Sunday, September 29, 2013

Downtown Ann Arbor / Rainy Days and Sundays Don't Get MJ Down

MJ takes to the streets of Ann Arbor to discover what makes it special. It's walkable, it's cosmopolitan for its small size, it's ok to be a little weird here.

Ann Arbor Skyline from the top of the Fourth Ave. Parking Structure
The tower on the left is Burton Tower home of the grand carillon, one of only 23 in the world. It is the world's fourth heaviest, containing 55 bells and weighing a total of 43 tons (a grand carillon has a bourdon bell-the name given to the heaviest bell in a carillon and the one that sounds the hour-that weighs at least six tons and can sound a low G).

Looking the other way you can see in the University of Michigan Stadium (see the big block M) in the distance.

Ann Arbor is the county seat of Washtenaw County. The 2010 census recorded the population at 113,934 making it the sixth largest city in Michigan. It was founded in 1824 with one theory stating that it is named after the spouses of the city’s founders and for the stands of trees in the area. The city gained a reputation as a center for left-wing politics as it was a focal point for political activism and served as a hub for the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movement as well as various student movements. It is the home of the University of Michigan, a world-renowned institution of higher learning .

MJ is standing in front of the Ann Arbor District Library 
More than 1.5 million people came through the doors of the Ann Arbor District Library system in 2011-12, and circulation of library materials topped 8.5 million. In 1997, the Library was named “National Library of the Year” by Library Journal, the first library in Michigan to receive the honor.

You will notice that MJ is wearing a backpack, the de rigeur item for wandering Ann Arbor...great for holding all the books you will be getting from the library.

Near the Library in a tiny pocket garden is the Fairy Garden of Village of Ann Arbor

Just MJ's size!

The Beer Depot, good place to stop for some refreshment on the way home.
From the Beer Depot website:  For years the fact that the business was a drive-thru that sold beer and wine kind of made the Beer Depot a landmark. When we took over in 2005, we were no longer ALLOWED to keep the drive thru because Michigan law prevented it. Oddly, it's okay in Michigan to sell beer and wine in a drive-thru, but not if your liquor license allows you to also sell distilled spirits. The building is also an Ann Arbor Historic Building, so there are limitations on remodeling and restoration, so the building you see today is dictated by those guidelines.

Main Street in front of a favorite store of local kids, Peaceable Kingdom.

Peaceable Kingdom's Fairy Door

View inside the Fairy Door

Across the street you can see that most of the buildings are older lending the town some of its charm.

On E. Liberty near the intersection of Main St.

Kilwins Chocolate Shoppe decorated for Halloween.

Looking inside the Robot Repair Shop
From an article on MLIVE: Looking into the Ann Arbor storefront at 115 E. Liberty St., they can see everything from robot “food” and oil to robot hands and build centers. It’s a place that children come for the robots, but stay for the educational experiences.
Yes, educational experiences. Behind a red curtain in the store is a place where thousands of students have come for help with writing.
The store owner, 826michigan, is a volunteer-driven nonprofit serving nearly 2,500 students aged 6-18 with free programs centered around providing one-on-one attention to underserved students in public classrooms, libraries, and 826michigan’s center with their creative and expository writing skills. The robot supply store, which now contributes about $75,000 annually to the nonprofit, was one way to debunk the negative connotation that students may have about asking for help.

Why I love my husband

My husband is happy to walk around Ann Arbor in the rain holding MJ, wearing the backpack loaded with camera and supplies for my project, and holding her while I take pictures.  All done with a laugh. Thanks, Craig.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

MJ Calls It A Night or Stop Me Before I Blog Again

MJ gets to sleep in the tent. It's been set up just for her with a clock, some art books and a travel book, more intellectual reading material than what she brought with her (Forty Shades of Gray!!!), towels and washcloth, sunglasses, and TV for some sleepytime viewing.

There is an atlas so she can check out all the places she has yet to go. And it looks like she might have a diary there.

Nice setup.

Just a little TV before nodding off.

Mmmm, cozy.

MJ Arrives!

After 6 hours and 45 minutes in the car from Teresa's place in Green THOSE shoes!...MJ is in Ann Arbor. Our friend, Billie, is not quite sure she has enough dinner to feed this "tall drink of water."

And check out all the stuff MJ has brought from her travels around the world.

Dinner is spaghetti with MJ's favorite beer Corona.

Time to take off the glamour shoes, put up those tired dogs, and take a load off.

If there is only one fork in the house, MJ should be able to have it. But she likes the adventure of eating spaghetti with chopsticks. Hope she keeps it off that nice sweater.

Tonight they relax. Tomorrow it's off to discover the joys of Ann Arbor. And tomorrow night they are invited to a Halloween party.

Wonder where MJ will sleep?

If you are wondering who MJ is and why she is on a trip around the world, check out the Jazzi Minis blog. There you will find links to MJ's other adventures.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ikea Huset..."Huset" it wasn't great?

I see great possibilities for the Huset set. Yes, it is bigger than 1:12 and the couch is AWFULLY pink, but still. I am thinking of painting the plastic part of the couch white or black and making a new cover.  The chair and table might need some painting I sound like The Shopping Sherpa. The shelf, however is great and I want MORE.

Of course, my son snuck in this little winged creature of his to add a little fun.

That's an Ikea stuffed animal carrier used as roombox.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Love Drama and Curtains

A new man comes over for a little visit. Not sure the monkey likes him. And...he brought hot dogs.

Our gal wishes he'd think about some healthier maybe some fruit.

He looks around and is thinking to himself that she's got a pretty nice setup here.

What's with all the pictures of men? Well she says, "They are some old boyfriends. What of it?"

Guess he's not minding too much. Maybe he figures his picture will be on her shelf if he plays his cards right.

I love the curtain's a chop stick my son gave me.

New pillows from the curtain material.

Can't deal with description of all the items. Some of the stuff is cool, though. The fruit is Runts candy my son wanted me to add to the scene and he snuck the Jack-O-Lantern in there. The pink composition book is something I also got recently at Kiwanis that I had forgotten to photograph. The monkey is from a work colleague. The cool gold thing is my son's.