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Where we left off

So we left off having visited the dunes, by the way these fulgurites are pretty cool. I found a tiny one once. They are very fragile and the inside looks like  murcury glass.


It was then onto one of my favorite places in the world. My grandmothers house. The above obviously isn’t her house. It’s the chicken coop. Though that’s an understatement since it’s now a completely finished building. Carpeted and all. 


Even the chipmunks love my grandmothers back porch. 

Our last day in Michigan we celebrated Mr. Smiths (along with two other’s) Birthday with friends and family 

Then it was home through the dreaded state of Ohio. This is what it threw at us this time. 


The best part of Ohio? The bridge to Kentucky. 

As you can see, once we finally got home (after going through many more states, none as bad as Ohio, lol) our living room kind of exploded. We got lots of goodies while we were there including but not limited to a stop sign as you can see above. I promise it was legally purchased. 

And look at these crochet cacti! 

As promised I have lots of projects coming up. One of my side projects is going to be restoring a lot of old photographs. I don’t know as though I’ll blog about that, but it’s a fun hobby. I used to do a bit of photo restoration and it will be nice to have some family photos in our new house. 

I’ve also started working on painting and decorating our guest bathroom. A family member made us beautiful monogrammed towels to go in it and it was just the push I needed to get it started. My office is currently full of all of the bits and bobs that will be going in there. 

My grandmother also gave me this tiny rocker. It needs a lot of repair work and a new seat but I thought it was too cute to pass up when she offered it. As soon as my garage gets cooled down I’ll add it to the list of things to do in there. 


That’s all from us for now. 

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TinyBows visits the Tiny Ocean

Mr. Smith got to see the Big Clean Lake or alternatively the Little Clean Ocean as he described Lake Michigan this week. Despite all his family living there, spending all his summers there, and being born there he managed to never see it. So we went to Little Sable Point Light House to see the lake, play in the surf and the sand, and later take a dune ride at Silver Lake.

Believe it or not this is one of the narrowest points between Michigan and Wisconsin just under 60 miles. Yeah big is an understatement. Guess that’s why they call them Great.

I built a little sand village Mr. Smith decided to be an evil giant.


After the lake it was down the road a ways to Mac Woods dune rides.

We had an excellent guide who told us all about the history and ecosystem of the dunes, he was also an excellent driver, it’s quite a roller coaster ride.

Grass was planted by the boy scouts to stabilize some of the dunes. Those parts only drift 2-10 inches a year.

Oh no there goes our ride

It’s ok we made a friend

There is a tiny forest in the middle of the dunes quickly being swallowed up. These trees used to cover all of this land before it was clear cut to rebuilt Chicago after Mrs. O’learys cow decided to be a jackass. It uncovered sandy glacial deposits and voila… Tourism

The live dunes (as opposed to the grassy stabilized dunes) move up to 10 feet a year. You can see on the edge of Silver Lake homes which are being swallowed up by sand. Silver lake itself is also rapidly being filled in by sand.


I’ll have to do another post on “stuff” from Michigan and our journey home just because our time there was jam packed and we came home with quite a few nifty things. I also have a big TBD list that I’m working on that just grew thanks to some hand me down items. So I’ll throw that list and what to look out for in my next post as well. 

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Adventure Time

We’ve been doing some more running around the great state of Michigan so I though I would share those adventures before my phone gets too full of pictures. Click over to this weeks earlier post if you missed it to check out our previous adventures. 

First off we headed to the little town of Battle Creek to visit some family and of, course hunt down some Pokemon (it’s a healthy addiction right?)


They have a beautiful little river side park called friendship park, and of course another brewery. This one called Arcadia, they make an excellent cherry cider. 

We also hit up a few shops in southern Michigan including this wonderful little art gallery  and shop in Marshall called EastEnd Studio


And our all time favorite coffee shop


On Friday we had the privilege of attending a beautiful wedding at the Fredrick Meijer gardens in Grand Rapids.



 If you ever have a chance to visit here you must do so. 


We headed to the venu early so we could have the chance to look around the gardens. 


Not only is it an amazing botanical collection they also have one of  the most amazing and extensive modern sculptural collections in the United States. 



Primarily we wanted to check out the Japanese gardens. 


