I spent the first 27 years of my life living in Michigan. Michigan was a wonderful place to grow up because you get to experience all four seasons. My favorite season is fall; I think it is my favorite because my birthday is in fall, we always went back to school in the fall, and football games are in the fall. Something about the smell of the cool fresh fall air and the beautiful red, orange, and yellow leaves makes me love the fall.
I grew up as a cheerleader in middle school, and on the Pom team in high school, so we always performed at the football game halftime shows. My friends and I had so much fun. Every summer, our favorite ice cream shop called Custard Time opened. Every fall, Northville has a Victorian Festival since Northville is a historical district, where we would perform in a parade, and the dress up in clothes from the Victorian Era, and fundraise for various activists for the community. The Northville Parmenters Cider Mill also opened up during this time, and it was always such a popular spot to go visit and hang out at. For Halloween, each of the stores in Northville decorate the downtown with skeletons that represent their store. In the winter, Northville has a Christmas parade where Santa comes. There is always also a 4th of July parade as well. I really loved living in such a fun and close community with so many activities downtown all the time.
Ever since I was a little girl, probably 5 years old, my whole family would go up north to Traverse City for the Fourth of July week. We would stay at the Sugar Beach Resort; my parents had to book the following year while we were staying there because every hotel would always sell out. The city has a Cherry Festival where they sell cherry everything: pies, cookies, jams, bread, etc. they also have carnival rides, and a bunch of other food vendors. The Blue Angels also always have a show as well.
Once I got into high school, we started staying at my family friends cottage on lake Skeegamog, which connects to Torch Lake. They have a beautiful log cabin with acres of land, and tons of fun toys to play with (boats, ski-doos, rafts, ATVs, snowmobiles, bikes, skateboards, etc.). Anything you could possibly need at a lake home. The sandbar on Torch Lake gets super rowdy and crazy for weekend. Everyone brings their boats up and docks for the day and hangs out in the sun.
I lived in East Lansing for four years (including 3 summers) during college. I went to Michigan State University, and I had the best college experience that I could have ever imagined.
My roommate Amanda and I moved into our college dorm a week early because I had to get an air conditioner installed in our window for my allergies. We lived in Wonders Hall, which is in the south campus area, and it’s where most of the athletes live because it’s close to the sports facilities (training facilities, football stadium, basketball stadium, hockey arena, swimming field House, etc.). Amanda and I had almost every class together, and we mostly took the bus to class, but sometimes when it was nice we would walk. We also bought MSU football tickets for the year, and our parents would come up with a bunch of Northville parents, and we would tailgate with them and then go to the games. I also joined a sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, and I went to the house all the time for meetings and events.
A bunch of us from Northville and Novi that went to MSU got apartments in the same building called Campus Village. The apartments were only a few years old, so they were really nice compared to most apartments in East Lansing. We each had our own room and our own bathroom, which was extremely nice to have. I went to a lot of tailgates with my sorority friends, and we always had so much fun. We would also as a group go over and visit our parents tailgates as well.
I lived in my sorority house the first semester of junior year. The house is a huge rock castle, and typically fifty four girls live in the house at a time, including a house mom. I turned twenty one on the day of the Michigan vs. Michigan state game, and my friends and I all wore Tshirts to the tailgate. It was such a fun time. My friends that had a house had a pregame for me at night, and then I headed off to the bar with any friends that were twenty one (or had a fake ID).
The second semester of my junior year, I had an internship downtown Detroit until mid-March, so I moved back home with my parents. Once I finished my internship, I would stay at the sorority most nights and go out with the girls. It was a lot of fun, but it was also hard to have absolutely nothing to do all day every day until my summer classes started.
I lived in a house with some girls in my sorority my senior year on Charles Street. We had a great big front porch, which was my favorite part of the house. We had a lot of parties at the house, and it was such a perfect location for going to class or to the bars.
