Author Archives: chimneycorners

Froshblick Loft – A Winter’s Tale in July.

The most oft-asked question put to those of us that live here year round is  “What do you do all winter?” Sure, the days are short, skies are gray, temperatures are cold, and a lot of local businesses close for the winter. But we stay active with snow sports, we catch up with our families that get ignored while we work all summer, we enjoy cozy evenings around a fire and dinner with our friends, and here at Chimney Corners, we work on projects to make the next summer an even better experience for our guests!

Just a little of the white stuff.

Cottages that were built in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s (and some even older), need a lot of maintenance to keep them in rental shape. Sometimes, the issues are beyond a simple patch and fix – but we must pick and choose our projects only as money and time allow. 

Sometimes a project takes precedence when one small fix becomes a catalyst launching a major renovation. 

Ye old Froshblick Loft

In the case of our latest undertaking, Froshblick Loft, it started with a kitchen window. Saturday changeovers set a hectic pace. Cleaning and repairs may need to happen for up to 20 units, all within a 4-5 hour time span. In the process of trying to close a jammed aluminum window in Froshblick’s kitchen one Saturday in late summer, our maintenance man put his hand right through it. The quick fix was a plywood board and a note apologizing for our appearance to the incoming renters, but ultimately, the window would have to be replaced. And, since the existing windows were old, single-paned sliders original to the unit, it would have to be a brand new window, and not just the glass.

Kitchen – minus one window pane, plus plywood.

In order to make them match, we needed to replace all of them. When the resort closes at the end of October, we move our office up to Froshblick’s living room since the Lodge is impossible to keep warm in the winter. Those single pane windows weren’t much better! You could feel the winter lake breeze blowing right thorough them! The decision was made to replace those windows as well. And the renovations snowballed from there…(no pun intended).

New kitchen windows installed.
New Bathroom windows.
New living windows in progress.
Even more windows in progress…
New living room windows. Warmer already!

Once the window decision was made, we started to take a hard look at the rest of the unit. Built in 1964, Froshblick was also used as a winter residence for Mollie Rogers after Mary and Jim took over. The space over our laundry/garage featured knotty pine walls, a brick fireplace, and a kitchen straight out of the sixties, with green linoleum, a laminate table, formica countertops over painted wooden cupboards and very little storage.

Froshblick kitchen. Pre-renovation.

The bath was even more dated. A blue tub/shower combination sat in darkness, as lighting was also minimal, matching the oak laminate vanity and bargain mirror/medicine chest.

Froshblick bathroom. Pre-renovation.
Blue tub…eek!

The wall board used to line the hall was warped with temperature changes, and the industrial carpet, which is hard-wearing in a rental was worn almost through. The two steps down into the living area were makeshift blocks of carpet covered wood – not attached to anything! Although the carpeting in the living room was newer, it did have an unfortunate scorch mark from a careless iron mistake, conveniently covered by our heavier-than-heavy This End Up wooden furniture.

Froshblick living room. Pre-renovation.

While all of these things were certainly serviceable in a rental, and we are a “vintage” resort capturing the feel of the old family lake cottage, we knew that some things should be updated in order to give our guests a pleasant stay. 

“Some things” became many things, but each renovation decision was made with both updating in mind, as well as retaining our vintage character.

We started with walls. The warped wall board had to go and new cottage-y bead board was installed in both the hall and kitchen. Although knotty pine is very cabin-like and warm, it can also be a little dark when used throughout the entire unit.

Hallway in progress…
Other end in progress…

We decided to paint all of the bead board a crisp white, and the walls Benjamin Moore’s “Thunder”, a warm gray reminiscent of driftwood. The bedroom ceilings had been sanded and polyurethaned a few years ago, and they still looked warm, so we left those alone. But the living room, hall and kitchen were in rough shape and all needed sanding. Being tongue and groove knotty pine, this also meant there were miles of cracks to caulk and holes to fill followed by hours of sanding and priming!

