For the first time in our entire trip, our Traverse City experience went without a hitch. We walked along the streets, window-shopping and purchasing Christmas presents. My favorite store by far was Cherry Republic, where everything was made with cherries!
They had free samples galore, from cherry cookies to cherry candy and cherry salsa—it was cherry heaven! There was a cherry ball pit for kids, a café, a wine-tasting section and merchandise around the store. I ate my fill to the point where I didn’t even want lunch, but settled for some Tomato Basil soup at the Grand Traverse Pie Company. We stayed there for an hour or so, talking and laughing and forgetting about the pile of homework we left behind us back in the dorms.
Traverse City was the perfect mix of tourists and locals. I loved the cute stores and their old looks. Each store front was unique and filled with history. There were multiple coffee shops, a three-story bookstore, clothing stores, furniture stores and more. We eventually exhausted the stores to look at in Traverse City and decided to go to the Grand Traverse Commons (after stopping at a car wash to clean off the poor muddy van).
The Grand Traverse Commons was an old building that is now converted to a 55+ community with shops and a farmers market in the basement chambers. I felt as if we had stepped into the past. The walls were made of white brick and extremely old. They had an ancient bookstore, an art gallery and a café. We wandered around, both entranced and on edge at the historical old building. We got back into the car and took an hour-long nap (apparently sleeping in a cold cabin alone in the middle of the woods isn't very conducive for getting a good night sleep). When we woke, we set off for our final stop: the Dunes.