Weekend in Kalamazoo

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A few weeks ago I got the best email from Fuzzy. It went a little something like this:
"Do you have plans February 20-21st weekend? If not, save those dates."

BEST EMAIL EVER! With all the stress and change that's been going on, a weekend away was a great idea and something to look forward to. The purpose of the weekend was just to escape and forget all of our troubles. The plan: to go to Kalamazoo.

Why Kalamazoo? For some reason I have no idea where it came from, a few months ago I decided that I wanted to try cross country skiing. Yeah, this Southern girl thought it sounded fun. Fuzzy's also been wanting to take me sledding, something else that I had never done except on a piece of cardboard on our hill growning up. And on the occasional times that it did snow a little in MS and we would be able to sled down on snow, once down the hill would scrape all the snow away. So Fuzzy bought us a sled a few weeks ago for whenever the next big snowfall would occur. And Kalamazoo is home to one of our favorite beers ever, Bell's Brewery, so it was win win, and a plan was made.

We started the vacation weekend Friday night by going to a little pizza joint in our neighborhood that we'd never been to, Gino's North. It was awesome. The atmosphere was awesome, the food delicious, and the manhattan I ordered was just perfect. It was dark and cozy, and we snuggled in and had a nice time.

Saturday morning, we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast that Fuzzy made, took our time packing, watched some TV and headed over to sent some cross country skis from Viking Ski Shop. [Fuzzy requested "Nordic skis." I later asked him what that meant, and he explained to me the difference between Nordic and Alpine Skis. What this meant to me was--ah! Like a Nordic Track!]

We had a nice time driving across Indiana and into Michigan stopping for food and candy whenever we wanted. We made it in to Kalamazoo at about sundown, so there would be no skiing that day. Not to worry! We had reservations at a gorgeous bed and breakfast called the Kalamazoo House, so we checked in there and met the innkeepers Laurel and Terry who were so super sweet. The room was gorgeous, and we had a big giant hottub in the bathroom. Score!

The Queen Room at Kalamazoo House

The view from our room
There was a Chihuly chandelier out the window of our room. So pretty.

We got all dolled up and headed down to the brewery. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting it to be--namely, the people weren't too helpful or friendly, the food wasn't that great, and we were confused a lot of the time. BUT! They had beer! Beer glorious beer! We tried a Golden Funk (1 each, and it was delish!), a bitter one that was rough on its own but great with food, an amber ale, a barley wine and a double cream stout. There was an adorable band playing, and Fuzzy and I loved drinking and dancing, dancing and drinking. So fun. After their first set, we were full of beer and tired, so we headed back to the hotel where we found cookies on a plate with our names on it waiting for us. So sweet!

Beer at Bell's Eccentric Cafe

Sunday morning we enjoyed the B&B's delicious breakfast and coffee, and took some naps while waiting for the ski park to open at 1:00. After we checked out of our hotel, we went next door to the Kalamazoo Institute of Art where we saw a really fun Looney Tunes exhibit.

Then it was time for skiing!

Fuzzy gave me a brief tutorial, and then we were off into the woods! It was so fun and so hard, too. I loved every second of it. Climbing hills, skiing down little ones, and falling. Oh, was there falling. I fell at the bottom of hills, I fell standing still. I fell forward, I fell on my side. I fell a lot. But I laughed about it and kept getting back up! I kept singing a song with these lyrics "Winter Sports! I grew up in Mississippi!" We laughed and skied and I sweated and fell. It was awesome.


Fuzzy was a natural.

It was awesome being out in the woods.

After about an hour and a half of woodland winter fun, we packed up and headed over to the Nature Museum, where we hoping to find a good sled hill, but instead I got the heebie jeebies a lot about snakes that I knew were in the building.

Erica and Fuzzy

Great Horned Owl
Owl! We also took some photos of these hawks that were so pretty. Fuzzy took a video of me falling, but was too nice to put it online. I think it is hilarious.

We headed back to Chicago in the late afternoon/ early evening, but made a quick stop in to the St. Julian Winery. They were closing, but we were able to grab a couple bottles, which I look forward to opening soon. After lunch, we were hit with a massive scary blizzard in Indiana and on into Illinois. I was frazzled and tired, Fuzzy was frazzled and tired, and we were white knuckling it back into Chicago. We made it in at about 8:00, and without any warning, Fuzzy took the Wilson exit instead of our normal Sheridan exit.

"Why are we getting off here?" I asked.
"Because we are going sledding," my adorable, thoughtful, spontaneous sweet husband said.

So we took off up a hill with our sled and an inner tube we bought the day before and sledded over and over and over! We laughed so hard and screamed and played and it was the best ending to a perfect weekend.

Erica in the snow
Sled hill on Wilson.

First time sledder!
I did it!

Overall, we had a great time, and we have many more weekend getaways planned for the future. Its amazing what one night away can do for your spirits. Thank you, Fuzzy!

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What a glorious weekend!!!