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.

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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? 

Treasure hunting in Michigan

I don’t know about where you are but it was a beautiful weekend here in Michigan! We stayed close to the house on Saturday but don’t let that fool you; we still had fun. We decided that since it was such a nice day out on Saturday, we would go geocaching. (Remember when we did that in Florida? If not, let me refresh your memory here.) It’s not exactly Ken’s favorite thing to do but he plays along nicely anyway. (Thank you, honey.) Besides, who doesn’t love a little treasure hunt? Jackson found our first treasure in a birdhouse inside this tree. Good one, Jackson! See, didn’t I tell you it a beautiful day?We never did find that log book though. We left behind our treasure and took off for the next one.

Which we didn’t find.

Not to be defeated, we headed for our third cache. I was the lucky one to find it this time! See the cork and the little box made from scrapbooking paper? We left those for the next geocachers to find. My little box contained a mini pumpkin, a fall leaf and a note saying “Happy fall!” I say you can be crafty and adventurous at the same time!

Ken and I headed to Ann Arbor to see Ingrid Michaelson on Sunday. She was amazing, although I really didn’t expect any different. This is our 4th time seeing her and I loved it just as much as the first time. She is so funny and has this way of telling stories that suck you in and you feel like you are right there with her. If she ever comes to your area, I highly suggest going to check her out. You won’t be disappointed. Unless you’re a grouchy person that doesn’t like to laugh or tap your foot to some good tunes. And if that’s the case, maybe you do need to see her so you can get happy. What’s wrong with you anyway?

So, how was your weekend? What kinds of things did you do to pass the time? 

Fall festival time!

With the weather being so nice, I want to spend every waking hour outside. If you know me, then you know this strange for me. But it’s just so beautiful outside. Plus a little part of me knows that in a couple of months, it’ll be snowing (or in two weeks, as a friend joked the other day).

I warned Ken a while ago that I want to attend every fall festival, celebration, parade that we can find. Every.single.one. We started last weekend with the Plymouth Fall Festival. It was different than I had expected. All the fall festivals we ever attended in Florida were heavy with arts and crafts. And I loved that. I loved getting new fall decorations. This one was different: only a few arts and crafts tables (and less than a few unless you consider Tupperware and Pampered Chef arts and/or crafts) and there were carnival rides and games. And of course there was a classic car competition.

It was a beautiful day. I seem to recall people telling me it was gray in Michigan. So far, this hasn’t been the case. (Yes, I know…we haven’t hit winter yet – give it a couple weeks.)

I swear that no one believes me when I tell them how goofy Ken really is. Maybe having proof will help:

I have fall festivals lined up for the next two weekends! And we’ll also be visiting a cider mill. I have no idea what to expect there but I’m sure it’ll be fun! Everyone tells us that we need to go; I’m just trying to be an obedient member of society. 

Dream Cruise

People tried to warn us.
Tried to scare us away.
T
ied to describe it.
Tried to help us picture it.

But we couldn’t be steered away. Every year, Oakland county is host to the country’s largest car show, the Woodward Dream Cruise. It brings over a million people to the area. It’s crazy. Nuts. Busy. Crowded. It’s all those things and more. It’s amazing. Stunning. Fun. The amount of classic cars is indescribable. Perhaps I should just show you. 

There were amazing grills (and not the Detroit gansta kind):

There were hood ornaments:

There were trucks:

And a few favorites of mine: 

I can’t wait to do this again next year. And my dream is to drive a classic car of my own in the Dream Cruise one day.