Moving Around Michigan

We’ve now been back for just about two days from our 10 day stint in Michigan and what a great trip we had. It seems we were a little bit everywhere in Michigan which really made the time fly and fun to be had. After Bryan was home for only about 18 hours, we packed up our bags and got an Uber ride to the airport Saturday around 8 am. We had a smooth flight to Detroit and landed at about 6 pm local time. My parents were there to take us back to their house with initial plans to eat dinner and then head north to the cottage but calculating drive and arrival time, we decided to head up to the cottage the next morning. We picked up an old favorite; Aladdin’s Middleeastern and broke out all the toys in East Lansing before Reese was ready for bed after midnight local time.

Sunday morning we set forth for the cottage, arriving just after noon and shortly thereafter getting to see Chad and meet Sarah for the first time. We spent the day checking out the pontoon boat, the “castle” (aka Grandma’s potting shed), the lake and sand, took a paddle boat ride over to the island where Reese swam for all of five minutes (it was mid 70s but windy on the island and she got a bit chilled quick and was ready for a nap), and then made foil dinners over the campfire before letting Reese have one last birthday hoorah with a chocolate cake with purple icing made by Grammy. Reese was all about the cake and opening a few presents and this really made her day. Fortunately with only a short nap Reese went to bed earlier than the previous night.

The next few days went much the same way as we enjoyed the gloriousness of just being at the cottage; the fresh air, the food, the campfire, some walks, and each other. Reese played a lot of chase and hide and go seek with Grammy and Grandad. Jennette and Terry arrived Monday morning and the boys were able to go out to Cadillac to play pickleball (the first time for Bryan and he really enjoyed it). We had to say goodbye to Chad and Sarah Monday afternoon but were to see them again the next weekend. Mom made her shrimp boil on Monday night which was as delicious as ever; especially after not having had it for over two years. Terry made everyone waffles Tuesday morning and we enjoyed a peaceful morning.

Reese and I got out with Grandpa on a Gator ride through the State lands and I think Reese enjoyed this bumpy ride through the woods, although she nearly fell asleep. Shortly thereafter we all cozied up in the cottage to watch a storm coming in. We actually got a tornado warning just as I was putting Reese down for a nap. Fortunately, Reese went to sleep right away on the couch downstairs with us all inside and slept through the whole thing. Other then a nice lightening show and losing power for a few hours, we didn’t get any damage or see the actual tornado. We were back at it outside shortly after the storm, grilling burgers and playing cards.

Wednesday we had plans to head back to East Lansing around Reese’s nap time. Bryan and I got a kayak ride in before we had to head back and we said our goodbyes and packed up the car for the ride back. We got back to EL in late afternoon and picked up some Greek food from Lou and Harry’s to enjoy at the patio table outside before setting out for a long walk to Patriach Park to let Reese get her playground needs out. This park has changed since I lived there (after they took down the massive wood playground) but it is still big and excellent and Reese loved it. We were not in a rush and thus didn’t leave the park until nearly 7 pm. We returned home and picked up pizza slices from another much loved place; Georgio’s on campus.

Thursday and Friday were work days for everyone in some fashion other than myself. I watched Reese throughout the day and then tried to get in a workout or a little work during her nap time. We had no real plans these days, which was nice. Chad came to EL on Thursday night to hang out and worked from there on Friday. Mom and I got out for a girl’s mani-pedi session while the boys both tag-teamed watching Reese and making dinner of grilled salmon. Friday afternoon the boys headed out to have a round of frisbee golf while I met up with my good friend Claire at the Michigan State Marching Band practice. I finally got to meet her daughter Ada who was just about to turn 1 and Reese enjoyed watching the band, the color guard and particularly the paton twirlers. After the band’s practice Reese was itching to get on the field, took off her socks and shoes, and started sprinting back and forth. We walked to meet Mom at a playground and then the boys suggesting getting dinner at Black Cat Bistro downtown so we walked there next and got an outdoor table for our party of six and Sophie. We had a good meal and then walked the mile or so back home.

