Life, uh…finds a way

We decided to take the family on a Sunday outing today. So after church we went to Mercury Burger Bar. In my opinion (the only one that counts, right?), Mercury is THE  best place in Detroit for burgers. We’ve been told that the milkshakes are “the bomb” but we’re always too full to order dessert. Next time.

Just across the street is my favorite building in Detroit – Michigan Central Station. Construction on the building started in 1912 for Michigan Central Railroad. It has apparently been the subject of many restoration projects but so far, no one knows what’s going to happen to it. Recently it gained a few new windows so hopefully something will be happening and soon. I love to see Detroit building and improving. And I love it even more when the old Detroit can be salvaged. One day I will go inside of this building. I might have to wait till it’s open to the public since I’m not keen on the idea of spending up to 30 days in jail and paying a $250 fine. But if I did decide to sneak inside (I think have a couple of friends that are up for the adventure), I’m sure it’d be the most fun I’ve had in all my life. 

IMG_8748 copy 3

There’s just something about this house:

IMG_8769 copy

This is the side view of that house. The house is huge, right? The hope that is found all over Detroit is nothing short of amazing.

IMG_8768 copy

And I’m not sure who planted these flowers as the house is obviously uninhabited.

IMG_8771 copy

Don’t let anyone tell you Detroit is dead. It’s alive and well. Sometimes you just have to look to find life.  Just like Dr. Ian Malcolm said, “Life, uh…finds a way.”

Chasing fall

Do you ever feel like you just cannot wait for fall to arrive? Do you ever feel like you can’t wait for it to come to you so you decide to just go chase it down? That’s just what we did when my mom came to visit. On Saturday we went Up North to find fall. As it turns out, the best color was found off our beaten path. Is it that way with just us or do you find that happens to you as well? Our trip was originally only going to take us to the tunnel of trees on M119 (you can read about this beautiful drive here) but when we stopped for lunch about 1/2 way we changed our plans a little, thanks to hashtags and a very nice gentleman at Bear’s Den Pizzeria in Grayling, MI. If you’re looking for a yummy pizza with super friendly people, this is your place. All morning we had been joking about hashtags and how they’re getting out of control. (And if you know anything about my family, you know we beat that dead horse for hours and hours.) Before I go any further, if you haven’t seen Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake poke fun at the hashtagging phenomenon, then do yourself a favor and watch this:

Back to my story. I went to Instagram, put hashtags to work for me and happened upon a picture from Deadman’s Hill (for you Michiganders, this is near the Jordan River Valley). One of the employees heard that we were trying to find it and was so kind to come back with written directions. Talk about going above and beyond! After devouring the pizza, we were off! Here are some photos I snapped on our way…My mom has become quite the Instagrammer!
This is the view from the scenic overlook. Beautiful, isn’t it?I need your opinion. The overlook is situated on a hill. Should this photo stay as is and have a wonky fence and straight horizon…

OR should the fence be straightened and the horizon become crooked?
Which one looks better? Obviously, I think both are perfect since this hottie is in them. By the way, he has lost over 40 pounds this year and I think he looks simply looks amazing. 

After some more picture taking, we were back on the road.I’m pretty sure I could live here:It was a great day and I’m so glad my mom was able to see some color. Hopefully next year my dad can come along, too! And since it’s been a while, I made a movie of my mom’s visit.

Happy (snowy) New Year!

Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year’s. We were all recovering from a cold last night so it was an early night for us. Grab a warm drink and let me tell you what’s been happening here the last week.

We’ve gotten snow and lots of it!

It started Christmas Eve. Just like a movie, it started on our way to the Christmas Eve service at church. This is what it looked like when we got back:

We got a break on Christmas day but it started up again the day after Christmas. It was amazing (says the Floridiots)!

There’s a rumor that I may or may not know how to make a snow angel. Ah’em…The following photo is for my Florida friends’ benefit. I’m sure you northerners are all too familiar with images like these:Jackson is still shirtless most days. And if he’s not watching the snow from inside…then he’s outside playing in it.The two of us built our very first snowman of the year. Ethan was under the weather so he decided to skip the very cold activity.

We’ve been pretty busy these days. Here’s what we were up to today:

 

“Get your booties on ’cause it’s coooold outside!”

(Can you name that movie quote?)

Hey guys! I’m fresh off a visit with my family and revved up to start blogging again! We had 10 people in our little house and it was…amazing! People everywhere! Food everywhere! Jackets and stuff everywhere! I loved every minute of it. Here are a couple of pictures from their visit. I didn’t lug my camera around so you’ll have to settle for iPhone photos. (I’m on Instagram as #shortlong if you care to follow me there, too.) We took them to Frankenmuth and my boys showed Molly how to roll down a hill. I think she might still need some practice:

It was so cold that Ethan and I shared a scarf for a little bit:(Yes, I’m short. Be nice & tell me you imagined me as someone who was 5′ 5″, m’kay?)

While they were here, we also checked out the cider mill:We took them to the Tiger Stadium:Rode the Detroit People Mover: 

Then the day after they left (of course), we got a little surprise:

It’s been chilly around these parts. Jackson has left his mark:How has the weather been in your neck of the woods? It’s so funny to me that we’re all bundled up with scarves, hats and gloves and it’s still not winter yet! That’s just crazy for this Florida girl!

The leafy shortcut

I’d like to start off by saying that I know this will probably bore the pants off most everyone except my family (and even they might doze off during the video) but I thought I’d share it anyway. We’ve had a few days of warmer weather here. For example, today’s high was 76 degrees. I know it won’t last – in a mere five days the high is going to be a pitiful 39 degrees. Quite the change for this Florida family.

Anyway, back to my story. I decided Jackson and I would walk home after school. Ethan liked that idea so he came along for the ride walk. There’s a great park just behind Jackson’s school and I thought it would be fun to cut through there on our way home. It’s actually a short cut so we’ll probably do it again (but not when it’s under 40 degrees). Here’s how we spent our time:

(Music: The Only Thing by Orba Squara)

We have quite a bit planned for this weekend so I should be back soon with some more pictures of our adventures! Have a great weekend, guys.

Cider, donuts and fall colors? Yes, please

The Long family was at it again this weekend. Wanting to see what all the fuss was about, we went to a cider mill. I guess if you’re from up north then you’re probably familiar with cider mills. I have to say I’m officially in love. The chilly weather, the hot cider and warm donuts. Oh, the donuts…The apples were aplenty. In reality, apples are not aplenty in these parts. Earlier this year the apple crops were damaged and there’s actually a shortage of apples. That means not many You Pick places (if any at all). And it also means all things (Michigan) apple related are more pricey this year.

There was also a working water wheel there, too.We left the cider mill in search of some fall colors. And colors we found…There’s The Mister on the left taking pictures for his blog. Maybe he’ll actually update it sometime soon (hint, hint). I forced the boys to throw leaves in the air for a picture. I’m pretty sure they had more fun making fun of me. Yep, I’ve given birth to a couple of smart alecks. (You fit right in with the rest of the family, boys.)

And of course….So, what’s your favorite thing to do in the fall? What should we put on our To Do list?