It’s the newest and biggest section and it is absolutely stunning. 


 I think I may finally have inspiration on how to landscape our back yard this fall.


 Though I don’t think I’m skilled enough for bonsai on this level… Or any level… The plastic level maybe. 


Today is a very welcomed rainy lazy day then tomorrow we head for the dunes at Lake Michigan. I’m looking forward to sharing that with you next week. 

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(Parentheticals)

I’m writing this in hopes that I’ll find an Internet connection somewhere out here soon. But for now here are a few updates. We made it to Michigan. Mostly we made it through Ohio because that state always seems never ending. 


(Just waiting for the children of the corn or possibly an old timey baseball team, you just never know in Ohio) 

We’re currently in southern Michigan visiting Mr. Smith’s family. We checked out the Dark Horse Brewery (apparently they’re a big deal) in Marshall Michigan as well as the aforementioned (here) Realm of Creativity. 


(The Dark Horse’s mug club)

We wandered around their quaint (that sounds sardonic, it’s not, it really is quaint and wonderful) downtown area and Boardwalk. We caught a lot (I mean a lot) of Pokemon.


See, quaint…

I (as predicted) got sunburnt but my accutane treatment is progressing wonderfully. 

Texture, swelling, redness, swelling, scaring, swelling, pain caused by the swelling and inflammation…really just the swelling is disappearing and it’s so nice. 

Today we’re headed to the little town of Battle Creek to check out their down town and yet another brewery (apparently Michigan has over 300) then maybe Kalamazoo and Bell’s or maybe the Binder park zoo… We’re going to see how the grass grows, it’s vacation we do what we want. 

Later this week we’re headed to the Fred Meijer gardens in Grand Rapids to wander around and attend a wedding then it’s farther north to see my family and hit the lake shore. In this case The Lake is Lake Michigan and the dunes at silver lake. Our summer of traveling is winding down but this trip has just begun. 

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First World Whining

Well half of the house is (semi-) cleaned, though that’s primarily because most of the mess just moved to the other half of the house. 

This whole “let’s just travel all summer” thing is a strange cycle of cleaning house so we can “come home to a clean house” when in reality we just come home and throw all our things wherever they may fall just to have to pack them up again.

Between Florida, North Carolina (which we just got back from earlier this week) and Michigan (which we are headed to next week) we will have been home about 3weeks in the moths of June and July. 

Next year we are definitely stretching out our traveling over more than just two months. 

Enough of my first world whining. 

I didn’t take many pictures while in Raleigh. We go there as often as we can since our best friends and godsons live there. However I did take somepictues of my amazing new hair


My best friend has different color hair every time I see her. Purple, blue, teal or some amalgamation of all of them and I’ve always wanted to have funky colored hair but haven’t had the guts to do it myself and won’t pay the price to go to a salon. Since she does her own, and does it beautifully I convinced her to give me some subtle colorfulness. 

Instead of doing an all over bleaching (because it terrifies me, and my hair despite being very fine does not lift very well) or attempting to do a balayage we decided to go old school and use a highlighter cap 


Stylin right?

We used a 30 volume developer so it didn’t take nearly as long as it usually does for my hair to lift. And since I had some previous balayage highlights it just added some extra dimension and lightness for the pigment to grab on to

We used several different colors to do my hair. All pravana brand, we used a vivid purple, a locked in red, locked in blue and various mixes of the three.

Because the colors were developed at different times and placed over different color highlights I got all different colors.


Some orange, green, yellow, red, purple, blue, we inadvertently oil slicked my hair and it’s amazing. Pictures don’t do it justice, I’ve gotten so many compliments on it already. 

Though it doesn’t show up in the pictures as well the vivid purple came out as the brightest of the bunch so I think I’ll stick with those as opposed to the locked-ins for the next round. But, now I have yet another excuse to go to Raleigh regularly, gotta keep my hair looking good 😀

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Harty Porter

As promised in the last blog you get to see some travel adventures. There is a funny little back story to this blog. Several of our friends have recently moved away to finish grad school  and we were trying to figure out how to go see all of them scattered across the country. I suggested instead we all vacation together and go to the Wizarding World of  Harry Potter, which of course auto corrected to Harty Porter. At that point we decided it was destiny. 


