Thank You To Our Fans – Pure Michigan Named “Best Use of Social Media” by Travel + Leisure

Pure Michigan recently received an award for “Best Overall Use of Social Media” by a Tourism Board in the 2014 Travel + Leisure SMITTY Awards! In honor of this special recognition, we wanted to send out a special ‘Thank You’ and take you on a journey through some of the posts that you liked the most over the year. 

We are so lucky to have such wonderful fans. Thank you for continuing to share the beauty of #PureMichigan!  

Which of these is your favorite? 

Ten Unforgettable Love Letters to Michigan From Our Fans

Our “A Love So Grand” love letters contest recently came to a close. We had a fantastic turnout with more than 300 letters submitted. Thank you to all who participated!  It was a joy to read your love letters to Michigan. Since there were so many letters that truly expressed all that is grand about the state of Michigan, we put together this roundup of love letters to Michigan from our fans.

403x403_MILoveletter1“A Michigander’s Ode to the Mitten” by Missy Langdon

My Great Lake State with waters blue, to you belongs my love most true
Each season has beauty for us to behold, even in winter – so bitter and cold
From the fluffy white snow that blankets the ground to the ice covered piers and caves all around
Then you ‘spring’ into beauty to which none can compare, with tulips and cherry blossoms blooming with flair
And summer – what joy the thought brings to mind, a more perfect vacation spot no one could find
We can see Pictured Rocks while taking a cruise, with picturesque sunsets in breathtaking hues
Your fresh water lakes give an ocean-like view on Mackinac Island riding bikes built for two
There are mountainous dunes rolling down to the shore, and cherries, melons and berries galore
When the air turns crisp and the apples all grow you prepare for a final, most beautiful show!
Your trees and forests display overhead a canopy of leaves orange, yellow and red
Michigan, your grandness is second to none, with you shall I live till my days are done!

“My beloved Michigan – Fresh Water, Fresh Michigan” by Sunisa Roidoung

I’m originally from Thailand, and Michigan is the first state ever of my life in US. The lakes in Michigan are beyond my expectation. The nature is amazing. I used to understand that lakes were small, might not be deep, and might be narrow like canals, ponds but NO, Michigan enlightens me that lakes are so big and wide. I had a chance riding speed boat with my friends on Lake Michigan 2 years ago. The color was green just like the sea.I never like cruising on the sea because I hate salt water, I feel sticky on my skin. But my experience with the lake is completely different.I opened my mouth so wide to bypass fresh air into my lung faster,I feel like the fresh air brings the highest ozone level into my body! I spent 2 hrs on the Lake. At that time, everything went out just perfectly, I love the lake, I love fresh water.I’m lovin it!
Overall, I love the nature in Michigan; blue sky, big trees, fresh air, fresh water. The name “Pure Michigan” absolutely represents the way I love Michigan.

“Oh, Michigan” by Alicia Tasvibi

Oh, Michigan, Oh, Michigan – you’re pure as you are true;
Your lakes so wide, your trees so green, your skies so bright and blue.
Oh, Michigan, Oh, Michigan – the place I call my home;
Your mitten shape, the goods you make, and towns with garden gnomes.
Oh, Michigan, Oh, Michigan – I never should have fled;
Your seasons change, your strength remains, with more proud years ahead.

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @cassie_smith

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @cassie_smith

“Yooper to the Core” by Stephanie Milbourn

Dear Michigan,
I love you when you’re hot
I love you when you’re cold
I love you when you rain and storm
It never does get old.

I love that you make rainbows
Across a gray blue sky
I love those pudgy, puffy clouds
That don’t look all that high

Spring brings everything to life,
Green grass everywhere
I can watch my daffodils bloom
or relax in my lawn chair

Summer comes with sunshine
The beach calls my name
I’ll enjoy it while it lasts
’cause changing weather is a game

Your fresh fall air comes whipping in
Gitche Gumee waves with all its might
Tree leaves look like Skittle bags
what a beautiful sight!

Then those big, white snowflakes
soon begin to fall
We’ll be breaking records
Because the snow banks are so tall

I love when it gets dark
And the stars are still so bright
The nature of Pure Michigan
Sure beats those city lights.

