Friday, December 9, 2011

A New State to Love

Remember in September when I got engaged and then left for Michigan the next day... without James. Yeah, I still have not posted that AWESOME (though James-less) trip... TILL NOW! :D YAY! Be excited.

For those of you who don't know, Madre and Dad are LDS mission presidents in Michigan right now. They left in July and I was lucky enough to go out and visit them for a week in September :)

After picking me up at the airport and some brief relaxation and a tour of the mission home, we took a tour around East Lansing. Here we have Michigan State campus in all it's old school, bricky awesomeness.

And, of course, what would Michigan be without some pie? We ate dinner (and dessert) at Grand Traverse Pie Company. YUM!

The mission home is so pretty. My favorite place is the backyard - it's like a scene out of Snow White - birds, squirrels, flowers, chipmunks. Love it!

The kitchen window looks out onto the patio where the critters gather.
It's fun to watch them :)

Yep! The weather was perfect.

Mom enjoying our latest family picture :)
There have been two additions since then...soon to be 3!

During the day, Mom and I were able to go wedding shopping for a few things, which was fun. I didn't want her to miss out on all of the crazy planning...and frankly, I didn't want to miss out on all of the mommy-daughter bonding and her helpful advice, as she is a professional in that particular area :)

Then, when Dad got home we would drive around and see more sites.
Here we have the BEST burrito I've EVER eaten. Panchero's is SOO yummy!

One night we went to a cute little town called DeWitt...

...famous on The Food Network for this little shop called Sweetie-licious, owned by Linda Hundt - cutest little 50's-lookin' baker lady ever.

Mom and Dad said Linda's there baking on a regular basis,
but unfortunately, she wasn't there when we went.

We got some pie to take home and also got some yummy yummy fresh produce at the farmer's market right outside.

This was our farmer's market-inspired meal. SO SO YUMMY and fresh!

The next day, Mom and Dad invited all of the couple missionaries, office staff and the assistants to the mission home for a little barbeque get together.

Dad had me sing for them (of course) and they were all very sweet. I loved hearing about each of their areas and loved seeing a part of missionary work and feeling everyone's excitement for it. Aren't they a bright group? :) Some of them feel like family already. The mission office staff and assistants even came to James' and my wedding :) Cute huh?

After the barbeque, we packed up the car and drove to some of Dad's appointments, all over the mission, on our way to Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island! I spent the drive taking pictures, texting James, talking to Mom and Dad and sleeping :)

Trees and forests are EVERYWHERE in Michigan. I love it! I can only imagine what Fall looks like there. Ah, trees :)

LOOK! Here is the famous Mackinac Bridge. It's the third longest suspension bridge in the world, and is currently the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere. Cool, eh?

This is what tripped me out though...doesn't that look like the ocean (I mean...except for the land on the other side)?! Nope, it is in fact "The Straits of Mackinac", which is where Great Lakes Huron and Michigan meet...? Is that right, Dad? I think that's what Wikipedia was trying to tell me :)

We stayed the night in Mackinaw City and woke up bright and early to fairy over to...dun-duh-duh DUH - Mackinac Island - known for being the location of the movie "Somewhere in Time" with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour AND also it's "lack of cars". They only drive horse-drawn buggies there :)

See! Horse-drawn :)

Here's the quaint Main Street. They also have a lot of bike rental shops :) ...but because it's such a cute island, they probably spell them s-h-o-p-p-e.

The island is SO beautiful, quaint and nostalgic.
Parts of it reminded me of Prince Edward Island from Anne of Green Gables...

...and other parts reminded me of Hyde Park in London, England...

...and other parts reminded me of River City, Iowa from The Music Man :)

It is all simply breath-taking :)

Picture him saying "Wilburrrrr" :)

Ah, the part I was MOST excited for was THIS!
The famous Mackinac Hotel where most of "Somewhere In Time" was filmed.

The carriages that drove people to and from the hotel were drawn by high-stepping "show horses" (Brian Regan, anyone? hehe). Oh, and that light blue ceiling of the porch? It was painted that way to make birds think it's the sky, so they don't nest there... Eh? Smart huh? Plus, light blue is my FAVORITE color!