Getting ready…

After days of this by three staff members, we also painted these white, albeit a flatter sheen than the walls. Talk about light and bright! All of a sudden, every room felt fresh and clean.

Lots of aching backs and shoulders here.

The bathroom walls were also torn out and replaced with bead board three quarters of the way up. But that remaining sliver of wall we painted a soft spa blue-green called SeaGlass. The bedroom walls seemed fine, but since we were painting, we wanted to freshen up everything. The Queen room was painted the same soothing color as the bath, but for the twin room, we added a bit more drama with a modern marine blue. It looks stunning with the natural wood ceiling and the white trim. The floor to ceiling windows keep it light enough, yet still warm and cozy!

What is the most important room in any abode? One could argue the kitchen and bathroom vie for that honor. Which means both needed a complete gutting down to the studs. 

First the kitchen: We already installed the floors and walls. Although it was a spacious kitchen with several (brand new!) windows on two sides creating a “treehouse” view of the frog pond and woods, it still needed a bit more storage space to replace an old metal microwave cart. The refrigerator was already bumped out into a niche. Since it was basically unused storage space behind that wall, we went ahead and created another larger niche to create a pantry, complete with handmade barn doors.

All this extra cupboard space freed up a spot to install a dishwasher! Although tiny, it’s perfect for a small family of four. We surrounded that with new bright white cupboards and replaced the “box” open shelf housing the glasses and dishes with modern industrial-type open shelves made from pipe and planks milled right here from our own trees! Speaking of, the old Froshblick had a laminate-topped table with vinyl chairs. We kept the table base, painted it, and used that same cherry wood to make a new “rustic” plank top, polyurethaned to keep the natural warm glow. Then we added some new modern feeling white metal chairs with natural wood seats. Add in some matte subway tile, new faucets, a new countertop, hardware and bright Fiestaware, and you now have a completely renovated kitchen that is light, bright, airy, and perfect.

Right next door, we have our dark, outdated bathroom with the refrain “Hey, 1960 called, they want their tub back!”

Bye-bye, baby blue…

Let’s just replace that tub with a custom tile job, classic white subway accented with green glass. Add in shiny new fixtures and an overhead light and wowza! No more dark cave of a shower! We kept our still-good commode, but we replaced the dated oak vanity and sink with a new pedestal, giving us more room. Storage was solved with more hooks and more open “rustic” shelves. Another light, bright and modern space!

Walls? Done. Ceilings? Check. What about the floors? Remember, these are rentals, which means your choices are limited to very hard-wearing surfaces. Also, ceramic tile can be too heavy for a second floor structure built in 1962. The living room was an easy decision – just replace the carpet with a neutral gray, although we opted for a thicker, more luxurious pile than the flat industrial version. What about all those renters tracking in sand and mud? We had some leftover 12X12 tiles in storage, so we created a small tiled area just inside the door. Add hooks behind the front door and presto! Instant mud area! 

The hall, kitchen and bathroom floors, made of three different materials, had to be ripped up. We chose a click together laminate plank that looks like natural gray boards. A couple days of sore knees installing were a small price to pay for the fantastic results! Waterproof and tough, this is a perfect, easy to clean option for high traffic areas. 

Lastly, we come to the main living area. Already stunning with the freshly painted walls and ceiling, new floor to ceiling windows and new carpeting, we still insisted on improving even more. The fireplace was wood burning, cozy, but messy. And the roof had leaked around the chimney, water staining the knotty pine walls. The damper was drafty, and chilly wind blew down it all fall and winter. The decision was made to replace it with a gas insert. But we didn’t stop there. We tore out the brick to repair the walls – and then we built a new surround, with modern large format tile, a custom painted mantle, and a poured concrete hearth, which made for a cute seating area to one side.

We ran out of time, but the plan for another winter project is to stain and seal the concrete later. Stay tuned for that installment!

Remember those two steps that weren’t attached to anything? We had new ones built – much more stable and solid. How about new interior doors throughout, and a new front door? Did we mention lighting? Yep, new lighting throughout the entire unit!

