Monday, October 24, 2011

Marcy's Travel Blog- Hartland, Michigan! A Hidden Gem!

 Almost everyone in this area has heard of  Spicer Orchard and Cider Mill! I am fond of Honey Crisp apples, so thought a little adventure plus a little shopping would be a good idea! My roommate Diana and her Pug, Sir Dudley kept me company on this little adventure.

Sir Dudley was so excited to be going some place, he literally chortled with excitement each time we stop- even at stop signs! (I'd say a chortle is a cross between a whine, a purr, and a bark!) He was, however, a bit put off to be in the back seat rather than the front!

 We had waited until early afternoon, hoping the weather would warm a bit. It didn't, but off we went anyway. Even with the overcast sky, the view on the drive was lovely. I speculated to Diana that I believed the Cider Mill would not have many people there. With it being a Friday and the weather chilly, it made sense to me. However, on arriving we saw an almost full parking lot. Diana said that on a weekend this lot, another bigger lot at the back, and all the roads leading into the place are packed with parked cars!

   We went into the shop where they make donuts. Wow! Everything apple that you could imagine is here! I chose two different types of donuts, apple cider, honey crisp apples, and some kettle corn. (So much for my diet!)

They have a winery here as well as a cider mill, a play area for the children (at a cost of $2.00 for the rides), and a bunch of different animals. Pumkins and Fall decor were everywhere!

  Diana pointed out a goat sitting atop a tall structure. For a quarter you can buy some grain, put it in a little cup, hoist it up by way of a pulley, and feed the goat. The amount that came out of the grain machine couldn't be more than a quarter of a cup! Not much! But I put it in the cup, hoisted it up, and the goat had it's snack.
 Unfortunately the cider mill itself was closed for cleaning, so didn't get a chance to see the inner workings of that or the winery.

I asked inside the shop for directions to the center of the town of Hartland. Both people I asked said the same thing- there wasn't one. However, I was told that there was a unique Tea Room there at the four corners I might enjoy seeing.

 Off we went with the aid of Diana's new GPS (Named Irma), and soon were at the four corners that made up the "center"  of town. On one of these corners stood the tea room called "Tyme Well Spent".

 This older home was built in the late 1800's, the second family to
own it raised a large family there, and was owned by various family members for 100 years. The large front porch held inviting seating areas - lovely wicker furnature.

 The inside was a series of lovely rooms. Linen lined tables were available in each area. The owner told me that the kitchen was closed, but I was welcome to view the rooms and browse the shop on the second floor. From what I understand, more than tea is available here. One can also come for lunch.

  I was amazed at the lovely china cups, linins, and decor items on the second level!  There were also beautiful jewelry and unique art pieces. Room after room is filled with wonderful treasures! I definitely need to get back to this gem of a find- for tea and a light meal as well as some browsing and shopping!

   Directly across the street stands an old building that houses the "Florence B. Deering Museum". Unfortunately, it's only open one day a week, and this was not one of those days. Count two things to come back to Hartland for!

Down the street just a ways is the "Music Hall", where weddings, plays, and concerts are held. It's a lovely old church building. It was converted from a church to a music hall in 1931. This is one of the oldest buildings in Hartland.
 O.k.! Count three attractions. A bit farther down the street is an old cemetary. For those who like to walk among the memory stones, looking for history, count another attraction.

And, across from the cemetart is the Cromaine  Library. Also in Hartland are some lovely old homes.

   As we drove out of Hartland, we noticed a fireman at the station-trying to put a flag up a pole. Only when we passed it did we realize that he was made of straw.

He didn't even say Thank You!

 If you are looking for shopping malls and chain restaurants, you won't find them in the heart of Hartland. They are down the road a piece on M59. But if you'd like to have a quiet afternoon of tea and history, and perhaps a quiet library corner to nestle in with a book, Hartland is an excellent place to go! And, if you start to feel bored, you can always go to the Spicer Cider Mill and feed the goat!

No comments: