In these days of cities and all their attractions, a pastime of young and old alike seems to be exploring. That is one of our family traditions. Whenever we gather, we try to look around us and visit some interesting place. On the Friday after Thanksgiving we bundled up (brrr….), piled into two cars and went to Port Huron, MI.
Our first stop was a museum of sorts but more. I can’t remember the name of it but the words “boat nerds” was somewhere on the building. It was on the St. Clair River which connects Lake Huron to Lake St. Clair and the port in Detroit. There is a lot of ship traffic past this place which boasts a coffee shop, an unobstructed view of the river, and knowledgeable people who call themselves, yes, boat nerds. They call out all kinds of interesting information and stories about each ship as it passes. On display are ship artifacts dredged from the river and made into art. It was a “hangout” with a very relaxed atmosphere and quite a bit of business, considering that it was a holiday weekend. We had a good time with this place. We have a few family coffee snobs. We didn’t even try their coffee.
Next we went a few streets away to a small shopping district and wandered through some small, artisan-like shops. It was some kind of “small business shopping day” and they got real excited when our group of 10 people came in and probably kind of disappointed when we wandered back out. There were a few purchases, though.
By this time we were getting hungry. Our hosts led us to the Raven Café, a Poe themed coffee house and restaurant that was bursting at the seams with customers. All of us liked the food we ordered. I had a creamy latte, followed by Mushroom with Brie Soup and a half Annabel Lee’s Gorgonzola Cherry salad. It was hard to choose from all the interesting names like “Premature Burial Bacon-Ham Melt” and “Black Cat BLT”. This is definitely a place diners return to. They have a gift shop and live entertainment events regularly, and a nice FaceBook page. Check them out at www.ravencafeph.com . Go there.
Another one of our family traditions, no secret by now, is doing jigsaw puzzles. Some of us are more avid puzzlers than others but we all kind of like to have one going on. Somehow we had brought only one puzzle with us and we finished it on Thanksgiving Day. Cheap puzzles abound at thrift shops and libraries so we were on the lookout as we traveled back to Gary’s coffee shop. We ended up at a thrift/antique shop and it was a long shot, but they had a puzzle. Just one. It was antique, and although I’ve had some very old puzzles (think pieces missing, chewed on, etc…) I had never had a real antique so I bought it, more for the container than the picture. Can you imagine it new for $0.49? It was our second of the season (#puzzlemarathon).
There were many other things we enjoyed over our family time together – I couldn’t begin to mention them all. Many laughs, meals, conversations, hugs and then the inevitable goodbyes. But travel on Thanksgiving Saturday is coming up fast. The journey is definitely not over…