Once you have all new surroundings, it makes it awfully hard to put back the old furniture. Never let it be said that Mary Rogers does not embrace a renovation project 100%! She decided to get all new furniture from our favorite Betsie Bay Furniture. Our living area now boasts a new sectional couch, two new chairs, new end tables, pillows, lamps and art. We did re-purpose the old side table from the kitchen as a desk. With a fresh coat of paint and new accessories, it provides a welcome place to dash off a “Wish You Were Here!” postcard.

Maybe this was more detail than you asked for, but we love sharing our renovation projects. Right now, you’re asking us”Where are all the finished pics?!” We believe in Carly Simon’s motto…Anticipation!

Scroll on for the before and after pics! We’re still inspired and ready to tackle next winter’s project. What is it? I guess you’ll have to follow us on social media or sign up for our mailing list if you want to see more!

Enter…and be welcome!
Love the blue door!
Froshblick Kitchen Before….

After!
Wowza!

How about that bathroom??

After!
Bath

And so on….

Original Brian Confer Photographs

And onward to the bedrooms…

Twin room before…
After!
Queen room before…
Bye pink furniture!

And, of course, our relaxing living area…

Living room before…
After! Light and bright!
Before…
Until next time!

Historic Lodge Renovations…the Journey continues…

Last year you may remember our unplanned renovation of Room #4 in our historic Lodge. We were so pleased with the results and our guests were so enthusiastic about the redo, that we made a pact to pick one room per year to completely makeover. And when we say complete, we mean walls, floors, lighting, beds, dressers, linens, decor, and everything that goes in a room!

Room #4 Redo

Which brings us to Room #5. Once a double bed in a tight room at the end of the hall, it was still a bright and sunny room with two windows. As this room is on the “back” corner of the Lodge, it only permitted a small sliver of a view of Crystal Lake, and only if you were standing at the window. Nonetheless, it was a cozy room, and guests were not averse to staying there, if a little cramped. Next door, also on the back side of the Lodge was Room #6. Room #6 was furnished with two twin beds, also a tight squeeze and with only one window facing north towards the woods, could seem a little dark. The main complaint we got about 6 was “it’s just too small”.

Room #5 Pre-Renovation
Room #6 Pre-Renovation

What to do? You can’t exactly bump out the walls and create a bigger space when you are talking about the second floor of a historic 1910 construction. The solution? We merely knock out a wall and combine the two rooms! We no longer have a Room #6, but we have one heckuva Room #5. Officially known as a “suite”, our new and improved room features a California King bed (not as wide as a regular king, but longer – great for all you tall people out there) and a sitting area with a couch that converts to a pullout bed.

New & Improved Lodge #5 comin’ at ya…

We started with the overall gutting of the two rooms, knocking out the wall, and tearing out the old “wallboard” on the ceiling as well as the walls. We can thank the team of Rob Rafferty Construction for all the rough framing, the drywall, and the gorgeous bead board walls and tongue and groove ceilings. They also installed three brand new Anderson windows.

The same hardwood floor we discovered under the carpet when we redid Room #4 last year continued on into this neighboring room, so once again, Mr Natural Floors gave it a sanding and a coat of clear polyurethane. If you look closely, you will notice the floor boards run in opposite directions where the two rooms meet. All part of the vintage charm that still remains, even when we remodel!

What color to paint? Mary Rogers fell in love with the pullout sofa she discovered on sale at Betsie Bay Furniture in Frankfort (our favorite place to shop for all things furniture and accessories). It was a soft orange tweed, an unusual color for sure, but the inspiration for the eventual color choice of Sunset Boulevard. (Someday I want a job naming paint colors.) You might expect orange walls to be garish and harsh, but this orange is a soft tangerine that glows mellowly, brightening the room without overpowering the rest of the decor. Of course, it helps that all of the new bead board walls and trim are painted a crisp, warm white, named Chantilly Lace (again with the vintage overtones – it was fated to be!). Since the combining of the two rooms means there is now THREE windows, all new, with new pull down, cordless blinds, even though it is north and west-facing, it is one of the brightest, sunniest, most uplifting rooms we have!