Somehow we managed in a matter of just a few months to make real the Harty Porter trip of 2016. This involved coordinating the vacations of  7 adults with all of their adult lives and responsibilities, along with one teen and one child. I am astounded we pulled it off and so glad we did.  

We are absolutely exhausted from 26miles worth of running around theme parks but it was a great way to spend the anniversary of my mother in laws death. She was a big fan of Harry Potter and it gave us an excuse to be with friends. 

I’m not huge on taking pictures when I go places simply because I tend to be to busy making memories but here are a few. The universal parks have never interested me before but they have outdone themselves with Harry Potter. Their attention to detail is absolutely amazing. 


Knockturn alley was one of my favorite spots. It gave us a respite from the 116 degree heat index and had some cool interactive spots, as well as Borgan and Burkes which was probably the best shop in the park. 

There was also a super interesting little tattoo parlor in knockturn. I’ll post the Live Photos on the Tiny Bows Facebook so you can see the animation.

Escape from Gringotts  was by far the best theme park ride I’ve ever ridden. It’s a hybrid roller coaster so it is on rails and has dips and turns like a typical coaster, but the cart is also on a gimble which allows it to move around when the ride is stationary during a cinematic moment. Add to that excellent 3D as well as heat and water effects and it’s absolutely amazing.



Oh and of course we all went to olivanders and we all got wands



I didn’t just go to Harry Potter. There were other parts we enjoyed. And once again universal’s detail was amazing. 

Oh and I was reunited with a childhood friend. I lost my chilly willy stuffed animal when I was 5 and nothing could replace him. Until now. It only took 25 years.
I’ve mentioned that their attention to detail at universal is amazing but they also have amazing quality souviners and we will be redecorating the library thanks to their inspiration. So look outfit that. 

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Zombie Clowns

Mr. Smith and I have been on a little mini hiatus for the last few days. I had hoped to get a post up before leaving for said break from the real world but I wasn’t really sure what to write about. 

  
At first I was reluctant to pick up blogging and my hobbies again. To be fair I was reluctant to do anything. I couldn’t even eat. Now I’m finding I relish the little things; in particular the hobbies that bring me and especially others joy. So of course I’ll be doing a blog about how my hobbies are helping me through everything. I guess every blog I do is about a hobby or project, I just have a new love for them. 

  
But of course now I have a mini vacation to blog about . For Mr. Smith’s birthday  we spent some time with his aunt and her family down in Florida. As I’ve said my family has been amazingly helpful with getting through this so I’m incredibly grateful Mr. Smith has some family relatively close by.

  
They live in an area that I’m quite familiar with because my grandparents used to live there. We had the opportunity to go to Legoland one day… 

This is going to sound like an

  
Type of thing, but I actually went to Legoland before it was Legoland. On a side note I had been to Legoland once it was Legoland as well, I was just excited to see how Mr. Smith would like it since this was his first trip. 

  
Legoland is built around a place called Cyprus Gardens which I had been to several times in my youth and your admission to the park includes admission to the old gardens. Don’t get me wrong Legoland is cool, (more about it later) but if you don’t bother going to Cyprus Gardens while you’re there you are missing out. 

  
Mr. Smith didn’t really bother taking any pictures in Legoland but his eyes lit up and the camera snapped away when we got to the gardens as you can probably tell by all of these pictures.  If you’ve never seen a Banyan tree it is an amazing sight to behold.  Of course he had to have a creepy tree in this post. 

  
Legoland itself was toy heaven, secretly (or perhaps not so secretly) neither of us have matured in the last 20 years so we are still stuck in the 8-14 age bracket that Legos cater to… our vacation budget was spent accordingly. And that’s pretty much all we did was shop. The weather was terrible thanks to this time of year so a good amount of the rides were closed anyway. I’m extremely happy I wore my bathing suit under my clothes because I never dried out.

  
(Han definitely shot first) 
Our haul from Legoland however was epic…. Oh I mean Awesome!

  
I’m personally of the master builder disposition whereas Mr. Smith tends to follow directions. He has plans involving Kra-Gl but I’ve got a piece of resistance around here to stop him.