Thursday, March 22, 2018

A Walk Through Time

The Mad Hatter Bistro, on Old Woodward Ave.
Jumping down the rabbit hole and appearing at the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, in the town of your childhood, is an incredibly surreal experience.

I traveled to Birmingham with a friend today, to have a real "tea party" at the Mad Hatter's Bistro.  We had seen it advertised on Facebook and it seemed like just the ticket to escape the doldrums of a mid-Michigan winter.  Birmingham is also the city I grew up in, yet it was nothing like the town I remembered.  
The Birmingham Theatre, where I first saw the opening of
Romeo & Juliet in October 1968!
That's not all bad.  It was a bustling environment, with lots to see and do.  We worked hard to find a parking spot, went in and out of shops, had our tea party, and scouted the old neighborhood.  What a treat this adventure was.
The house where I grew up - with the addition
of a bay window which we used to talk about putting in,
but never did.

But wait - the main goal of the adventure!  
The Mad Hatter's Tea!

The decor was right out of the the Lewis Carroll story - and we delighted in the tiny spaces and story-book ambiance.

We sampled a couple of different teas, and decided the white tea, Wedding Tea, was our favorite.

Cucumber sandwiches, egg salad sandwiches, crumpets, scones, fruits, pastry...what a lovely sampling of tea party tidbits.

With one more stop on the way home, we managed to miss most of the rush hour traffic and had an uneventful trip home.  It was so much fun to try something new, be away from the list of chores, and enjoy time together over a special tea.  I highly recommend a reboot in the location of your choice - and if you find yourself in Birmingham give The Mad Hatter a try.  But do call ahead for reservations.  It is a very small space.  

FYI - They do have a bar and traditional menu, as well.  Everything that went by looked good!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Friends and Family - The Low Tech Version

The Christmas holiday is the perfect time to step back and reflect on what is important in your life.  We had a lovely couple of weeks with friends and family, and it was so refreshing to be with young people not tied to their cell phones or tablets.  I have enjoyed a tech break, as well.

Disclaimer:  The photos in this post are not in any particular order.  They are illustrations of a lovely two week period of time.

There has been time with children and grandchildren...and GREAT grandchildren!  I love taking "generation" photos!

Daryl with daughter, Kim, granddaughter Courtney,
and great-grandson Brody.

Brody with his Aunt Kailey.
This time Daryl is with son, Kent, and Kent's daughter Emily,
and granddaughters Addy and Emma.
There was a gingerbread house decorating competition, baking and gatherings with friends and family.

I have particularly enjoyed watching the grandchildren embrace their creative sides.  For a great deal of our day together these girls had SO much fun taking pictures.  Emily, our granddaughter at Ohio State University has developed quite a love for photography.  She had to purchase a DSLR for her photography class this past semester, and she brought that camera, as well as her point-and-shoot, AND a disposable which was left over from an event earlier in the year.  The three girls shared the cameras (THANK YOU, Emily!) and took pictures of each other, of all of us, and of the critters.

 In fact, I even learned that my own DSLR has "selfie" capability, so we had to play with that as well.

Today we have spent the day taking down the outward signs of the beautiful Christmas and New Years celebrations, but our memories will keep us warm as we brave the January chill, and I head back to work.  We hope you have had your own memory-building experiences and are entering 2018 with renewed enthusiasm.  I love the reboot I get every January.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Photography and Friends - Part I

We are so fortunate to have a group of friends who share our love of photography, and sense of adventure.  This fall we have had two weekends to explore our beautiful state, reconnecting with old friends and stretching our skills.  Here is a recap of our first weekend away this October.

Day 1 - Mackinaw City

First stop - the Icebreaker Mackinaw.  We loved touring the ship and seeing and hearing the history of this important part of the Great Lakes story.  The last stop on the tour was the gift shop, of course, and we were delighted to see Tyler Benson's series about Onyx, the Coastguard dog.  Such a great series of books for kids.

We do not tire of visiting the beach and lighthouse, getting that familiar view of the bridge.

Attempts at night photography met with mixed results, but it was so much fun watching the sunset, and seeing the stars appear in the crisp night air.

I captured the big dipper, though it wasn't dark enough,
and I don't have mastery of my camera's capabilities enough,
 to capture that masterful image.

Day 2 - Mackinac Island:

On the Island, a stop at the Butterfly conservatory while taking the carriage tour, and lunch downtown.

The side streets are so quaint, and flowers were still in bloom.  The harbor still had some boats in the water - this one looked like a fun cruising vessel!

The Grand Hotel is simply....grand!

Day 3 - Mill Creek Park

And after the day on the Island, we loved our visit to Mill Creek Park, housing an original saw mill.  The demonstration was fascinating, and entertaining!

A great October weekend with our Camera Club group, honing our skills and enjoying the great outdoors!