I’m sitting here munching on candy flavored popcorn from Pop-Kie’s. Neon colored popcorn-red, purple, yellow, orange and green. Each bite is a different flavor corresponding with the color-cherry, grape, lemon, orange and lime. This was the END to a great day spent with Kyle and Kelsi in Traverse City. The plan was to go up there and see what the city was about before we went up there sometime during the summer. The plan was not to have such a great time, eat good food, and spend a ton of money, but that is what happened and with zero complaints from any of us.
The trip started out with making seating for all us in Kyle’s car, Donovan was in the front seat and when told he would have to move to the back because of the law he annonced, “That’s not my law.” The popcorn has been taken away from me. Once in the car Kelsi’s knee changed the radio station while her and Barb got comfortable with each other…sharing the front seat…get your mind out of the gutter. Donovan and Kaylee fell asleep while we drove through what in the summer will be some very beautiful scenery. They took us through Mesick (Mooselick- my pronunciation) where we got to see where they live and grew up. Very small town America and very cool all around.
In Traverse City, we stopped at Target and the mall. That was when Kaylee decided to wake up, the words “the mall,” she is such a girl. Nathan didn’t know this, but Kaylee refused to leave the house without pink eyeshadow and lip gloss this morning. -B We walked through the mall stopping at Spencers where the surly cashier told me to “come on back” as she threw my bag containing a Spongebob lanyard, zombies and mini-bejeweled “massager” at me. Some people just don’t get the funny. From there was wandering around the mall to the food court where we agreed to find food elsewhere, that was the first of several important, but unknown decisions made throughout the day. On the way out of the mall we bumped into Kyle’s mother. A nice lady, getting a hair cut I believe, but we were pulled away by the kids who wanted pretzels.
Target was quick, grab an axe, sword and rug. The cashier was baffled by the kids and Barb leaving the line and going to the bathroom. “They are going to the bathroom,” I said. “Anything else,” she said? “Nope, just the bathroom,” I replied. Kyle tried to hide the laughter. She too did not get the funny. I was told she got a hug after we left her line. While we waited for Barb and Kaylee to get out of the bathroom, Donovan was running around in circles gettting in the way. An old man approached Kelsi and said something that none of us could understand, but he gestured at Donovan and her with a smile. That was when Kelsi became Donovan’s mom for the day and was constantly being told to get her unruly kid under control. As we were leaving the old man showed up again and said something along the lines of “you will have a good time with the boy,” that was it, Kelsi was officially the boy’s mother.
In downtown Traverse City we got to see another college. Here is a question for all of you, with the plethora of colleges why are most people you meet in the state dumbasses? Just asking. We stopped at Nawbin Beadstore where Barb, Donovan and Kaylee bought a bunch of stuff and we started planning our life out in the area. Not too close, but close enough that she could go to work and we could shop. Parking the car was an exercise in driving around the town and then parking where we started. The kids were geeked to see ducks. Lots of ducks and a single black squirrel. They, the black squirrel, are mean.
A Kilwin’s. I was excited. To me Kilwin’s means Jelly Bellys. Alas, no Jelly Bellys, but some good info on where to eat downtown. It was a nice day, so lets walk. The nearest place Greenhouse smelled awesome, but their menu despite being advertised as kid friendly did not have anything our kids would eat. So we left and started looking again. A random turn and a smell had me pointing the direction down a street with three or four bars that all looked identical down to the signage and look. Across the street to a map, but I had something in my sights, a hotdog place. Okay truth be told I had seen the hotdog place, but Kyle pointed out Anne’s a candy shop next door that had a HUGE, colorful display of Jelly Bellys in the window. I was going there, but first food.
House of Dogs is a tiny place decorated with pictures of rockstars and playing a video of the Doobie Brothers renunion tour. It smelled like fried food and just had that vibe of a good place to eat. Their speciality was hotdogs-Kelsi ordered a Southern Rock Dog (coleslaw, ketchup and mustard), Barb ordered a Honky Tonk Dog (bacon and nacho cheese) and I ordered a Honky Tonk and Salsa Dog (chili, jalapeno, louisana hot sauce, onion and celery salt). The hotdogs snapped when you bit into them. The toppings were awesome. The bacon was crisp and good. The Salsa Dog was spicy as all hell and so damn good. We will be going there again, no doubts. Sometimes taking the unexpected route leads to gold.
I’m eating Jelly Bellys!
From House of Dogs we went to Anne’s. The door opened and you could smell caramel, coffee, chocolate and goodness, but I was not to be distracted and ended up in front of the Jelly Belly display gleefully filling up a bag. Then the boy did. Then the owner convinced me through the clever use of a taste test to buy some valentine’s candy corn, which is just like candy corn with a touch of cherry. Very tasty. Kyle bought the boy his bag of Jelly Belly’s-thank you. Kelsi bought some sour cherries and we were off. The thought was to find the pie shop, but when the choice was one direction with nothing in sight and the other with stuff we opted for stuff.
On our way we found a shop that sold nothing, but hats, adult sized onesies and beer making equipment. I almost crapped my pants seeing the adult sized onesies with sock monkeys, penguins and duckies. From there we stopped in at Cherry Republic, a wine shop. The kids ate samples of cherry coated pretzels and chocolate covered cherries. They had cherry wine vinegar, sweet cherry balsamic vinegar and sweet cherry poppyseed vinaigrette. The wine vinegar has a sharp vinegar taste with the cherry on the backside. The balsamic vinegar tastes like cherry with very little vinegar taste. Most awesome. We left and Kyle pointed out Pop-Kie’s across the street.
Before I went there I stopped in at Mackinaw Brewing Company because of the wonderful smells coming from the building. They smoke meats. That was all I could get out the guy, sorry no menus we haven’t gotten them in and we smoke meats. I plan on stopping back because it smelled like Snyder’s and I love that smoked smell.
Barb was gesturing to a building, I thought the popcorn place, I was wrong. However, before I could find out I was wrong, we entered Pop-Kie’s where we were assualted by tons of flavored popcorns of all kinds. We bought the multi-colored candy bucket, which if you will remember was taken from me. Outside I could smell spices and what Barb was pointing to was the Spice Merchants. Nothing, but wall to wall spices. Donovan was complaining about the spiciness of the place, I was a pig dipped in shit happy. More money, more stuff, but it was all in spices and a salt bowl, yes a bowl made out of salt. If you have to ask why, you don’t cook. Go out and learn.
Now I should take this time to mention, that Kelsi and Barb were getting along great all day. Kyle and I were having fun and the kids were behaving themselves. Every place we went Kelsi was told to get her kid, Donovan, under control and I was the gay friend, thus not his father. Funny shit. You could not have asked for a better day or time.
Our final stop was back at Kilwin’s for ice cream, fudge and salt water taffy which Kyle and Kelsi slipped into our shopping bags. Sneaky bastards. Pile back into the car for the trip home.
Donovan swallowed a penny. He learned not to do that again. Kelsi and Barb discussed sex toy parties and how if they had to go to one that Kyle and I would as well. As Kelsi typed in search term after search term which only lead to homosexual sex parties or sites we talked about how we would host a sex toy party. I will spare you the details and invite you to the party. There will be no Battlefield 3 themed sex-toy party for the guys…sorry Kelsi and Chris. “It’s that kind of party!” (wiggle, wiggle, wiggle)
Thank you once again for taking us around where you live and where we will spend some time this summer. It was a blast. Now I have to have the Jelly Bellys taken from me while I try to find a place for some of this shit.