Posted by: mdprincing | April 25, 2011

Shari at the Willard Hillton

I stumbled upon a great restaurant review in last weeks The Saginaw News.  It was well written by Sue White and the subject restaurant was Shari at the Willard Hillton(Shari).

If you are not familiar with Shari, you have missed out on an incredible dining experience.  Its sits in the middle of a cornfield in Auburn, Michigan.  From the location and the looks you would not think that inside are four certified chefs that are just waiting to make your taste buds sing.  Serving up tastes from around the world, Shari’s buys what is in season and uses local products when they can.  You can find Sue Whites article here:

The building, the “Willard Hillton”, was built in the 1800’s was once known as the Beaver Hotel.  Willard is said to be a ghost town and some residents nicknamed it the “Willard Hillton” many years ago and the name stuck.  Also in the building at one time was a jail and a saloon.  The jail cells are now the wine cellar.  Shari’s is sure to please and part of what makes Mid Michigan great.

Posted by: mdprincing | March 1, 2011

Sharing a post from another writer about towns

Posted by: mdprincing | January 31, 2011

Winter wonderland

Looking for some winter fun?  Don’t want to make the long drive up north?  Then stay home and enjoy the great outdoors.

Nestled just north of the Midland Mall is the Midland City Forest (–tobaggoning–82/).  This is a beautiful facility for winter fun.  A variety of activities await your arrival including sledding, tobogganing, ice skating, hiking, cross-country skiing and snow shoeing.

As you pull into the parking lot a quarter-mile west of Eastman Ave. on Monroe Rd. you are greeted by the cozy and rustic Chalet.  Inside you will find the desk to rent all the toys you will need for your day.  Also inside is a fireplace to warm up at, snacks and hot chocolate, restrooms and telephones.  The Chalet offers huge picture windows with views of the toboggan run and the sled hill.

The sled hill is free if you bring your own sled or tube.  If you don’t have a sled you can rent one for $2.00.

Tobogganing at the City Forest is a blast.  No need to worry about toboggans either, you rent them right there for $6 an hour for up to 2 hours at a time.  There are four iced and elevated runs.  These are supervised at all times for  your fun and safety.

When you have had your fill of speedy toboggan runs head to the ice rink.  This rink is rather large and kept clean and free of snow.  The one side of the rink is full of wooden benches so you can strap on your skates.  If you don’t have skates you can rent them for $2.00 an hour.

For the more adventurous souls, head for the trails.  This is where you will find the cross-country skiing and snow shoeing.  Again, you can rent the equipment from the Chalet if you don’t have your own.  A variety of trails can be found in varying lengths including a 1K  loop that is lighted from dusk to 8pm.  Lesson on cross-country skiing are offered on select days by a seasoned instructor.

Winter hours for the City Forest are:

Thursday & Friday 4-9pm, Saturdays 10am-9pm, Sundays noon-9pm and some special holiday hours.

Posted by: mdprincing | December 23, 2010

Old School service and selection with a smile

This could of easily been titled “searching for the elusive Carhartt” but what I discovered was so much more.  Yes I was looking for an item from Carhartt, and found it harder than originally thought.

You all recognize Carhartt’s clothing when you see it.  The brown duct(now in other colors as well) that has protected American workers from the elements for decades is easy to recognize.  The name has long been link to quality and longevity, I have a pair of bibs that still function quite well after 17 years, and American made.  Some of their items have been farmed out to Mexico for production but the main stays of the line up are still Made in the USA.

I was looking for a pair of coveralls.  Pretty easy to find, except I wanted the arctic lined(black lined) for a Florida boy who is living in northern mid Michigan.  No one seemed carry these.  In the old days we would have just gone to Bay City and found them at Mill End, unfortunately they are no longer in business.  So I trudged to the big stores and farm stores and found some items but not what I was looking for.  Until a friend of my wife’s offered a suggestion.

