Friends’ Fall Day Trip

Every year for the past seven years (minus the big pandemic years), my friends (Chrissy, Kelly, and Jill) and I go on a fall day trip. This was actually our first fall adventure after big COVID and it was so good to get back out together! We always have such a good time and this time was no exception. Although, our start was a little rough…

Our adventure started in Battle Creek. It…was not what we had been expecting. We read there were some museums and restaurants, a garden and an arboretum, and we were like ok, let’s try it. I knew the Kellog’s Factory was no longer open which was a bummer because I toured it as a kid and it was neat, but we were not prepared for everything to be pretty much closed down on a Saturday. Our first stop was the Welcome Center – which was closed. So we headed for the Leila Arboretum, and maybe since it was overcast and deserted, it was sort of creepy. We all had to use the facilities since we had actually really begun the journey at Starbucks and it had been a drive, but our only option was a portapotty by the side of the road. We were cracking up at how this day was starting off. We wandered over to the arboretum which was a bunch of carved trees. Not really what we expected, and while they obviously took some skill and time and talent, we had been expecting like a maintained garden and arboretum with many types of trees.

After checking out the trees, we drove over to the garden area, which was closed. So we headed to the museum, which I think has been closed for a very long time. We decided it was maybe time to eat since we were striking out everywhere. We went to Clara’s on the River for a quick lunch and drinks and decided over our meals that we were would drive back to Marshall, MI since things were not going as planned. The restaurant was very nice looking, the staff very accommodating, but the food was not great. And sort of expensive for what we got. I paid $17.00 for a small bowl of Kraft macaroni and cheese, y’all!

We finished up and got back in the car to make the short twenty minute drive back to Marshall. It ended up being a great decision! Marshall was hopping, with a Halloween festival and tours and people just all over, and it felt very alive and festive.

We started with a tour of the Honolulu House.

Just ten dollars to tour, and the guides did a a wonderful job! The house was build in 1860, and had a few different owners before going to ruin in the 1960s. The Historical Society scooped it up and began the restoration process, and they have done a beautiful job. It has a fascinating history; it was built by a former diplomat who had enjoyed his time stationed in Hawaii so much that he tried to recreate his life there, here. He died shortly after moving in, and the house was purchased by another family who ended up making some style changes, including adding the popular murals of their day to the walls.

Once we finished the tour we ventured outside and took a look at the porch. However, there was a tour set up there. It was a John Bellairs tour, a children’s book author who wrote The House with a Clock in its Walls. John Bellairs had lived in Marshall and the house that his book is based on is tucked away somewhere in one of the neighborhoods. We weren’t signed up so we didn’t go, but I plan to look it up to see if they are going to do it again.

We had read there was going to be a flea market nearby so we hopped in our cars and drove out of town to check it out. We must have gotten there too late since there were only 6 tables set up, and after a quick wander headed across the street to a place called Casewells Turkeyville. It was a large building chock full of stuff – an ice cream parlor, an arcade, a restaurant, a gift shop – it was huge. I could see kids having a blast there.

After this we headed back into Marshall, and into the little shops that line Michigan Avenue.

I loved that little dresser with a leaf! I couldn’t see us dragging it home though so I left it behind. It said it was a Canadian Maple dresser – so cute! However I did spend quite a bit of time in the independent bookstore! I particularly loved the banned books display. I ended up buying Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen because I loved it so much.

By the time we finished shopping it was time for dinner at Schuler’s. Schuler’s is such a beautiful restaurant inside, however we chose to sit outside this time around since Chrissy and I are not ready to sit in a restaurant yet. And here I share the big news! My brother and Chrissy are expecting a new little baby girl in March! I am so excited to be an aunt again to my newest little niece! So our family is being cautious right now with germs.

Our food however was insanely delicious. I got the English pot roast as did Jill, Kelly got the prime rib, and Chrissy got fish and chips. Everything was fantastic!

And full of good food and happy memories made, we headed back to our cars and home to our families.

We had such a wonderful day – I am so lucky to have my little crew of ladies to laugh and cry with, be silly with, and just enjoy life with.


11 thoughts on “Friends’ Fall Day Trip

  1. It sounds like a great day — especially once you got to Marshall. That sounds like a wonderful time. Isn’t Schuler’s terrific? I haven’t been there in years and it’s not that far. Pity you didn’t go a bit beyond BC to Southern Exposure’s lovely gardens! Maybe another time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Marshall looks pretty fun and I love the look of Honolulu House! How beautiful and how wonderful that the historical society scooped it up and saved it. That’s so weird about the arboretum! They have some carved trees on the Gulf Coast in Mississippi that are the remains of Live Oaks that were broken off in Katrina. They’re amazing but they’re a bit scattered around. I think a lot of them grouped together would be unsettling!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think I was disappointed too when I rolled through Battle creek a while back. And Clara’s… that sounds familiar. I think there might have been one of those in Lansing too. Probably lone gone now. Anyway, bummer it was disappointing. The turkey place looks fun though. And Schuler’s! Sounds delicious.

    They used to have a little Ren faire down there, we went years ago, not huge like the one in Holly but it was fun to try.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a really pretty old train station turned into a restaurant. The setting and the staff were really great, it was the food that left us a little sad.

      Schuler’s! If you ever get out this way, go. Seriously.

      Oh how neat!!! I wonder why they stopped it?


  4. Pingback: My Sunday-Monday Post – Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs..

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