“My Love” by Kimberly Mannix

My Love,
Oh, how I long for you. Your beauty is beyond compare.
The first time that I laid eyes on you, I knew you had stolen my heart.
From your wide, sweeping porches, to your serene water vistas, nothing holds a candle to you.
I dream of you every night and long to be embraced by your warm breezes and rocking chairs.
With glorious flags and beautiful flowers adorning your doors, you welcome me into your heart.
Being with you on the island takes me back, somewhere in time, where everything moved slowly, love was grand, and
life was sweet.
Until we meet again…
With all my heart and soul, Kim

“To Michigan:” by Vanessa Gutierrez

Five was love at first sight as your beautiful beach sand tickled my eyes. As a child I visited your fields, where my family would work, and squeeze you tight while blueberry juice would drip down my lips. You gave me a kiss on the knee when my bicycle tire slipped on your rural road. Unpredictable snowflakes where the highlight of my day on April 14 when this love letter contest began. You blessed me with sudden rain on my September wedding day. I have felt your bumps along the highway as I weave through traffic on my motorcycle. I have trusted in you as I’ve walked onto your frozen paradise on Lake Michigan. Your heights left me in awe when I encountered Sleeping Bear Dunes. Your grand rivers show off the reflection of the sky as I’ve kayaked within you. You’ve hosted the colorful tulips in my hometown of Holland each spring. My wish is to rest on the beds of the Grand Hotel on the island. I love you my dearest Michigan, you are my refuge, my success, and my future.

1907288_10152811926173289_4591780164611936831_n“My dear Michigan How I Love Thee” by Jodi Schwarzenbach

I’m not sure if it was the way the air smelled on bright, spring mornings or how the lake roared with the onset of summer’s storms.  It may have happened while I felt the clear, cold water touch my skin as I swam or maybe it was the way the lilac’s scents made their mark on my heart.  It could have been the beautiful fall colors and the crunch of the leaves as I’d jump in the piles as a child.  It might have happened on long family boat trips to the beautiful Mackinac Island, viewing the Grand Hotel as if it were a king, welcoming us back each summer.  Or maybe it was while having amazing dinners at the famed Bronner’s in Frankenmuth.  Perhaps it was while sliding down Sleeping Bear Dunes and wondering if I’d ever see any prettier land again in my lifetime.  Maybe it was while having countless picnics with my family at Lumberman’s Monument or Ojibway Island.
I’m not sure of the exact moment I fell in love with Michigan, but she has always had my heart.  We will always be one.

“Come Back to Me” by Norma Allex

One of the hardest things in being apart, is that I miss your grandeur, but it is your warmth, sight,smells, fond memories and love that exudes from Lady Grand and the true love of Elise and Richard that whispers ever so gently “Come back to me”.
You know how to comfort me when I feel low or need to feel great love. No other place in this world makes me feel this way and so connected, especially to times past like 1912. You know how to take hold of me and put me in the arms of Somewhere in Time, year after year. My heart beats faster just thinking of you. You are ingrained into my soul with passion and peace.
I miss everything about you, so much so, that I dream of my return and be in awe of what is to come on that Grand porch with a louder whisper “Come back to me”.
You are the reason I wait patiently and take everything in stride, until my return in October. I can’t wait until the day I am in your arms again and am shouting out in joy,  “I have come back to you and I love you!”

“Mr. Michigan” by Stephanie Conlin Almaguer

I know that I must leave you often, but please understand, the Navy calls me & I must go. I will be back soon though! Walking along your magnificent body of water, laying on top of your golden beaches & wandering aimlessly deep in your trails. Maybe go camping & fishing or visit a town more filled with action! You have so much to offer. Tourists from all over will come to see how magnificent you are soon & you won’t be so lonely while I’m away. Want to enjoy some quality time together? We can plan a romantic getaway to Mackinac Island. Oh how I have always wanted to visit that beautiful island! Maybe we can share a carriage ride together & enjoy some of their famous fudge. We could even enjoy a round of golf at one of your many stunning golf courses. And while your winters are harsh & cold, I do enjoy tubing, skiing & snowmobiling. Don’t be jealous of the world I travel. I love you much more than any place I have ever been. And remember, I always come back home to you, my Mr. Michigan.

“To Michigan” by Sarah Hirsch

Great state, you have it all.  My feet can dip into glittery blue waters, climb sandy dunes, ski down powdery mountainsides, or walk your city streets between casinos, theaters and the finest restaurants.  My ears can hear the cheers from your stadiums, the music and melodies from amphitheaters, the calls of birds swooping over lakes and trees.  My tongue can taste your fresh cherries and apples, Mackinac Island fudge, pasties and packzis, Vernor’s and Faygo.  My eyes can focus on the vivid works of art at your museums, spectacular sunsets over stunning landscapes, or the grandeur of the grandest hotels.  Great state, you possess a wealth of experiences for the senses, and I am richer for knowing you.

 What do you love about Michigan? Tell us in the comments!

Michigan Golf Courses Prepare for the Summer Season Ahead (Plus a Giveaway!)

