I am returning from my travels in Michigan today, and I have to say, I am sad to see it go. Between Ann Arbor, Detroit, and Mackinac Island, there was much to see and even more to do. Michigan has a lot to offer for those who know where to look, and with a little bit of an adventurous spirit, and a bit of common sense, there are some great spots to be found.
One of the first things I noticed out here is how people can navigate Michigan with their right hand. No, seriously, people point at their right hand to tell you where to go. After about a week, this actually starts to make sense. Maybe the north addles the brain, but whatever, I can now navigate the state of Michigan by pointing a finger at my right hand. If this doesn’t seem strange enough to the rest of us, people who live on the glove of Michigan (the lower peninsula) are called trolls – because the live under the bridge, as I was informed. People on the upper peninsula are called Uppers (makes sense), however, it is pronounced you-pers (say it fast), just to make it sounds like more of a backwoods. And then there are those who travel to the northern end of the lower peninsula for the fudge – those would be the fudgies.
Other things I learned: Harry Potter was almost filmed in Ann Arbor, with the University of Michigan Law School being the setting for Hogwarts.We wandered around the law school campus for a little bit, and it certainly does look like it could be the setting for a fantastical story. Stone masonry, ivy on all the buildings, generation-old trees lining everything. A quick peek in the reading room revealed rows upon rows of dark-stained wood tables, with the appropriate green lamps, frescos on the walls and ceiling, and stacks upon stacks of what were presumably law books. However pleasant the campus was, I had to move on.
Once in the town of Ann Arbor proper, I went to Conor O’Neill’s Traditional Irish Pub,to meet with a college friend who was doing a fellowship in the area. The pub was designed and built in Ireland, or as much of it as could be, and shipped over to the US. The low ceilings, wood paneling everywhere, and lovely pub draft selection all make the place well worth a visit and a meal. My lunch selection, a standard chicken pot pie, was just right. Paired with two beers and some good conversation, it made for a good lunch excursion. If I lived in the area, Conor O’Neills is the place I would spend my evenings with friends. The rest of my day was spent idling around the various shops in the area, walking through some other section of the UM main campus, and enjoying the Michigan summer weather, which, being from Arizona for the last eight years, is nigh on freezing – at 82 degrees F. Once the day in Ann Arbor was done, I traveled back to Detroit for the night, and prepared for my next adventure, Mackinac Island. (Post to come soon, pictures galore)