A long needed weekend away. We spent our mornings & evenings relaxing on Narrin Farms located in Groveland Township in Oakland County, MI. But, afternoons were made for exploring! Narrin Farms is located on a dirt road which is no problem for this country girl. (Paved "main" roads are just a mile or so away.) I was pleasantly surprised this quiet country life existed so close to the hustle & bustle of the big city. It was beautiful countryside.
Cosmic Connection - Goodrich, MI
We found a cool fossil, rock & mineral shop to explore in Goodrich, MI called Cosmic Connection. It's not a large shop but this place is packed full of beautiful, ancient treasures from the earth. Fossils of all types, from tiny sea creatures to large slabs of fossilized seabed & everything in between. Their prices were fair and the variety they carry is unreal. I purchased this Trilobite fossil for Jason for under $10 and a piece of raw gold sheen obsidian for myself.
A&W Rootbeer - Ortonville, MI
How cool is this?!
We stumbled upon a real A&W Rootbeer complete with car hops!
You know we pulled in for lunch & it was just as good as I remembered.
Mmmmmm... A&W Roobeer in a frosted mug!
What a cute little town! We arrived in Ortonville in time to shop the local farmers market that lined the main street. I bought a loaf of banana bread, one of the few baked goodies left on their table. I was told they sold over 180 loaves of bread that morning! I'm not surprised. We snacked on banana bread for the rest of our stay. It was delicious!
There were plenty of booths to browse but I was drawn to the rock & crystal vendor. She had several beautiful specimens at great prices. I brought these beauties home to add to our collection. Did you know Sodalite glows under UV light?
Our next stop was Clarkston. Although I've been to many concerts at Pine Knob Music Theatre, this was my 1st visit to the downtown Clarkston area. It's an adorable little town filled with vibrant artwork. I loved it!
Clarkston's "Art in the Alley" exhibit features artwork created by local students. That's right, elementary to high school aged kids! Can you believe it?!?! Such talent. I was really blown away to read the ages of some these young artists.
All of the artwork was incredible but one print really stood out for me. It was a mixed-media collage created by Yeisline Vargas-Morales, entitled "Dog." It was my absolute favorite piece. I love the expression the artist captured. Incredible talent for such a young age. Yeisline is a 5th grade student at North Sashabaw Elementary!
We wandered around the downtown area eventually finding our way down to the old mill pond. Beautifully landscaped homes lined the waterway creating a peaceful oasis one block off Main Street. It looked like an awesome place to live. I would definitely visit this area again.
Saturday Wendy's daughter Hailey invited us to her new home for a BBQ. We were enjoying our visit as Hailey tended the grill when something in the distance caught my attention. It was a faint sound, barely audible, but it was the most magical sound in the whole wide world. And it was headed our way!!
Sunday Night - The Main Event
So what brought us down to the Motor City anyway? You might laugh when I tell you. Wendy & I have been friends for 27 years now and we both agree, it's a good thing we didn't meet when we were teenagers or we'd both still be grounded! LOL We're in our 50's now but that doesn't stop us from doing all the things we weren't allowed to do when we were teens. And so, here we were. Two middle-aged women attending our very first stadium rock concert!
Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Poison and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
I owned every one of their albums back in the day. Yes, record albums! In fact, I still remember my conversation with my dad over Poison's "Look What The Cat Dragged In" album cover almost verbatim.
Dad: "Egads! Those are some ugly women! No wonder they call themselves Poison."
Teenaged Me: "They're not women Dad. They're like totally HOT dudes!"
BAHAHAHAHAHAHA... (NOT ANYMORE!)
We purchased our tickets almost 3 full years ago. The concert tour was postponed twice for COVID. Finally, the big day had arrived! We had excellent seats on top of the Visitor's Dugout at Tiger Stadium. It was my 1st time at Comerica Park. Here's a helpful hint. If you're planning a visit to Comerica Park take a credit card! Comerica Park is a CASHLESS facility!
Yep, these 2 old ladies still ROCK OUT like teenagers!
We had a wonderful time on our weekend away! Right up to our ride home. My old Buick Roadmaster broke down on the freeway just south of Saginaw on our way home. But that wasn't the worst of it. AAA left us stranded on the freeway for 4 hours before finally admitting that NO ONE was coming to our rescue!!
Thank Heavens for my wonderful hubby! By phone from 200 miles away, Jason found us a tow truck within minutes after AAA had failed miserably. Our tow truck driver was awesome. He towed us all the way home to the repair shop & even made a pit stop for us too. Huge shout out to Austin of Mike's Wrecker Service of Saginaw for delivering us home safely!
Cruising in style? At least we're cruising!
Wendy & I were all smiles riding home in the tow truck.
A weekend away was just what I needed. I think it's what we all need really. In the hustle & bustle of everyday life, it's easy to forget to charge our own batteries. So here's my best advice...
Take a few moments to kick back & relax.
Spend time with your friends.
Cruise the back roads.
Pet the farm animals.
Take a hike.
Surround yourself with nature.
Jam out to your favorite music.
Party like a teenager.
Laugh & giggle.
Eat the ice cream.
LIFE IS SHORT - ENJOY EVERY MINUTE!