With more than 800 public golf courses surrounded by lush natural beauty and the Great Lakes, Michigan is a perfect summer golf destination! To get ready for summer golf season, we spoke with Janina Parrott Jacobs to learn more about how Michigan courses are preparing for the busy season ahead after our record-breaking winter. Plus, learn how you can win tickets to the Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores!

Photo courtesy of Grand Traverse Resort and Spa

Photo courtesy of Grand Traverse Resort and Spa

In golf, records are made to be broken. Usually, we’re not referring to the weather. Mother Nature busted the all-time snowfall record on Tax Day 2014, when a couple inches dusted the Detroit metro area, bringing totals above 94 inches. For northern Michigan folks, that’s child’s play, and exactly why you may be able to visit northern courses earlier than some southern state locales. Here’s why: the thaw-freeze cycle. When the ground freezes and snow falls, the snow provides a cushion for the grass. If it’s cold all winter, the ground is protected. However, if there’s a thaw – even a brief one – followed by an ice storm that coats the ground with snow on top of that, the grass is deprived of oxygen and ‘suffocates’ under the ice layer. Grasses can only handle this condition for 60-90 days depending on species, until they start to die, resulting in disease and bare spots.

According to Grand Traverse Resort and Spa’s Public Relations Director J. Michael DeAgostino, “we cannot put golf maintenance equipment on the courses until the frost is out of the ground and the turf is firm enough to support the equipment without tires sinking into it. So far, the greens on our courses look great but there is some winter damage to fairways and tees. GTR has already staged staggered openings of all three courses, Spruce Run, Wolverine, and The Bear.

hole1_slide

Photo courtesy of Tullymore Golf Resort

Farther downstate, Tullymore Resort, near Mt. Pleasant, normally has lake-effect snowfall providing a happy medium between heavier mixes up north and lighter precipitation in the Detroit metro area. According to Alex Greenacre, Director of Golf Course Maintenance, the resort’s two courses, Tullymore and St. Ives, came through basically unscathed, with snowfall in the ‘high normal range.’ “This year’s winter was different; we never received a large rainfall or warm days to melt any snow, which resulted in heavy amounts of drift areas that were more prone to disease – but these are actually in the rough and only superficial. Our greens, tees, and fairways were 99.9% unaffected.”

However, it’s not as if courses don’t prepare for winter’s bite. Typically, they’re treated chemically in the fall and this prevents winter damage and snow mold. The Grande Golf Club in Jackson, which opened in early April, annually spends about $4,000 to apply the anti-mold chemical, according to General Manager Brian Roberts. “It’s not fun to spend that much money going into the off-season….but you’ll really pick out the courses that didn’t use it.”

Golf-in-MichiganSo what does this mean for golfers itching to get out and play? Before planning golf trips, call first, even into May and June. And consider hoofing it: with wet conditions, courses will let walkers out sooner than carts. High school golf teams and league players are mostly affected because they begin play earlier in the season. For organizations conducting tournaments whose dates have been in place for months, there could be a concern. Michigan PGA Executive Director Kevin Helm said, “there are some facilities in the Detroit area that have been hit pretty hard. We didn’t start our schedule until the last Monday in April, so it is hard to say how our events may be affected; but at least we have not heard from any of our host sites saying we have a major problem.”

One important event happening regardless of weather is the Michigan Women’s Golf Association’s Legacy and Lifetime Achievement Awards golf celebration honoring three legendary Michigan women who have impacted golf for decades on Monday, May 19, 2014 at Travis Pointe CC in Ann Arbor.

Also, the Bogey Golf Tour, the ‘premier tour for the average golfer’ which hosts events in southeast Michigan and across the border in southwest Ontario, is already off and running with five events scheduled in May.

Finally, the Senior PGA Championship will be teeing off at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor May 22 – 25, 2014. Read below to find out how you can win free tickets to the event on the Pure Michigan Facebook page!

FACEBOOK GIVEAWAY: Do you want to score free tickets to the Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor? Head to our Pure Michigan Facebook page and simply tell us in the comments section why you want to attend the Senior PGA Championship. We’ll randomly select five lucky winners to win two tickets to the event. To be eligible, submit your comments by this Friday, May 16th at 12:oo p.m. EST. We’ll  follow up with our winners via Facebook on Friday afternoon.

Janina-Jacobs-headshot-224x300Janina Parrott Jacobs is a lifelong Michigan resident but her passion as a multi-media golf and business specialist and international golf and travel writer takes her all over the world.  Her website, www.janinajacobs.com, features many other entrepreneurial adventures as a motivational speaker, professional musician and performer, owning Capers Steakhouse in Detroit, and volunteer efforts with the U.S. Navy where she advocates for and mentors young people concerning health, nutrition, and fitness issues. Contact Janina at Jjacobs2456@gmail.com.