Thursday, June 30, 2016

I Love Michigan Summers!

Hey guys!

It has been quite some time since my last post, but I finally have some good stuff to talk about since I'm just back from a Michigan trip! I had a fantastic time while I was there and I can't wait to share some of what I did with you all.

This time around I decided on a longer trip, which seems to be a theme with my summer trips home. I didn't go back during the summer last year so it was great to get to go back this year and do some of the things I've been missing so much!

First up, I got to see lots of family!

The day after I flew in, I got to go back to my elementary school and watch my oldest younger sister walk out for the very last time as a student there. Next year she'll be in 5th grade in a new school, which is something we didn't have when I was her age. I stayed at Cleveland through 6th grade and then went to middle school, which is now known as junior high!

I also got to attend one of Ella's T Ball games. I was shocked at how well she did; she definitely should have been in little league or something! She was one of the most enthusiastic players!

I reunited with my old friend, Arbok the corn snake, along with his owner Zach and the two new kittens living with them! Lots of furry kisses!

I met my sisters' hamster, Shadow, and he became my pocket buddy. He is the coolest hamster!

Obviously, Better Made chips were a must. James and Nate know what I'm talking about!

On Saturday I was able to see lots of family that I haven't seen in 10+ years when I went to my cousin's graduation party! It was great to see everyone :)

If I'm able to plan a trip around a holiday where I know all of my family will get together, I definitely try to do that so that I can see more people. I was lucky to be able to do that this time around, and I spend Sunday between the two sides of my family for Father's Day.

On Monday, which of course had to be one of the hottest days of the year, I sweated with my sisters, my mother, and Kerry through a zoo trip. I don't think I've ever flown through the zoo as fast as I did that day. I even had to carry poor Ella through the last quarter mile of zoo because she just couldn't keep up!

After the zoo, we drove to meet my mom's friend Karen, and her fresh newborn baby, for lunch. On the way there, there was a ton of traffic for this:

They created a full-color statue of that famous WWII photo of the soldier and the nurse kissing. I hope I can go back to see it when it's fully set!

Baby Leia!

After a long, cold shower, I spent the rest of the night getting my new tattoo and then going out to dinner with my friend Jeremy. I'll probably make an entire post about my new tattoo because I've had lots of questions about it, but I also need to take a current photo once it's done healing, because the process this time around was not easy or pretty and it looks a bit different than the photo I took the day after getting it done. If you follow me on Instagram, congrats! You've already seen it that photo!

One of my other goals in going to Michigan this summer was heading up to my grandparents' cabin in Hubbard Lake, MI. I hadn't been up there since 2009! I loved going up there as a kid and I was excited to be able to go again with my grandparents. My first order of business was picking a bunch of wild flowers, then I went down to our dock to check out the water, which was really choppy and rough the first day I was there!

Here you can see the water spray from where a wave hit a wooden barrier

My first night there I made the mistake (or maybe it wasn't a mistake, due to the outcome) of leaving my window open all night. I woke up around 4am totally freezing! Once I got up and dragged another blanket down off of a shelf, I was wide awake, so I made the crazy decision to grab a doughnut and a banana and then I went down to the dock to watch the sun rise. 

This photo is much larger than it appears. Click it to see a panoramic of the sunrise over Hubbard Lake!

That night we went to Smoky's to dinner. Smoky's is the local restaurant just down the road, which is super popular! We somehow turned up on a night that wasn't so busy and we had a delicious dinner. It was great to see the place and all of the renovations since the new owners bought it.

The next full day that I was at The Cabin, I did a bit of exploring, I took a nap, I drove the golf cart all over the place, and my grandma and I went out to get ice cream. I got one of my favorites, Moose Tracks, but this one was super tempting just because of the name:

I also got to see the sun set that evening. I'm so glad I decided to invest in a new phone before I left for this trip, because it took some incredible photos!

This photo is much larger than it appears. Click it to see a panoramic of the sunset over Hubbard Lake!

After a four hour drive home, I got to see my friend Lady again :)

I met a dog. Her name is Lady. I, the least dog-person-y person you have ever met, love Lady the dog. Unfortunately I wasn't allowed to bring her home because her owners love her too. She lives across the street from my mom, who I was staying with, so I got to see her often!

The day after I got home from The Cabin, I spent a night in Wyandotte with my friend Megan. It was so much fun! After a super late start because someone locked themselves out of their apartment, we had dinner at BD's Mongolian BBQ. Afterwards, we stopped in and got pie from this place called Dangerously Delicious, then we stopped in at a coffee shop and inadvertently saw a magic show (which I got a deck of cards from as a souvenir for participating in a trick). After a long walk along the water (where I waved hello to Canada!), we went out for some supplies and then spent the night at her place making bath bombs. Definitely not recommended, bath bombs are so difficult!

A tiny free library. How cool is that?!

Steve the Magician

The pier in Wyandotte

Hello Canada!


Sunday Sunset in Livonia, MI

One of the things I wanted to do this year: see the Spree fireworks! 

One of the very last things I did on this trip was take Ella to get her ears pierced (for the third time, apparently-- hopefully this time they stay in).

Other things I did on this trip include:
  • Lots of time with friends and family
  • Trips to The Han D Dip! Boston Cooler, yum!
  • Sheesh! ;)
On Tuesday morning I flew home, only to get straight into a car and drive to Seattle! There, we stood in line for so many hours I don't even care to count them in order to meet Chuck Palahniuk. I've tried to read two of his books and I'm personally not a fan of his writing style, but Patrick adores the man and was so thrilled to be able to meet him and have him sign a few things for us. It was a long day and I was crabby, exhausted, and starving by the time we left the book store, but a hole-in-the-wall Pho place fixed one of those problems, and a shower and a full night's sleep mostly fixed the other two. The next morning we drove home where I got to see my kitties, unpack, and finally relax in my own bed after 16 days away from home. 

The crosswalks in Seattle!

It seems that each trip I take home becomes easier and more fun, and this one was no exception. I'm thrilled that I was able to take this trip this year and I already can't wait to go back! Summer in Michigan is the best!