Friday, September 7, 2012

What Do Traverse City, Buffalo Pringles, and Gourmet Pizza Have In Common?

 My family went on vacation over Labor Day weekend to northern Michigan.  On Saturday we did the usual--a little fishing, hanging around, an afternoon at the beach, game playing, bike riding, running.  The girls decided they wanted to try walking out to one of the "islands" that the extremely low water level had created, so they tried a new experience.  We ended up needing to buy a new pair of crocs after Joy's got lost in all the muck. But they had fun.

Unnatural islands revealed by the low water level
--that's a family of fishers out on the island

The girls walking through the muck to get to one of the many islands

Lizzy fishing, Joy bored with the lack of action and watching the road instead

Sunday my inlaws offered to watch the kids while Hubby and I went out for breakfast on a date.  We went to our favorite breakfast place, a little hole in the wall diner.  We were sitting there chatting and started discussing what we wanted to do that afternoon with the kids.  I was thinking more of the same-the beach, berry picking, sand dune climbing.  But Hubby had a different idea.  He wanted to drive to Traverse City and see what fun we could find.

I've only ever been to Traverse City once before, at least seven years ago, with Hubby.  My sister tried to get me to go there earlier this summer but I wasn't comfortable going to a place I didn't know how to get to, didn't know my way around, and had no idea where we would go anyway.  I was about to tell Hubby no, that we should do something we've done before, but then I remembered that I needed to do something new in order keep my 52 Weeks of New challenge.  And we've never been to Traverse City as a family, so I said yes.

Traverse City

We loaded up the kids, rolled down the windows, blasted the music and set off.  We had no plans other than to see what we could see.  We ended up walking around for a while, stopping off at a fabulous fudge shop and buying the kids ice cream, walked along Grand Traverse Bay, and enjoyed the sunshine.  By that point we were hungry so we went to a brewery for lunch.  As I was looking over the menu, I was debating between ordering the safe burger or the "it could be good" chicken pesto pizza.  After a few minutes of waffling, I decided to go with the unusual because maybe I'd find something new that I loved.  After my first bite, I knew I'd found a winner.  It was the best pizza I've ever had outside of Chicago's Barracco's Pizza.  (Yum, yum!)  I'm so glad I decided to try something new.

I got my eye on you, mom!  Joy posing at Grand Traverse Bay

Later that night we were sitting around the campfire and Hubby was eating buffalo Pringles.  He offered me some and I immediately said no, yuck, I don't like that flavor.  And then I stopped to consider-had I ever even tried that flavor before?  I never had.  I reached for a chip and tried it.  While it wasn't completely disgusting, it's definitely not my favorite.  But I never would have known for sure that I didn't like it without actually trying it.

Watching the sunset on the lake

So, in the last week I have visited a city that I was too nervous to visit earlier this summer and tried two new foods-one that I loved and one that I didn't.  While none of new things I tried were earth shattering, the challenge did help me to push myself out of my comfort zone and to just say yes.  To stop second guessing things and to just get in the car and go.

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