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Old 10-19-2016, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Jack-town, Sip by way of AL and FL
1,233 posts, read 796,036 times
Reputation: 1762

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....and as you can tell, I am from the South. What can I expect as far as weather? Will I be able to drive it with ease? Down here, when it snows, society shuts down. Just wondering if I'll be able to run 70 up the interstates the whole way.

Also - we are seeing family - will there be anything to do outdoors during that time?

Thanks.
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Old 10-19-2016, 01:51 PM
 
4,020 posts, read 2,923,401 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mississippi Alabama Line View Post
....and as you can tell, I am from the South. What can I expect as far as weather? Will I be able to drive it with ease? Down here, when it snows, society shuts down. Just wondering if I'll be able to run 70 up the interstates the whole way.

Also - we are seeing family - will there be anything to do outdoors during that time?

Thanks.
If it's snowing while you're on the interstate, it's really going to be a function of how fast it gets cleaned up. I've done the East Lansing - Pittsburgh drive in bad weather and still made pretty good time in most cases.

The weather will likely be pretty crappy - it's basically the dawn of winter, so expect winds, gloom and an occasional flurry; the best days will be in the mid-40s. What kind of stuff do you like to do outdoors? There are plenty of things to do, it's just a question of what's too cold for you to do some of those things.
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Old 10-19-2016, 07:25 PM
 
Location: Back in the Mitten. Formerly NC
3,819 posts, read 5,460,894 times
Reputation: 5266
It isn't common to get significant snowfall in December, and it is pretty rare in November. It can happen, but it isn't highly likely.
Unless it is snowing heavily, it won't cause much of a problem on the expressways. Expressways are treated first, and the constant stream of cars keeps it pretty clear anyway. I lived in North Carolina and drove back and forth for Christmas every year for 6 years. I can only think of one instance when there was significant snow and it slowed me down in Ohio. And honestly, that may have been spring break....

Lake Orion is close to skiing at Pine Knob and Mt. Holly. Head downtown Detroit and enjoy the outdoor skating rink in Campus Martius Park. The Detroit Zoo does a holiday thing "Wild Lights". If you are here in December, head up to Crossroads Village in Flint and ride the antique train. They put up a bunch of lights along the route.
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Old 10-21-2016, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Jack-town, Sip by way of AL and FL
1,233 posts, read 796,036 times
Reputation: 1762
Quote:
Originally Posted by highlanderfil View Post
What kind of stuff do you like to do outdoors? There are plenty of things to do, it's just a question of what's too cold for you to do some of those things.
Mother in law said something about going to Frankenmuth. I have 3 small children, and we like to hike and things like that. Which is actually good to do in the cold, you don't get all sweaty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaynarie View Post
Lake Orion is close to skiing at Pine Knob and Mt. Holly. Head downtown Detroit and enjoy the outdoor skating rink in Campus Martius Park. The Detroit Zoo does a holiday thing "Wild Lights". If you are here in December, head up to Crossroads Village in Flint and ride the antique train. They put up a bunch of lights along the route.
Those sound cool, thanks.

And to both - sounds good about the weather. Cold but not non-maneuverable.
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Old 10-23-2016, 09:02 AM
 
5,114 posts, read 4,811,693 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mississippi Alabama Line View Post
Mother in law said something about going to Frankenmuth.
Frankenmuth, German-themed city of all-you-can-eat chicken dinners, served in banquet hall type restuarants by college age waiters and waitresses wearing Bavarian clothing (or at least what the local chamber of commerce believes to be so - no beer wenches or lederhosen). Frankenmuth has a walkable tourist centric downtown for after dinner. There's also Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, a store larger than a Walmart and dedicated to selling all things even remotely dedicated to the December 25th holiday.

Quote:
I have 3 small children, and we like to hike and things like that. Which is actually good to do in the cold, you don't get all sweaty.
Bald Mountain Recreation Area, to the east of downtown Lake Orion, is owned and maintained by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. It has about two square miles of woods, lakes, and streams. More importantly for you, the DNR maintains a network of trails throughout the park, suitable for hiking or mountain biking (no motorzied vehicles allowed). You may need to purchase a day pass to park your vehicle in the parking lot.