Sunset Boulevard..perfect name!

Paired with Chantilly Lace white for airy perfection!

Throw in the finished floors, and now we are getting somewheres!

Speaking of Betsie Bay Furniture, it was also the place for our new California King bed and our spiffy new dresser and coffee table. Add in new, smaller “chat” table and chairs to the couch, and you have a cozy place to enjoy your morning coffee, or curl up with a book on those rainy, Northern Michigan days.

Mmmm…chocolate!

We completed our renovations with new lighting (and more of it), new art and new accessories. While our focus for the Room #4 renovation was cool, soothing grays, our goal for this makeover was to kick up the spirit of the room, and give it a warm, friendly and vibrant feel, while still retaining the character of our beloved Lodge. We are sure you will agree! Scroll on for the finished product and more information on renting Room #5 in our historic Lodge.

Sitting Area
Sleeper Couch
California King Bed
Twin Bed pullout couch

You can rent Room #5 throughout the summer by the night for $150 per night. In the spring and fall, your family of three can stay for just $90 per night! Book online, or give us a call at 231-352-7522. We’d love to hear your opinion! Also, if you’re in the area, we are having an Open House to show off our renovations in Room #4 and #5 on June 17th from 4:00-7:00pm.

Fall for Chimney Corners

It’s no secret that fall in Northern Michigan is probably the favorite season for most of the locals. While most of us appreciate the quieter streets and shops, the real attraction is the astounding wave of color that seems to intensify almost daily during the month of October. On a backdrop of vivid, deep blue clear skies, or the angry indigo of stormy clouds, splashes of orange, yellow and red interspersed with evergreens continue to impress us each year, making us appreciate this beautiful place we call home. We just want to share a few shots from right here on Chimney Corner’s own property, and show you a side of the resort that some of you from far away may never get to experience. A feast for the eyes, photos do not do it justice, but Bon Apetit anyways! 

Gone Fishing (in Crystal Lake)!

One of the biggest attractions for visitors to Northern Michigan is fishing, whether it be on the “big” lake (Michigan), or any of our numerous smaller lakes that dot the region. Chimney Corners Resort, located on scenic M-22 highway, is also on Crystal Lake, one of the deepest. clearest inland lakes in Michigan. According to the DNR, our home lake is home to one of the most diverse fish populations in the state. (http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10364_53405-322819–,00.html). Kevin Wade and his family are long time resort guests who spend part of their vacation time exploring that diversity…with great success! We “caught up” (little fishing pun for you) with Kevin and asked him to share a little of his technique, and his photos from just a couple weeks ago.

Kevin normally is on the hunt for lake trout, salmon and steelhead, all of which are good eating! The salmon and steelhead are the most fun to catch, opines Wade. They use a “down-rigger”, which, for those of you who are not fisherman, is a device which uses trolling and places a line at a desired depth. In this case, they were fishing at 50 to 75 feet down in 70 to 120 feet of water.

They used trolling spoons as bait for these catches, and have had the most success with gold, green and blue lures. Time of day has not seemed to matter much, but if pressed, Wade believes morning and just before sunset are usually the best.

Deep water not your thing? They also have had success with catching pan fish in the shallower water off of the south shore, but have to content themselves with smaller catches. There are weed beds there where you might catch some perch, Wade confides.

Whatever your pleasure or preference of fish, Crystal Lake delivers! Plus, who doesn’t want to spend a peaceful morning or evening on the lake?

Interested in trying your luck? You can pick up bait, lures and gear as well as snag a fishing license in Frankfort at The Tackle Box , or Riverside Canoe, located just a couple miles north of Chimney Corners on the edge of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. And of course, you can stay with us and get that early start in the morning! Call us now at 231-352-7522 or book online at www.chimneycornersresort.com under the Check Availability tab! Almost all of our units have been discounted for the summer, including apartments at select cottages at 25% off. Rent a cottage for three nights and you’ll have a kitchen to cook up your catch! And of course, shameless plug for our beautiful beach shown off in these photos. Happy Fishing!

