Sunday, July 28, 2013

Home Sweet Harbor Springs

If you can't already tell, I absolutely adore Harbor Springs, Michigan. Nashville will always be home and I will always love traveling, but this place holds an incredibly special place in my heart. It feels like home and I cannot imagine a summer without it.

And, yesterday, before we left, I decided to play photographer with my SLR and snapped some pictures of my favorite spots. Enjoy.

The harsh winters in northern Michigan make for the most beautiful of summer gardens!

In recent years, the small town of Harbor Springs has started a farmers market that takes place on Main Street two mornings a week...I love going and buying local produce up there!

These are two favorite stops whenever we're in town...Huzza is a stylish, home goods store and Tom's Mom's Cookies is the only cookies in the world that I eat besides my own Mom's...and they are to die for!

The Fudge Store is another favorite....its an adorable family owned place with delicious fudge and every kind of chocolate-covered-anything you can imagine!

I have to admit, its been hard to enjoy Harbor Springs since the loss of my grandmother, but it helps that my aunt continually plants flowers and makes sure the houses still feel like home!

This weekend was the annual regatta, U Gotta Regatta, which is fun because they have a massive variety of boats and the race sails right past our house. Unfortunately it was rainy and cloudy this year, but it was still cool to see!

I lived in Harbor Springs the summer before I started college...which was a blast and I was employed at the place I have kept in business since I can remember...Yummies! It is undoubtedly the best ice cream in America...and a fun-filled work environment. [Even Aunt Bea got a cone one night, that bad little pup!]

We had a blast this week just bopping around town, riding the tandem, and enjoying shopping and activities the boys never let us do!
This is a view of Main Street at night, with the catholic church at the end. My mom is lobbying for me to get married there, and it is a beautiful church in a fun town, but I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

And since it was just Ali and I (and we hardly ever see each other these days!), here are my two favorite sister pictures of the week. The first one is on our dock, as we tested the water to see how cold it was and the second one is on our front porch, one night before we went to dinner!

And, finally, this is the sunset over Lake Michigan from our front yard. Are you ready to book your trip to Harbor Springs yet?!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Vacation Activities

I have only missed one summer in Harbor Springs in my 24 years of life. I love this place, even when it's sad to come after my grandmothers death or it changes over the years. Some years town is buzzing with tourists, while other years it seems empty. Often we bring friends up or reunite with cousins, but sometimes it's a quiet place with just a few people. Regardless, I have always loved this place and cherish the wide variety of memories I have from here.

This summer, it is just Ali and I, along with my parents, up here for the week. With that dynamic, we have been doing some different activities.

My mom has persuaded us to do a painting series everyday, where we all paint our own rendition of the same subject.

Harbor Springs will be holding it's first ever half marathon in September, so my dad and I have been running to try to start training for it (Despite the fact that I am painfully out of shape).

Today, we decided upon the family activity of paddle boarding. Nervously, we stepped out on to the boards in the harbor, hoping not to fall into freezing Lake Michigan. It was suprisingly fun and easy! We paddled all around for two hours...and we are all crossing our fingers that we don't wake up terribly sore tomorrow!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Raspberries Galore!

One of my lifelong favorite summer activities is picking raspberries in Harbor Springs, Michigan. 

This year, there is an abundance of raspberries. With raspberries being my favorite food on earth, I am in heaven. I arrived on Sunday and have already gone to pick twice, and we plan to hit up the patch several more times before leaving.
Today's pickings!

I have been eating more berries than seems humanly possible, and my dad has been making us delicious cocktails with raspberries every evening. 
Our porch is the perfect place to enjoy the summery cocktails, too!

We just looked up the recipe to make raspberry scones (which I am SO excited about), but what else should we do with the berries?! There are tons at the patch, so we literally have unlimited amounts of fresh, delicious raspberries. Let me know if you have any creative ideas.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Good Life: Aunt Bea Carroll

If you are looking for someone with a great life, I have your answer. Aunt Bea, the Carroll family dog, lives the life. 

From being nearly the only one to use our private swimming pool, to stealing homemade rolls on an almost daily basis, to sleeping luxuriously in my parents bed every night, this dog lives well. My dad refuses to say no to this dog, so she rides around in his truck, goes to resturaunts with him, hops in the shower with him and can cry her way into getting any food he is eating. I have been laughing about this the past few weeks, so in the past 24 hours I snapped a few photos. Aunt Bea is currently on vacation with us in northern Michigan, which, again, just goes to show the kind of life this dog leads.

we love you, aunt bea, even if you're spoiled and your name is ridiculous!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Welcoming Festivities

After this costume-clad crew at the airport welcomed me home, I felt like everyone had done more than enough to show they were glad to have me back in America!

 But, on Tuesday night, my sweet friends Sam and Alison hosted a "Welcome Home" party for me.

It was so fun to see so many friends (from all areas of my life!) in one place, and made me even more exciting about calling Nashville my real home again!


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Happy Birthday to my lovely Mama!

Today, I am wishing the happiest of birthdays to my sweet Mama. 

And I am even home to celebrate her! (Sadly, Ali, Jamie, and Peter are not in town...) But she liked the idea of just having a plain fun day, so we invited a few friends over to paint on the porch this morning! It was delightful...we all had fun catching up, painting beautiful flowers, and munching on delicious birthday snacks!

And tonight, the three of us had a magnificent dinner on the roof of Watermark, where you can lookout over all of downtown Nashville.

Happy Birthday Mama, I am so blessed to call you my have been wonderful for many, many years!


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Keeping Up the Travels: Savannah

Although I am looking forward to being a little less mobile now that I am back in America, I had not even been home a week before I embarked on my first stateside trip. Since its been a year since graduation, eight of my girl friends from Wake Forest met in Savannah, Georgia this weekend for a reunion. The weekend was fabulous, in every possible way! It was so neat to see where everyone is, what we've learned, and how we have changed in our first year in "the real world".

Thankfully Kate came to Nashville and rode with me because it took way longer than anticipated to drive there, but we filled the time catching up. We all arrived from our various locations on Friday night and were greeted with hugs and wine in our adorable Bed and Breakfast...and the weekend just flew by from then on!

Saturday we had a delicious brunch, explored the Farmers Market with my dear friend Caroline who lives in Savannah, and got to meet her precious new born, Ella!

Later we walked down by the water, and then went on a haunted Pub Crawl, which was entertaining but I did not buy a single story, and afterwards we enjoyed a taste of the Savannah nightlife.

Sunday we had a lazy morning with coffee and catching up, then shopped the adorable boutiques and went to a lovely dinner at The Old Pink House and then got drinks at a rooftop bar overlooking the water.

Fun Fact: here we are sitting on the famous bench from Forrest Gump!
Monday morning, after soaking up the last little bit with a walk around the squares of Savannah, we were hugging goodbye and Kate and I were trekking back to Nashville. We were sad to leave our friends and the beautiful tree lined city of Savannah, but Kate and I both felt encouraged to be back in America where reunions and visits can happen more easily and more often.