BUFFALO, NY: DAY 3.

Day 3 is a tiny post compared to Days 1 & 2! The third and final day of our trip we considered going to Buffalo’s Taste of Buffalo, which to out-drinking-at-2-a-m Brian and Ashley sounded great! However, after having breakfast at Buffalo’s 2nd highest rated breakfast place, Betty’s, we realized that surfing through a massive crowd of people on a ninety-degree day to eat $5 worth of food for $20 just wasn’t our thing. We went with mini golf instead. As per tradition, of course. We play mini golf on almost every one of our vacations. After mini golf, it was just another six hour drive to get back home. The mini golf place we went to was pretty nice. Since Brian and his family own and operate a miniature golf facility, our expectations are a little more understanding, but still high. The course was well-maintained and laid out, and …

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BUFFALO, NY: DAY 2 (MY 29TH BIRTHDAY).

(Day 1 is here.) Day 2 Day 2 in Buffalo was a full one. This is such a PHOTO-HEAVY post! This was my actual birthday. My 29th one to be exact. It started as a dreary, drizzly day that eventually cleared up. Breakfast Brian looked up “the best breakfast” rated restaurant around, Maggie’s, so we stopped there before heading to the falls. I was a little apprehensive because the route there and the general neighborhood seemed questionable, but I will definitely recommend Maggie’s for a great breakfast! Niagara Falls The overcast weather kept us from completely melting when we visited the American side of Niagara Falls (this image points out the names of the specific falls, via How Stuff Works). When we got there, I had problems with my camera and almost panicked, but it was something simple (I can’t even remember now) and only ate up about 10 minutes …

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BUFFALO, NY: DAY 1.

This year for my birthday, Brian and I took an impromptu trip to Niagara Falls. Since Brian doesn’t have a passport or enhanced license, we drove through the US to get there and did not visit the Canadian side. Day 1 was filled with driving. Lots of driving. We left in the late morning and only stopped for food and gas until we were almost there. At one gas station, there was a lighthouse within sight that we went over to check out. I also quickly got my feet in the lake so that I could officially say that I’ve been in Lake Erie (I may have been before, but I honestly have no idea). We stayed at a hotel in Buffalo near a hospital (not my favorite location, btw). That night we picked a place close by that we could walk to to get wings. We decided to forego …

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CAMPING: MUSKEGON, MI (PART III).

On the final leg of our camping trip, we decided to cut out one day. There was rain in the forecast, and we didn’t want to spend our last morning packing up a wet campsite in the rain. So what was supposed to be solely my “beach day” got split up with about an hour laying in the sun on Lake Michigan, with the rest of the day driving home with a pit stop in Grand Rapids. The morning was still chilly, but it wasn’t bad in the sun. Brian’s not really a beach guy (too boring), so I think he was happy to trim out that part. We ate lunch & I had one last s’more before we ended our camping trip. I must’ve had like 2 or 3 a day, at least. Our first stop in Grand Rapids was Founders Brewing Company. The place was so big & …

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CAMPING: MUSKEGON, MI (PART II).

Day three in Muskegon started off chilly. We built a fire in the morning to keep warm while I had coffee & Brian had a Monster. Having already “done everything” (lighthouse, mini golf, beach), Brian suggested going to the lighthouse twenty minutes north in Whitehall. The White River lighthouse is now a museum, so you can pay admission to go inside the former tower. It’s an actual house too. On our way out of the state park, we stopped at a blockhouse that overlooks the park. Since it was built, the trees have become so mature that you can’t see much else. We had lunch at the BBQ place we had seen at the beach the day before (The Deck) – they had two old pontoons pushed up to their deck that they extended seating out on. We both got sliced brisket & summer shandies. The food was good, but …

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CAMPING: MUSKEGON, MI (PART I).

We are a few short days away from it being officially fall. I love everything fall just like the next white girl, but I’m still reminiscing about summer… Brian & I began dating in 2011. We moved into our home in 2012 and bought a tent as a housewarming gift to ourselves. We finally used said tent this past summer 2015. I took off the week surrounding my birthday and we drove across the state to Muskegon State Park. I booked their single available site that morning, & we lucked out — the site was my favorite in the whole park. You could catch a glimpse of Lake Michigan from the site, it was elevated, so no wet spots, and it was spacious. The whole park was really beautiful, and if we ever wanted to camp out there again, I’d definitely choose that park again. Day one, we left Lake …

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INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA.

The last weekend of March, Brian and I drove with his mom down to Indianapolis, Indiana, to visit Brian’s sister at her new home down there. Kelly moved for work last fall and bought her Indy home last October. It was the first time Brian and I had been able to visit her (previously, she was in Ann Arbor, MI) in a LOOOOONG time… Brian’s mom, Becky drove us in her car, and we swung by Ann Arbor first to help Bethany, Kelly’s wife, load a futon for the trip. Unfortunately, the futon just would not fit. I grabbed some drinks and Pringles from the corner store, and we got on the road… Friday night, we tried SWING DANCING. Saturday morning, after the cable man left, we went to Calvin Fletcher’s Coffee for coffee/tea and free donuts: After driving around town (visiting various home goods stores, we stopped for lunch …

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CELEBRATING 26 (PART III).

CELEBRATING 26 (PART I) here + CELEBRATING 26 (PART II) here. The conclusion to Brian’s and my trip up north was on my birthday, Monday, July 8.  We packed up all our belongings from the cottage, signed the guest book, and drove out to Petoskey, MI.  (Originally, we intended to go camping that night, but that plan fell through.)  We had breakfast (which were beers & burgers) at Mitchell St Pub; walked around downtown Petoskey; shopped the stores; played mini golf at Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf; visited the Waterfall Area and Sunset Park; walked out to the lighthouse on the pier; stopped at a K-Mart; found a local pet store (becoming a tradition on our vacations); and wrapped up with dinner at Papa Lou’s… I’d never been to Petoskey before, so I was excited to finally take a look at the “cute little city” everyone loves. The day started off …

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CELEBRATING 26 (PART II).

CELEBRATING 26 (PART I) here. As I mentioned before, Brian and I spent my 26th birthday weekend up north. Saturday was spent lounging around the cabin, while Sunday (July 7th), we ventured up to the top of the lower peninsula. We decided to go to up to Cheboygan to see a lighthouse or two. After that, we realized how boring Cheboygan was. I made the decision to drive over to Mackinaw City to spend the rest of the day. We saw a couple more lighthouses and the Bridge. We were going to play mini golf, but they were closed. We ate pizza and fudge, and we tourist-shopped. Overall, it was a really terrific day, despite Cheboygan being a total dud. And at McGulpin, I bought a “Great Lakes Lighthouses” book to track the lighthouses we visited (a total of four on this trip!) 🙂 I hope to add more in …

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CELEBRATING 26 (PART I).

In July, for my birthday, Brian + I traveled up north to celebrate. We went to his family’s cabin in Indian River to stay.  We drove up Friday, July 5 and arrived late that night.  We intersected Brian’s sister’s and sister’s-in-law stay, and they surprised me with a birthday cheesecake.  Super cute.  They left before we woke up Saturday, and for most of the day, we just lounged around the cabin. We had a relaxing time that day – we knew our next few days were going to be a little busy, so it felt nice to just enjoy being alone together in a beautiful place.