Springing Forward

For those of you that have stayed with us here at Chimney Corners Resort, you are aware of the many different options of lodging we have; smaller apartments, a historic Lodge bed and breakfast, and cottages that sleep anywhere from two to eighteen people. All of these accommodations vary in age and decor, from an updated, modern beachy feel (Bluewater) to shabby chic rustic barn (Woodsmere) and everything in between. When returning guests breeze in for a week or two every summer, they value the simple, laid back “vintage” feeling that Chimney Corners represents.

But take a moment to really reflect on what it means to keep 20 cottages, all with decks/porches and fireplaces clean, comfortable and livable, while still retaining that vintage character that guests know and love. Now add in a historic two story Lodge with eight rooms, two full bathrooms, a separate apartment with bathroom, four dining rooms, a commercial kitchen, office space and four charming stone fireplaces. Picture how much work is required to keep your own home, especially if it is older, in great shape. Are you getting an idea of how much work is involved? Sure, we shut down all of the buildings November through April, which is no small feat, and involves removing, bagging, wrapping, tagging, and covering every stick of furniture and piece of decor. Come spring, it all reverses, when every bit of every unit is washed, scrubbed, polished and organized for another year. Our maintenance manager, Allan “Howie” Howard has all he can do to keep up with issues that arise all summer when guests are in the cottages, which means he works full time all winter as well to complete “projects” to fix and improve each dwelling.

But one man cannot accomplish all that needs to be done in 20 cottages (plus the Lodge), especially when it comes to going above and beyond just fixing what is broke. And the best time to accomplish these improvements? Spring! In early April, Howie turns the water back on, the housekeeping staff starts cleaning, and Mary and Jim begin to evaluate all of the small, medium, and large tasks needed to update the cottages and grounds, while still keeping a handle on a tight budget. Here are some of the extra touches accomplished this spring, all in the name of your vacation pleasantness!

Spring cleaning involves lots of mulch

Howie and his able assistant Evan take care of most of our grounds with a little help from Land and Lakes for the mowing and spring clean up. But what about all those trees? This year we had a tree service in to take care of some of the dead and dying trees around Bluffholm, Hillside and the West Hills, and although it’s slightly more bare, the views from the bluff are much improved!

Smitty’s brings down the trees

If you were a victim of the leaky roof in West Hill #1, you’ll be pleased to know we have a brand new roof on the West Hills as well as Kudzu! Kudzu gets the modernized update of a metal roof over the screened porch area, but we think it blends quite nicely with the main roof.

Workin’ on the West Hills
New porch roof on Kudzu

 

Kudzu was also the recipient of an exterior paint job, and so was Jonquil. Which goes nicely with the brand new deck surrounding Jonquil. Although the footprint remains the same, the old and rotting deck has been completely replaced.

Jonquil’s new deck

We can’t forget the beach area. Howie and Jim brought in 50 new yards of beach sand to spread around the shore, and 30 more yards over by the dock area. Your toes will say Thank you!

The beach

Yes, the waters of Crystal Lake are impressive, but equally as dear is the frog pond up by the laundry and garage. Howie and Jim donned their waders, drained the pond and shoveled out half the leaves that would eventually clog up the water and promote weed growth. Don’t panic, none of our froggy friends were harmed in this process; the boys carefully scraped the other half of the leaves into the center of the pond for them to rest and wait out the process, as well as the tall grasses surrounding the pond where they can hide from natural predators such as snakes and raccoons. The pond has been refilled and is back in action.

Knee deep in frogs!

Of course many places get new bed linens, lamps and other decor. Bluffholm‘s living room got a new picture window, and it actually opens! Bring on the lake breezes! Bluewater cottage got all new living room furniture. The Lodge Apt, gets a facelift in the decor: new quilts, new chair, new pillows, new art, and new tables and lamps. Whew!

