- Mackinac Island (June 12-15, 2019)
Mackinac Island is one of those places I had always wanted to go but never knew if I would actually get there. I am so glad I was able to go!
My husband and I took Shepler’s Ferry from St. Ignace to Mackinac Island (Pronounced Mackinaw). The day we arrived happened to be windy with fairly rough waters, but the ferry ride was fun, and I felt safe the entire time. We were able to take our Chihuahua, Max, along with us and he was unsure of what was going on, but he behaved well. 🙂
As you near Mackinac Island seeing The Grand Hotel comes into view and is impressive. While entering the harbor the colorful houses, inns and other buildings give the eyes a lot to absorb. This is where the excitement truly begins!
Your choices for getting around the island are horses, carriages, bike and your feet. No motorized vehicles. This instantly takes you back to a simpler time. We rode a carriage to Mission Point where we were staying. Mission Point is a great place to stay with wonderful service and a spectacular view! Pets are allowed at Mission Point in a pet-friendly building. Although the dog was understandably not allowed in the dining area the staff went above and beyond to accommodate us. During brunch, staff set us up to in in front of the fireplace in the main room of the hotel to eat quite comfortably on a couch and chair.
Highlights include Fort Mackinac, Fort Holmes, the arch, Murdock’s Fudge, Mackinac Island State Park. Get a delicious lunch from Doud’s Market and take it to the park across the street for a picnic. See the Grand Hotel and Secret Garden as well as the rest of the grounds. Just taking time to walk around the entire island is so enjoyable and so relaxing.
Be sure to walk down main street at night to get a whole different feeling of Mackinac Island.
As always, to see additional photos visit bluffcountryphoto.com or go to Bluff Country Photography on facebook. If you have any questions feel free to contact me and I will help you in any way that I can.
- Lofty Lodge Treehouse (May 3-4, 2022)
I have always wanted to stay in a treehouse! And the Lofty Lodge Treehouse did not disappoint! It was a perfect choice for a leery first-timer!
Never did I expect a treehouse to be so elegant! Chandeliers, fireplaces (one in living room and one in the bedroom!), whirlpool tub, and so much more! All the amenities you would expect in a fine hotel room! There is also a secret room, fun!
The Lofty Lodge Treehouse is located at Hope Glen Farm near Hastings, MN. Hope Glen Farm is a wonderful place for a getaway or for a special occasion such as a wedding. The accommodations for a wedding and/or reception are phenomenal. Beautiful grounds with an outdoor wedding venue as well as a large, beautiful building, the Dining Pavilion, with chandeliers and yet another building for socializing and dancing. They also have a Bridal Suite and a Grooms Room.
There are additional accommodations in the Corn Crib Cottage. The website for Hope Glen Farm is hopeglenfarm.com.
This is one unique place to have a wedding for sure!
The town of Hastings is very close. Pizza and food can be delivered to the Lofty Lodge Treehouse from Carbone’s Pizza and it was very good!
As always, you can see additional photos at bluffcountryphoto.com and on my facebook page, Bluff Country Photography. If you have any questions feel free to contact me and I will help you in any way I can!
- The Inn at Irish Hollow (May 16-18, 2019)
The Inn at Irish Hollow is a magical, mystical place located outside of Galena, Illinois.
There are several cottages to choose from. Our luxurious cottage was The Station House Cottage and I could not have been any more pleased. There are several cottages to choose from as well as suites above the General Store.
The entire experience is difficult to put into words, but I will give it a shot! First of all, the service is all you could ask for and more. When we walked into our cottage there was fancy chocolates, pastries and a bottle of champagne waiting for us. Warm chocolate chip cookies straight out of the oven were dropped off at our cottage in the afternoon.
The cottage is warm and relaxing. The light of the fireplace creates an even more relaxing and romantic ambiance. The large, beautiful bathroom includes a jet whirlpool and a separate shower. As the fireplace is double-sided, while you are soaking in the whirlpool, you are looking at the fire in the fireplace. By the way, The Inn at Irish Hollow has the best herbal bath grains! They are provided in your bathroom as well as offered for purchase in the General Store along with many other unique and quality items.
The meals are no less than incredible! You can choose to walk down to the “General Store” and have your several course meals served to you in a very quaint setting, or you can choose to have meals delivered right to your cottage.
The grounds are exactly what you are looking for when getting away from it all. Walk along the rushing water, across bridges, walk the old railroad tracks, through train tunnels, statues, art, lounge chairs and so much more. With 500 acres to explore there is no problem finding time alone and enjoying nature. The website for The Inn at Irish Hollow is irishhollow.com.
Galena is a wonderful touristy town with so much to offer with so many great shops, boutiques and businesses! Highlights for me are Durty Gurt’s, great Olive Burger! And our favorite steakhouse ever, The Log Cabin Steakhouse. The Log Cabin Steakhouse is like steakhouses used to be. Service is exceptional and the food is beyond exceptional!
As always, if you would like to see additional photos check out bluffcountryphoto.com or Bluff Country Photography on facebook. If you would like to ask me any questions, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Glorious Glamping at Wild Mountain Winery (10-2-2022)
A warm Autumn evening Glamping at Wild Mountain Winery was just what I needed! Although it was early October of 2022, it was an unusually warm weekend for the Northshore, and perfect for glamping! The glamping tent was top notch with a nicely made bed, tables, chair, etc. and solar lights both inside and outside. Glamping at Wild Mountain Winery can be arranged through getintents.com.
