Ah, yes, wintertime in northern Michigan. Sure, the attraction of northern Michigan has long focused on summertime—with its blue waters, sunny skies, and sugar sand beaches. Ok, so Kid Rock immortalized in song the summertime in the region we call home. But the time of year most special to me is happening right now: as late fall blends into the December holidays, and the anticipation of another ski season.
Many years ago, when my daughter was still a toddler, her ever-curious mind indirectly led us to northern Michigan. We were living in Atlanta, GA. And even though it was late November, it was in the mid-60s and sunny. We were decorating our home for the holidays, and in our home that includes playing classic Christmas carols. (I’m especially fond of Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and Vince Guaraldi’s A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack.)
Now she was four or five years old. And having spent a few years in Hot-Lanta, snow didn’t exist in her young world. So one afternoon she asked my wife and me, “Why are all of the songs about snow?” At first we were puzzled. But what she had noticed was that Jingle Bells, Winter Wonderland, Frosty the Snowman and more all centralized about the beauty of the winter season: snow. That night, while laying in bed, I asked my wife if somehow we were missing something raising our family in the Deep South. I mean, were we bad parents? After all, what’s more memorable than the excitement of a snow day away from school where every kid in the neighborhood heads to the big hill for a day of sledding? We both had been raised in St. Louis where snow falls annually so we knew what snow means to childhood.
And that’s when we decided we needed to find a way out of the Confederacy and either make our way north or west. When we discovered Shanty Creek Resorts and the Grand Traverse region, we knew this is what we needed: Four seasons. Where each is prettier than the previous. And where for many, snow is something to play in.
So as we get ready to decorate the tree and Ella Fitzgerald sings about sleigh bells, we know a horse-drawn sleigh ride will be awaiting our family and yours this winter at Shanty Creek. Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!