Bluffholm’s new view, complete with breeze!

And lastly, we are so proud of our new (looking) kitchen in Woodsmere! We installed a dishwasher (yay!) because when a place sleeps 18, you kinda need a dishwasher. Doing this robbed an already smallish kitchen of valuable cupboard space. Our on-call carpenter, Jim Petak, was able to modify the cupboard around the dishwasher into a slightly smaller space. Opposite was a smaller stand alone old metal cabinet with a non-matching wooden wall cabinet. We ditched those, and Jim P. built us a brand new, better functioning cabinet. But jeez, the new doors did not match the existing cabinet doors, so he made us all new doors! With a snazzy new paint job in “Thistle”, they look like brand new cupboards! Adding to the storage space, he also installed rustic shelves on both walls supported by painted plumbing pipes (say that five times fast!) giving us a whole new industrial modern rustic vibe. And, we did get some new living room furniture if you aren’t the cooking type.

Check out the dishwasher beauty!
We can only say…wow.

Of course, with Highview recently purchased, we are already seeing some great decor changes. We look forward to seeing the new owner’s visions for their piece of Crystal Lake heaven come to fruition. Updates will follow as we get them.

Spiffy new living room furniture
Refreshed kitchen!

All of these things happened in approximately four weeks. What did you do to improve your living space in the last month? We look forward to your reactions to our improvements when we see you this summer! If you haven’t scheduled your vacation yet, now would be a great time! Click on our new Online Booking Option to get started.

Top 10 Reasons to Visit Chimney Corners Resort (& Benzie County) in fall.

Top 10 reasons to visit Chimney Corners Resort (and Benzie County) in the fall:

#10 Warm Days, Cool Nights, Great Star Gazing

Autumn is arguably the best season is Northern Michigan for bodily comfort. With average high temperatures in the mid 60’s in September and the mid 50’s in October, it’s the perfect time to take in lunch about town in a t-shirt, followed by sporting that new sweater and leather boots for the dinner crowd. Crisp, clear nights allow for plenty of cozy evenings by the fire, indoors to sip hot chocolate or deep, red wine; outdoors for taking in the spray of stars above the Point Betsie lighthouse.

*BONUS* It’s a great excuse for splurging on that new Chimney Corners fleece jacket, as in “Wow, I had no IDEA it was going to get this chilly at night, lucky me these warm & cozy fleece jackets are available!”

Assignment

#9 We’re Located on Scenic Highway M-22

Need we say more? Is there anyone yet in this hemisphere tha

t has not heard of, or does not own our beloved, iconic M-22 symbol? Perhaps, but more than just a highway sign and brilliant marketing craze, M-22 really is a scenic meander through beautiful, rolling hills, glimpses of cerulean Lake Michigan, orchards with fruit ready for picking, and small towns offering shopping treasures and culinary surprises. Not to mention the leaf peeping in October is off the charts.

* BONUS* After you have hiked and climbed in the sand at numerous Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore locations, you can pick up your own souvenir at the M-22 store in Glen Arbor, or at Baywear in Frankfort.

Photo: Nick Nerbonne

 

 

#8 Surfs Up on Lake Michigan

Remember the gales of November coming early to the Edmund Fitzgerald? (Cue Gordon Lightfoot) Those gales start as windy days in September. A lot of windy days. Perfect for trying out surfing at Frankfort Beach. Can you really surf? Yes, really. A prime location for both traditional surfing, paddle surfing, and kiteboarding, Frankfort beach draws enthusiasts from as far away as Traverse City. On any given windy day, it is not uncommon to see a couple dozen wetsuit clad surfers sharing the waves. Even if braving the Lake Michigan currents are too much for you, watching others hanging ten (and crashing spectacularly) is an entertaining way to spend a windy day. Beats riding the waves on a Lake Michigan freighter doomed to destruction, anyways.

