The October List – 2016

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with c2 preset

October was a typical autumn month, although sometimes the weather felt more like winter. The leaves are spectacular this year. Definitely showier than last year’s foliage. Wish I had more than just two photos to show you.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

1) Marais is an upscale French restaurant here in town. It’s been applauded in the culinary world, but I find the menu lackluster. Plus, I’m still bitter that the first time we went there, we were not told about the cheese plate! People! They do have a great bar menu (burgers are super), so we continue to pop in for that.

They recently started what they call Marais Cafe, which simply means their bar/lounge area is turned into a breakfast spot. It is divine. The pastries are superb and I am a croissant snob (hands down the best croissants I’ve ever had were in Germany, not France, surprising, no?).

It will cost you a pretty penny. Is $3.00 for a plain croissant worth the money? Absolutely, especially when it’s served on fine china. And anything that can transport me back to Europe I will pay top dollar for.

pzvh1434-768x1024

2) The first time I shot a gun was on Thanksgiving break in Victoria, Texas, where I spent the holiday with my friend John and his family (I was going to college in Oklahoma at the time). I don’t remember it much, except that I only fired the gun a couple times for practice and didn’t fire at all on the duck hunt (but someone did, because I remember them cleaning and eating a duck later that evening).

Mid month I was invited to a charity clay shoot held in Metamora, about an hour drive from Grosse Pointe. The guns were intimidating – it took a long time for me to settle in to any sort of comfort – weapons put me on edge. I did hit a few targets (yay!) and since I wore the dorky shoulder pad every time, did not get bruised or sore like some of the gals.

img_1284-931x1024

Even though my skills were less than amateur, somehow our team managed to pull off a second place win! It was a really fun time for a very great cause (Cure Epilepsy).

Processed with VSCO with c3 preset

img_0773-1024x1024

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

3) I received my last flower share from our flower farm, Detroit Abloom. What a great program and if you live in the area, you will want to get in on it next year. October was the month that our dahlias decided to burst into full bloom.

I helped Nancy and Julia harvest a couple of times. One week we had so many flowers, we were selling them by the bucket and donating others. Colors range from purple to orange to yellow to pink to white and many flowers showcase several different shades/colors. My favorites are the pale pink and white ones.

Processed with VSCO with f1 preset

4)  I’ve been wanting to take a photo of this mural/art installation on Jefferson Avenue for the longest time and I finally did.

img_1362-768x1024

5.  One of the moms from school works for the company that sells Brillo Sweep & Mop and gave one to me to try out. I am OCD when it comes to cleaning and I was skeptical, as I’ve had many battles with the Swifter which I vowed never to use again.

There was slight confusion when putting the mop together, but I eventually I figured it out and clicked it into place. I can be very aggressive with cleaning tools and I was impressed that the little pad that attaches to the mop did not fly off, nor did the mop buckle under all my vigor.

The only thing I don’t like is the smell of the pads (similar to Swifter’s – chemically smelling), but I may use them occasionally and you don’t have to use their pads – you can use a cloth or whatever. Bottom line: I’ll still need to get down on my knees for tough spots, but it’s a great product for a quick floor refresher and I will continue to use. Thanks, Kristine!

Image result for gran hotel

6.  Ever since “Downton Abbey” went off the air, I’ve been looking for a replacement show (haven’t we all?). I discovered “Gran Hotel,” which I’ve been binge-watching on Netflix because it’s only available through November 15th – nooooo! I’m not going to get through them all and may have to start subscribing to Hulu, just to watch the end.

The show is hardly deep or fleshed out and the budget clearly does not rival that of “Downton Abbey,” but the Castilian Spanish (gracias = grrrrathiath) is charming and romantic, and the characters are likeable, even the villains. Someone gets slapped in every episode and it seems like someone dies or gets close to death in every episode. Such a great bad show!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

7.  I turned 44 this month (waaaaaaah!). A small group of friends celebrated with me (and another gal who shared a bday close to mine) at the Country Club of Detroit in a private room upstairs. The food was delicious (the cheese platter with honeycomb fresh from their hives omg), the champagne glasses were overflowing and the cake was GORgeous.

My friendships here are still in the baby stages and I miss my San Francisco friends beyond anything I can describe, but the people here appear to have an abundance of generosity that is genuine and natural (all the gals – not just the birthday dinner ones!). The GP crowd is a tough one to break into and as much as I love to play the outsider and make fun of their idiosyncrasies, I am so grateful for and often humbled by them.

