This is a very special post! for two reasons:
1) This gaycay marks the glorious kick off to what is shaping up to be the most delicious summer of my life. I am VERY excited to see where this gravy train will take me.
2) My very first guest blogger! Of which I hope to have many more. K was gracious enough to jump on the DNY bandwagon for this most auspicious occasion.
(I've italicized K's commentary)
The Mich Was Delish and It Made Quite A Dish
The Tale of Two Biddies
K and I have discovered the secret to happiness:
Doing whatever you want, whenever you want, with whomever you want.
Luckily for us, we want to go to Michigan, stay in a historic B&B some random weekend in May, with each other.
Because we're good girls, we went to the gym after work before hitting the road to show up at the Homestead in South Rockwood at 2 AM. A good thing, considering our weekend would be packed with loads of Mochonut Frappucinos, delicious dinners, geriatric Shih tzus, and not a lot of exercise.
My lovely parents are true Americans, lovers of meatballs, dilly bars, and PB+J on white bread. They also find the idea of lesbians downright bewildering. So naturally their farm in Michigan was an ideal launching point for the gayest sort of cay, DNY style.
I grew up just outside the proud village of South Rockwood, where nothing of note has happened in my lifetime except one double homicide; a brief scandal involving an internet-arranged gay hookup date, one of the two local cops, and a couple of probably not gay teenagers with mugging in mind; and an unemployment-and-alcohol-motivated police shooting that ended as unremarkably as anything justifying SWAT team helicopters landing in my parents' hayfield could. My parents live there with two geriatric shih tzus who have 3 eyes between them, a greek tortoise with a life expectancy of 50 years that my sister has at least temporarily abandoned (but not permanently, as I doubt my parents are going to outlive the thing), a smattering of semi-feral cats who are generally unimpressed by human interest, and at the time of our gaycay, a 30-year-old retired horse who has since completed the H family horspice program.
A brief side note: one of the recent additions to the K and BA dictionary is the replacement of the word "chicken" with "doodle doo". This originated one night when we simultaneously and without precedent mentioned the Mary Martin staged production of Disney's Peter Pan. The South Rockwood Homestead just *happens* to have a copy of this production on VHS, which we were of course then obliged to watch as a bonding experience. Captain Hook, while singing a jaunty tune, proudly chortles the phrase
"FETCH ME OUT THAT DOODLE DOO"
K perseverated on this phrase so much that henceforth, all conversation involving chicken is completely saturated with Doodle Doo.
Use it. Tell your friends.
OK! Moving on:
The next day, we were on our way to Historic Webster House in Bay City, MI
This place is exactly what it advertises: Luxurious, Exquisite, Quaint. The owners live in the house and obviously have the greatest job in the world. We were treated like the queens we undoubtedly are.
After a quick change, we headed to Gatsby's for dinner, which advertised itself as a "roaring 20s themed bar and grill". While it was neither roaring nor 20s, the food was great:
Steak with steamed veggies for me, Raspberry glazed salmon for her. Great garlic bread for everyone.
A standout feature of southeastern Michigan culture (be it rural, urban, or miserably suburban), is an ever-present underlying sense of decay and desperation. Pretty much everywhere you go, there's a feeling that 20 or 30 or 50 years ago, this must've been really something. Pretty much nowhere you go, things seem crisp and gleaming and new. Bearing that in mind, appreciation can still be found for the 'local flavor' of the region. Bearing THAT in mind, a couple of restaurant reviews from the gayest leg of the cay:
Gatsby's, Bay City, MI, a few blocks into the past from our impeccable and tremendous B & B:
We'd decided on this restaurant after reading a review in a local tourism mag that we found in out ridonkulous jacuzzi suite. It billed itself as a nice choice for surf & turf with a zany roaring 20s theme. In fact, it had more of a decaying Applebee's feel to it, with a seriously beat mannequin dressed as a flapper standing inside the doorway. But the surf (raspberry-orange salmon with red potatoes and garlic bread for me) and turf (steak with mixed vegetables and garlic bread for BA) really were quite tasty, and reasonably priced. Even moreso were our drinks (gin martini for BA, Leinenkugel's Creamy Dark draft for me): cheap with no reason to be so, though our waitress was self-admittedly woefully unprepared to describe their selection to us or make an informed recommendation of any kind.
