I have big news, everyone. I got all my Christmas shopping done before December 1st this year. I know, right? No, I’m not a super organized person (ha!). What I do have to thank for this feat is a little coastal town in Northern Michigan: Traverse City. I’ve loved Traverse City for years, from childhood visits to my cousin’s destination wedding a few years ago, but always viewed it as a summer town. What I discovered during my most recent visit, though, is that the Traverse City shopping scene is another reason to love this town.
Ahh, Detroit! Motorcity, Motown….. Gluten Free Heaven?! After spending years growing up and living in Michigan, I finally made it to Detroit (twice in the last month!). It’s definitely a city that gets under your skin and keeps you wanting to come back. The huge variety of gluten free Detroit options may have had something to do with that!
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.
People flock to Stratford, Ontario throughout the summer and autumn for the annual Stratford Theater Festival. And well they should, for this world-famous theater festival has starred the likes of Maggie Smith and the current season’s Martha Henry. The Stratford Festival is unparalleled when it comes to artistic vision. Even so, though… there are so many more things to do in Stratford Ontario Canada than just the festival! My recent trip to Stratford was my fourth, yet it was the first that I actually experienced Stratford to its full extent.