J got to experience many “firsts” this summer, including his first visit to a splash pad. He was NOT a fan! Shortly after this pic was taken he BOOKED it straight outta there and wanted nothing more to do with it afterward! Poor dude despises having water in his face. It was kind of sad yet hilarious, so we just took the lil guy over to the playground where he had a far better time climbing around instead.
First Fridays at the Domino’s Farms Petting Farm on a Friday evening. It was an unnaturally chilly and breezy summer evening so lil dude was a tad cranky, especially after a long day. Sometimes we go to petting farms and he’s ALL about it, and other times we go and he’s suddenly terrified of llamas, lol.
Toward the end of summer, we discovered Independence Lake County Park and spent a couple beautiful Saturday mornings at the lake. J (and we!) loved it! The beach so clean and well-maintained.
The water was so warm. The second time we went, we actually saw a SNAKE swimming in the water (which scared the BEJEESUS out of me… and then I [with J in my arms] was the one BOOKING IT straight outta there!) The lifeguard claimed that they are rather common, and a species that is harmless to humans, but I still was on alert for the rest of our swim. This dude thought the snake was pretty neato though.
We also took our little dino-lover to the U-M Natural History Museum. He was in awe over triceratops’ skull (“cer-top!”)
Sometimes mama needs a night out with ladies for happy hour while dada stays home with J. Love the Sava’s patio!
I also need gelato from Iorio’s too. Let me tell you about this combination. Green Tea(my fave flavor). Earl Grey (my second fave). Rose (was surprised how much I liked this delicate flavor).
GREEN TEA | EARL GREY | ROSE
It was faaaantastic. Super splendid combo.
I also took a vacation day to go kayaking with my friend A one day, which was uber relaxing. I need more of this in my life. The Barton to Gallup trip is the way to go!
Speaking of friends, J is starting to become pals with some of his daycare classmates, which is so cute. Also, did I mention we made lots of farm visits this summer!?
Enjoying his lil bud’s birthday cake one evening!
Viewing the koi pond (“shish!”) at Heritage Park Petting Farm in Taylor.
Fun story: we drove to Taylor on Saturday, and stopped at a coney island for breakfast. As soon as we got J out of the car, he vomited ALL OVER me. Poor guy! (Also: Gross.) Plan B was driving straight to Target to have the huz run in and buy me a new shirt, a box of granola bars for breakfast, and then to proceed with our day, because J seemed to be feeling fine after the initial spewage. Oy.
Visiting the park with “ampa!”
Ice cream. This kid is not really a fan of ice cream but he will gladly share with mama. (Score!)
The huz and I celebrated our nine year wedding anniversary this past July. To mark the occasion we took a day off work (just the two of us) and spent a day trekking around downtown Ann Arbor in search of a few of our our fave treats.
First we got our caffeine fix at our old stomping grounds, with iced coffee drinks from my fave Espresso Royale on South University. I was extremely loyal to this place as an undergrad! (And yup, we totally sat in the Diag to do some people-watching while sipping and eating.)
Also had to get some of the incredible fish and chips at Monahan’s.
They never disappoint, and taste best while eaten in this Kerrytown courtyard.
Over the course of the day we also shared a Ginger Deli Banh Mi, Thai Iced Tea, and Rod’s Colliders, and spent a bit of time checking out the Ann Arbor Art Fair. (But also avoiding art fair? It’s a love-hate? Mostly hate but hard to ignore if you’re down there anyways.)
We had a date night the following week, on our actual anniversary too. Holy deliciousness. Great Jolly Pumpkin beer, Fleetwood diner food indulgence, and fancy Polish pastries and port and Amadeus. Swoon.
The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is great for rainy days.
On non-rainy days, we head outdoors when we can. County Farm Park has a great playground for toddlers but my little explorer prefers trekking down the walking paths and checking things out. He is not afraid to lead the way!
Something quite fun for kids that we discovered this summer was the 4-H Youth Show at the Washtenaw Farm Council Fairgrounds. J was ecstatic to see all the farm animals! (Even though he looks a little timid in the below pic – I think a sheep just baa’ed really loudly at him, haha.)
Here is one of our Wednesday adventures to the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market. We purchased and snacked on cherry tomatoes, blackberries, White Lotus Farms Ohs!, and banana from Sparrow Marktet (because “NANA!”), and Sweetwaters iced coffee for mama. This is the life. Oh how I love Ann Arbor.
As our garden grew, J enjoyed helping when he could. We let him try watering a few times and it was kind of hilarious. Like I mentioned, poor guy DOES NOT like water in his face!
He prefers to help harvest the veggies – ‘matoes are his current fave. We grow grape tomatoes too and he downs them like Skittles.
Painting on the patio!
One of the best parts of summer is clearly the food, and corn chowder (topped with bacon) and tomato bruschetta is one of my all-time favorite summer menus. It features delicious summer produce – zucchini, yellow squash, sweet corn, and homegrown tomatoes. (I first blogged about this meal seven years ago, which is kind of crazy! Read the post here.)
This kid LOVES his “cob”! He cannot get enough corn on the cob.
The huz smoked this pork butt and it made SO MUCH. ALL the pulled pork.
Al fresco dining is the best and we spent a lovely evening on the new patio at Palm Palace which is one of J’s (and ours) fave places to eat. And yup, Mr. Fancypants is tearing into a juicy lamb lollipop below.
Another end-of-summer date night for the huz and I. We tried Korean BBQ (and soju!) at Tomukun for the first time. We have been fans of Korean cuisine for a while but have never had the BBQ experience. Fun and so tasty.
It’s been a fun summer! Age 21-24 months is such a fun age. Our little guy just turned two! More on that later. Looking forward to seeing what fall has in store for us.