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Ann Arbor... What a quaint little town you are! We flew into Detroit on a Wednesday night (more like super early Thursday morning), picked up our awesome 2019 Volvo XC40 T5 AWD R Design Volvo kindly let us borrow for the week, and then drove to Ann Arbor which was only a little over half an hour away. We spent a couple of days in Ann Arbor before driving north to Cheboygan to hang out with Mark's family over Labor Day weekend and then we came back down to Ann Arbor for another day before flying back home. Since Mark went to school and lived in Ann Arbor and was working out of his work's Ann Arbor office, I was mostly exploring aimlessly by myself and I feel like I know downtown Ann Arbor like the back of my hand by the second day. I checked out a few different coffee shops, walked around University of Michigan which was sooo beautiful by the way, went to the art museum, and basically just ate A LOT. Oh, I also got another tattoo (I lost count, I think it's my 20th one?) while I was there!

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Where to stay:
Graduate Ann Arbor (Great location, cool lobby, awesome view)

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Where to go:
University of Michigan (Beautiful campus especially Law Quad)
Nickel's Arcade
Liberty Street (Main strip downtown)
Michigan Theater (Cool signage and photo spot)

Travel Guide: Ann Arbor, Michigan

October 17, 2019

01michigan-annarbor-downtown-theater-landmark-travel

Ann Arbor... What a quaint little town you are! We flew into Detroit on a Wednesday night (more like super early Thursday morning), picked up our awesome 2019 Volvo XC40 T5 AWD R Design Volvo kindly let us borrow for the week, and then drove to Ann Arbor which was only a little over half an hour away. We spent a couple of days in Ann Arbor before driving north to Cheboygan to hang out with Mark's family over Labor Day weekend and then we came back down to Ann Arbor for another day before flying back home. Since Mark went to school and lived in Ann Arbor and was working out of his work's Ann Arbor office, I was mostly exploring aimlessly by myself and I feel like I know downtown Ann Arbor like the back of my hand by the second day. I checked out a few different coffee shops, walked around University of Michigan which was sooo beautiful by the way, went to the art museum, and basically just ate A LOT. Oh, I also got another tattoo (I lost count, I think it's my 20th one?) while I was there!

06michigan-annarbor-trees-landscape-travel

Where to stay:
Graduate Ann Arbor (Great location, cool lobby, awesome view)

10michigan-annarbor-graduate-hotel-travel
11michigan-annarbor-graduate-hotel-travel-ootd12michigan-annarbor-graduate-hotel-travel-ootd

Where to go:
University of Michigan (Beautiful campus especially Law Quad)
Nickel's Arcade
Liberty Street (Main strip downtown)
Michigan Theater (Cool signage and photo spot)

01mackinacisland-michigan-grandhotel-carriage-travel

While we were up in Northern Michigan over Labor Day weekend, we decided to hop on a ferry and traveled back in time on Mackinac Island. It is located in Lake Huron between Michigan's Upper and Lower Peninsulas.The island was home to an Odawa settlement before European colonization began in the 17th century and in the late 19th century, it became a popular tourist attraction and summer colony. The entire island is listed as a National Historic Landmark and known for its numerous cultural events, its Victorian architecture (including the Grand Hotel), the ban of any type of motor vehicles (there are carriages and bikes!) as well as nature hikes and interested rock formations (Arch Rock, Sugar Loaf Rock and many more).

My first impression upon stepping off the ferry was, "Is this Disneyland?" The main part of town looks a bit like Main Street full of people, carriages and tons of fudge/candy shops! We wandered around there not for long before renting bikes and ventured off on our adventure. We stopped by St. Anne's Church, climbed up to Arch Rock and rode our bikes deep into the island to Sugar Loaf Rock. We had a late lunch at an Jamaican restaurant and the food was incredible! I had the battered fish with a curry slaw and fries and Mark had the jerk chicken which I can't stop stealing bites from!

Last but not least, we ended the day at the Grand Hotel. What a whimsical little place! A lot of its decor and quirkiness definitely reminded me of Wes Anderson. We walked on the largest porch (660 ft) in the world, explored the garden and had a drink up in the Cupola Bar which had the most beautiful view of the island and the Mackinac Bridge!

We almost didn't go to the island due to the fact that it was Labor Day but honestly it wasn't too crowded outside the main area. It was such a fun and strange place and I am so glad I got to experience it (and brought lots of yummy fudge home)!

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Travel Guide: Mackinac Island, Michigan

October 4, 2019

01mackinacisland-michigan-grandhotel-carriage-travel

While we were up in Northern Michigan over Labor Day weekend, we decided to hop on a ferry and traveled back in time on Mackinac Island. It is located in Lake Huron between Michigan's Upper and Lower Peninsulas.The island was home to an Odawa settlement before European colonization began in the 17th century and in the late 19th century, it became a popular tourist attraction and summer colony. The entire island is listed as a National Historic Landmark and known for its numerous cultural events, its Victorian architecture (including the Grand Hotel), the ban of any type of motor vehicles (there are carriages and bikes!) as well as nature hikes and interested rock formations (Arch Rock, Sugar Loaf Rock and many more).