Wild Mountain Winery is very easy-going and laid back. The winery offers a gift shop, wine-tasting room with food and an outdoor patio. The walk from where you park to your tent or campsite is not very long or rugged. Wood for your campfire is delivered to your camping or glamping site.
Wild Mountain Winery wine is very good! I suggest Frontenac Rose, “a semi-sweet Rose wine that finishes crisp and clean. Wonderful aromas of tart pie cherries and ripe strawberries.” It sure tasted great chilled while sitting around the campfire! No outside alcohol is allowed in, so be sure to stock up if you enjoy a bottle of wine or two!
Wild Mountain Winery is located at 16906 Wild Mountain Road, Taylors Falls, MN. Their website is wildmountainwinery.com.
Nearby Wild Mountain Winery is the town of Taylor’s Falls which is a great little town! Stop at Schooney’s Malt Shoppe for a shake! Interstate State Park in Taylor’s Falls has glacial potholes which were cool to see, and the park is beautiful, especially in autumn. Heritage Park is also pretty and a good photo op.
- Sunflower Smiles 🙂
Today was a picture perfect day to visit an amazing sunflower fields that I have had in mind for quite some time. Not only did the fields not disappoint, they went above and beyond my expectations! So many photo unique photo opportunities! From a beautifully painted (playable) piano in the sunflower fields to the numerous tractors, trucks, buggy, and so much more!
The name of the business is Green Barn Garden Center. The address is 26501 Highway 65 NE, Isanti, MN. The garden center is on one side of the highway and the sunflower fields are on the other side. When you arrive at the sunflower fields there is a red and white striped tent where you check in and purchase your passes which cost $6.00 – kids 5 years and under get free admission.
The sunflower fields are open 8am – 8pm from August 4 – 31. There are five crops of sunflowers, so there are always sunflowers blooming during this time! On sunny days it can get very warm in the sunflower fields, but umbrellas for shade are available at the check-in tent. Also available for purchase at the check-in tent are sunflowers by the stem or by the bunch and other assorted sunflower items.
*Your admission ticket is good for the entire day, so come early and stay late! This is very convenient for photographers such as myself to be able to leave the fields, let clients change outfits, take a little break and then be able to re-enter as many times as we need.
Weekends are very busy, weekdays are less congested. Everyone needs to be patient and courteous, not rushing others who are also trying to get their “perfect” picture. If you need to you can move on and come back a short time later. The props get moved to the blooming fields, so you are not missing out on any photo opportunities!
Pets are allowed in the sunflower fields, but not in the garden center. Be courteous and be sure to clean up after your pet.
There are special events, music and food trucks on certain dates – check their website for more information. (greenbarngardencenter.com).
I had a fun and fabulous day at the Green Barn Garden Center Sunflower Fields!
Be sure to check out my portfolio at bluffcountryphoto.com and more travel blog information on my facebook page at facebook/bluffcountryphoto.
A quote I recently heard ~ “Cover the earth before the earth covers you”
Stop back for more of my HODO HAPPENINGS soon!
- During these troubled times….
As the world deals with the Covid 19 pandemic, I hope this finds you healthy and happy! While many essential workers are not able to stay home – thank you to each and every one of you! – there are many others who are home with their families. I urge you to take this time to do the things you always wish you had time to do. Watch movies while eating popcorn, play outside, make forts inside and outside, do crafts together, have picnics and many other fun activities!! And PLEASE remember to take photographs and share them with those who love you and miss you!! I am anxiously awaiting Spring and getting back to taking photos on a daily basis!!! I look forward to seeing everyone – hopefully soon!
- Three Reasons why it’s important to have your photographs taken
It may be a little difficult to get everyone together for a photo or to set aside time to get your own photo taken but the small amount of time and effort it takes will be well worth it!
Three Reasons Why It’s Important To Have Your Photographs Taken
- You will have a lasting record of the most precious and important day’s of your life. These photos are not only for you and your family but for generations to come.
- We make portrait sessions fun! Whether shooting indoors or outside our photography sessions are relaxed and casual – never rushed. We strive to make the photography session as memorable as the photographs we produce.
- Our photos will be there when you need them and will have the professional touch you desire whether engagement photos, wedding portraits, in frames on the wall, head shots for professionals or a canvas hanging proudly in your office. The hundreds, maybe thousands, of photos you and your family members have on your cell phones may be lost before ever getting printed or may not be the quality photo it appeared to be on your phone screen.
- Helpful hints for your photography session
We at Bluff Country Photography thank you for selecting us as your photographers for your special occasion. We have some recommendations to help ensure the session goes smoothly to produce the best photos possible.
- Please show up promptly at the appointment time. Many times we have sessions scheduled after yours so late arrivals may lesson the time of your session. Arriving 10 minutes early is best in order to give everyone involved time to do last minute touch ups and be prepared to take photos on time.
- Please leave your cell phones and cameras in your vehicles. The session will go much smoother without the distraction of other cameras or cell phones ringing. We have been chosen as your photographer and would like the opportunity to take our unique photos without other cameras over our shoulders taking the same shots. We reserve the right to ask anyone included in the session to put away their cameras and cell phones.
- Please ask family or friends not included in your session to not attend the sessions as this too is a distraction to those being photographed as well as our photographers. If they would like to book a family session themselves we would be happy to accommodate them with a separate session.
- The beginning of my PhotoBlog