Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year's Eve 2010: A Series of Pictures

Four days in to 2010 and I’m still seeing blog posts about what happened last year and what’s going to happen this coming year. So I figured I’d join in on the action with a post about our New Year’s Eve festivities, since I think they were pretty darn cool.

Traverse City is one of Mr. Tote’s and my favorite places. With a trendy downtown, a plethora of diverse dining options and vineyards that stretch for miles, it’s a DINK’s (dual income no kids) paradise. So when we found out that a close friend just took a job as the new township planner for Old Mission Peninsula, we couldn’t believe it. That lucky S.O.B. Then… THEN… having no place to live yet, he somehow wiggled his way into living at the Old Mission Peninsula Lighthouse. Yes, a friggin’ LIGHTHOUSE!!!!! But wait, it gets better… he decided to have a New Year’s Eve party there. Ummm… yes please!!

I have been dying for a new camera, so we bit the bullet and walked into Best Buy once we got to Traverse City. "Nikon D3000, please." I had my mind made up. But an hour and a half later, Brian, who worked at Ritz Camera for four years, convinced me to get the Sony Alpha A330 DSLR. Finally feeling informed about my decision, he tells me he's all out of them. You've.Got.To.Be.Kidding.Me. He suggested I purchase the A230 just for New Year's Eve and then purchase the A330 when I returned home. So that's what I did.

The following pictures were taken with a Sony Alpha A230 DSLR, with a 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens.

On our way to the lighthouse, we stopped at the Old Mission Tavern for a burger and fries. Makes sense, right? Tavern equates to a burger and fries type menu. Not so much. To our surprise, this place was serving up some quite delectable entrees. And because our group was 10 people deep, we had the privilege of eating dinner in the adjacent art gallery. The food was absolutely fantastic. Mr. Tote’s prime rib was some of the best I’ve ever had. I had almond encrusted whitefish with a cherry drizzle and a butter sauce. It was sooooo good. I was really surprised at how good it was. I don’t think I’ve ever had fish served so piping hot. Usually it arrives at the table warm-hot in temperature, but this fish was hot, crisp and flaky.

In true Real World fashion, Mr. Tote raced into the lighthouse with our gear in tow to claim a good sleeping spot. He dropped our stuff in the Lighthouse Keeper’s room. Unfortunately at the time, he didn't realize that this part of the lighthouse wasn't heated.

New Year's Eve wouldn't be complete without some Coors Lite.

We went to bed around 4:30 a.m. and woke up at 10 a.m., face frostbitten (OK, I exaggerate), toes numb (NOT exaggerating!). We were too cold to sleep.

In the quiet, while everyone was still sleeping (aka passed out), we made our way to the top of the lighthouse for some pictures.

Looking down from top dome.

It was so cold that the glass was completely frosted over. And let's not forget about the wind. When you're at the tip of a peninsula that faces open Great Lakes water, it's bound to be windy... and freezing. Anyway, Mr. Tote did a wonderful job warming a patch of visibility in the frosted glass.

When we couldn't take the cold any longer and the cleared off glass was beginning to frost over again, we headed back down. Leave it to Mr. Tote to rock the Lions sweater he got from his grandpa.

I couldn't resist taking some additional pictures of the lighthouse. This time, from the outside where it was much colder... and much windier.

On New Year's Day, we headed back down to the peninsula for an extra night in Traverse City. I can't explain how ecstatic I was when we arrived at our hotel and they had our room ready early. After getting only six hours of freezing cold sleep the previous night, we were both looking forward to a long nap, which is exactly what we did.

Leave it to us to forget something at the lighthouse. Something important. We left my CDs, including the precious Power Hour CD, at the lighthouse. *sigh* So, we headed baaaaaack up the peninsula. Had I known that we would have seen a bald eagle flying along the peninsula coast, I would have been much more enthused about going.

Below are some pictures I was able to capture. The first one is my lens zoomed in as far as it goes. The other three are close ups that I cropped. Hence, the blurriness. Still... so majestic.

We also stopped at Chateau Grand Traverse, one of Old Mission Peninsula's many vineyards. I am in love with these pictures.

And there you have it. I loved that camera. And I can't wait to get my new A330 (p.s. it's on backorder). Happy New Year! Many good things to come this year!


  1. Great pictures! Those eagle shots are awesome - nice work!

  2. That was such a fun idea for New Years but sorry you had to freeze!

  3. What lovely pictures Katie! I am so excited for you to use your camera more and discover the world through new eyes.

    I adore that lighthouse and shot a wedding up there before...gorgeous! The bald eagle was the icing on the cake.

  4. I'm glad you're enjoying your new camera! Although I have to admit that I'm *shocked* that a photography professional would recommend you go with anything besides Canon or Nikon for a DSLR. I'm curious to learn more about your Sony. :) Happy New Year!

  5. Ditto Heather! I'm suprised too. Have fun with it!