One of my greatest pleasures is traveling, but I would be lying if I told you I didn't absolutely LOVE coming home. to my bed. my cat. my house. everything as I placed it and left it. Even if I adored my vacation, and would relocate to my destination in a nano-second if given the chance, there is something so comforting and joyous about the place you've made your nest.
In short---it's oh-so-good to be home!
As I write, I am enjoying the newest ear-candy from Coldplay. As a direct result of their coolness, they decided to produce a LIVE CD:: LeftRightLeftRightLeft ::: and offer it free on the their website.
Of course, after a heads up from Marta (thanks!!), I immediately had to download it. There isn't any new material, but I considered it homework:: preparation if you will, for my attendance at their concert here in the Mitten on June 2nd. I've had the tickets for months now, and as they collected a thin layer of dust, I almost forgot I was going. This little gift from the band has revived my excitement for the event.
Now that I've successfully updated you on my current musical stylings and upcoming adventures, we can move on to a few of my favorite facts about the amazing weekend:::
I have lived in Michigan my entire life, but have rarely traveled into the North (which is notorious for being the most beautiful area of the state.) When I arrived, my surroundings were definately living up to all the hype...
Even though is was a little on the chilly side, especially with the cool breeze blowing in off the bay, I still slipped my shoes off and wiggled my toes deep in the wet sand as soon as we parked the car. I closed my eyes and let the fresh, crisp air bite at my nose and twirl my hair in circles. It was marvelous. You just don't get that kind of connection with nature in the city. and it isn't until you FEEL it, that you realize how truly starved you are for it!
It was my mother's best friends' vow renewal ceremony that brought me to this glorious spot. My mom met Laura when they were 11 years old, and amazingly, they have maintained a beautiful friendship ever since. When Laura, her husband, Ken, and their daughter decided to fly in from California, they suggested my whole family drive up and spend the weekend with them. Somewhere along the way, it was decided that, while they were here, my dad (an ordained minister) would officiate a little vow renewal for Ken and Laura.
Well....as things usually go with best friends and wedding related activities, the simple waterside vow renewal, snowballed into a full fledged mini-wedding::: complete with 2-tier cake, rose petal trails, tulle, silk dresses, salon visits, and dinner at a high-end restaurant.
The whole day played out beautifully though. executed without a hitch.
Literally 1,000's of pictures were taken, but per the request of the bride, I'm not posting any quite yet. She wants final veto power on the pictures that get to be displayed....and since she's the bride, I promised to comply :)
I can, however, give you a glimpse of the GORGEOUS view we had from the restaurant we dined at post-ceremony.
This glorious bay view was seen from 16 stories up at the Grand Traverse Lodge. Our food was amazing (I had crab cakes and spinach salad), but it was this breath-taking sunset that kept everyone talking on the ride home.
The entire day was flawless. beautiful. just the way it was intended to be.
I must let you in on a little secret though. The "wedding" was not my favorite part of the trip.
Gasp in horror if you must, but please withhold judgement until I've pleaded my case...
During the afternoon on Sunday, before the pomp and circumstance, I took a little trip into town. I wasn't expecting too much, and didn't really want to shop. i just wanted to see all the area had to offer.
While walking past an alley, I saw this rather unassuming bookstore.
Always a sucker for books, I decided to peek in--- just for grins. What I was greeted with superseded all my expectations. With 3 floors jam-packed with over-flowing shelves, this independent bookstore was my heaven. I do believe I heard little cherubs singing the 'Hallelujah Chorus' somewhere among the rafters.
I spent nearly two hours scouring the shelves (particularly the entire FLOOR dedicated to bargain books, $6 or less) and came home with the delicious stack of goods you see below...
I couldn't wipe the stupid grin off my face. Half of these books were only $4 each! and the selection was amazing! Of particular interest were the travel books about Paris. I have done a lot of research on travel to France, and I found books at this store that I had never seen before. Included in the bunch, was a sketchbook of beautiful entries and watercolors done by Sara Midda, from her journeys in Southern France. The book is so dainty and precise. it stole my heart. grabbed my interest. and so, naturally, i added it to my towering stack of new reads.
Needless to say, it was a fantastic weekend.
On the ride home, I couldn't help but notice how cool the painted heart on my passenger window looked against the clear sky and landscape. i had to snap a photo.
Why is there a painted heart on my window, you may ask? Silly question really::: I decorated my vehicle for the blushing bride and groom to be driven off in :)
Before we left for home, I removed the bells, pom poms, balloons and banners-- but the window paint was there to stay.
I'm actually pretty glad it was. i love this picture.
Now that I've gotten all that out:: there are bags to be unpacked; a big, fat, neglected kitty to love on; and some fresh coffee to sip.