Getting to tag along for board meetings is a nice getaway, as I get to enjoy a resort with none of the work. Crystal Mountain is one of several year-round resorts located up in the northern part of the lower peninsula of Michigan. The resort is located in Thompsonville and if you did blink, you would have missed the center of the town. Depending on the time of year there is golf or there is skiing, and besides offering some great accommodations, they will also sell you a condo, if you are so inclined. They are also family oriented with plenty to do for the children as well as for the adults. There was a spa to get the old body back in shape, and bicycles and hiking trails as well. We had a little condo unit for our stay, and you can tell that it is geared for the skiers, as there was a large jetted hot tub, as well as a shower, as part of the facilities, not to mention a kitchenette for a bite after the slopes, and you don’t even have to bring plates, as it is a little cabin for your stay. Did I also mention that there were wine glasses and a refrigerator, coffee maker and a toaster. Some great creature comforts, but it is a four hour drive, and since I am neither a skier nor a golfer, I was not interested in the real estate side of the resort, but I am sure that it is very appealing to others that enjoy both of those sports.
There was an excellent restaurant on the grounds called the Thistle Pub & Grille, which I took advantage of for a quick burger and a glass of wine. In fact when I got there around ten o’clock one evening they were still packed with guests and more were coming in. The rest of the time that we were there, I was able to appreciate the quality of their catering department for the meeting that my Bride was attending. The first morning breakfast was Eggs Benedict with potatoes, bacon, and sausages, plus a large spread of fresh fruit. Lunches were a simpler affair of salads, and make your own sandwiches. The dinner that evening was a very nice meal, though we arrived to late to enjoy the appetizers that were arrayed during the cocktail hour, and the reason that we missed that part of the evening was because we had the afternoon off, while some of the members golfed, we went to six different wineries for some wine tasting and shopping. Our dinner that evening was a twist on “Surf and Turf” as it was a Queen Size filet and a parmesan encrusted White Fish along with vegetables and the proper starch for a filling meal.
During our dinner we enjoyed a couple of wines. There was Ménage a Trois Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, which is a very popular wine that is found in most venues. The “Trois” for this wine is that the fruit is harvested from three different counties in the North Coast AVA, namely Sonoma, Lake and Napa and aged in French and American Oak. The other wine that we had was McManis Family Vineyards River Junction Chardonnay 2013. McManis Family Vineyards is from the Central Valley of California, which is the major agricultural center of the state for both grapes and for food. There is no Central Valley AVA, but there are nineteen small AVA designations for the area, and the biggest crops for grapes are Chenin Blanc, Colombard, Barbera and Chardonnay. McManis Family Vineyards is in the River Junction AVA, which may be the smallest AVA designation both for California and the United States of America, as the AVA is the entire McManis Family Vineyards, which they petitioned for and were finally approved in 2001. It is amazing what one learns doing some research on the wines after drinking them.