I grew up in metro-Detroit, and throughout junior high school I competed in public speaking competitions held on the campus of U of M. It was such a fun adventure to roam the campus, finding assigned classrooms to speak in, and explore the town between judged events. We were mostly unsupervised and that certainly added to the fun and gave us a taste of independence. Because of these memories and for how fun and interesting the town is, I have always loved Ann Arbor. I had wanted to take my middle school daughter there all summer. She has shown an interest in engineering, and although there is plenty of time for her to make college decisions, I thought a visit with no college pressures would be much more fun.
We went under the guise of shopping - Urban Outfitters in the revamped State Theatre was the draw. We got lost in the Dawn Treader Book Shop, which has always been one of my favorite bookstores, and we left loaded down with books. Walking through the Nickel Arcade took me back to when I was my daughter’s age. When she suggested we walk in the direction of campus and the Diag and we sat on a bench in the law quad, admiring the architecture and enjoying a snack, I knew that she beginning to see what I loved.
We walked to Kerrytown and had a fabulous lunch washed down with Faygo at Zingerman’s Deli - it had been too long! We stopped in one of my retailers, Catching Fireflies, which is located in a charming building with a fanciful garden across the street. We completed our day walking the shops along Main Street, taking a break at Mighty Good Coffee, which lived up to its name, and fitting in plenty of people watching and conversation.
As we drove home through the neighborhoods, an eclectic mix of restored homes and student houses, I knew that we had only scratched the surface of what Ann Arbor has to offer, but it had piqued her interest. I’m pretty sure we will be back.