It’s Time For a Change…

2 10 2009

I knew this day was coming.  I just wasn’t expecting it for at least another six months or so. 

The day before our wedding, J got a call from her boss.  Her job in Lansing has been eliminated and she’s being transferred to Kalamazoo.  The timing was awful, but it’s actually a huge step up for J so it is something we are really excited about.  With the new job comes another move. 

When J and I moved to Lansing a year and a half ago, we didn’t really have intentions of making Lansing a permanent home.  We did expect to spend a little more time here than we did and we grew to like Mid-Michigan.  We’ve had a lot of fun adventerous.  We got to see Traverse City, Mackinac Island, two Tigers games, a Michigan football game, an MSU men’s basketball game, Hell, and Frankenmuth.  We took my first trip out of the country when I bought J tickets to see a concert in Windsor for Christmas.  A few months later, we took my parents gambling in Canada….a trip my mom still talks about.  We took my niece to her first baseball game at Comerica Park this past July and we had pizza at Buddy’s which still freaks my family out.  We’ve been to The Henry Ford.  We took an inpromptu trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.  We’ve shopped in Birch Run and loved the outlets in Howell.  All of this while being centrally located in Lansing. 

Most importantly, J and I got engaged in Lansing.  Neither of us will ever forget our kitchen table where I set the ring for her to find when she came home from the gym.  We planned a wedding and got married while we were Lansing residents.  J even bought me cuff links for the ceremony that had a map of Peoria, IL and Lansing, MI.  One for where we met…and one for where we got engaged.  No matter where we go from here, we’ll always remember Lansing.

I’m not sure when the move will happen yet.  I know it will be very soon and before the end of October.  I’m going to keep my blog going, but as SW Michigan Dining.  Mid-Michigan Dining will still be somewhat active.  I’ll be making the drive back to East Lansing quite often as I picked up a lot of work this fall and winter.  I’ll, at the very least, cross post, but more than likely, have unique posts only on this blog. 

It’s been fun.  It’s been hard at times and not having a full time job in over a year and a half was challenging.  Luckily, I’m in a business where I can find work here or there and make a pretty good day out of it.  We’ve seen a lot of this state and been able to sample just about everything Mid-Michigan has to offer in the culinary world. 

Thank you to the over 200 people who, for some reason, care about what I have to say and have followed me on Twitter.  Thanks for the handful of people who comment frequently and get engaged in conversation.  Thank you to eveyrone who has stopped by looking for something to eat in Mid-Michigan.   

Don’t delete me off Twitter yet and if you’re ever looking for something in the Southwest part of the state, don’t forget to look me up….


KT’s Bar & Grill – Sevierville, TN

2 10 2009
  • 1641 Parkway
  • Sevierville, TN 37862
  • (865) 428-1991
  • Website
  • Menu
KTs Bar & Grill on The Parkway in Sevierville, TN

KT's Bar & Grill on The Parkway in Sevierville, TN

You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to find a local place in a tourist town. J and I went on a quest to find something that wasn’t going to be cheesey or touristy, but we didn’t have an Internet connection in our cabin, so it was real hard to research. I can’t tell you the last time we went without Internet for 48 hours, but we made do.

The plan was to head back in to Sevierville because we noticed a county courthouse on the way in. There’s got to be a pub or something near the courthouse, right? I mean, where do employees go for dinner and a beer?

Well, it’s not in downtown Sevierville, that’s for sure. There was nothing. One place but it looked fancy and didn’t have a menu outside so we passed. Instead, J got her GPS out of her purse to see what sounded local.

When she turned it on, our location was back in Sevierrville near our cabin. She found a place with the word “grill” in it, so that’s where we went.  Read the rest of this entry »

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies – Gatlinburg, TN

2 10 2009
  • 88 River Road
  • Gatlinburg, TN 37738
  • (865) 430-8808
  • Website
Ripleys Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, TN

Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, TN

I wasn’t going to write about any of the attractions we went to, but this was too good to not say something about. 

Usually, I’m not a fan of aquariums. When I was little, I was forced to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago more times than I would have liked. In fact, one was too many. I hated it. It was so boring. So, when one of our friends recommended Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies we were skeptical but willing to give it a shot. 

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is just off The Parkway in Gatlinburg. It’s one of the first things you run into if you’re coming from Pigeon Forge (which is a beautiful drive, btw). In true Ripley’s fashion, the building itself is something to look at. It doesn’t have the stuffy feeling of a museum and it’s not an old building with Gothic architecture. It’s a modern design with a lot of glass. 

The ticket window is actually outside before you get to the main doors. The cost for adults was $20, but like I told J, that was cheaper than the freakin ferry ride to Mackinac Island, so in the grand scheme of things, it probably wasn’t that bad. The ticket lady tried to get us to buy tickets to other Ripley attractions in town which would have saved money if we were going to more than one, but we weren’t. 

After getting tickets, we headed inside where another person ripped our tickets and sent us on our way.  Read the rest of this entry »

The Funnel Cake – Gatlinburg, TN

2 10 2009
  • 631 Parkway
  • Gatlinburg, TN 37738
  • (865) 436-7230
  • Website
  • Menu
The Funnel Cake on the Parkway in Gatlinburg, TN

The Funnel Cake on the Parkway in Gatlinburg, TN

Before leaving on this trip, I had been warned by several people that Gatlinburg is not some hidden treasure in the Smokies. It’s a giant tourist attraction. After seeing it, the first thing I thought was Wisconsin Dells. My family went their yearly before my brother and I got too involved in Little League. 

Still, we had fun. The Parkway is a large area of downtown that is just lined with shops, restaurants, and attractions. You know when you see “Old Timey Photos” and airbrushed T-shirt shops where you’re at. Why people spend money on crap they wouldn’t normally buy when they’re on vacation still baffles me. 

J and I took a chair lift ride up to the top of one of the mountains where we had a great view of the rest of the mountains as well as Gatlinburg down below. After that, we kept walking towards our next destination farther down the Parkway.  Read the rest of this entry »

Old Mill Candy Kitchen – Pigeon Forge, TN

2 10 2009
  • 177 Old Mill Avenue
  • Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
  • (865) 453-7516
  • Website
  • Menu
Old Mill Candy Kitchen on Old Mill Street in Pigeon Forge.

Old Mill Candy Kitchen on Old Mill Street in Pigeon Forge.

After lunch at the Pottery House Cafe & Grill, we walked around the Old Mill District to see what else they had to offer. At some point, we picked up a coupon book which had an offer for a free piece of fudge if you bought two from the Old Mill Candy Kitchen. Since we were already in the area, we decided to drop in. 

The Old Mill Candy Kitchen reminded me a lot of the candy shops on Mackinac Island. It’s in a tourist district on Old Mill Street and just like any good candy place, they make their creations right in the window so you can watch. 

We looked around the store a little bit to see what else they had. J picked up a jar of peppermint sticks then we went to get our fudge. They didn’t have a huge selection, but they had half a dozen or so including my favorite, Cookies ‘n cream.  Read the rest of this entry »