We started the day pretty slowly with a quick trip to Walled Lake’s Farmer’s Market. Charlie, Jim, and I had much success. We ended up with four ears of corn, 1/2 a watermelon, 1 onion, 2 mini-loaves of bread, 1 container of Buckeyes (homemade peanut butter chocolate candies – YUM!), and 1 bag of homemade tortilla chips. Jim then made us breakfast with delicious Cinnamon Bread French Toast (Fresh baked from the bakery), crispy hashbrowns and cold milk! After letting Charlie nap for quite some time, we headed out towards Ann Arbor around 11:00 a.m.
When we entered downtown Ann Arbor, we were in the main downtown area on Main Street. We circled around the town, passed the University of Michigan, and even saw U of M’s band practicing (pics forthcoming). We ended up at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Charlie LOVED all of the nature! He especially loved chilling out in the grass and just relaxing. We attempted Botanic Garden Bingo, but didn’t take the longer trails, so we never quite finished.
[It should be noted that we parked on the top level of the Ann Ashley parking garage – the view was GORGEOUS! However, when we stepped onto the elevator, we were accosted by the foulest smelling noxious gas emitted by some other human being. We were the only ones on the elevator and KNEW that it had not been any of us. As we went to step off on the first floor, we were greeted by a large family waiting to get on. We ran away from the elevator muttering under our breaths that the foul-smell had not come from us! It’s the truth – let’s hope they believed us!]
Our next stop (as we headed BACK to downtown) were the little shops on Main Street. For the most part, they were GREAT! I picked up some postcards, fell in love with some local artists, and my mom snagged some Triple Chocolate Gelato fromSchakolad. The few spoonfuls I indulged in were DELICIOUS!!!
One of our biggest stops of the day was Zingerman’s Deli. After the huge breakfast, we didn’t eat at Zingerman’s until 4 p.m. We had read about this place in many brochures, as featured on Oprah and through the recommendations of friends. I must say that while the sandwiches were good, the prices were BEYOND outrageous. My mom and Jim both got Pastrami sandwiches (I believe #11). I stuck with the traditional chicken sandwich with a slight variation. The sandwiches come with NOTHING except a choice of pickle and vary in price from $10 (!!!) to $18 (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). You can order either half (still more than $10) or a whole. Since the price difference was a mere two dollars, we all opted for larger sandwiches – sure that we’d have plenty left for a late dinner. After three large sandwiches and 1 bottle drink, we paid $51 for all of it! And that was with NO sides!!!!! That was more expensive than any of the other meals we had on vacation and honestly, made me feel bad about our lack of a deal since we had been doing so well. As we saw sandwiches sail out of the kitchen, my stomach fell. The half-sandwiches (at least $10 each) were not as big as expected. Once ours arrived, they were big, but not at all what we were expecting! The sandwiches were great, but I’m not convinced that they were worth the price tag. In my opinion, Zingerman’s Deli is extremely overpriced, but am glad we tried it at least once. (And no, nothing made it to leftovers for tonight).
Along the way to Zingerman’s, I spotted a cute bakery that I vowed to stop back in on the way to our car. After Zingerman’s, we headed over there and were pleasantly surprised to find Cake Nouveau, owned and operated by Courtney Clark, of Food Network Challenge fame. She has participated in many competitions and won some! Not only did we snag one of her cupcakes, but took pics in her adorable shop (Pics forthcoming) AND were pleasantly surprised to find that she was in the BACK of the kitchen CREATING! She was SO nice and even took a picture with Charlie (she wanted to steal him). Her assistant was also SO nice and answered our numerous questions about the competitions, the bakery and the town. This was such a great find for us and Charlie got his first picture with a celebrity!! I would check out Cake Nouveau in Ann Arbor in a heartbeat if I was in the area again. Thanks, Courtney!
After our long (walking) day, we have retired to the condo for the evening and plan to just relax…Charlie has done so well and really enjoys each bit of vacation. I can’t believe that this week is going so quickly!! Let’s all go on vacation forever!