Part of my urgency for finally booking this trip was my Grandma's well developed Alzheimer's. I know she won't be around forever but even just her ability to speak and converse are fading and she didn't recognize us which was hard, although I was able to sit and talk with her a bit at least one of our afternoons. Anyway, it wasn't all depressing, we actually made quite the adventure out of it as you can see below...
Husband was adamant about heading into Detroit even though it's about an hour and a half from where my Grandma lives. I agreed and we coordinated for the kids to do a craft project with my mom while we set off on our day date. I wanted to find this Diego Rivera mural and husband was in search of iconic Detroit food. Food and Art are kind of our things.
If you zoom in on the photo above you might still be able to see the pencil marks into the mural which pulled out a surprising emotional response from me, like woah, someone actually drew and measured this to paint it, with modern art everything is so digital and I forget that hand sketching was a thing.Layafette Coney Island but the founding brother's had a split and one brother left and opened his own shop next door - American Coney Island Dogs. And they're both still there today. Side by Side. So we did what any foodie would and ate a both of them.
Husband taking his first Lafayette bite.
He said they tasted the same even though he ordered the original at one place and 'the special' at the other. I guess there's only so many ways you can slather a hot dog with minced meat and chili top it with white onion and mustard. And there's only so many times you can eat a coney island dog before fulfilling that void in your life, for the husband it was twice. Enough for a lifetime.
He also ordered a Michigan local beer called the Ghettoblaster.
After my pie we walked next door to the community garden.
The bees seem to enjoy the space.
blackberries not quite ripe.
// detail of art deco window with spider web.Vinsetta Garage since someone suggested it to the husband.
Cute former car garage turned into pizza + hipster hang out. I got a salad and Husband got a pasta dish to absorb all the meat he ate for lunch.
With my grandma's health issues, my Aunt offered us her camper to avoid the extra chaos of 5 extra people in her house. Could definitely do camper life long term. As long as the kids had a field nearby to roam.
The next morning we set off to another one of my childhood favorite's Frankinmuth, a small german town just 20 minutes away from my grandma's house.
Didn't remember pineapple's growing there when I was little but here are a couple growing happily along the sidewalk.
We ate lunch at the Bavarian Inn, although I would have liked to check out Zehender's next time. We got beer, brats and sour kraut, and then drove over to Bronner's Chirstmas Wonderland. I'm not one for Christmas really but this place is ridiculous for ridiculous sake and it's Christmas there 361 days a year.
Later that evening we had a family memorial BBQ for my cousin who passed away last year.
The next day we went to a family birthday party and played, get this, outside. If you're in the Phoenix area during summer you'll know what a treat this is for us traveling during the summer, like the only escape is to get out of town.
We found an adorable wine bar called Prost and I obviously ordered the cheese board.
Then we followed up with Ice Cream for dessert.
200+ steps to get back down the cliff side.Bladder Campion flowers, technically still classified as a weed but I'm obsessed with them.
Grandma took the girls on a carriage ride, V. is obsessed with horses and could not be more excited, although after she did tell me she feels a little bit bad for the horses, because they have to work all day, and we can't ask them if they like it. My little empath.
Back at our hotel we tried to call it a night but the girls were too amped up so we put them in the jetted tub bath to get out their wiggles and they decided that the warm washcloths were the best thing ever over their faces.
The morning we found a small cafe for coffee just over the Mackinac bridge on the Northern Peninsula.
And apparently that's the last photo I took on my camera for the trip, because after this we drove back to my grandma's house, packed up and headed to the airport first thing in the morning. It really was a dense quick trip and we're happy we got to experience a fun family adventure this summer, maybe next time we can do a road trip and stay longer. There are so many amazing places to camp and see we didn't even get a chance to explore.