*BONUS* Bragging rights to your friends that you’ve actually surfed. Rent a board through Crystal Adventure Sports in Beulah. http://crystallakeadventuresports.com/rentals

Rod

#7 No Waiting in Line for Dinner

It’s no secret that Benzie County (and the surrounding northern Michigan counties) is home to some fantastic restaurants. What is frustrating, is that after a long, hot, summer day spent hiking, fishing, paddling and swimming, you often find yourself with a two hour wait when trying to crowd into your favorite local watering hole. We can’t promise your chosen place won’t be busy, especially if trying to dine at peak dinner hour, we can tell you fall offers a much needed respite from the madness of summer in small resort towns. While it’s true that a lot of restaurants lose their summer college staff and are forced to reduce their hours, and may even be closed a couple of days a week, when you do get in, it most likely will make for a more pleasurably relaxed dining experience.

*BONUS* Belly up to the bar! When times are quieter, locals are chattier, and it makes for some good conversations about where to go, what to do, and where to find those petoskey stones, secluded beaches, or secret hiking spots.

IMG_1636

#6 Autumn Time & The Swimming is Easy

Wetsuit? We don’ need no stinking wetsuit! The lakes are still warm, people. It takes several cool nights for the lake temperatures to significantly drop. This makes for some gloriously refreshing swims on those bright, sunny days. And it doesn’t take a science degree to know that the slightly cooler air temps make the water feel warmer. Adding to the joy, instead of weaving your way through the throngs of sunbathers and splashing children, you have the beach practically to yourself! Plenty of room to spread out and enjoy. Inland, Crystal Lake also has significantly less traffic, boating and otherwise. A quiet morning fisherman or maybe a lone kayaker or two will be your companions.

*BONUS* Cooler water temps on Crystal Lake means no swimmers itch! While it is not scientific, there is a “season” for swimmers itch, and fall ain’t it. So go ahead and wake board all you want. Crystal Lake is waiting!

AdobePhotoshopExpress_2016_09_12_10:36:45

#5 Harvest Time

Benzie County is full of the bounty of the fields. The Elberta Farmers Market on Thursdays and the Frankfort Farmers Market on Saturdays are chock full of seasonal produce such as root vegetables, apples, pumpkins, and fresh meats. The Elberta Market farmers are only allowed to sell that which they grow personally, so you can talk to the hand that actually grew your food. There are several organic options as well. The Frankfort Market features local arts and crafts as well as produce. Don’t forget, this is also the season for hops and grapes! Area wineries and breweries offer several events to celebrate the season. Check out the tasting rooms and events at lpwines.com. Or join us for Frankfort Beer Week, a weeklong celebration of events, October 3-8th  at participating Frankfort restaurants toasting Beer! Details at www.frankfortbeerweek.com

*BONUS* – a Chef’s Beer Dinner to be held in our very own Chimney Corners Dining Room. Several courses prepared by notable northern Michigan chefs, paired with a Stormcloud beer. Can you say Foodie/Beer Lover Dream Come True?

13435326_1013683285376950_8358952816634024599_n

#4 Fall Fests & Parades & Events, Oh My!

Benzie County must love fall as much as we do, because there are more events than tourists with ice cream cones. If one Fall Fest isn’t enough for you, well then fine, we’ll give you two! Beulah and Frankfort take turns hosting this fun fall event, each on consecutive weekends beginning in October. Parades, kids events, baked goods, horse drawn rides, pumpkin decorating, games, prizes, mazes, helicopter rides, beer tents, dropping gi-normous pumpkins on wrecked cars; we could go on, but we want you to finish reading this before the events actually happen. Get all the details of the happenings at http://www.visitbenzie.com/fallfest-67/.  After the whirlwind of activity, settle in for some great cinematic events at the annual Frankfort Film Fest. Three days of award winning films are shown in our renovated Garden Theater in downtown Frankfort, complete with launch party and guest filmmakers. Details at http://www.frankfortgardentheater.com/film-festival/.

 *BONUS* – As a sponsor of the film fest, Chimney Corners offers a special deal: rent a West Hill Apartment unit (sleeps 4) and receive two free tickets to a film.

