The Romantic Gringo

Monday, October 08, 2012

Lake Leelanau, Michigan

This past summer, R.G. convinced her chums M.B. and D.S. to Say Yes to Michigan for a week. They began with a ferry ride across Lake Michigan, from Milwaukee to Muskegon. This watery expedition received mixed reviews: R.G. and M.B. loved every bumpy, windy, blue-skied second of it, and D.S. was a queasy good sport. Once on the peninsula, the three camped among the sandy dunes of Manistee National Forest until a crazy storm ravaged their tent, forcing them to take shelter in a Day's Inn. Imagine R.G.'s unhappiness in that Day's Inn! But the whole storm debacle was technically her fault, so she had to suck up the beige sanitation.

Three days in, they made it up the coast of Michigan to the lovely Fountain Point Resort. Fountain Point is a resort in the 19th-century sense of the word, in that one may rent a cabin on the grounds, swim in and boat the lake, and apparently see the same folks every summer. R.G., D.S., and M.B., however, treated the place like a cool old hotel, which they recommend. Their suite was an odd and adorable two-room, three-bed affair with sink but no bathroom. They kept their bottles of L. Mawby's Talismon in the fridge of a nearby utilities room, which was probably totally against the rules but no one touched them. The staff are high school or college kids it seems, and they are VERY mellow. Devoted readers will know that R.G. deeply respects lackadaisical staff--very important element in the Romantic Gringo experience. As a result of these particular unbothered hoteliers, our heroines drank their fine Leelanau bubbly on the lawn every night, washed M.B.'s poor tent and left it up to dry for a couple days, and generally settled in like they lived there.

Fountain Point is a charming spot from which to take in the Sleeping Bear National Duneshore, The Manitou Islands, Grand Traverse Bay, Old Mission Point, and the wineries. After a dip in Lake Leelanau, on which Fountain Point sits, R. G. and M.B. are happy to report that they were as free of swimmer's itch as they were before submersion. Breakfast, while not the worst R.G. has ever consumed, cannot in all honesty be called good. Otherwise, though, Fountain Point Resort is an old Michigan gem.

Fountain Point Resort, 990 South Lake Leelanau Drive, Lake Leelanau, MI, 231-256-9800, $150 for a triple, breakfast included. No TV, no internet, just as it should be.