Lake Erie to Ann Arbor

Tuesday, September 24th: Michigan, here we come!

We had decided to take route 6 to route 2 from Cleveland to Ann Arbor. It would take us about two hours more than the highway, but damn are we happy we did. All along Lake Erie, crystal blue water on our right and beautiful neighborhoods and small towns on our left. We had never even heard of some of these towns, let alone imagine ever visiting them. Clifton, Rocky River, Bay Village, Avon to Vermillion.

Beautiful House on Lake Erie

Beautiful House on Lake Erie

Lake Erie

This house on Lake Erie is for sale!

This house on Lake Erie is for sale!

One observation: a LOT of Mexican and Tex Mex restaurants along the drive. We are talking in the 40s. Clearly these folks like their tacos and enchiladas up here. Can you blame them? We were also amazed at the number of barns, most of them red.

We drove through the famous town of Sandusky which is known as the roller coaster capital of the world and home to Cedar Point amusement park which has the tallest roller coaster in the world, and the second oldest operating amusement park in the US. Unfortunately, because it was mid-day on a Tuesday, they were closed. I guess we will have to save tossing our cookies over a roller coaster for another town. Thanks Pete for suggesting we check it out!

Cate’s friend Rob (and his 4 roommates) were kind enough to host us on Tuesday night. Rob, Marco, Joe, Rory and John are in their second year at The Ross School. Rob had given us his address and while we knew he wasn’t going to be there when we arrived, one of his roommates would most likely be there. Well, they weren’t….or were they?
We headed into downtown Ann Arbor to walk around S. Main Street, check out the campus and find some dinner. The campus is enormous, Michelle and I both went to college’s with about 2,000 students. The thought of 40,000 plus boggles our mind. The campus is very pretty and active. Downtown Ann Arbor is lined with shops, boutiques, restaurants and bars. Lots of options for dinner, but given that it was a TUESDAY – it was Taco Tuesday after all – we opted for Mexican. If you are in town, head to the Prickley Pear for some tasty food.
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We popped in to a few shops along the way, our favorite being The Cherry Republic. We didn’t realize that Michigan was so famous for their cherries. Our friend Ali would be in cherry heaven (they are one of her favorite foods!).  The store sells anything and everything cherry you can imagine including soap, beer and salsa. After enjoying some tasty free samples, we spent about 30 minutes talking with Brian and Ken, both former UM students who told us, basically, that we were crazy for not going to northern Michigan and the UP. Michelle and I had thought about it but hadn’t given it serious consideration.
Needless to say, we have changed our plans slightly and will now be making our way through Northern Michigan and the UP before heading to Wisconsin.
We decided to head back to where we started – The Rock House (where Rob and his buddies live), or so we thought we were headed. Rob had warned us before our arrival that he didn’t have an extra parking spot at his house, but we should unload what we needed at the front door and then find parking on the street. Easy enough.
It was our first night with air mattresses and sleeping bags. We unloaded all our stuff, too much stuff to say the least. Cate approached the front door of the complex and there were no keys in the mailbox, as Rob had said there would be. Clue #1 something wasn’t right.
So, she rang the bell. Someone was home. Someone was coming to the door. He opened the door, extremely confused, and well, let’s be honest, looking a bit frightened.
Cate: “Hi, is this Rob’s apartment? Are you Rob’s roommate?”
Man wearing Domino’s pizza delivery shirt: (deadpan) “NO, who are you?” Shakes his head. Closes the door on Cate’s face. 
Is this really happening? 
 
Cate walks back to the car as Michelle is watching this all go down. Well, apparently the main street goes in two directions and about 10 miles apart from each other is the SAME exact address, but two very different houses!
Comedy:
Shoving everything back in the car, we speed off to The Rock House. The REAL Rock House.
Thank you to Rob, Joe, Rory, Marco, John for letting us crash at your house, but also for taking us out to the local bar for some beers. We had so much fun hanging with you guys and so wish we could have stayed for this weekends Beer Pong Competition. Next time!
IMG_9837We spent Wednesday taking some time to get caught up on emails, downloading photos, our blog and exploring the campus. Sweetwater Coffee Shop – a must in town, those lattes are to die for.
Go Blue!
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We met up with Cate’s friend Ryan for lunch, who is a first year at the business school. Cate and Ryan met in Sevilla, Spain last year (almost to the day) on a tapas tour and hadn’t seen each other since traveling in Spain together. It was so fun to reconnect and see each other again. Best of luck Ryan with that group project and hope to see you sooner rather than later. Let’s head to the Vanilla Bean for Ice Cream!
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We were off late afternoon to knock another state off the never been to list. Indiana we’re coming for ya.

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