Adding another thing to my list of “first” I’ve experienced… actually wearing jeans in the summer time and walking around outside! Holy bananas!! I was planning on heading to Dayton over the 4th of July weekend, but plans had to be altered a little last minute. I still went to Dayton, but I didn’t leave until Saturday so on Friday the 4th of July, I decided to head out to Ann Arbor and tackle a couple items off my list.
After a 4 mile run that morning, I went home to shower, change clothes, and eat breakfast before heading down to downtown Detroit to play tourist. I walked all along the riverfront. I saw the memorial to Joe Lewis and wandered around the River Walk area.
It was a lovely if slightly chilly day. I stopped in to The Detroit Shoppe on the way back to the car to tackle Bucket List #22: Buy something uniquely Detroit from the Detroit Shoppe. Sold! I got a cute navy Detroit burnout shirt. (And I wondered if I was officially a local since I’d bought a shirt…. probably not yet.) After walking around a little more and enjoying the day with iced-coffee in hand, I got back in the car and decided it was the perfect time to make a day trip out to Ann Arbor. Ann Arbor is about 45 minutes to an hour away from my place in Royal Oak, and downtown is another 20 minutes away. So by the time I made it to Ann Arbor, my stomach was absolutely growling and ready for some food. A couple Yelp searches and I found a delightful little brewery that was open. My view at Grizzly Peak Brewing Company.
I settled for their Kolsh beer and a Michigan Cherry Salad, which has quickly become my go-to salad here. It’s basically a spinach salad with grilled chicken, feta (or bleu cheese depending on the restaurant), almonds or pecans, and the most amazing Michigan cherries. We’re in cherry country, and they’re amazing. Not too sweet and not too tart. Le swoon. SERIOUSLY.
After quelling the hangry-belly-beast, I walked down through downtown and over the U of Michigan campus.
So far in my tour of Big 10 schools (Purdue, Penn St, Michigan St), there’s been a lot of red brick and very classic looking campuses. U of Michigan was very different. There was some red brick, but mostly seemed to be a mish-mash of different architectures all spread out throughout Ann Arbor. I think having the school in the middle of the “city” made it seem larger than it was because at the time I remember thinking I’d never seen a campus so big! But after talking to some U of M alums, it’s more that it’s spread-out versus the university being that big.
Of course I had to make a pit stop by the Delta Gamma house to see how it measured up. Spoiler alert… the 303 at Purdue will always have a special place in my heart, so it’s unlikely to ever be topped! But I did love that this chapter had the same gold anchor in it’s yard that we have. And at least from the front, it looked a lot smaller than the 303. But it could’ve been a very long house for all I know. Either way. Awesomeness!
I had one more stop to make on the Ann Arbor tour… a pit stop at the football stadium. It was a necessity for all I’d heard of it.
It also didn’t disappoint! The stadium really is built into the side of a hill, and easily felt like it was 2-3x the size of good ‘ole Ross Ade at Purdue. I could totally see how tailgating and football games here are something to be experienced! Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to get to go to a game this fall. Fingers crossed!!
I made it back home late in the afternoon, and at that point was most definitely ready to veg out on the couch for awhile. A couple hours later I headed up to Novi to meet up with my friend Tim (a former coworker) for dinner and drinks. I hadn’t seen him since December, so it was great to catch up. He’s loving his new job, but we’re still friends in spite of that. It’s fun having over folks to reach out too, and as much fun as it was, it definitely made me that much more excited to start making some friends out here. I love love love my coworkers and we’re very close, but still, I think it’s the last step to making this feel more real and less “temporary”.