Dec 21, 2015

Lovin' Ann Arbor

I love it when people think out of the box creating an unexpected surprise.  Actually, there were a lot of wonderful surprises when John and I visited Ann Arbor, Michigan. There were great museums, a wonderful diversity of places to eat, amazing artists and galleries, unique shops, live theatrical presentations, and more. I loved the whimsical Fairy Doors. What a cool idea. 

John and I stayed at the new Residence Inn with a great location in the center of Ann Arbor.  Luckily someone said to us, “Make sure you look for the Fairy Doors.” Fairy doors are miniature replicas of the doors to some of the places in Ann Arbor.  Not only are the doors reproduced but with some it is possible to look inside to see a miniature interior. Had we not known to look we would have walked pass them without looking down to discover these treasures.  It seems that the fairy doors
began to appear unannounced in 2005. Like all fairies the ones in Ann Arbor are surrounded in mystery. But the local, fairyologist, Jonathan B. Wright, is the authority on these wonderful miniature art doors.  On Main Street we saw our first Fairy Door at the Peaceable Kingdom, the perfect place for a Fairy Door because the shop is filled with folk and whimsical works of art.  I loved the applique by Chris Roberts-Antieau named “Table Manners” the table manners everyone should follow.

John and I had an amazing lunch at the Blue Nile Ethiopian Restaurant.  This wasn’t our first Ethiopian restaurant so we knew the food would be presented on a large platter with dollops of food on bread called injera, a light sponge-like bread. We would rip off a piece of injera using it to pick up the food.  The
food was awesome.  In the center we had portions of chicken, lamb and beef surrounded by veggies – chick peas, collard green, red lentils and more.  The spiced tea was the best we have ever had. Everything we tried was excellent and not easy to describe. It is said that people who eat from the same plate and break bread together will create a bond of friendship. 

We couldn’t visit Ann Arbor without a side trip to Ypsilanti where our daughter-in-law went to college.  “Ypsi” is only 11 miles away and a great place for antique and vintage shoppers. We stopped at Schmidt’s Antiques on Michigan Ave.  Inside the unassuming red barn was a world of important
antiques of the highest quality.  The most amazing thing were the prices.  Most of them were affordable.  I saw stunning, high-quality dining room table and chairs that cost about the same as a new set that would be of lesser quality.  Antiques are a good buy now. Next to it was the newly opened Muse, a vintage store filled with one-of-a-kind things for the vintage shopper. 

On the way back in Ann Arbor we visited the Hands On Museum that was just a short walk from the Residence Inn.  I love these interactive science museums and don’t think they are only for children.  There were several displays I wanted to “play with” like Google Earth but didn’t feel right pushing the youngsters out of the way.  They actually have an adult-only evening.  Cool! 

One night we attended a concert of Gaelic music at the Ark, just a short walk from our hotel, and noticed another Fairy Door.