Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Roadtrip Highlights: Beautiful Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor Highlights: visiting Karen and Justin
(Karen is a good friend from high school and also my roomie in college. Karen and Justin, (who also went to MacArthur, although we didn't really get to know him well until he and Karen were an item) married just a couple of months before Kyle and me. They are living in Michigan because Justin is getting his doctorate at the University of Michigan for music, specifically tuba)
  • We left Searcy at 6am which is incredibly impressive considering it is Kyle and me we are discussing. You know, us, the people who LOVE to sleep in. Shara and Mike sent us off with a wonderful care package full of lots of goodies including peanut butter crackers, sour punch straws and trail mix bars.
  • 13 hours in a car at any given time with your loved one is a very long time. We survived the trip, no one was murdered, we hid the knives and Kyle's behavior only reverted back to a 10 year old, another hour however, I might have been dealing with a pinching and screaming 2 year old.
  • Karen bounded out of her adorable, white Ann Arbor home to greet us. I am sure Justin would have been right there with her, bouncing like a bunny rabbit had he not been taking a shower. ;) It was such a wonderful feeling being able to stretch our legs and hug Karen, Karen is famous for her wonderful hugs!
  • We were given the tour of her garden which included tomatoes, lambs ear, mint and a tree house now occupied by thousands of spiders.
  • Parker, their little white furry child (dog), showed us how he could sit, lay down and sing. Very impressive! Although the treat was the only thing he really had eyes for.
  • Ann Arbor is kind of like a smaller version of Austin, hip, young and all about outdoorsie stuff and keeping the small businesses kickin.
  • Dinner was the obvious next step, with a Polish appetizer, I can't remember the name of it but it was made with potato, cheese and yummy yummy goodness. Michigan brewed beers were a must for the boys .
  • With our new bartending license we decided that Karen and Justin's mint needed to be used, and Mojitos were the obvious choice! Yummy!
  • The next day was full of fun times. We toured around U of M, picnicked by a lake in front of the music building, and canoed down beautiful Huron River. It was delightful although the advertisement promised an abundance of wildlife on our scenic route, geese, and strange humans looking off into the distance at seemingly nothing was just about all that we witnessed. At one point Karen and Justin sneaked up behind us and attached their rope to our canoe exclaiming, "I caught me a Kyle and Vanessa!" It was very funny.
  • I should mention that we saw Captain Jack Sparrow that evening walking around the campus. Not sure why he was so far inland, maybe he was in search of a canon, we ruled out the girls since Michigan girls are not famous for their good looks,but he was generous enough to allow us a picture with him. (not the real Johhny Depp in case you were wondering)
  • The next morning Kyle and I decided to go for a run. Kyle mapped out a route for us and wrote down every turn. The route was to be 4.8 miles, but as you can imagine, not everything went to plan. Our first mistake: running without cell phones in a city we were unfamilar. Second mistake: not taking one of our turns and continuing to run for a mile afterwards. Third mistake: trying to run in the generally correct direction. We stopped running to ask a man blowing leaves how far we were from our destination, 3-4 miles was his answer. After walking a ways, we stopped a man driving a car and asked what direction we should be walking. Thankfully he was kind enough to give us a ride home. It was very fortunate because I am not sure when we would have gotten home if it wasn't for his kindness.
  • Blueberry picking was next on the agenda and proved to be lots of fun! We did have to search out the ripe berries, however, but 4 pounds of blue berries, and 25 pictures later, we were heading home, well more accurately we heading for ice cream.
  • We made a blueberry crumble for dessert for our backyard grill. Great Job Justin by they way! And we had an unexpected addition. When Kyle and I worked at Disney World in Florida, we made a friend, Colleen, who was from Michigan. I had no idea however that she lived in Ann Arbor, but we soon discovered we were in the same town and had her over for our grilling adventure. It was great to see her, it had been 4 years since our parting at Disney! What a small world!
  • The next morning we left for Chicago. Visiting friends is bittersweet, it makes you remember why they were important to you in the first place, but goodbyes inevitably must follow. We love you guys! Thanks for making our trip so memorable!
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