One of my favorite days of the entire year is our annual trip to Frankenmuth. I was thinking about this the other day... and I was like, "Why do I love this day so much?" It's so crowded with people, it's usually freezing, it's expensive, you are lured into buying things you don't need, it's touristy AF, and you have to wait two hours in line for dinner. But honestly, I love it, so insanely much. It's just a day that means so much to me, and I can only truly say, it's a feeling I get when I'm there. It's so quaint and festive, I love spending the entire day with Eric, I love the places we visit (same places every year) and I love the food. And maybe part of it is that I absolutely love tradition, and nothing makes me happier than a simple, happy life. But man, I love Frankenmuth.
This year, we switched it up in just a couple of ways. Instead of heading east on the highway, we made our way north and took the back roads the entire way, which was great! We stopped for brunch in Greenville at The Green Harp (which is insanely yummy) and finished the rest of the trek to Frankenmuth. As soon as I saw the "Frankemuth" sign, I just felt so much joy. Haha! We got there a little earlier than normal, so we decided to check out the River Place Shops first! We usually don't go there, but I'm glad we checked it out. I ended up getting Winny's Christmas gifts, we did a little wine/cocktail tasting at Grand Traverse Distillery, and I got a few gifts from the Michigan Shoppe. Super cute place, and perfect for a little gift shopping!
Next, we headed to Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, which is the world's largest Christmas store. It was so busy with bumper-to-bumper people, but you just have to be patient, and it's totally fine. It's so fun in there! I love stopping and looking at the little village displays. When we're at Bronner's, we always make the rounds through the entire store, and then head back to the front to buy our yearly ornaments. We always get one ornament each of something that meant something to us that year. This year wasn't too eventful, but I did end up going through all of my grandma and grandpa's photos I found, and did a bit of genealogy research, and learned all about my grandma's family, so I bought an ornament made in Poland. Eric also found out he has a little bit of Irish in him, so he got an ornament made in Ireland. Perfect! I love decorating our tree every year with ornaments that mean so much to us.
After Bronner's, we head into the little main strip of Frankenmuth. We always find parking, and walk from there. Our first trip is to Frankenmuth Brewery, where we try to find a seat at the bar, and if we can't, we stand or sit on the ledge of the waiting area. Luckily this time, we found a seat at the bar! We ordered beers and wine (so thankful they have wine) and just talked for a while. I love that brewery! After that, we walk down the street to the Frankenmuth Cheese Haus. It's always tradition to hop in line, and sample all of the cheeses. I love sampling the chocolate cheese, and we always end up buying dill cheese, and cheese spread with crackers. Yum!
The last stop of the night is to Bavarian Inn! First we always hang out downstairs for a while, looking through the gift shops, picking up seasonings and wine, and then we head upstairs to hop in line for the traditional fried chicken dinner! We've waited two hours in line before, but this time... we walked almost right up to the waiting area (it's usually a line down the hallway!) and got to our table in maybe 30-40 minutes, which was amazing! We had a little two-person booth, that I loved. I was just so happy when we sat down. We ordered the family style fried chicken dinner, and I enjoyed a house-made cranberry wine (yum!). The dinner was so incredibly delicious, I was the happiest gal ever, and I could have stayed there all night. After that, we headed back to the car, drove past all of the Christmas lights on the way home, and I honestly cried because I didn't want to leave. Haha! That's seriously how much I love Frankenmuth, and this day. It's the best day.