Processed with VSCO with c3 preset

8)  On my birthday, Tom and I visited one of the local schools to talk about The Garden Detroit. I was soooo nervous! But the kids were sweet and receptive and funny, and I ended up having a great time. Pistachio the possum (who Tom rescued and has since been returned to the wild) was a big hit. And the kids sang Happy Birthday to me before I left. Awww.

Processed with VSCO with c2 preset

9.  When my husband got back from his guy weekend in Kentucky, we celebrated my bday at Republic Tavern, a newish spot in downtown Detroit. I decided to try an actual cocktail vs my usual champagne appertif, and it was soooo good. I almost stuck with it through the rest of the meal, but did switch to red wine, thankfully (cocktail went down way too fast).

The food was just okay. Actually the appetizers were really good, but the entrees were okay/as expected. We would go back.

img_1673-768x1024

10.  Couples bowling started up again at the Yacht Club. For some reason I think it is hyseterical that we drink Moet while we bowl. Only in Grosse Pointe…

img_1558-786x102411. Halloween was fun this year because the little one is a year older and can stay up just a bit later, which makes all the difference. Also, it wasn’t freezing cold or raining, which helped a ton. As is the annual tradition, we wet to a friends’ house for a potluck and then headed out on the streets around 6pm.

One of our friends is really into Halloween decorations. He makes them as in creates from scratch with plastic molds and fabric and paint, etc. Impressive.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

12.  Sam at our 5-year-old’s tea party. Because he’s such a good boy.

And that’s a wrap! I have been so sick with a nasty cold for over a week and I am ready to feel normal again. I hope all of you are in better shape! Have a great November!

PS – my numbers aren’t consistent (some have dots, some have the half circle parenthesis thingy) which is a huge pet peeve, but it’s a long story and a WordPress logistics issue (I continue to use the old editing system, though they try to get me to switch all the timme), and I at least got the text to where it is justified vs indented, so I am leaving it at that.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Advertisements

The May List – 2015

IMG_0758 (994x1024)1)  May is unmistakably a celebratory month here in Grosse Pointe. The sound of lawnmowers is in the air once again and people rush out to buy colorful flowers to fill their many pots that were covered with snow for so many months. Tulips, pansies, daffodils and petunias were plentiful and trees were in full bloom.

After being here a full year, I still can’t decide whether Spring or Fall is my favorite season. They both have so much to teach us about life and living.

IMG_0712 IMG_0775 (935x1024)2)  We moved into our new house in the Fall, so we didn’t realize how many flowering trees and plants we had on the property ’til now. It was so fun to walk in the backyard and see a burst of color (we have a magnolia tree!) or new plant (so many ferns!) rising up from the ground.

Besides the magnolia, one of my favorite discoveries was the old lilac tree. I knew the tree was there, of course, but none of us knew what kind of tree it was until it started flowering. For a couple weeks we were treated to its delicate purple blooms. Swoon.

IMG_0459 (982x1024) 3) We attended our kids’ school auction this month. These earrings were the raffle prize (did you see the small print? – $11,000). To put things in perspective, at our last school the raffle prize was tickets to a Giants game. Live auction items at this event included a boat cruise down the Amazon and Thanksgiving in Paris. Toto, we are not in Kansas (aka our little preschool co-op) anymore.

5)  Speaking of getting dressed up, remember all the chili and Bailey’s I consumed over the winter? Enter my first compression garment experience. Did it work? I’m not really sure, but it worked for my self esteem, so it was worth the $30.00, I’d say.

6) Speaking of spending an hour Googling “smokey eye” and trying to glue fake eyelashes on for above auction (which I ended up pulling off at the last minute)… is there something wrong with me that I want Kim Kardashian’s new selfie book?

IMG_0952 (1024x1017)7)  Number of dead baby birds seen on sidewalks: six. Number of dead baby birds in our backyard that our dog rolled around in until he, too, smelled like a dead baby bird: one.

P.S. – I actually took several photos of dead baby birds, but just couldn’t bring myself post them (or look at them). Neither can I bring myself to tell you the story of the slow death of one baby squirrel in our backyard. You’re welcome.