However, November 15th thru November 30th is deer hunting season, while the rest of November and December is small game hunting season. If you do go hiking there, have everyone wear clothing that stands out and don't bother trying to be quiet, being noisy would actually be better.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ba...6!4d-83.196668

Independence Oaks is a county run park that's about 10 miles west of Lake Orion. There's maintained trails throughout the park and the park is staffed by county employees. There is a charge for parking your car and there is a 'toll both' for collecting parking fees. There's also a central concessions area for food, beverages, and equipment rental.

If there's enough snow, the trails are groomed for cross country skiing and you can rent equipment and attend a free training session. Hiking the trails is also allowed, snow or no snow; however, when the trails are groomed for X-C skiing, the skiers do not appreciate hikers on foot who are ruining 'their trails' - and let the hikers know it.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/In...!4d-83.3816788

The Paint Creek Trail is more of a biking/walking trail that runs from downtown Lake Orion to downtown Rochester. One point of interest along the trail is the small village of Goodison, which has two cider mills where your family can stop for freshly made cider and donuts. The trail, while wooded, is near residential areas, so there's no hunting allowed in the area around the trail and no need to advertise your presence to hunters.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Po...!4d-83.2242143

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Pa...!4d-83.1622432
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Old 10-23-2016, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Back in the Mitten. Formerly NC
3,819 posts, read 5,460,894 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmilf View Post
Frankenmuth, German-themed city of all-you-can-eat chicken dinners, served in banquet hall type restuarants by college age waiters and waitresses wearing Bavarian clothing (or at least what the local chamber of commerce believes to be so - no beer wenches or lederhosen). Frankenmuth has a walkable tourist centric downtown for after dinner. There's also Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, a store larger than a Walmart and dedicated to selling all things even remotely dedicated to the December 25th holiday.
This sure isn't a very positive post for Frankenmuth. Had I read this, I would run the other way instead of visiting.

Frankenmuth is a modern Bavarian style town. It is still a pretty small town, and they actually fought against Walmart building a store and won. No big box stores in sight. (There is a Kroger.) There are two large restaurants, and they are known for chicken dinners. Both serve the exact same food, but the atmosphere is quite different. Zehnders is a bit more formal feeling. Waitstaff wears more late 19th century American clothing. Smaller rooms are decorated as you would find rooms in old mansions. The Bavarian Inn has a more Germanic feel, and waitstaff wears lederhosen. (Not that it matters, but I've always found it to have a very mature waitstaff. These restaurants are huge and most employees are long-term.)

Around town, you will find dozens of little shops. Some are specialty stores (like the Leather Shop), some generic tourist shops, etc... They also have shops with homemade fudge, cheese, sausage, etc... There is a brewery. Near Bronners, there is even a handmade pretzel factory.

You can take a horse drawn carriage tour of the town. It is especially nice at Christmastime, in my opinion. (If you ever come back in the summer, there is a riverboat.)

Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland is the biggest Christmas store in the world. Over 2 million people visit annually. They will hand personalize any ornament in the store. Outside around the building, it is fully decorated with large displays all year long. Christmas music plays from speakers. (My family actually watched the Frankenmuth fireworks from the Bronner's parking lot this year and we were cracking up because Christmas music was playing while the fireworks were going off.)

Some Pictures:
Frankenmuth:



Zehnder's:


Bavarian Inn:


Bronner's:




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Old 10-24-2016, 10:08 AM
 
5,114 posts, read 4,811,693 times
Reputation: 4380
Jaynarie, my extended family has been going to Frankenmuth since I can remember, so I have a definite opinion about the place. Even more now, as my elderly father likes us getting free chicken dinners on our birthdays. I must admit that we're Zehnder's patrons, as my sister has known over the years many of the people who are managers there, and Dad won't let us ever go to the Bavarian Inn, as he doesn't care for it for some reason that he can no longer remember (give him a break, he's 84).

As for "Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland", it's plain to see where you're coming from. Let's just say that for me the most attractive thing that I've found in that store is the rare chair or bench upon which to sit while waiting for others to complete their shopping.
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Old 10-24-2016, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Back in the Mitten. Formerly NC
3,819 posts, read 5,460,894 times
Reputation: 5266
While I go to Frankenmuth several times a year (I have family there and in many nearby towns), I have to say I go to Bronner's maybe once every two years. And that is usually because someone had a baby, got married, etc... and I want to get them a personalized ornament. When you grow up so close, the novelty wears off after the age of 12 or so. If I am out shopping with someone and they want to go, I wouldn't say no. I only go when I have a purpose. However, I would definitely recommend it to someone who has never been.
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