My first impression upon stepping off the ferry was, "Is this Disneyland?" The main part of town looks a bit like Main Street full of people, carriages and tons of fudge/candy shops! We wandered around there not for long before renting bikes and ventured off on our adventure. We stopped by St. Anne's Church, climbed up to Arch Rock and rode our bikes deep into the island to Sugar Loaf Rock. We had a late lunch at an Jamaican restaurant and the food was incredible! I had the battered fish with a curry slaw and fries and Mark had the jerk chicken which I can't stop stealing bites from!

Last but not least, we ended the day at the Grand Hotel. What a whimsical little place! A lot of its decor and quirkiness definitely reminded me of Wes Anderson. We walked on the largest porch (660 ft) in the world, explored the garden and had a drink up in the Cupola Bar which had the most beautiful view of the island and the Mackinac Bridge!

We almost didn't go to the island due to the fact that it was Labor Day but honestly it wasn't too crowded outside the main area. It was such a fun and strange place and I am so glad I got to experience it (and brought lots of yummy fudge home)!

02mackinacisland-porch-michigan-grandhotel-travel-style-ootd03mackinacisland-porch-michigan-grandhotel-travel-style-ootd
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01fall-autumn-recipe-hot-apple-cider-drinks-food

Happy October! Oh my goodness... Is it really October? Fall is my favorite time of the year but since we don't get much of that here in LA, I have to "create" it by using pumpkin decorations, lighting candles, and cooking up some autumnal favorites. One of which is hot apple cider. Sure you can buy already-made apple cider at the store BUT homemade apple cider is incredibly easy to make and it tastes a thousand times better! Have I sold it to you yet? All you need are apples, an orange, some cinnamon sticks, cloves, sugar and water... and well, time. This recipe does require 6-7 hours of slow cooking time so make sure you do this in the morning and by the evening you'd be sipping some delicious hot apple cider.

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03fall-autumn-recipe-hot-apple-cider-drinks-food

Ingredients:
- 10 apples (use a mix of honeycrisp, fuji, and granny smith)
- 1 orange
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 2 tsp of cloves
- white sugar
- water

Directions:
1. Rinse apples and cut them into quarters (don't worry about removing seeds/stems, you'll strain later). Put them into a dutch oven or a large pot.
2. Slice the orange, add to pot.
3. Place the 3 cinnamon sticks and 2 tsp of cloves into the pot.
4. Add about 1/2 cup of sugar (you can add more later if you want it to be sweeter).
5. Add cold water, just enough to cover the fruits.
6. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for 5-6 hours.
7. After a few hours, the fruits should be soft. Mash them up and continue cooking for another hour.
8. Slowly strain everything through a mesh sieve into another pot or pitcher.
9. Serve the cider warm!

* Drink as it or spike it up with your favorite liquor such as bourbon or brandy!

04fall-autumn-recipe-hot-apple-cider-drinks-food
05fall-autumn-recipe-hot-apple-cider-drinks-food
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07fall-autumn-recipe-hot-apple-cider-drinks-food

Fall Recipe: Homemade Hot Apple Cider

October 1, 2019

01fall-autumn-recipe-hot-apple-cider-drinks-food

Happy October! Oh my goodness... Is it really October? Fall is my favorite time of the year but since we don't get much of that here in LA, I have to "create" it by using pumpkin decorations, lighting candles, and cooking up some autumnal favorites. One of which is hot apple cider. Sure you can buy already-made apple cider at the store BUT homemade apple cider is incredibly easy to make and it tastes a thousand times better! Have I sold it to you yet? All you need are apples, an orange, some cinnamon sticks, cloves, sugar and water... and well, time. This recipe does require 6-7 hours of slow cooking time so make sure you do this in the morning and by the evening you'd be sipping some delicious hot apple cider.

02fall-autumn-apples-style-ootd
03fall-autumn-recipe-hot-apple-cider-drinks-food

Ingredients:
- 10 apples (use a mix of honeycrisp, fuji, and granny smith)
- 1 orange
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 2 tsp of cloves
- white sugar
- water

Directions:
1. Rinse apples and cut them into quarters (don't worry about removing seeds/stems, you'll strain later). Put them into a dutch oven or a large pot.
2. Slice the orange, add to pot.
3. Place the 3 cinnamon sticks and 2 tsp of cloves into the pot.
4. Add about 1/2 cup of sugar (you can add more later if you want it to be sweeter).
5. Add cold water, just enough to cover the fruits.
6. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for 5-6 hours.
7. After a few hours, the fruits should be soft. Mash them up and continue cooking for another hour.
8. Slowly strain everything through a mesh sieve into another pot or pitcher.
9. Serve the cider warm!

* Drink as it or spike it up with your favorite liquor such as bourbon or brandy!

04fall-autumn-recipe-hot-apple-cider-drinks-food
05fall-autumn-recipe-hot-apple-cider-drinks-food
06fall-autumn-recipe-hot-apple-cider-drinks-food
07fall-autumn-recipe-hot-apple-cider-drinks-food
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