SEARCH: Iceland

Iceland: The Land of Ice and Fire
by Kay Tracy

GeysirsThe land of Fire and Ice, Iceland (pronounced more ‘Iss-land’ by the locals) is an island nation in the north Atlantic, easily reachable by air from either coast of the US and a handy way point for flights further east to Europe.

With exciting scenery, occasional volcanic activity, and a chance to see the Northern lights, this is a country of vibrant culture, creative people, and unusual sights.

The entire population of Iceland is about 380,000 people, and the language is Icelandic, though many can speak English. It is polite to try to learn at least a few words, such as Ja’ for yes. Nei means no, Takk Fyrir or Takk is thank you. Speak English, and you might find someone… continue reading in the Winter 2017 issue.

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SEARCH: New Zealand

New Zealand
by Michele Roger

Michele-Roger-New-ZealandNew Zealand, known by the native Maori people as “The Land of the Long White Cloud” is a place of astounding beauty and strength, much like those who live there.

Famous for its booming dairy and lamb industry as well its legendary “All Blacks” rugby team, New Zealand is far more than the face it shows to the world. The place is still fearless, proud, and some of the friendliest souls you will ever meet. To share a pint of beer is to make a friend for life. Travelers like myself are forever changed for the better after spending time there.

Broken up into two islands, the south has been made famous by the Lord of the Rings movies. All that cinematography wasn’t a green screen. It’s that breathtaking and untouched. Since so much focus has been on the south, I’ve decided to write about the splendor the north island has to offer. For direct flights from the United States to New Zealand, you’llread more in the Fall 2017 issue of SEARCH Magazine.

SEARCH: Mid-Michigan Ren Fair

Mid-Michigan Ren Fair
by Valarie Kinney

Photo of women at fair

Just outside the bustling tourist
town of Frankenmuth, Michigan, is
a forest filled with fairies, pirates,
and belly dancers. The sign is not
huge, and it’s hand-painted, so
people often drive right by, not
realizing what a gem is hidden in
those woods.

From the road, it’s an unassuming chunk of land sandwiched between two farmhouses. There’s a winding dirt drive that leads to a grassy flat lot.

At the entrance of the forest is a faux castle front, also apparently painted by hand. Nothing fancy, but once you cross through the entrance, you find you’ve fallen into another time. Another place.

It’s magic.

Music from a harp wafts through the trees, and various fairytale characters chase one another down the lanes, engaging in impromptu skits, laughing.

A myriad of vendors line the paths, cheerily hawking their wares. The Skullduggery sells swords and other weaponry as well as well-made leather tricorns. Potter’s Apothecary offer handcrafted soaps with cheeky names such as ‘Dirty Wench’ and ‘Under Kilt Care’. There is quite literally a shop for anything you’d hope to purchase. ‘Support Your Local Hookers’ demands a sign hanging out front of a shop that sells unique crocheted designs as well as books, and across the way from that wooden hut, you can… continue reading in the Summer issue 2017.

SEARCH: Armchair Adventures

Armchair Adventures
by Elliot Thorpe

Compass

There are those of out there who can’t always get out and about, some for whom the adventure is only fulfilled from the armchair.

The old clichè that life itself is an adventure can equally be attributed to the beauty of imagination, the wonder of our own minds taking us to the most amazing of places and times. In fact, the only limit to the armchair adventurer is a lack of imagination.

That’s a pretty big place to visit. So where do we start? What can be adventure to one is a chore to another and, as veteran actor-comedian and Harry Potter narrator Jim Dale said once, “I’m still a kid inside, and adventure is adventure wherever you find it.”

Yet being a writer takes me to all manner of places, whether it be research for a novel or fact-finding for an article. Both are similar in their execution and both give the result, for the reader, of being taken on a journey. Even this article, or rather the whole edition of this magazine focusing on the idea of the adventure, is, hopefully, firing your imagination and springing you into action…continue reading the Summer issue of SEARCH Magazine.

