Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Camp Tin Fish 2: Our New Backwoods "BFF"

We had no idea on that fateful night we pressed "Book It" that we would soon be introduced to a new friend.  A friend we would fall in love with and cherish our memorable first weekend together.  A friend that welcomed us with a big hug and a smile.  This friend is a cabin called Camp Tin Fish 2 located in Irons, Michigan in the Manistee National Forest off M-37.

It was just before Thanksgiving weekend when we were checking our calendars.  It was going to be a whirlwind month of holiday festivities filled with high octane schedules and events.  We knew we would need a break from our grueling schedules after all was said and done.  We wanted to treat ourselves and run away to the woods where cellphone signals die.  We wanted a place where we could unwind, decompress and relax in front of a cozy fire with our dogs.  We wanted to get crafty in the kitchen together and dish up our favorite culinary delights in our cast iron cookware for a New Year celebration.    After a quick download of the Airbnb app we were on our way to ushering out 2017 and welcoming the New Year in Pure Michigan camp retreat style.  After perusing a few selections, we decided to give Camp Tin Fish 2 a whirl for a winter wonderland getaway. 

The moment we opened the door, this cabin greeted us with a big welcome smile.  Camp Tin Fish 2 is filled with nostalgic retro camp and sport memorabilia with a hint of history sprinkled throughout each room. And it is well stocked.  The owners have definitely put their heart and souls into this wonderful camp retreat and have thoughtfully taken care of all details. 

There were plenty of plush towels, bedding and blankets to burrow down during our winter getaway.  We always travel with extra blankets to cover furniture for the dogs.  The owners were one step ahead and had sheets specifically for set aside for the dogs on the furniture.  Yes! I think they truly want your pups to enjoy their stay as well!  They also have extra food and water dishes in the kitchen ready to use.  This was a super cool find as we needed an extra water bowl for the weekend.

We always travel with a "culinary box".  What can I say other than we really enjoy cooking and well, you need things, right? Spices, Global Chef Knives, tongs, wooden spoons, whisks and most importantly, our favorite Lodge cast iron pans.  In the future when we visit our Camp Tin Fish friend, we can scale back on the "culinary box" items and only bring our favorite knives to work with.  It's a safety thing - - I know those knives like the back of my hand, a hand which doesn't need another culinary war wound.  The kitchen was fully stocked AND had an ahmazing selection of cast iron cookware.  We were fully stocked with the culinary tools needed to throw down some serious cooking skills and we threw down!  Tikka Masala chicken, saffron rice, salt and rosemary brined lamb chops seared to a perfect medium rare, roasted root vegetables, pan seared Old Bay seasoned shrimp, rainbow trout and BBQ pork tenderloin.  Yup. Camp Tin Fish 2's culinary kitchen held its own and was rocking in the New Year in pure Michigan foodie fashion.

We normally like to get out and explore the great outdoors via trails and support local restaurants on our adventure travels.  Unfortunately this was one of the coldest weekends imaginable with temperatures dipping below zero the entire time so we decided it was best to stay in with a warm fire in the fireplace and amuse ourselves.  Tin Fish 2 is ready to roll with entertainment choices.  Games, puzzles, interesting books and a DVD movie library that got a big thumbs up from both of us.  Can't find anything to amuse yourself?  Take a nap in one of the comfortable overstuffed chairs with ottomans or the couch.  I did and slept for three hours on the couch in front of the fire.  It will probably be recorded as one of the best naps I've ever taken in my life. I am a nap aficionado always looking for the next afternoon/early evening short slumber. 

We did need to venture out and purchase a few items we neglected to pack.  There is a convenience store within walking distance of the cabin.  Pretty much anything you may need is here and I have to chuckle and say they have one of the largest cheap bottom shelf liquor selections I've ever seen.  Hey, that's what you do in the woods in Michigan, right? I admit I was a little disappointed to only see one Michigan spirit on the shelf.  Pure Michigan fun deserves Pure Michigan Spirits.  Next to the convenient store/gas station is a tavern and a diner.  We really wanted to check them out but we were just too cozy and comfortable to only venture out for needed supplies.  There will be other opportunities as we do plan on visiting our new backwoods BFF, Camp Tin Fish 2, on many occasions.  After all, that's what camp retreat friends are for, right?

We're in the process of concocting a signature Camp Cocktail for our wonderful friends to enjoy at Camp Tin Fish 2.  Stay tuned!  It'll be worth checking out.  Cheers!

Here is a short video of our stay - we hope you will visit this wonderful treasure of a getaway.

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