IMG_0684 (1024x943)8)  You know it’s spider season when you start seeing trucks like this. Being from Northern California, pesticide is a four letter word, but we’re also anti-spiders and ants. We called the guy that the former home owners used and asked him to spray for just spiders and ants. He promised us the stuff he uses is anti-pesticide and non-toxic. I was skeptical…

Me: So it kills spiders, but it’s okay for kids? and dogs?
Pest Man: Oh sure, sure, once it’s dry in about 30 minutes you can touch it, no problem.
Me:  So….what about birds and squirrels? It won’t hurt them?
Pest Man: No, no, it’s totally fine! (pause). Except if I hit one directly. (crazy laughter).

He told me to “have a good summer, honey” on his way out (this is the same guy who told my husband to “make sure the wife doesn’t wash the windows” the day he sprayed). Oh my gosh.

IMG_0761 (640x960)9)  Are you freaking kidding me, Pandora?! I’m running along Lakeshore Drive when this comes on my workout playlist. Just wow.

IMG_0995 (1024x1024)IMG_0994 (1024x1024)10)  I checked out the brand new Detroit spots Sister Pie and Parker St. Market, which are across the street from one other in Indian Village. The pie was a hair sweet for me (I don’t like too sweet), but it was good, but the shortbread cookies were delicious. The market carries local and artisan finds, mostly food products. They both reminded me of places one would see in San Francisco. I’ll definitely be back.
https://i1.wp.com/gpfnc.com/images/222688_0_overlay_text_.jpg
11)  There’s a woman’s group called the Grosse Pointe Friends and Neighbors Club. It was founded years ago as an organization to welcome new residents to the area. Perfect. I went to a couple “luncheons” where I met mostly women in the 60+ age range (but some were closer to my age).

I’m sitting at a round table with eight women. They got to talking about the different neighborhoods in the area, saying one was edgier, one attracted young families, one was more laid back, one was stuffier and so on. Then someone says, “Lani, what street do YOU live on?” I swear, in slow motion, all heads turn towards me. Even the two ladies who were talking amongst themselves look up.

Me (smiling): No! I can’t tell you where I live or you’ll judge me!
Blink. Blink. Blink. Blinking and blank stares. A couple confused looks.
Me (said 10 times faster than normal): OkayokayIliveon123xyzStreetinGrossePointeFarms!
As you were, ladies.
#newgirlfail #Iwastryingtobefunny #storyofmylife

IMG_0596 (1024x768) (2)12) Summer break is pretty much here, which means I can look forward to answering questions like, “what shape is a monkey’s poop?” and “why does God exist?” all. day. long. (yes, actual asked questions, in case you were wondering). Wish me luck.

 

The March List – 2015

lucy.lakestclair1)  I loved winter, I really did. But it’s spring now and I’m officially over the cold (right after I posted the lovely photos of the lake thawing, it froze again, wah-wah).

2)  It has come to this: vacuuming in my underwear. Getting electrically shocked is pretty much number one on the things-I-hate list and I will do anything not to get zapped.

Case in point, my new vacuum routine:  hair in a bun, rubber flip flops (no socks), short sleeves and… no pants. I apologize to Marty the mail carrier and any of the neighbors who can see into our house (our first floor is 80% windows) and yes, even my children (“Mom. I can see your bottom.”). I see no other alternative.

Image via wikipedia.org

3)  So there’s this neighborhood pheasant. Very handsome, kinda like the guy above (I couldn’t get a photo of ours – he’s too quick). One day, our six-year-old yells to me (I was upstairs putting clothes away), “Mom! The pheasant’s outside!” Really? Cool. Then a minute later, “Mom? Why is the pheasant knocking on our door?”. What? No, sweetie, he’s not knocking on our door. “He is! Why is he doing that?!” Sweetie, he’s not…I don’t know, maybe he wants to come in. Eventually she stopped asking.

Fast forward two nights later. I hear a knock (three hard knocks) at our door. I get up, thinking it’s the UPS guy, who leaves packages on the porch and knocks before going back to his truck. I looked through the window, no package. Sit back down on the couch. Knock-knock-knock! Hmmm. I peek through the window again and still don’t see anything. Then I open the door just in time to see the pheasant running down our walkway.

Turns out, our front door has a gold metallic strip on the bottom about five inches high. Very shiny and reflective, like a mirror. Seems our little pheasant thinks one of his friends lives here!

strawberries4)  Organic strawberries are back! I’m pretty strict about not buying foods on the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list (highest in pesticides) unless they are organic, so we haven’t had strawberries all winter. Seeing them in the store made me sooo happy. I knew they weren’t going to taste all that great (and I was right), but I bought three containers anyway and made strawberry shortcakes for breakfast one morning. Can’t wait to berry pick this summer.