 

Photo: Benzie County Visitor Bureau

# Quality of Light

We don’t know if you notice arty things like light and shadow, but we are in love with the saturated magic of fall. A slightly lower sun, less humidity; we don’t even know the real scientific causes, but we do know that on sunny afternoons, the sky is so blue it defies any crayola color invented. On those stormy, windy days when fiery red and orange leaves are backdropped by angry, black storm clouds, but still illuminated by bright sunshine, we want to grab our cameras and post all over social media about the charm of northern Michigan. And when that golden light of early evening is out, we know that no Instagram filter can duplicate that precise warmth that makes us all look like rock star photographers.

*BONUS* Your friends will all be jealous of your posts on Facebook

PP

#The Best Sunsets Ever

Ok, we know we’ve covered quality of light already, but sunsets have to be in a category all their own. Skies awash in purple, gold, magenta, rose, and indigo hues. It’s magically delicious. Enough said.

*BONUS* The whole experience is a bonus, what more do you need?

12294623_898599116885368_8816241729801102149_n

And the number one reason to visit Chimney Corners (and Benzie County) this fall??

#1 Reduced Rates at Chimney Corners Resort!

Chimney Corners moves to our fall rate schedule. Rent a Lakeview Apartment that sleeps a family of four for as low as $99 per night. How about a room in our historic Lodge for only $60 per night? Can it get any better? How about listening to the lapping of the waves at your window in a beach front cottage? Starting at $605 for three nights, you’ll sleep like nobody’s business. Especially after enjoying the first nine items on this list.

*BONUS* When you call the office to reserve, you get to speak to one of our friendly staff just waiting to help you get here. Call us at 231-352-7522 to take advantage of all that Benzie County has to offer!
12034481_877742378971042_601921781318309362_o

Always something new.

We get it. You slave away at work at a desk or inside a building with only the thought of your eventual vacation escape to sustain you through the days. Sometimes a little news of a treasured getaway spot can be a welcome respite from the doldrums. That’s where we come in. A few tidbits and snippets from the shores of Crystal Lake. Photos and specials from your favorite vintage resort, and your cozy cottage rental. News and notes from our Wednesday and Friday dinners, including our locally based culinary delights and our latest wine and craft beer finds. Maybe it’s an update on weather happenings, or just a funny story we want to share with you. We want to be your connection to up north, to Crystal Lake, and to your mini-escape from the office.

For instance, do you recognize these birds floating on Crystal Lake?

Pelicans

We had to look twice! Yes, it is the American White Pelican, and no, we aren’t in Florida! Our own Crystal Lake was the stopping point for these typically southern birds, on their flight north to Canada for the summer. Recognizable by their size and long bills, adults often have a distinctive bump or projection on the end of their bill. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Range Map, these guys are generally flying more west of us on their way north. Sighting them on our own Crystal Lake is a rare treat for residents. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore lists them as only very occasionally seen in this area, and usually on Lake Michigan. SleepingBearBirdingTrail.org has a neat feature on their page: a box tracking sightings of various birds around Michigan. On or around this same date (May 20th), the pelican was seen in the UP at various sites and around the Shiawassee River area.

Here at Chimney Corners resort, we often have nesting bald eagles soaring overhead, or the endangered piping plover hopping along the shores of Lake Michigan, but now we can add their coastal cousins to our sighting lists. Speaking of bald eagles, check out this link to a live camera on a bald eagle’s nest where two eaglets were recently hatched near the Platte River State Fish Hatchery in Honor:

You can find out more about birds and birdwatching around the Frankfort, Crystal Lake, and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore by visiting http://sleepingbearbirdingtrail.org.

IMG_0586-1

It turns out even the pelicans know how awesome Crystal Lake is! And check out that moon rise in the evening sky. The pelicans may have moved on to their summer homes, but we’re waiting for you to move to the phone and give us a call to visit us at Chimney Corners Resort. You never know what you might see.