Kath Usitalo


A life-long Michiganian, I’ve written about the Great Lakes State and other destinations for a number of newspapers, magazines, Web sites, and The Great Lakes Gazette, a bi-monthly “newszine” published with my husband Tom Kozak when our two kids were young. 

Over the years I’ve received awards for my stories, photos, and film/video productions, and a handful of medals for high school clarinet performances.  I am a member of the Society of American Travel Writers and a past president of the Midwest Travel Writers Association. 

Novelist Elmore Leonard and I both call the University of Detroit our alma mater, and one of my sorority sisters is American Idol Carrie Underwood (though she’s younger by a generation, we attended different universities, and have never met).  I also went to school with many fine people that I actually do know, including hubby Tom.

With our home base in the Detroit area and a wonderful hideout we call Blue Skies on the Upper Peninsula’s Lake Michigan shore–pictured above—our family enjoys living with one foot in each peninsula.  We look forward to sharing our impressions about the state, the region, and occasionally the world beyond the “Sweetwater Seas” through our upcoming Web site, GreatLakesGazette.com.  

In the meantime, please keep an eye on my blog.


Note: The places I mention in my posts are included because I want to share information about them, not because they have paid for advertising or a fee to ensure a listing. 













  1. For Kath, Thank you. This is a wonderful blog about life in MI…we will enjoy. Dave’s cousin lives in Traverse City area, and went to Holland, MI last Sept. for his cousin’s wedding.
    We’ll look forward to future stories.
    – Robyn Hayden, Crestview, FL

    • Great. Stay tuned!

  2. Kathy,
    I’ve forwarded a link to your blog to both my sisters (who went to RU) along with some of my friends from back home. Well written and great to read. Keep up the good work!

  3. Thanks for spreading the word!

  4. This is a great blog. I love the Kalamazoo Michiganarea!

    • Glad you enjoy it. Hope you’ve found my several posts about Kalamazoo. Please feel free to forward tips on places I shouldn’t miss.

  5. you hve an image of the bridge walk tee shirts where are they made?

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