In Lansing, looking for housing for the Fall…i walk into Dicks Sports and see this wall.
It struck me, then, that I may have made a HUGE mistake. The only thing worse would’ve been a wall of Sooners stuff.
As an Avalanche fan, this is going to be a miserable 5 years
We have been in Michigan for quite awhile - a full week now! Felipe and I have both decided it has been our favorite state to date. It really has so much to see and we couldn’t have had a better time here (minus a few days of rain!). After a few quieter days at Maury’s place in East Lansing (thanks again, Maury!), we drove a bit north to Frankenmuth. Frankenmuth is a beautiful little town that transports you from the US to Germany! Our first stop was, of course, the World’s largest Christmas store - Bronner’s. This store is MASSIVE - I couldn’t take enough pictures! It had every ornament you could possibly imagine (literally) as well as any and all Christmas decorations.
It was such a fun stop unlike anywhere else we had been on the trip thus far. We then proceeded into town and did a little sight seeing. Every building stays very much in theme which makes the whole place pretty unique.
We even were able to eat at The Bavarian Inn - let me tell you, we were STUFFED after this meal. Neither one of us wanted to drive afterwards because we could barely move! We even hit it off with one of the employees who was playing the accordion around the restaurant.
Our next stop was Detroit. First thing that we did, of course, was head to Ford Field to get our next Stadium photo.
We drove around downtown for a bit to take in the sights and ended up at an outdoor art area called the Heidelberg Project. Basically, its a full block that has artwork (anything from painted houses, to boats, to cars, to stuffed animals - it’s very hard to describe). We were lucky enough to meet the artist himself who was a pleasure to talk to. He gave us a little history around how he came up with each piece. It was definitely a new type of art for us, but it was very cool to walk around and explore everything.
After spending some time there, Felipe happened to text a friend that was in Detroit for his High School reunion. Francis was gracious enough to invite us with him to the bar they were at - we even scored some tickets to the Tiger’s game from some people who didn’t show up! Comerica Park is one of the largest in the country (and is relatively new) so we were pretty excited to be able to watch a game there. We even got to meet their mascot!
That night, we drove to Ann Arbor, Michigan to set up shop near the University of Michigan. We did some sightseeing and ate at the famous sandwich shop that is recommended by essentially every single person that has ever been to Ann Arbor, Zingerman’s. The food was fabulous and they offered tons of free samples of all of their food - definitely a place to hit if you ever find yourself in Ann Arbor! Once we were nice and full, we stopped by their football stadium. All of the gates were closed and we couldn’t get a good look inside, but we did get a picture with the outside! Unfortunately, no sightings of Jim Harbaugh to report.
Felipe then wanted to head to Brooklyn, Michigan. This is actually a little town he ended up in when he was on a former road trip with a friend from high school. He had such great memories there that he wanted to make sure he stopped by Jerry’s Pub to see it again. It was too bad we didn’t see anyone he had met there, but it was still great to stop by! We even found an old Western Town that we explored a bit.
After that, we drove to the west coast of Michigan and started heading North. We passed a very cute little amusement park with a Holland theme. It was too bad that we got there after closing, but we managed to get a good picture!
From there, it was off to Muskegon where we would spend the night! We were under the impression that we would have a quiet night, but we struck up a conversation with three locals. These guys were the best tour guides of all the Muskegon bars. Thank you again Nate, Adam, and Josh! We couldn’t have asked for more Midwestern kindness!
The next morning, we decided to head to a festival that both Felipe and I had friends at. Electric Forest is a four day music festival in Rothbury, Michigan. We arrived on the very last day and were lucky enough to see both of our friends while we were there.
To be honest, I am not totally sure how to describe Electric Forest. It is, quite literally, in the middle of a forest. The organizers put up all sorts of stages, art installations, decorations and more throughout the entire festival. You can enjoy some jam-band type music, throw your hammock up between some trees and enjoy the scenery, or simply walk around and explore all of the installations that were there. To be even more honest, it was a pretty weird place - definitely unlike any festival Felipe and I had ever been to. We enjoyed having a day to look around and experience it, but probably won’t be heading back to it next year unless we happen to find ourselves in Michigan the same weekend!
We spent the night at the Forest and then continued to head up North. Our first stop was a cute little town called Ludington for lunch. We grabbed a delicious sandwich and walked out to their lighthouse which was about a mile round trip. It was a beautiful day!
Ludington was the perfect stop on our way to Frankfort, Michigan. Frankfort is a small town that my mom and her family used to come to every summer because they had a house on nearby Crystal Lake. However, Frankfort itself is on Lake Michigan.
When I was younger, my parents brought my sisters and I up to Crystal Lake several times. The lake itself is BEAUTIFUL - the water is perfectly turquoise and see-through until a few hundred feet out. There is a sudden drop that creates a very distinct line between the turquoise water and dark blue water, it is pretty incredible.
We found my Mom’s old house, which doesn’t look quite the same from the outside anymore. The current resident happened to be home at the time and graciously showed us around. The inside of the house looked basically the same and hadn’t been touched which was really cool to see.
After chatting with the current resident and the neighbors for quite a bit, Felipe and I drove just a few minutes north to Sleeping Bear Dunes. While the walk up was pretty tough (Felipe drove in and didn’t think it would be so bad until we were both heaving at the top), the views were well worth the trek!
We sat up at the top and enjoyed the view for awhile since it was so breathtaking. Once we were done, we drove to Traverse City, where we spent the night.
That morning, we drove to Torch Lake which is supposed to be one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. It was too bad because it was raining - the lake definitely was pretty, but didn’t blow us away like we were expecting since the weather wasn’t so great. Continuing up north, we made a few stops in towns along the way until we got to Mackinaw City. This is the last city before you cross the bridge into the Upper Peninsula. Our plan was to go to Mackinac Island which is supposed to be a beautiful island where cars are not allowed. The weather did not work in our favor and we were told it was not worth it to go. Even though we were bummed to miss out on that, we crossed the bridge and finally arrived in the UP!
Just a few hours later, we found a beautiful campground where I am currently writing this, looking out on a lake. It is a bit chilly, but what can you expect when you are this far north, right?