Oh my friends, it has been a lazy month of blogging for me, but I just needed to pop by and share about my birthday weekend in Detroit! This was my first birthday back in the USA and I really wanted to use it as an excuse to get my friends together in one place. However even among my American friends, we are spread out all over the place! A couple months ago I got my wheels turning about a good location that could be a halfway point for everybody and I settled on…. Detroit! Luckily, when I pitched it to my friends, they were keen too, and the plans for my birthday weekend in Detroit began.
As you guys know, I moved back to my home state of Michigan in December, and since then I have been exploring and appreciating it as much as I can. One thing I’ve wanted to do for years is attend Grand Rapids ArtPrize…but the whole living in another country thing kind of got in the way. Each year my mom would go and then send me photos of her day, and I was just so so jealous! This year, though, I made it happen. We drove over to Grand Rapids for the first full day of ArtPrize and it was really everything I dreamed it would be.
I did a poll on Instagram the other day, and I was so surprised to see that 98% of you want to see more Michigan content! One common thought among Americans, especially those of us hailing from the Midwest, is that you have to travel far away for any kind of excitement. Michigan is certainly a different pace than I experienced living in England, but it is special in its own way, and so close to my heart. Michigan is a stunning state, home to more coastline than any other state in the USA! But so many travelers (both international ones and those who live in MI!) still don’t know what our state has to offer. Which is why I’m bringing you my Michigan bucket list.
This past week I scooped up the last of summer, and witnessed the switch from summer to fall in Old Mission Peninsula Michigan. Seriously. One day it was 95 degrees and sweaty, and when I awoke the next morning to the patter of rain, I had to bundle into my sweater. The leaves outside had bloomed into orange patches.
Mackinac Island is one of the most unique places to visit in Michigan… but it also has all the makings for a gluten free traveler’s nightmare. A remote island, only accessible by ferry, with one main road, no cars, and hours from any large grocery shops? That sounds like the kind of place where a gluten free traveler could waste away on limp salads and cross-contaminated side dishes. Could being the operative word. I am so pleased to say that my gluten free Mackinac Island experience was incredible.
The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island is a luxurious Victorian-era hotel that hosts the world’s longest front porch. It is verging on legendary in Michigan. I think every little Michigander grows up dreaming of one day staying at the Grand Hotel Mackinac Island.
Words are how I remember. Photos are beautiful reminders, but how did it smell? Taste? Feel? These are the impressions that really send me back. When I take a trip that is particularly meaningful, I like to take a small moment to jot down those memories. Maybe in a month or more, I’ll read back and suddenly feel myself return to the place… In this case, that place is a tiny car-less island in Northern Michigan, on a few stunningly blue August weekdays with my mom.
Today I’m bringing you not just any gluten free travel guide, but my most researched one ever! You could say I’ve been researching it my whole life 😉 Jokes, but today I am telling you all the best greater Lansing gluten free restaurants. I grew up in Lansing so I have had years of doing my own research! I also recently went on a press trip hosted by the Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau, who showed me even more gluten free restaurants in Lansing. And finally, I managed to pick the brains of my new Dietitian, who gave me an entire book about her recommended Lansing gluten free restaurants!
One thing about loving travel is you’re always looking for the next destination. Far flung tropics? Towering fjords? Bustling bazaars and deserts? Count me in. We spend so much time scrolling through flight deals (that can’t just be me…) that it’s easy to miss what’s right under our noses! I figured it was high time to quit doing that…for me, that means getting familiar with things to do in Lansing, Michigan – my current home base!
Sometimes when you travel, you’re not interested in the top ten sights or the best restaurants or Doing Every Possible Thing. Yes, this even happens to travel bloggers 😉 I’ve found myself increasingly craving this kind of travel: travel where I can soak everything up, take a moment to breathe, and not worry about seeing all the sights. I think this is partially because of my health issues lately, that when I travel I want to have the most relaxing experience possible and not further aggravate any of my symptoms. Also, the two trips I’ve taken so far in 2018 (Florida & NYC) were to places I’ve been many times, so I don’t feel that pressure to see the top sights because, well, I already have.