The suggestion took me back almost 20 years.  Ed Rehmann & Sons( in downtown Chesaning, MI.  They have been there since 1919.  When I was fresh out of college and in the advertising business, they were a client of mine.  So I loaded up the truck and headed for Chesaning.

The town looked the same, it is a pretty town with a whole bunch of small locally owned businesses.  The old school hardware where you can find nails by the pound, Shultz’s Pharmacy where Sarah’s Attic was created and Giesken’s Cabinetry and Floorcovering where my friend Phil Giesken carries on the tradition of excellence and quality.

As I walked into Rehmann’s I was amazed.  I could not believe the selection of Carhartt’s and other fine clothing including men’s and women’s dress clothes.  I was greeted by the  man I met almost two decades earlier, Ric Rehmann.  Ric offered me tremendous service and a very good price.  He offered a quick and easy return or swap if the sizing was off, it was and he was true to his word.  I believe I walked in to exchange and walked out within five minutes with the new garment.  Fast, friendly, courteous and a heck of a value.  Wal-mart can’t touch this.

Rediscover Chesaning and its merchants.  Step back to the way it should be.  Local merchants supporting local causes and  local families.  Rediscover Michigan.

Posted by: mdprincing | December 15, 2010

When I fall in love…with a burger

Welcome to the first entry of Eat, Live, Play Mid Michigan.  Here we will share life experiences and things to do, places to go and where to eat in our beautiful Mid Michigan area.  You won’t hear about big corporate stores, restaurants or productions but good old locally owned and operated joints, back to our roots.  It may be about entertainment, food, cocktails, recreation or a company profile, but it will definitely be about Mid Michigan and our people.  I will add entries and ask that you share others or your own with me to post and make this OUR site to exploit all that is great in our world.  I hope you Enjoy.

The Christmas season is upon us and on one wonderful night of shopping we needed to find some dinner along the way.  This particular night found us in area surrounding the Bay Rd. and Tittabawasee Rd. corridor in Saginaw and Kochville Townships.

Our choice wasn’t random by any means.  We chose this restaurant because we had a gift card, no more  thought necessary.  We had dined here before and enjoyed it so it made sense, however we took a different approach to dinner that night.

We chose Harvey’s Grill and Bar ( which has two locations.  We dined at the Saginaw location but have enjoyed the Bay City location as well, it is on Wilder Rd near the Bay City Mall.  On this cold and blustery night Harvey’s was a good choice as they have many fireplaces throughout to keep us warm and offer some ambiance to a rather attractive eatery.  Who would on known you could turn an old mexican restaurant into this.  It was after 8pm so it wasn’t overly crowded but a nice crowd it was.  Our service was terrific and she was very helpful with our questions about the menu and used real life experiences to help us decide, kind of truth in advertising.  We didn’t have to wait long and our water  glasses were never empty, a big score in my book.

I love a good burger, and I am quite particular, nothing fancy but must be a good handmade juicy concoction on quality roll with fresh ingredients.  We went off the chart on this night, choosing to go with a very different take on the classic.  We chose the  Bacon, Balsamic and Bleu burger.  Oh, my!  What a taste, what a meal, what a joy!  It combined a perfect beef patty grilled to perfection topped with sautéed mushrooms, crispy bacon, bleu cheese and a spring mix of greens on a Kaiser bun, all this was drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette.  This was out of this world delicious and the fries that accompanied it where crispy like they should be.  My wife and I split this burger along with a great appetizer and were stuffed and completely satisfied.  We washed this great meal down with a draft beer for me and a glass of wine for her.

From what I can gather about Harvey’s is that Brent Harvey is the proprietor.  The history is a story if you care to read it.  It starts in London and ends up in New York before a time of seclusion in the UP by characters that can’t cook, flirtatious wives, business moguls, lovers of corn liquor and women of questionable morals before it ends up in the Tri Cities.  It is said that Brent recently emerged from seclusion to bring the family recipes to the good people of Mid Michigan.  Enjoy, we sure did.