Monday, September 23, 2013

Glass Box

The other afternoon I decided to head down and check out the new Arbor Hills shopping center on Washtenaw.  I did a tour through the shops that were now open, especially enjoying Sur La Table.

At the end of my stroll, I spotted a new coffee/juice bar called the Glass Box.  Check out this interview with the owner to get an idea of why this coffee bar is so different and excellent!

The space is clean, airy and modern, and my cappuccino was perfect.  To make the experience even better, I was also served a bottle of ice cold water, without asking!

I am not really a juice person, but after reading the juice menu and seeing the fresh fruit next to the juicer, I decided the next time I wouldn't resist.

Another nice touch is the power strip under the bar seating for plugging in all the MacBooks that will also be enjoying the space!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dam to dam walk-- September

It seems that spring and fall are my favorite times to do the dam to dam walk-- the first day without heat and humidity, I'm usually out there--
For a map on where walk goes, check out my last year's post.  Feel free to post directions under comments!

This walk is also fun to do early or late in the day--


Cascades by the Argo dam

Signs of rail improvements:  a long rail, ready to be installed.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Big House

Excitement is in the air!  

2013 Football schedule:

September 21 at Connecticut
October 12 at Penn State
November 2 at Michigan State
November 16 at Northwestern
November 23 at Iowa
December 7 Big Ten Championship game

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mark's Carts and Bill's Beer Garden

My favorite Mexican food
I've never tried to shoot pics and
 hold an umbrella at the same time!

A couple of nights ago, we were downtown around dinner time, and needed a light supper and a beer.  We are frequent shoppers at Downtown Home and Garden, (their selection and prices can't be beat), and while we are there, we often take the opportunity to have lunch at Mark's Carts.

We knew that Bill's Beer Garden took over the parking space in the evening, but had never gone.  So this was our chance to try it out!

View from seating at Mark's Carts

It was overcast and threatening rain, but we had our umbrellas, and got some delicious food from Mark's Carts, and carried it through the Home and Garden garage to Bill's.

The tables that were under cover were filling up, so we chose a nice round table in the middle, and enjoyed our food.  Then it started to rain, and we got to watch the "floor show" from under our umbrellas-- the staff started putting up awnings for the picnic tables, and it was almost like watching the ground crew at Tiger stadium.  What coordination and choreography!

"on the count of 3!"

We enjoyed the rest of our good Michigan beer, and moseyed back to the car.  Another nice evening in Ann Arbor!

Check out the great selection of Michigan beer

Cozy tables under cover, on either side of the greenhouse.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ann Arbor Art Fair

So I am the type of person who HATES heat and humidity-- so of course, it is art fair week!  I was swearing that I was going to stay away, but we needed to pick up our new glasses at SEE, so we parked in the Maynard deck before 10 AM and started walking a couple of my favorite fairs.  Most of the booths were open, and it wasn't too blazingly hot yet-- so it was actually pleasant.

I just intended on looking for my favorite artists, but I discovered Orchid Lane-- and bought a sundress.  This may not sound like a big deal, but I decided several--OK many--years ago, that my sundress days were over.

Update!  Global warming and beer festivals have made me reevaluate that decision.  So I found a nice cotton dress that wasn't too short-- and didn't look too much like a muumuu.
And what could be better?  It was $15!  So if you were like me, and assumed that this was a college kid shop and the largest size was 6, check it out.  You will be pleasantly surprised.  Just channel your inner hippy-chick (you know she's still in there!), and buy yourself something nice and cool.

Not sure how it will look?  There is a fitting room in the store.

 So then it was getting pretty hot, and I had made it to 11:00 without complaining too much or passing out or anything, so we dove into Ashley's.  It was nice and cool and dark, and the very cheerful waiter brought us pint glasses of ice water before taking our beer order.  It seemed like good weather for a nice wheat beer, so I got a refreshingly cold Wittekerke,  a Witbier from Belgium.  Even if you're not a beer fan, this is the one to try during hot weather.

Then we made the best discovery!  We each ordered a Maurice salad, as it just didn't seem right to order red meat or anything deep-fried in this heat.  It was excellent!

All together, a nice morning.  And we were home in the air conditioning, by 12:30.  Perfect.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ann Arbor Hands On Museum

What to do on a day that's too hot to play outside?  Head to the Hands On Museum-- our favorite spot to visit with the little guys.

Notice which one of us ISN"T on the big scale?


Who wants to play with the (plastic) turtles in the water table?
This museum is interesting for all ages, especially if you have any interest in science.

And pre-schoolers love the giant Rube Goldberg-style ball machine!

Don't miss the Thursday night deal:  $5 from 5-8 PM.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Turner's Garden Center

Last week I decided that it was finally time to plan my pots on the front porch, and I wasn't sure what I wanted to do this year-- so I headed to my favorite nursery, Turner's Garden Center.  Even when it's getting later in the season and some of the other places are slimming down the choices, Turner's always had a great selection of beautiful and healthy plants.

And get 10% off on Wednesday if you're a senior!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ann Arbor Civic Band: Wednesday night concerts

There are many fun and free things to do on a summer evening in Ann Arbor, and this week we discovered a new one!

The Ann Arbor Civic Band is performing six Wednesday evenings at the band shell in West Park.  What a perfect way to spend an hour on a beautiful summer night.  We brought our camping chairs and joined the crowd on the hill, including families, little kids, some older kids riding scooters and bikes, and a couple of dogs out for an evening walk.

Get in the mood for Independance Day at the Tribute to the USA concert, take your little tykes to the children's concert, and don't miss the Sousa-style concert--Check out their schedule here.

If you are trying to get a young person interested in playing an instrument, this is your venue:  real people playing music outside, for a manageable length (45 minutes) concert of nice music--for an appreciative audience.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Weber's happy hour at Habitat

I've just discovered a new favorite destination for Happy Hour at the Habitat bar in Weber's.

I took at Memoir Writing class from Osher Lifelong Learning (OLLI) this spring, and after the class was over, the members decided that we enjoyed each other's company so much, that we would continue meeting over the summer for a monthly happy hour.

Our first meeting at Weber's was suggested by one of our oyster-loving members, and endorsed as the best oyster happy hour in Ann Arbor-- so we were in!  I'm not a huge oyster fan, but I love shrimp and calamari, and was very happy with both.

If you love oysters and seafood, Monday is your day-- for burgers, check out Wednesday, but there are good specials all week long, and there are also free snacks available if you don't choose to order from the menu.

So here's the question:  Was I the only Ann-Arborite who didn't know about this wonderful venue!?   Where else can you join such a throng of happiness on Monday afternoon?

Way to go Webers!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Peony garden

The peonies are in full bloom-- and the Arb is beautiful! Did you know that we have a world-famous peony garden?   

There are 27 beds, and about 800 bushes.  This is the largest collection of antique and heirloom peonies in North America.  The garden was donated to the Arb in 1922, with a gift from Dr. W. E. Upjohn, (of the Upjohn Corporation in Kalamazoo), who was an 1875 graduate of the University of Michigan medical school.

I love the iridescence of this type
When you are done enjoying the peonies, walk further into the arb-- and enjoy a little piece of Appalachian spring.
Mountain Laurel

And don't forget Shakespeare in the Arb for the next couple of weekends.

Shakespeare in the Arb