IMG_9926 (768x1024)5) I took Sam on a very slippery walk (so icy!) to deposit a check, but the ATM machine was broken (it had been broken since the week prior). We walked behind the building to the drive-through window and I asked if I could make a deposit there, commenting on the broken ATM. “Well, it won’t be fixed until someone comes out here to fix it.” (Ummm, okay, thank you?).

When the tube came back through the chute with my receipt, there was also a dog biscuit inside. Sam was very appreciative.

Image from spotebi.com

6)  I am now proudly doing 25 push-ups a day (vs 20 last year). Clarification: 25 girl push-ups. The kind where your knees are on the floor (or in my case, where your knees are on the dog bed because ouch). I was feeling pretty good about this until I decided to research it…

One website describes the girl push-up as “a variation on the classic push-up that is often used by those who are not yet strong enough to do proper push-ups.” Oh snap! Moving on…

Bloody Mary Mix

7) I believe I’ve mentioned the delicious (and apparently, addictive) Bloody Mary mix by American Spoon. So maybe I went a little crazy and ordered 12 bottles (but I had to! for the free shipping!).

Many here swear by McClure’s, whose second ingredient is vinegar (pucker up) and if I remember correctly, whose first ingredient is water. On its own, it tastes like straight up pickle juice. Add a little vodka and the taste improves slightly, but it’s still not drinkable (the remainder of my jar went down the sink).

American Spoon’s first and second ingredients are tomatoes and tomato juice. It’s pricey (but I’m worth it, right?), so this summer I plan to try and replicate the taste in my kitchen. I’ve already bought the fresh ground horseradish. Keep ya posted.

IMG_9252 (1024x976)8) I was standing in the kitchen a few weeks ago and realized that the under-counter molding strip near the fridge was a different color white than the others. It was off-white vs. nordic white, such a slight color difference that you can’t see in the “before” photo. But of course after noticing it, I could see nothing  else. The great folks at Mutschler ordered a replacement straight away and the new piece has been put in. Easy peasy.

9) I lost my favorite glove. And then I lost the other one. :(

10) I can’t find C&H (California & Hawaii) sugar anywhere. I’ve never used anything but and I was hesitant to buy the bright yellow Domino brand (Michigan’s brand of choice, it seems) even though there was no other option. It tastes fine, but it feels so wrong. Plus, dumb slogan.

11)  Speaking of Hawaii, I used the last of my grandma’s ginger this week (my mom brought a batch over at Christmas). It was eons better than the stuff I can get here. Can one grow ginger in Michigan? I’ll have to look that up.

Picture

12) Remember the time I bought a coconut drink from Drought? No, because I’ve been too embarrassed to speak about it until now. The story goes like this…. I was in Detroit and popped in to Willys (Shinola’s sister store, featuring American-made clothing and products). They also sell juice from Drought, a local raw juice company I’d heard so much about. The packaging was pretty and I was thirsty.

Me: I’ll take the coconut shake, please. (The ingredients, which I looked at later, were coconut water + coconut meat, so basically, a coconut).
Them: That’s one of our best sellers. People love it!
Me: Great! I love coconut.
Them: That will be FIFTEEN DOLLARS.
Me: Oh. Wow. That’s very…. okay, here you go.

Was it good? Sure. It tasted like coconut. But so does my breakfast smoothie that is made with a 1/3 of a can of $2 coconut milk. For $15, it had better taste like it was picked from the organic jungles of Thailand this morning. I get paying top dollar for a jar of freshly-pressed juice., whatever. But coconut water? I cannot deny the success of the James sisters. But I can’t help picturing them snickering with glee whenever someone purchases a bottle of their beloved coconut “shake.” High five, ladies.

scrimps!

Image via yelp.com

Bonus #13)  I might be allergic to shellfish, you guys!! Worst. Scenario. I mean EV-er. I have an allergy test next month and I’ll fill you in on all the drama in the April list.

Happy Spring!

The February List

IMG_97681)  Remember all that praying I did for snow back in December? The Lord answered my prayers on Super Bowl Sunday in the form of the biggest snowstorm (most snowfall – 16.7 inches) the area has had in 40 years, and the third biggest snowfall in Detroit’s history. Wowza.

This is me, getting some of the snow out of the way on Sunday afternoon. Snowfall continued through Monday morning. The girls had a snow day and of course spent a big chunk of it playing in the white stuff. Storm photos to come.

