The Arb, the Girlfriend, and the Black Pearl

October 19, 2021

I love waking up in Ann Arbor. Even though it’s a progressive college town very much like Davis, and even though, like our house in Davis, The Burnt Toast Inn is just a block from downtown and a few blocks from campus (in Davis it’s the other way around, but same idea), Ann Arbor just has a completely different feel. I’ll always be a Californian and will always love where we live, but I really (really) enjoy the charm and character of these midwestern towns (this kind of charm probably characterizes just about anything east of the Rockies).

Our view out the second story window this morning. Nice.

But it reveals something that has flummoxed us about A2: the street striping..

… does this mean cars drive down the center of the street — whichever direction — and bikes have the outer lanes? There is no room for a car to navigate the parked vehicles and stay within that outside lane.. so.. there seems to be no place to drive but the center lane whichever whichway you’re going. (Never mind that the guy across the street is straddling two parking places and the trailer overshot his, as well.)

Seems a bit of a mess all around.


Jim and I had a great breakfast at the B&B, then headed into town to pass some time (until Peter could meet us), which we did at the cafe next door to Zingerman’s in Kerrytown, called, “The Next Door Cafe,” funnily enough. Mucho pleasant. Peter came by and we took off in his car, bound for the Arb (the U of M’s Nichol’s Arboretum). He’s spent a lot of time there.

We could see why:

It’s a huge place, very hilly, largely tree-covered (except for some central grassy areas):

We walked about three miles and didn’t see the whole thing by any stretch. It was great to just be walking around on a warm day with our kiddo in a place he’s come to really love.

At one point, there was an overlook and to the North you could see North Campus, where the engineering school is, among a few others (architecture & urban planning; music, theater & dance; art & design; a maybe another one or two)… in distance look for the tower:

We even saw some fauna:

A praying mantis, I believe.

And here’s a bit of cool flora (in a residential neighborhood near where we parked.. ); huge leaves, all dangling like ornaments.


That evening, we met Maya. (Big Event for the parents.) P&M met us at our place, we walked around the neighborhood for about an hour (a nice way to talk and get to know each other a teeny bit), then met Lisa and Claire at the Black Pearl on Main Street). Fantastic to see everyone. I didn’t take any pics, but Lisa took this one of the P&M reviewing the menu on their phones (the way we do it, these days (!) … becoming so commonplace now).

Just a terribly sweet looking couple (if you ask me.. the mom).

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