Ok, in the video above, forward to 1:25:39 :) And you will see the beautiful reunion on this very staircase! Warning: The scene right after the reunion is a little risque, but you can simply skip it by forwarding to 1:29:02...though, I would start from the beginning if you've never seen the movie, cause the scene right after the "risque scene" will RUIN the WHOLE movie for you... Just sayin'

The staircase is a "little" overgrown with trees now...
but it was still reaaaally exciting :)

This is a pretty greenhouse we stumbled upon as we were walking on the grounds.

I couldn't stop taking pictures of the stairs, cause that was the part of the movie I remembered most :)

I would totally eat lunch here :)

Like our mismatched layers? We didn't really prepare for the FREEZING we put on every long-sleeved thing we had and looked super awesome :)

Don't you just want to curl up here and read a good book? :) Or play croquet? They had a little croquet set out on the lawn.

And HERE is the inside. They didn't have one set color scheme, which was fun! Each room and floor had its own flair.

Not sure if this is THE theatre that Jane Seymour performs in in the movie, but I took a picture just in case :) Are we loving the pink?

Aw. Isn't this the quaintest little eatery EVER? :)

Or...there's always the one next door :)

This is the restaurant they have on the top floor with a view of the surrounding island :)

And, inside a little gift shoppe (hehe), I found A, if not THE, picture from the movie! :O

And, of course, they had several glass cases and frames in a portion of the hotel to pay homage to the movie.

Ah, Richard, looking all dapper and handsome. We should bring this look back :)

So here's another fun fact about Mackinac Island Hotel - they have a dress code :) See the sign? It says "Proper Dress required at the hotel and hotel owned street. Gentlemen after 6pm must be attired in coat and tie. Ladies may not be attired in slacks. Please no bicycles or saddle horses in front of the hotel".

Unfortunately, we weren't on the island after 6pm...cause we totally would've been kicked off the island for our mismatched awesomeness, but I seriously LOVE THAT dress code! Just another fun authentic perk about this cute place.

They even have someone at the ferry dock who sorts through all of your pennies before you're allowed to step foot on the island (if you've seen "Somewhere in Time", that should make sense) ;) Hahaha. I'm kidding, btw.

Don't you just want to stroll down these streets, hand-in-hand with your lover?

I'd TOTALLY borrow a cup of sugar from the resident of this place :)

Aw. I love lighthouses.

The architecture and design of these houses on Main Street are SO unique. I love them. I think I'm going to have a wrap around porch with vintage trim and a princess tower someday :)

OH, and don't forget the picket fence!

Back on the main land, we went to a fudge shop (spelled the normal way, because we're no longer on Mackinac Island). Mackinaw City is apparently FAMOUS for their, we bought three different kinds and tried them all :) Maple, Praline and...chocolate. I'm pretty sure that's what they were. All I know is, they were AMAZING!

On our way home we stopped in Traverse City and looked out over Lake Michigan...and, because everything was so picture perfect that day, we saw a rainbow. Can you see it?

The water was Bear Lake cold, which I'm used to, so I totally would've gone for a dip if I had my swimming suit and it wasn't so windy.

I have to say, I LOVE old school EVERYTHING. I feel like I got the short end of the stick being born in the late 80's. I wish I was born in the 20's with the flapper girls and the Great Gatsbys, or the 50's with the poodle skirts and soda shops, or the 1776's with Jane Austen :) Our era lack SO much of that vintage, glamourous pizzazz. No pincurls or big hats...just ponytails and skinny jeans.

Ok, ok. I'll save that rant for another post :) Just enjoy this fabulousity.

Then, before I went home, we went to a sport paraphernalia store so I could get a Michigan State sweatshirt. Why? Because Michigan is one of my new favorite places: a) The parents live/serve there, b) I got married there, c) IT'S BEAUTIFUL! :D

TTFN, Mom & Dad :)

Aren't they cute? :) I love them.