2)  Snow days. Meh. (I’m a planner. Snow days throw me off my game.)

3) The most I heard about the Lunar New Year (aka Chinese New Year) was that one of the classes in the upper grades at school held an “authentic” celebration (the teacher was Chinese, go figure).

In San Francisco, it’s a public school holiday. There are parades and celebrations all over town. If you don’t know it’s a new lunar year, you are living under a rock. I miss that. The cultural diversity of the City. Maybe even more than I miss good Chinese food. Okay, I lied. I miss good Chinese food more than I miss cultural diversity. I am not ashamed.

IMG_9964 (768x1024)IMG_9966 (768x1024)4)  Sledding rocks. Even in 18 degree weather.

5)  The stomach flu came through our house for the second time in three months. This time it was back with a vengeance. The good thing is that the girls both knew the drill. “Mommy, I feel like I have to throw up!” Sit up, lean over trash can, throw up, drink water, lie down. Go team.

IMG_99226)  My husband built a snowman for the girls when they were sick. His name is Sara (the girls name everything Sara) and he’s a Giant’s fan.

7)  I gave up Facebook and bread for Lent. I was going to give up Facebook, bread and alcohol, but I can only take so much sacrifice. Instead of logging in to Facebook, whenever I have a few minutes (or seconds) to spare I’m trying to either reach out to someone via email or text or phone, or say a prayer for someone. It’s been nice, and not as hard as I anticipated.

The bread thing has been relatively easy so far, or so I thought until I noticed an increase in my pasta consumption. And last night I had a dream about eating croutons. Forgetting about Lent, I’d accidentally eaten one. I stood over the plate of croutons feeling so guilty. My subconscious definitely has bread on the brain.

IMG_9842 (768x1024)8)  Let’s talk about snow plow etiquette for a second (and is there such a thing?). I’m pretty sure all the neighbors’ plow services are pushing the snow on our property. I’m not kidding! Compared to the whole street, we have the biggest piles of snow on our lawn, and on all sides of our lawn.

Maybe it’s some kind of new-kid-on-the-block initiation? I actually don’t even care. That much. The last time a truck came to plow my neighbor’s driveway, I was shoveling my own. I gave the driver a “look” (you know the look. The “I’ve got my eye on you” look). Guess what, no new snow on our property that day. Hehe.

IMG_9944 (1024x975)9)  So I made a Thai dish. Not from my new “Simple Thai Food,” but from an  easier-looking crock-pot recipe I got from my girlfriend (who got it online). It was promising – looked and smelled yummy, but in truth it was lacking. A lot. Even after I threw in dried chillies and sprinkled the crap out of my red pepper flakes into the mixture, it still tasted just okay. Next month I’m going to try to make something from my Thai cookbook. Keep you posted.

His name is “Cocoa Cutie.”

10)  Valentine’s Day was a sugar-fest at the girls’ school. I can hardly talk about it without hyperventilating. I was there doing a craft with the kids (which turned out super cute, I might add). During snack (which was served 10 minutes before lunch), I bit my lip as I watched my kindergartener chomp down a cake-pop covered with frosting and sprinkles, a pretzel covered with frosting and sprinkles and a white chocolate-covered strawberry (and we all know white chocolate isn’t even chocolate).

I drew the line, however, at the chocolate-scented bear she brought home. Its chocolate-scentedness filled up the house within minutes. He was quarantined for 24 hours (left outside in the bitter cold), which helped….until I started smelling it again and he had to go to the land of no return. Buh-bye.

11)  I hate getting shocked. As in electrically shocked. If I didn’t like snow so much, it would ruin winter for me completely. Out of all the people I know, I seem to get zapped the most. What is it about me that I generate so much static?

It’s even ruining my love of the central vacuum. The body part (finger, arm, leg, foot) that happens to hit the metal rod (which happens at least 10 times), gets a shock so bad, it makes me jump out of my skin. I can see the lines of electricity going from the vacuum to my body (see above photo). I also can’t even pet my dog, because if my hand touches him for longer than five seconds, I get shocked. Aggravating.

IMG_9863 (1024x1014)12) Even though it’s happened several times, I’m still surprised when I order a cappuccino and get this. A rock candy swizzle stick. Huh. I’ve only ever seen this done in Grosse Pointe (not Detroit or other suburbs), so maybe it’s a local specialty, don’t know.

