Saturday, June 8, 2013

Ann Arbor Adoration

Shhh, don't tell Grant; but I think I may be falling in love.  If nothing else, I have a huge crush.  I have fallen hard core for the city of Ann Arbor!  I adore it and all it has to offer.  And not to take a thing away from Farmington Hills, 'cause goodness knows I love it here, but it is a completely different atmosphere.  Perhaps I could live without the abundance of red solo cups on front porches in certain areas, but for the most part, I'm fairly smitten.

This all started because my kids are obsessed with peony bushes.  I'm not sure when they learned about what makes the peony bloom, but since then they have checked my bush out front at least once a day to see if we have blooms.  A couple of weeks ago when we were at the Nichols Arboretum on Noah's birthday weekend the peony garden there was just starting to show some small buds and both Noah and Kayla begged to come back when the flowers were in full bloom.  So as my plant has gotten closer and closer to blooming I've been reminded that we promised them we'd take them back.  A post on facebook yesterday from U of M showing a picture of the garden in full bloom solidified the need to make the trip as soon as possible.

Plus, last week I had gotten an even bigger facebook announcement; the M Den at Briarwood mall in Ann Arbor was having a TENT SALE!  50% off of EVERYTHING.  Um, how could I not go?  Not only is M Den my favorite store in the whole world but who doesn't want to shop in a tent?  These two events coinciding seemed like fate so off to Ann Arbor we headed this morning.

And of course, we had to squeeze one more thing in there as well.  Thursday's paper contained a huge pull-out section on local farmers market and the one in Ann Arbor was mentioned as one of the best in the area.  OK, sign us up.

So this morning after we celebrated the Jelly Donut (because we didn't have enough donuts yesterday, silly person that comes up with this list) off to Ann Arbor we headed.

We started at the Farmer's Market where the big pull right now is flowers.  They had more different kinds of flowers than I've ever seen.  If it hadn't meant some of them sitting in my hot car for the rest of the day until we made it home, I think we would have come home with a trunkful!  As it was, I got the most adorable planter ever!  It is a wicker tea cup on a saucer that is filled with a pot full of red orange petunias.  I am not an impulse buyer by any stretch of the imagination, but Grant will back up the fact that I saw it and said "Oh, I have to have that!"  We're looking forward to going back when berries and cherries are in season and some of the other veggies toward the fall.  Loved the market!

Then we went picnicing at the Arboretum and saw the peony garden.  I'm going to let the pictures speak for themselves.  We of course also had to build in the fairy hollow and go down by the river again, too.  Grant and I are wanting to take the kids canoeing down the river at some point, if not this summer than next.  The whole place is just beautiful and the kids (and us adults) love it there.

An accidental wrong turn took us through the heart of campus on the way to the mall which the kids loved.  Mikayla kept pointing out all the Block M's she saw - that got old real quick ;-)  I don't think Grant or I realized how large the sports complex was until we drove past everything from the baseball stadiums, to the football field, to the gymnastics arena today.  My gosh that alone goes on for miles!

The mall and M Den were great - every Gatchel got a bit spoiled at the tent sale.  We also go the kiddos this really fun bath soap at Lush in the mall.  It is the consistency of play-doh that they can mold, use to make bubbles, wash with, shampoo with, etc.  They were enamored at the store, had been fairly good all day, so we said OK.  It kept them more than occupied in the tub for 45 minutes tonight, so I'd say it was a good pick-up.

We made it back here in time for dinner to come out of the crock pot (God bless who ever thought of THAT), watch a bit of the Tigers game (another win!), play outside for awhile, the aforementioned baths, Grant mowing the lawn, me making a strawberry rhubarb pie and all of us finally wrapping it up here for the day shortly.  I'd say we packed it pretty full!

Not really sure about tomorrow as the weather is kind of iffy.  We're hoping to spend the majority of it outside tackling the issues with the lawn/yard/patio.   And of course strawberry rhubarb pie!  Until then...

Jelly Donuts (powered and cinnamon sugar with raspberry preserves)

 See all that color, all peonies!

 They were amazed

One of my favorites

 I'm fairly certain they tried their best to smell all of them

 This was them standing in front of their favorite

 Loving on Daddy in front of his favorite

 Break for lunch

 My little engineer building his fairy house with my big engineer

 Noah's finished house

 Our M Den loot

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