lost, for a little while


michigan, my michigan (part iv)
November 22, 2010, 11:08 pm
Filed under: rant

Car is packed. Fridge is empty. Motivation and concentration are gone. Two days until Thanksgiving and I’m pumped, but I’ve also acquired a passenger for the ride, which means no singing along with my iPod. Bummer. While I ponder which of my music is too embarrassing to share, you enjoy some more Great Parts of Michigan.

Coney Dog

The Coney Dog

Coney Island
My friends in NYC think their Coney Island is the end-all, be-all, but have they ever sat down at one of these late-night chain diners and enjoyed a Coney dog (or lamb gyro) with french fries while seated on cracked red vinyl seats, dirty linoleum underfoot? No. They have hundreds of other diners like this, but not a genuine Coney Island. Cheap and open late in a town (mine) where there’s not much to do, these things are a high schooler’s dream and the perfect place to satisfy a craving for breakfast (or saganaki) at 11:45 p.m.

Michigan Lighthouse

One of our many, many lighthouses.

Lighthouses (and shipwrecks)
There are more than 115 historic lighthouses along the Michigan coastline. Some are apparently haunted. Some also, apparently, sucked at doing their job, because there are a bunch of decimated ships sunk in the Great Lakes, as well. As a result, snorkeling and scuba diving are quite popular activities for those who can stand the cold water. Note: the Edmund Fitzgerald is probably the most famous of the shipwrecks. I’ve never seen it, so I can’t comment on Edmund Fitzgerald the ship, but I can say that Edmund Fitzgerald the beer is disgusting. Now, go listen to some Gordon Lightfoot.

Hell Country Store

The Hell Country Store

Hell, MI
For reals. Meet some Hellbillies, see some badass bikers, eat some ghost poop, and buy as many Hell-themed souvenirs as possible.

Inside Bronner's

My eyes! My eyes!

Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland
Yes, it is actually spelled that way, but you don’t need to be a fan of Jesus to enjoy Bronner’s. You just need to be a fan of rampant commercialism, bright lights, and really tacky stuff. And Christmas, I guess. The store is the size of 5.5 football fields and open year-round, filled with whistling toy trains, sparkling garlands, and more Precious Moments dolls than in your grandmother’s den. (Fun fact: Michigan is also the third-largest producer of Christmas trees.) After you OD on Christmas at Bronner’s, take a stroll though Frankenmuth, Michigan’s own Little Bavaria. My friend, Ani, always raves about the chicken at Zehnder’s, but my friend, Ani, also raves about chicken, in general, on a daily basis. My most prominent memory of Frankenmuth involves tasting chocolate- and strawberry-flavored cheese. Basically, it’s got something for everyone.

Michigan Left

In Michigan, left turns are the devil.

Michigan Lefts
Michigan is an odd place to learn how to drive. You get used to going 75 (90) mph on all freeways. You don’t think it’s weird that a major street is named Big Beaver. And you learn to assume that you can’t turn left when navigating a major intersection. Behold, the Michigan left: a right turn followed by an immediate transition into the far-left lane, just in time to veer into the left turn lane to go around the median. Confused? I don’t blame you.

Michigan's Upper Peninsula

The Upper Peninsula. It exists.

The Upper Peninsula
Our state’s so awesome, we have a whole ‘nother piece of it. For things both hilarious and beautiful, the U.P. is where it’s at. The Pictured Rocks. Yoopers and their accents. Smoked fish and pasties. Illegal fireworks. Waterfalls. The Mystery Spot (where the laws of gravity and physics know no bounds!). It’s all there.

The Mitten State

We're like America's high five.

The Mitten
Along with being known as the Great Lake State, Michigan is also often referred to as the Mitten State. I’m not sure if you noticed, but the lower peninsula looks kind of like…wait for it…a mitten. If you ask a Michigander where they’re from, don’t be surprised if they hold up their hand (thumb pointing to the right) and point to somewhere on it. It’s just easier that way, especially considering the fact that no one outside of Michigan recognizes any of our cities other than Detroit.

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3 Comments so far
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Few people have seen the Edmund Fitzgerald because it’s in 530 feet of water, so I think you’re out of luck on that one. You’ll just have to rely on the vivid description from Gordon Lightfoot’s haunting ballad. Unless you have a submersible. In which case, I would wonder why we haven’t spent all these years going on hundreds of fun-filled undersea adventures in your submersible.

Comment by Katie

Facebook brought me to your blog and I <3 it already. :] In fact, I bought a t-shirt for my brother for Christmas already from the Mitten State place because of your blog.

Comment by Alyssa

Yay! Continue feeding Michigan commerce, and thanks for the kind words.

Comment by lostforalittlewhile




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