Saturday was our one busy day left as we had tickets to the Michigan vs. Washington game at the Big House in Ann Arbor. We all set forth for Ann Arbor around midday, found parking spots for the cars and then met up at Grizzly Peak for a late lunch to tide us over and through game time. It’s been years since I’ve dined at Grizzly Peak but it is still excellent. We almost all got the brewery steak sandwich which comes with amazing toppings and served between two potato latkes (instead of bread) and meant to be eaten with knife and fork. Mom and I split one so we could also enjoy their delicious crinkle cut sweet potato fries. Us ladies left to walk through town a bit. We got Reese a juice at a café and then headed to UM outfitters store where Reese picked out some pom poms for $1 and a new pink Nalgeen with “MICHIGAN” on it to keep at school.

Reese was tired at this point so Bryan and I walked her and mom to the car for them to take back to East Lansing and then Bryan and I walked down Main Street to meet up with Chad’s friends and Sarah at their tailgate at the golf course neighboring the stadium. Bryan had some drinks and we enjoyed the time until it was ready to head in for the 8:20 pm game. We had great seats and it was so fantastic to finally be back in the stadium, the first time for Bryan and the first time for me since leaving school. It was an enjoyable game, good outcome, still undecided on how good Michigan is this year but certainly better than Washington. We enjoyed a few snacks and water but other than that were focused on the game. The game finished with Michigan beating Washington, just before midnight and we drove back to EL getting home around 1 am to mom who was still awake.

After all of us had gone to bed after 2 am on Saturday night, it’s no wonder that we felt hungover and like zombies come Sunday morning. Well, all of us except for Reese who was chipper. We broke out the splash pad that she got and she enjoyed running through that for some time. We watched the NFL games when we could and then got ready to head down to my parent’s neighborhood annual picnic which just so happened to be while we were there. And it was fun (for families with kids at least)! Reese got to sit in a firetruck and was really thrilled with that. There were tons of kids there and we checked out the playground for awhile. My friend Nisa met up with us there so that we could catch up and two other kids (who are now parents of three) that I graduated with were also there as they live in the neighborhood. We had a nice little catch up, enjoyed a few of the cookies (we were doing dinner at home) and then a shaved ice truck arrived and we let Reese get a shaved ice (especially since it was all free). It was enjoyable and we stayed for a few hours before heading home, having a great homecooked dinner, then enjoying the fire patio table for some time before going to bed, which we all needed after the previous night.

Monday through Wednesday were again workdays for most, including myself when I could, still mostly while Reese napped. We visited some more playgrounds, went for some walks, played with the splash pad and other toys around the house. Bryan and I were able to go out for a date night on Monday night and decided to check out a hot pot place that Nisa had recommended to us and it was so good. We left more than stuffed and happy and came home to a happy girl who had a great time with Grammy and Grandad and they had a night out on the town to get cookies and were given lit-up glasses. We had another night out on the town on Tuesday night when we went for the famous Topopo salad at El Azteco before coming home and settling into a movie. And Wednesday we got one more late lunch of Middleeastern before we set off for the airport around 3 pm. Reese took a short nap in the car and then we made it to the airport, said our goodbyes and thank you’s, and then headed back to Seattle. Every time we fly out of Detroit (in the North Terminal at least) it is the easiest flight of my life. We’ve never had to wait in line anywhere. Our flight back was again smooth and on time, although hot and I felt like I couldn’t breathe now that I am nearly 30 weeks pregnant, but we made it. We got our Uber ride back home and Reese was in bed by about 10 pm Seattle time.

We had such a great time in Michigan; had some great quality time with my parents, got to meet Sarah, see Chad for the first time in a year, go to the cottage, go to my first Michigan football game in over ten years, had great food, enjoyed some good walks and parks, got to take some time off of work, got in a date night, and I got to see my two dearest friends in the area. All in all it was a great trip and now I am basically put at home for the next six months so I’m trying to wrap my head around that; that and the fact that it is darker a whole lot earlier at night and a whole lot earlier in the morning and I am just not ready for summer to be coming to an end.


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