Lansing Birthday Weekend

I like to consider myself an expert in weekend getaways when it comes to travelling. Nothing thrills me more than to see another part of the world whether it be a city in my own province, a road trip to our neighbours down south, or a flight to another continent. Thanks to the Information Age, or more specifically the internet, I’ve been very blessed to befriend people from around the United States, and they welcome me into their homes whenever I have the urge to get up and go.

Together we’ve travelled to countless cities across America. From Houston to New York City and I’ve been extremely lucky to see it all from the viewpoint of someone who lives there. I figure I’ll throw in some flashback trips later on in this blog, but for today I will be talking about the trip I took to Michigan for my birthday last week.

I really do have a soft spot for Michigan, specifically East Lansing, as it was there I got to experience all the highs of being a college student in the United Sates… without actually being a student. I got to experience real tailgating, see college football games live (Go State!), and experience the nightlife in a college town. It’s so fascinating for me to see the cultural differences between Canadians and Americans, even though we really are just a short drive away.

THURSDAY

I was given the ok to take Friday off, so Thursday night I drove down to Lansing where my friend Bill lives, but not before I got my car searched at the border. Figured they would have heightened security thanks to the Boston Marathon Bombing. Not complaining though, a lady from somewhere in south (could only tell thanks to the accent hah!) who was getting searched as well and I both agreed we’d rather they take the time to do this so everyone would be safe.

Anyways, made it to Lansing around midnight where all my other friends who were joining (Neil from Illinois, Bryan from Indiana and Bill’s roommate Sarah) were already there… and they had breadsticks! Side note: One of my biggest weaknesses in life are breadsticks. Absolutely love them. Could even say I’m a little obsessed. We spent the night chatting and playing some video games.

FRIDAY

In the afternoon we headed to East Lansing and walked around the MSU campus, which never fails to amaze me on the sheer size of the campus. Keep in mind I’m pretty much like this any time I visit a school in the states. I went to the University of Guelph, it’s a medium sized University here in Canada. I’ll let you all see the comparison.

Guelph Campus
•1,223 acres (495 ha)

MSU
•10,000 acres (8 km2) in

Yeah, almost 10x larger. To any of my American friends reading this, this is why I’m always so amazed about your schools.

We went for lunch at No Thai, which for the longest time confused me whenever Bill, who goes to MSU, would say it because I literally thought he’d want food, but just not Thai. Seems I was wrong. Needless to say they gave you a lot of food for a good price, so I was content! Then went to a store where I picked up an MSU shot glass because I had forgotten all the other years I’ve visited.

Side note: I collect shot glasses of every location that I visit. It’s my souvenir that I must get whenever I travel. Headed home for the rest of the day as one more friend (Gee) was coming from Ann Arbour by bus. As an MSU fan, I now feel I’m obligated to say boo Michigan. Once we had everyone there we finished off the night by going out.

SATURDAY

I woke up with a lovely surprise of a runny nose, which was the start of this dreaded cold. That sucked, but thankfully my body let me enjoy the rest of the day. Probably should have mentioned this now, but the whole point of this trip was to go to Shepherd, Michigan to attend their annual Maple Syrup festival! Being Canadian and all, my American friends thought it was a suitable way to celebrate my birthday. Shepherd is about an hour north of Lansing so we had a nice mini-road trip where we busted out singing to whatever song way playing.

Here’s Sarah and I at the festival! (Note: All photo credit goes to my friend Neil!)

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We got to stuff our selves with unlimited pancakes, which was awesome and we walked around the town a bit to check things out. After we were finished we continued north to Mt. Pleasant because as I mentioned earlier I am pretty obsessed with breadsticks and for dinner we were going to The Cabin, who have amazing ones.

We were all still full from lunch so we went to the casino first, where I won 40 bucks playing Blackjack! Well to be honest I won 40 bucks listening to Bill tell me how to play, but whatever. Winning is winning. Bill won 50ish bucks from the always amusing Deal or No Deal game they have so at least two of us in the group game out on top! (Sorry Bryan 😦 )

Finally it was time to go to The Cabin and it once again did not disappoint (forgot to mention I’ve been there once before already). The food was cheap and delicious and the drinks were cheap and huge!

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We ended up playing games at the table and just had a great time. After that headed home where Sarah had made me a delicious maple cheesecake! Got to blow out some candles and we all enjoyed a delicious desert to finish off the evening.

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SUNDAY

Last day was Sunday and I was feeling pretty bleh by now, but that wasn’t going to stop me from having fun! It was a chill day because obviously we all had to get ready to leave and head home. Still, to finish off the trip we busted out some old school Clue. VHS style. I can’t remember the last time I actually watched a VHS tape. It was great. The acting was hilariously horrible, and it really got you thinking!

After that it was time to head home for me to the long drive back to Canada, but not before I stopped at Taco Bell. I recently found out that they now had Baja Blast Freezes!! Seeing Canada doesn’t even get Baja blast, I refused to pass up this opportunity to try one even if I was sick.

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Delicious.

And that is the summary of my weekend getaway to Lansing, Michigan. A little bittersweet as my friend will be graduating this year and moving, so I won’t get to visit any more. However, I’ll still have the memories from all the times I have visited (which is a lot), and I can add this trip as the final goodbye.

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About Dave

I'm a 26 year old marketing enthusiast from Ontario, Canada. I graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Commerce, and I'm currently a media buyer / planner for a marketing firm in downtown Toronto. Some of my interests include marketing, blogging, photography, travelling, coin collecting and reality TV. Also, I'm an avid Blue Jays fan. You'll find me catching a game whenever I can.
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