Some of our friends from high school went to the University of Michigan, so we would always go to Ann Arbor to tailgate and hang out for the weekend if MSU was playing against them. Unlike East Lansing where the city is primarily a college town, Ann Arbor also has a lot of regular adults and families that live and work there. The town had a large selection of bars and restaurants. I always thought it was super spread out. The UofM hospital is one of the best hospitals in the state. After I graduated college, I became a mentor at the UofM Kappa Alpha Theta house. It was a lovely house, but they ended up getting kicked off of campus, which was really sad that a few girls ruined such a longstanding tradition.
Most of my guy friends from high school went to Western Michigan University. My two best friends went there for their freshman year before transferring to MSU as well. I visited the campus often, especially for their birthdays, and we always had a really great time. The campus is much smaller than MSU, but it’s very beautiful, and it has sections that cars cannot drive on. Overall, Kalamazoo was always a great time.
My high school boyfriend went to Ferris State University his first year of college, so I took the Greyhound Bus a few times from East Lansing to Big Rapids. My father also went to Ferris State, so my parents and I went up there together for a weekend, and we went to a football game. Compared to the MSU football games, the game looked like a high school game. My mom and I really enjoyed seeing the dorm where my dad lived during college. Big Rapids is a very small college town, but for my dad and his siblings, it was huge for them because they grew up in a small farm town on the east side of Michigan.
My brother went to Central Michigan University for two years before transfer of to Ohio State University to play lacrosse. Mount Pleasant was only an hour past East Lansing, so when my parents would go up to visit him, they would sometimes pick me up on the way. Mount Pleasant was a little bit in the middle of no where, with not much to do besides what was there for the college students. Anytime I went up there, I always only went to house parties.
Many older adults do not like Detroit because they only remember everything bad about the city. I worked downtown Detroit in the Renaissance building for two years right when I graduated college. I loved going downtown every day to work, and see how much the city was transforming. Dan Gilbert Illitches have really been working to turn the city of Detroit around after its bankruptcy. There are so many new restaurants and bars and things to do downtown. I also enjoy going to the broadway shows that come downtown Detroit ever year around the holidays with my husband, his mom, and my mom; its a fun tradition.
As of 2017, all of the Detroit Sports Teams are downtown Detroit, which is so great for the city: Tigers, RedWings, Pistons, and Lions. It’s always so fun to go to Detroit sports games because the fans are so passionate.
Detroit is also known for its music. Motown and Techno. Personally, I love techno music. Every year since 2009 I have gone to the Detroit Electronic Music Festival. It is a very underrated music festival, but that is what makes it so great.
My Office building and view for the first 3 years of my career
PureBarre on the Roof
Detroit Opera House
Gleaners Food Bank
Royal Oak is a city in Metro Detroit where a lot of young adults move after college. There are a lot of fun restaurants and bars to go to. My first year after graduating from MSU, I moved back home with my parents to get my Masters of Science in Accounting from the University of Michigan in Dearborn. I would meet my friends in Royal Oak almost every weekend to go out and have fun. After I finished my masters, I moved to Royal Oak with two friends for a year, and we had a super cute house. We had a big party there for my twenty fifth birthday before going out to the bars. I’ll never forget what a great time it was and how many people came. Royal Oak is also home to the Detroit Zoo, and during the winter, they light up the park with lights, and its a really fun place to visit.
One of my best friends from college is from the Grand Rapids area, and moved to downtown Grand Rapids once we graduated. I had never been to the city before (except for maybe when I was very young, which I don’t remember), and I always love visiting her. It definitely has a city feel, but it is clean and nice, and not overly crowded.
Detroit Metro Airport
Because I travel so much, Detroit Metro Airport is like a home to me as well. I always fly Delta because I am a Platinum Medallion Member with them, so I frequently get upgrades. I love how clean and easy the airport is to navigate. I would highly recommend anyone to come by Detroit, and if you have any specific questions, please let me know! 🙂