Back Home for Thanksgiving

After 10 months away in Raleigh, NC, I finally made it back home to Michigan to spend Thanksgiving with my family. I spent about five days back in Michigan because I have a lot of friends and family in Michigan and I wanted to make sure I got to spend time with as many people as I could.

One of the first social activities I did was get together with my old friend from the Ann Arbor Junior League and her daughter (whom I used to babysit from time to time for date nights, etc.) Michelle and her daughter Sophia were very eager to make plans with me and were almost first on my list after my immediate family of course. We decided to meet for pizza at a Michigan classic, Buddy’s. Michelle and Sophia are big travelers so they had lots of stories to share with me and Sophia is lovely and funny as always.

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Michelle was very surprised I could pick up Sophia, but it’s all that weightlifting I’ve been doing the last year or so!

THANKSGIVING

Thanksgiving is the best and you can’t change my mind!

My parents always host Thanksgiving even if it’s just us, but they do usually invite my dad’s brother and my mom’s sister (and her family) at the very least. This year we had both of them minus my aunt’s family. My aunt is super fun, she’s probably one of my favorites. Actually, both of them are probably my favorites. They are super funny in very different ways. It’s always so interesting and weird for me to see my mom with her and hear the stories of her when she was young.

I’m not sure how y’all do Thanksgiving, but I’ve heard how we do it isn’t the norm. We have Thanksgiving at noon, or at least we try to have it all done by noon. I think this year we actually ended up eating around 1/1:30, but still pretty close. What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish? Mine is green bean casserole, HANDS DOWN! Unfortunately, the woman who created the recipe passed away sometime in 2018, may she rest in peace… I’m low-key upset I only just heard about her when she passed, she’s a national hero in my opinion! Long live the green bean casserole!

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Ignore the tacky tablecloth, but it’s tradition! Everything was so delicious. Thanks Mom and Dad for making everything, you are the real MVPs!

My friend Amer and I met playing in a pickup volleyball league and instantly became friends. We still keep in touch over Snapchat, FB, and text. Luckily I was staying in town long enough to catch him as he was coming back from his Australia vacation. I sure do have a lot of friends who love to travel!

Well since this holiday is all about eating, I knew I had to get some kind of physical activity in. Upon mentioning wanting to do something physical together, Amer instantly suggested indoor rock climbing, and I quickly agreed. This wasn’t my first time partaking in indoor climbing, but it had been a little over a year since I had done it. The last time I think was when I was still living back in Michigan!

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Once I was all set with shoes, we decided to do free climbing (without a rope and harness) instead of belaying (which is when your partner holds the rope while the other person is climbing). I chose free climbing because that is what my old work buddies and I used to do most frequently. I also wasn’t super confident in my belaying skills since I hadn’t done it in a long time, and I didn’t want to be the cause of him falling!

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Here is a super cute* action shot of me trying not to laugh while simultaneously trying really hard not to fall. I will have you know that I am afraid of heights, so I hope the fact that I am doing this anyway inspires you to do the things that scare you. I made it to the top and that is all that matters!

* = heavy sarcasm

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After climbing, we decided to warm up and grab some hot cocoa at this cute little macaron bakery called Le Bon. The name sounded so familiar and when I got there I realized that it was a new location for the macaron bakery that I used to love in my college/post grad home! I don’t remember what flavored macarons we got, but I do remember both the macarons and the sipping chocolates were DELISH!

Downtown Detroit

I have a few friends that have since moved to Detroit, which is only about 45 minutes from my parents. I made the trek out that way to see two of my friends. One of them being my former work wife at my last job before moving and another friend from my political work days back in Lansing, MI.

cmIV My work wife Jen (we went to Portugal together read about that here) and I decided to meet up for ramen for dinner. I sure do love Ramen. This ramen shop was a very small location, you have to wait outside to get in, it’s that small. Once in there, we both get the most popular ramen and we both request more spice because it wasn’t all that flavorful in my opinion. However, it was really good to catch up with Jen and hear about all her fancy lawyer life now.

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Afterwards, I met up with my friend from my former political life for a craft beer or two across the street at a local brewery. Good to catch up on life and what we’re up to now. Reminiscing about the old times and had a lot of fun chatting about all the political drama always going on in today’s climate.

Outlet Mall/Aquarium??

My mom and I decided to head to this big outlet mall for the day and apparently they now have an aquarium(!!??)…not complaining though because I love aquariums! They inspire a sense of wonder and calm in me that I haven’t experienced with anything else. There were a lot more photos, but this guy was my favorite. I just love the little faces under the stingrays!

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A Little Unofficial High School Reunion Debauchery

A year ago, quite a few of us from my graduating class got together spontaneously and it was so much fun that I figured we should do it again over the holiday when everyone was home. We made plans to meet up at a restaurant/bar in our town one of the nights. I actually almost didn’t end up going because I had a pretty bad headache and was really tired. After finally building up the strength to get ready and popping some Advil, I met up with everyone and I was so glad I did.

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It instantly felt like old times and like no time had passed, but also we all felt a little old ha! I was laughing all night and reminiscing on all the old times and catching up on everyone’s life. It truly was so much fun. I’ve been friends with these two for suuucch a long time and I’m so glad I got to see them!

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I will admit I did not remember the boy below, but I figured out it was because he was a year younger. As you can see though, we were fast friends. He even requested my Spotify playlist the following week.

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My Babies and Snow!

This is my cat Lacey, she was my first baby. She’s 5 going on 6 now. She lived with me up until I moved to Raleigh. Before I get a bunch of haters, she was staying with my parents due to a former temporary roomie being allergic) and they love her so much and don’t want to give her back to me. She totally looks like me though, no? Just me? Ok cool cool cool.

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This cat below has many names, but she is my parents’ cat and ACTUALLY fun fact, my cat’s mother! I think my dad named her Razzle or something, but I never call her that, I call her Momma. Momma and Lacey are BFF, which is another reason why my parents don’t wanna give her back.

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Since my dog, Fitz, is a giant, 70 something lbs last time I checked, he couldn’t come home with me and my parents were very sad about this. However, my BFF Cayla aka my Fitz’s co-parent, watches him whenever I’m out of town. She constantly sent me the cutest pics because I missed him so much. He’s a perfect angel I tell you!

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Snow!

It snowed on my last day in Michigan, but luckily I had nowhere to go that day.

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Thanks so much for following along on my trip back to the Mitten for the first time since moving down south. Let me know if you like these posts!

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish? Do you have any crazy or cool Thanksgiving traditions? What did you do for the holidays? I’d love to hear!