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Mike, Mario and Max - Top Cats in TC

We arrived in Traverse City the last day of the extremely successful Traverse City Film Festival, created by Michael Moore and now in its third year. He claims it has brought so much money into the area, even Republicans are stopping him on the street to give him a hug.

We were a week early for the 6th annual Mario Batali Auction for the Leelenau Conservatory, wherein you can bid to get Mario to make you and 11 guests lunch. (Mario's summer home is in TC - Take that, Hamptons!) Mario has raised a sweet quarter mil this way. The Conservatory works to keep agricultural lands from becoming swankienda subdivisions. Happy to see that growing fruit is still a big business up here, though wine grapes have taken the lead in some areas.

But this is all prelude to saying that this is not the TC of my youth, the town best know for its Cherry Festival. This town has money and lots of it and it is hip. Who knew? In fact, in our travels around this water wonderland, we find the small towns have either attracted monied folks and their vacation/retirement homes or they look rather shabby. There is no in-between, or not that we have found.

But the visit was fine, time to see some relations and meet Max, a great cat with catcher's mitt paws.

The lovely view, which always pales in comparison to the real thing, is from a winery up the Leelenau Peninsula. Gorgeous!


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