We Were Here: Ypsilanti, MI

We’ve been pushing east for weeks and weeks, with the goal of making it to Washington, DC for our friend’s wedding. Some days we drive until we’re exhausted, and sleep wherever the road is welcoming. Other days, the road is a little gentler to us, and we spend a little more time appreciating our surroundings.

When we left Vancouver, a friend of ours said, “you have to go to Michigan! My best friend is there, and it’s amazing!”
I’ll admit, I heard “Michigan is amazing,” and I scoffed a little, just to myself. But I was totally wrong.

Michigan is weird, and exotic, and magical. At least, for this child of the desert and mountains, it’s amazing. Dudes. It is SO HUMID here. I have literally 58 bug bites. I got new bug bites on my toes today, while walking around town. Carlos saw lightning bugs on his way back from the laundromat, but I still haven’t seen any. What I did see, however, was a terrifying cicada exoskeleton (and I learned that it’s called an exuvia!), and learned that, yes, my childhood reaction to that particular sight (panic!) still stands.

The MIchigander accent is rather cute!

One thing that I would not have believed before now: the people here are totally different than the Pacific Northwesters that I am accustomed to. This is weird, but…they actually talk to us. Black grandmas on porches, middle-aged white dudes smoking outside bars, college students, moms out with their kids. I don’t know if it’s because we’re a cute mixed couple with the awesomest baby ever, or if people are just more outgoing here, but I like it.

We’ve spent most of our Michigan time in Ypsilanti, home of Eastern Michigan University. Carlos is deeply disappointed that their mascot is not the Emu, but what are you going to do? I found their food co-op, which was surprisingly well stocked, and we’ve found several breweries in town. I don’t know how I’d feel about the winter here, or living in such a small town with a big school, but I think I could manage it. This had been one of the first places we’ve visited where I’ve felt really comfortable imaging a future for us.

Ultimately, though, I don’t think Ypsi is going to be our home, but it’s been nice to find a place that confirms that, yes, in fact, there are places our here for us.

 

image courtesy city-data.com

5 thoughts on “We Were Here: Ypsilanti, MI”

  1. I’ve also been startled by how nice everybody in the midwest is – not just nice, but friendly! It’s hard for me not to Seattle Freeze them and be friendly back, but it’s so pleasant when I can do it!

  2. Yes, people in the Midwest are way more outgoing with strangers… especially small town and rural people. They will even help you if you ask and not think much of it. Many people in the West will, but most in the Midwest will.

  3. Small world: I grew up in Ann Arbor, just a few miles down the road. You’ll have to visit there if you haven’t already. It’s a beautiful college town. Park the van, take a stroll, and check it out. If you have time, walk in the Arboretum or in Huron River Park. And please do check out my Dad’s old store which is still going strong: Sam’s Store at 207 E. Liberty. It’s a great place to get Levis, boots, and other practical clothes. There’s still a photo of my Dad on the wall.

  4. Oh man! I miss my home in Michigan now! My parents actually went to EMU and I spent a few years in Ypsilanti when I was young and my dad was coaching at EMU. Great little town. I’m glad you enjoyed your visit to the Mitten!

    1. What a small, funny world! Ypsi was really cute, I would definitely go back there. The Wolverine Grill made the best omelette I’ve ever had!

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