked. They had a full bar, and we enjoyed some beer with our lunch. My husband ordered the Bacon Mac N Cheese Burger, and I ordered the Vegan Burrito.

My husband talked about this burger for the rest of our trip lol. He loved it! He compared all other foods to it for the rest of our trip! I’m not even joking we ate at another burger place and he said it was good but not Guy Fieri good. So apparently the Mac N Cheese Burger is sure winner! The Vegan burrito was a little on the dry side some pico de gallo would have gone a long way, but it was filling and still flavorful.

All in all this is a great place to stop for a bite while in Vegas, I highly recommend it and my husband would definitely say order the Mac N Cheese Burger. The bill was reasonable for Vegas, and we left quite satisfied with our experience there. Enjoy!

Flamingo Hotel & Casino Las Vegas- Review

My husband and I made a recent trip to Las Vegas, for those who know us this is not an unusual occurrence as we frequently travel there for quick get-away’s and annually around the time of our Anniversary. This year we are celebrating 20 years! We made our trip decisions a little late this year as things were very busy at work, and we needed to coordinate our trip around various other commitments. That being said we decided to stay at an older hotel with a little more Vegas history to it, this would save us a few bucks and allow us to stay a little bit longer than our usual 4-ish days. We chose the Flamingo Hotel and Casino.

Flamingo Hotel

The Flamingo is an iconic Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. In 1946 mobster Bugsy Seigel opened the Flamingo in Las Vegas, his investment was said to be around $6 million dollars for the new luxury hotel. This was the third Casino floor to be opened in Las Vegas, and today now owned by Caesar’s Entertainment is the last remaining original Hotel and Casino. The pink South Beach meets art deco glamour theme is complete with a Large Casino Floor, Shopping areas, Wildlife Habitat with actual Flamingos, a beautiful pool area, and over 3000 guest rooms.

Now, for my personal experience at this iconic Hotel. We arrived late on a Thursday night, getting to the hotel at around 10:30pm. This is usually a very slow time at area check in desks, but not the case at the Flamingo… it was clamoring with people when we arrived. The desk was understaffed for the volume of check in’s, and we waited in line for almost an hour to get our room information. I’m going to rewind for just a moment. When we booked our trip we booked a standard “Fab” room. This was a mistake! The reviews on these rooms are terrible, and we called a few days before leaving to see if we could upgrade to a newly renovated room. At the time of the call we were told that we would be able to upgrade easily upon check in… ok now back to check in… We requested the newly renovated room only to find out that they were sold out for the night and there were no other rooms available at all of any kind! We were instructed by the staff to return to the mail/key line between 12pm and 2pm the next day to upgrade our room as people were checking out. We agreed and accepted the “Fab” room for one night.

First impression the halls and elevator areas were void of art, had sterile florescent lighting, no accessory furniture, and it felt like a creepy old hospital hallway.

The room was small, the furniture was heavily worn, the floor was dirty, two of the electrical receptacles were broken, and the air conditioner was not really working well. Upon entering we also realized that not only could we not upgrade but we had been placed in a room with two double beds instead of the king room that we booked! The room had newer wood look tile on the floor in the main room, but the bathroom had very old white tile everywhere. The fan in the bath area was so loud that we couldn’t talk to each other from one area to the other. We had a view of the High Roller, a large Ferris wheel, and the mountains.

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At 8:30a my husband went down to get coffee and stopped to request the upgrade, thankfully he did as they were already running out of upgrade options again! If we had waited until 12pm there wouldn’t have been any way to change rooms. We upgraded to a newly renovated room, and had to wait till between 12pm and 2pm to get the keys to give housekeeping time to clean. At 12:30pm we went to the desk area and it was overwhelmed with people again. We abandoned ship and returned around 2pm and were assigned our new room in the Habitat tower.

This was a night and day difference! The hallways were warmly colored and decorated with beautiful mural wall paper, and decorative touches. It was clean, the lighting was better.

Our room was so cute! Nice new furniture, everything was clean, and well stocked. The view was about the same but oh what a difference this nice fresh room made! Long story short, I’m glad to have stayed for the sake of saying I stayed there…but never again.

Flamingo Renovated room