 

SEARCH: WINDSOR: A Bucket List Must for Every Traveler

WINDSOR: A Bucket List Must for Every Traveler
by Michele Roger

img_0414Windsor, the port city of Canada just across the river from Detroit, is a secret cherished by Canadians as well as Detroit natives. Known as a mini Las Vegas to the Midwest, Windsor has a reputation for its nightlife and world class casinos. I took the three minute trip across the Ambassador Bridge to discover that Windsor is far more than a casino town.

Travel Tip: If traveling by car, an Enhanced Driving License is the same as a passport. The border between Canada and the States at the Windsor border is an easy process (Just be honest, have your identification ready, and declare whatever you are bringing in or taking out.)

Once across the Ambassador Bridge, I followed Riverside Road that runs along the shore. The Windsor Riverfront hosts a sculpture park and an amazing view of the Detroit skyline…..read more in the Fall issue of SEARCH Magazine.

SEARCH: Spectacular Climbs and Vines in Morganton, North Carolina

In the Summer Issue of SEARCH Magazine,
we explore Spectacular Climbs and Vines in Morganton, North Carolina
with Michele Roger
IMG_0227

“They say opposites attract. I love my husband, but honestly, we vacation in vastly different ways. It is sometimes tough to find a place that appeals to both of our extreme personalities, as well as bring us together in our shared interests. Fortunately, we are catching a flight to a place that embraces both relaxation and adventure. We are headed to Morganton, North Carolina.

Friday Afternoon
Charlotte Douglas International is the closest airport to Morganton. I have booked a very conservative and economical sedan for the weekend. Tip: All of the rental car companies have free mobile apps. Check in for your rental as soon as your plane touches down to avoid long lines at the counter.

I head to the ladies room while my husband offers to pick up the car keys and load the car. In the garage, I search for him and the car I’ve booked. I double check my phone app. Suddenly, I hear him before I see him.  Grinning from ear to ear, he rolls up to the curb in a flashy Camaro convertible. I say something about unnecessary splurging. He counters with, “We deserve it.” Before I know it, we’re driving down the highway in the warm sunshine with the car top down. I remark the GPS says we will arrive in Morganton in forty-five minutes. He revs the V8 engine, and I know the GPS is very wrong.

After breaking land speed records, we settle into the hotel. My cousin calls, inviting us to join them for a party at the Silver Fork Winery for dinner…” to read the full article, check out the free eCopy here.

SEARCH: Michigan Pioneer Wine Trail

In the Spring Issue of SEARCH Magazine,
Michele Roger talks about the Michigan Pioneer Wine Trailwine

There is a hidden gem few wine enthusiasts know of tucked into the winding, back roads just outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan. While most of the news hitting the media about Michigan involves the slow renaissance of Detroit or the threatened water ecology of the Great Lakes, there is something both news worthy and conservation friendly happening in this unlikely wine country.

In January of 2003, Per Lenet, a retired vintner, discovered untapped grant money offered to new wineries in Michigan. The deadline to receive grants was February. He gathered a small group of new growers for breakfast in a cafe that week. Lenet gave the group its name, Michigan Pioneer Wine Trail, and pursued grant support for the newly developing region. Little did he realize the significance of calling the vintners “pioneers. Competition with established wineries from the upper and west side of the state was fierce. All Michigan vineyards have recently endured the loss of two consecutive harvests, the first crop lost in 2014 due to record breaking cold, the second in 2015 due to a devastating hail storm. While some of the northern growers have shut their doors, the Pioneers zealously persevere.

Loan Oak Vineyard Estate is just off Ann Arbor Road in Grass Lake, Michigan. Owners Denise and Kip Barber founded the estate in 1997 with the savings they had set aside for retirement. The twenty-three acres was nothing more than scrub brush and forest when they bought it. While touring the untouched property, they fell in love with a giant oak tree that towered over the rest of the forest. They embraced the giant as a mascot, and the branding for Loan Oak was born…” to read the full article, check out the free eCopy here.