Upon returning to our room after a short rainy walk around the neighborhood (K: classically behind the times, complete with some white trash lady sitting on her porch, loudly describing us and our umbrella over the phone for still unknown reasons), we found a plate of brownies awaiting us on the bed, which we wasted no time devouring.
The night was a blur of coffee, hess, chocolates, champagne, cherries, a whole village people of rubber ducks in the jacuzzi, and that Cate Blanchett movie Elizabeth (because, why not?)
I learned to play chess (sort of)
We watched a movie and crushed two bottles of champagne in the skylit hot tub
With all the lil lil duckies
And made the worst rap video ever
Yes, we're adorable.
The second B & B was my favorite meal of the trip. Unfortunately, no pictures exist, because one does not bring her camera phone to breakfast in such a classy establishment as Webster House.
Homemade muffins! Herb roasted potatoes! Veggie frittata with asparagus and spinach and tomatoes and so much more! A side of bacon! Oh My God!
There was also fruit salad, but my feelings about fruit salad are.... mixed.... (rimshot)
Then back into the hot tub after breakfast.
Then back on the road, stopping briefly to spend an exorbitant amount of time/money at the outlet mall.
The original purpose for this trip was to visit Frankenmuth: Michigan's Little Bavaria. A traditional family day trip for K, it seemed like as good a destination as any for my first venture into Michigan. Last year, for my birthday we went to Niagara Falls, so we decided to stick with kitsch. But this time, without the shackles of family tradition holding her back, we were free to experience Frankenmuth our own way. Which meant trying a brand new restaurant, guided only by the internet and my hankering for beer cheese soup:
Sullivan's Black Forest Brew Haus and Grill: We found this place online and though, my goodness, it's like Hofbrau, but more authentic.
It was like Hofbrau, but not new or fun or delicious. Most of the food wasn't German, none of it was healthy, and what we ordered didn't really come as described. But all in all, it was edible,
and we did have a couple of nice dark beers
(Hers and Hers Imperial Stout)
Which prepared us for an extended stroll around the 'Muth,
where we obtained a variety of fancy cheeses at the Cheese Haus
(Chocolate Mint, Strawberry, Tomato Basil Cheddar, Cinnamon Apple Jack, and Blueberry White Cheddar) which we'd later share with Mom and Dad H, and some German Roasted Almonds, which I'd even later jam down my gullet while crying into my cat. Kidding, of course. I don't cry.
Side Bar: I used the remainder of the Cinnamon Apple Jack to make a grilled cheese sandwich the following weekend in Rockmere. Brilliance.
Towards the end of the 'Muth we found ourselves getting a little worn out
and a little goofy
So back to the Homestead we proceeded, to put Mom to work sewing our clothing and recover from what was turning into a full blown case of the strep.
That night, upon return to the farm, we went grocery shopping in a way that only people who live in a rural area in the Midwest can appreciate: the late-night run to Meijer. Or, as I otherwise have described it, killing time til you die. This yielded the needed materials for a fantastic start home the next day -- glut-tard friendly, lac-tard friendly rhubarb honey crumble a la mode. My mother, who has developed a lactose intolerance in her middle age, was flabbergasted at the discovery of (SO DELICIOUS -- I put that in caps because it's the brand name, but also because it's SO TRUE) coconut milk ice cream at Meijer, which I found myself flabbergasting, since everyone who's ever been to Meijer knows that it's a wondrous place, where anything and everything can be found, and all your wildest dreams come true.
It was a pleasure sharing this with you, friends, thanks for reading.
I'm so pleased I got to share my first venture to Michigan with an authentic Michiganian.
A beautiful trip with beautiful memories.