This country mouse had to travel to the "Big City" recently & I needed to find accommodations for 2 for the weekend. My girlfriend Wendy & I were attending an event in the Motor City. We managed to con Wendy's daughter into driving us to & from our event so I wanted to find something that was close to I-75 and conveniently located for our chauffeur. I began looking at the usual hotels but I wanted something more relaxing. We've been working 6 days a week all season & I really needed to unwind. I hit the jackpot when I stumbled across Narrin Farms on AirBB.
Photos by Narrin Farms - Courtesy of AirBB
Narrin Farms is just a few miles off I-75 outside of Ortonville, MI. There are several homes to rent on Narrin Farms. I chose "The Grooms," an adorable A-Frame perfect for two. IT WAS AMAZING! Cute & comfortable furnishings. Beautifully landscaped with front & backyard decks, a fire pit, outdoor hot tub and most importantly, peace & tranquility. It was everything the listing promised and more.
I was up early the next morning eager to check out the farm. I threw on my shoes, grabbed a coffee to-go & headed down to the barn, giggling when I realized I was still in my pajama pants. Some things never change. I chased a lot of cows in pajamas & sh*t boots back in the day!
The horses are owned by private individuals, most participate on the local equestrian team. There were several signs warning guests not to pet the horses which was fine by me. Horses are beautiful creatures but they can be ornery & sometimes bite!
I was raised on a dairy farm so I'm more partial to the cows anyway. They welcomed my love & appreciated all the ear scratching I had to give.
Wandering around the farm I met Barry of "Barry Fresh Greens." He has a garden on Narrin Farms that produces veggies & greens he sells at the local farmers markets. We share an interest in permaculture & had a great conversation. Barry also owns the chickens on Narrin Farms. They help clean up the scraps from the garden.
Check out that beautiful garlic drying in the barn!
I wandered through the barnyard & followed the fence line along the paddock admiring the farm our first morning. The next day I set out to find the hiking trail that leads to Narrin Lake. It was a perfect morning hike. So peaceful! Just the sound of the birds chirping and the rustling of leaves in the breeze.
I followed the trail through what appeared to be an old paddock & crossed a wooden bridge. Beyond the bridge the trail narrowed & terrain became more woodsy & less farm-like. It was almost like being up north.
I made it to the end of the peninsula & spotted the dock to access Narrin Lake. That's where I chickened out & decided to turn around. It looked like the perfect hangout for snakes to me. No thank you!
I stopped on my way back to record a few moments of peace & tranquility.
When stressed, watch & repeat as necessary!
Narrin Farms has 4 homes available to rent. The Lodge, The Woods & The Clubhouse each sleep between 6-9 guests and they're beautiful! We booked our stay in The Grooms for 3 days & I can't wait to book again! If you're headed to the Holly, Clarkston, Ortonville, Auburn Hills area or just looking for a place to relax, I highly recommend a stay at Narrin Farms.
Wendy & I had a blast exploring the area & local towns too.
More on that next blog post.
It was a 1/2 mile walk from the house we rented to Manasota Beach. The streets of our quiet subdivision were narrow & sandy. Much like our northern two-tracks. A short, sandy walking trail at the end of our street connected the subdivision to Manasota Beach Road. From there, it was a short hop over the draw bridge to the key and Manasota Beach Park.
The drawbridge takes you over Lemon Bay onto the key. Manasota Beach offers free parking to guests to the right of the drawbridge. There is also parking for boat trailers accessing Lemon Bay complete with boat & kayak launches on the left.
Informational signage greets you as you enter the park. We're both history & nature buffs so we enjoy learning all we can about an area. Florida does a great job with their signage and all of the parks we visited were clean & well kept. But it was the sidewalks at Manasota Beach that really grabbed our attention. Look at all those shark teeth embedded in the concrete. All found on Manasota Key. AMAZING!!
Big teeth too! I'm a size 9 clodhopper!
A wooden boardwalk leads to a short sandy path to the beach. It was just off this path that we spotted our first Gopher Land Tortoise. Gopher tortoise are protected so if you see one - Do Not Disturb!
All of the beaches on Manasota Key are beautiful. Manasota Beach is no exception. We visited from mid-November to mid-December & were easily able to find parking at all of the beaches on the key. Peak season begins after Christmas so plan to arrive early to secure parking.
A Day At Manasota Beach
The sunsets on the Gulf of Mexico are spectacular. People gather on every beach near sunset to watch the amazing show. And as the sun dips below the horizon they applaud. The whole beach erupts into cheers. Groups of strangers called together for a few moments every day with no other purpose than to admire & appreciate Mother Nature. It's really something to experience.
"The Most Beautiful Sunsets Are The Ones We Share"
We enjoyed fabulous weather for the entirety of our stay. High 70's to mid 80's every day with warm, salty gulf breezes & cool nights for restful sleep. I can't think of a better way to end our fun-filled days than a beautiful sunset...
Followed by a relaxing stroll home.
Over the bay, under pink & blue skies.
“Let the sea breeze blow your hair,
let the sunset bring tranquillity to your heart,
let the distant places you travel allow you to explore yourself.”