I wondered, maybe this is how they do it in Italy? Although I don’t remember them when I last visited (about 15 years ago) and I had a lot of cappuccinos while I was there. I looked online for some clarification and only found that some claim the swizzle stick is “a sophisticated way to sweeten coffee and tea.” Yeaaah. Do you think this gentleman used a swizzle stick with his cappuccino this morning? I can tell you right now that he did not. Case closed.

coffee

The August List

IMG_8032 (600x800)

Our vacation rental on Walloon Lake.

1) Northern Michigan (aka Up North) is to Detroiters, as Tahoe is to San Franciscans. I blame Northern Michigan for my blog lull, by the way. We’ve been back over a week and I still can’t get out of vacation mode.

2) Most gnats inhaled on an evening run: four.

3) Nevermind gnats. Whatup spiders? Unless you spray (which we don’t), they are everywhere. I walk through at least one web per day, usually in the morning before I’ve had coffee (letting the dog out). Creeps me out every time, even though I’m expecting it.

4) The guy at Trader Joe’s asked me if I just moved here (they always check my ID, which still says California). He’s from Santa Rosa. He said, “You know what you won’t be able to find out here….good Chinese food.” Yep.

IMG_7999 (600x800)

American Spoon

5) Speaking of food, the best meal I’ve had since I moved was in Petoskey (Up North territory) at a great spot called American Spoon. As I was enjoying my not-greasy whitefish sandwich and potato salad with snap peas and mint (I miss you, San Francisco!), I fell in love with the paint color. Which miraculously they had on file. Which unfortunately is either a mistake or no longer exists, because I cannot find it anywhere, at least not under the brand name they gave me. Waaaahhhh!

6) Yes, you did just see my kid sitting on a pink potty. In the back of my SUV. In the library parking lot.

7) When school starts in Grosse Pointe, summer is officially o-VER. Pools close, restaurants shorten hours, traffic laws change (no right turn on red). In San Francisco, there is no official end of summer. In fact, summer is just getting started (September and October are two of its most gorgeous months).

8) Finding the perfect paint color for the foyer suddenly seems ridiculous and embarrassing when you are waiting for your Italian sub at Which-Wich and start reading the headlines of the newspaper tacked to the walls. Ugh.

sign9) A lawn sign you will never find in San Francisco (above). For one thing, no one has a lawn in San Francisco, but that’s not really the point. Lawn signs are big here. There’s one in front of our new house right now, actually, that the painters put up.

10) Need to get back on your feet, Detroit? Start charging for stuff! It’s free to park anywhere on Belle Isle and admission to the aquarium and conservatory are free (in SF, prices are $35 and $5, respectively). Residents also get a free ride to the DIA museum (at the SF MOMA, it’s $18). A couple weeks ago I parked at St. John’s for a doctor’s appointment. It’s a huge Detroit hospital, as big as San Francisco General. Free parking. (In SF, you’d pay $6.00 – $12.00 easy for the shortest doctor visit).

11) When the guys at Benjamin Moore say, “Bye, see you soon!” as you’re leaving, it’s time to decide on a paint color already.

12) When you start giving other Benjamin Moore patrons color advice, it’s time to pack it up and go home. (Although she did say the creamy white I suggested was exactly what she was looking for. Boo-yeah.)

 

Twelve Things I’ve Learned So Far (About Grosse Pointe)

I’ve been living in Grosse Pointe for a little over two weeks now. Here are twelve things I’ve learned so far…

1.  The Starbucks in the Village makes a better dry cappuccino than any San Francisco branch. (milk foams better here, too. humidity levels?)

2.  Every second car is an SUV or truck. Every 20th car is a cop car. Every 50th car is foreign.

3.  An unexpected snowstorm in April is magical, revitalizing and cathartic.

snow in april

4.  Detroit-style pizza is going to be the death of me. (If I can’t fit into my swimsuit this summer, I blame you, Buddy’s!)

5.  I can make a perfect grilled cheese on an electric stove. Sushi rice, not so much. Pork cutlets, a struggle. Stove = 2, Me = 1.

stove.grilledcheese6.  Nope, that’s not a cute cottage, that’s a garage.

garage7.  Fire hydrants are red.

hydrant

8.  Squirrels are creepy.

9.  Japanese beetles are not ladybugs (and they are all over the apartment. and also creepy).

10.  A quarter will get you anywhere from 20 minutes, to and hour and 15 minutes, at a meter (and look at them!).

meters11. Detroit is beautiful.

detroit212.  An after-dinner family walk makes everything better.

walk