2017-06-08 / Columns

Great time for lilacs and lady slippers

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People are returning from their early spring trips just in time for the beautiful weather.

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Roberta and Allan Cohen spent an amazing three weeks in Japan and Hong Kong.

In Tokyo, they stayed at a hotel near the Ginza, the Tokyo equivalent of New York’s Times Square, with neon signs, bright lights, countless shops, boutiques, restaurants and bars. The area thrummed with high energy, happy shoppers and restaurant patrons. The Ginza was so lit up at night that it looked like daytime! They ate extraordinary Japanese cuisine.

While in Hiroshima they visited extended family Sarah, the niece of their son-in-law, and her husband, Mario, who showed them beautiful parks and sights of the city and introduced Roberta and Allan to Okonomiyaki — a delicious local dish.

Allan is a big foodie so he had made all of dinner reservations. They also knew what they were going to eat because he chose the restaurants for their well-known dishes.

One of their favorite, which they ate for lunch whenever they could, was Din Tai Fung’s extraordinary soup dumplings with the soup inside the dumpling! In Hong Kong, one of Allan’s favorite restaurants was Spicy Crab Under the Bridge.

The Cohens had planned to take the trip in the fall of 2015, but Roberta was diagnosed with breast cancer that May. Between surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation and just healing, she was unable to go on any trip like this. But finally, she had her strength back this spring and they were able to travel — a celebratory trip.

They were fortunate to catch the end of Japan’s breathtaking cherry blossom season and then arrive in Omena in time to see Leelanau County’s magnificent orchard display. Roberta said, “It was magical!”

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Ron and Mary Tonneberger are back from a two-week cruise to Russia including stops in Moscow and St. Petersburg. There were tourists from all over the globe, especially from China. The country is quite attuned to visitors and the guides were well educated. It was a fabulous trip, although airport security was a nightmare.

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Dorothy Hallett Bodeux was in Omena from Alberta, Canada, for the past two weeks visiting family and friends, including her siblings Mary Stanton, Ed Hallett, and Margie Meachum.

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Kanda and Harold McKee enjoyed a more local get-away when they spent a day at Sunset Lodge. They won the evening last fall at a Saving Birds Thru Habitat silent auction. They said it was a wonderful experience playing tourist and walking to the Knot for dinner.

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It is a spectacular time to be in Omena with all of the cool weather, wildflowers and spring blooms abound. There are still a few trillium to be seen in the woods, but the real treat now is sighting Lady Slippers, northern Michigan’s wild orchids. The lilacs are in full bloom, providing color and aroma.

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Northport students went out with Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum (GTLM) staff on the R/V Northwestern, the NMC Water Studies Institute research vessel, on May 30-31, to begin to survey Northport Bay for shipwrecks, lumber piles, old dock pilings and anything that is man-made. Students ran the side-scan sonar and watched monitors inside the cabin. They marked “targets” that will be reviewed in the coming weeks. In addition, GTLM staff and volunteers went out searching June 1-2, Thursday and Friday, and located a wooden wreck straight out from the G. Marsten Dame Marina. Stop by the Northport Visitor Center and Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum to see displays on the expedition results. The displays will be up by Saturday.

The program is sponsored by the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum, Leelanau Township Community Foundation’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC), Grand Traverse Bay Underwater Preserve, and individual contributors.

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The grand opening of the new Borealis Gallery in Northport is Friday from 6 – 9 p.m. on Nagonaba Street between Spice World CafĂ© and Tom’s.

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Rev. Peter Moore of Greenfield Presbyterian Church in Berkley, Mich., is the pulpit guest at the Omena Presbyterian Church on Sunday. Special music will be provided by Jim Seidel from Traverse City. The onehour service begins at 10 a.m..

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Happy Birthday to Claudia Bley who turns 70 today. Happy Birthday also to Ellie Stephenson and Cathy Stephenson, mother and daughter with the same birthday. And Happy Birthday to Alice Hauske, Jacquie Johnson, Linda Auer, Terry Groesser, Ava Makowski who is 6, Kaiden Makowski, who is 8, and Mia Ballard who turns 14. Happy Anniversary to Tom and Marsha Buehler, Mike and Marcia Biskupski, and to Mike and Kathy Bosco.

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