Travel: Ann Arbor, Michigan

I definitely wasn’t expecting to like Ann Arbor, Michigan as much as I did. I wasn’t even planning on writing about my quick trip there. But I was so surprised and happy about my visit, that I have opted to write a mini recap here.

Ann Arbor. Do you know anything about Ann Arbor? Before I set out on my drive, all I knew was that it was kind of near Detroit, and it was about a 3.5 hour drive from Waterloo. Beyond that, since I was going for a conference, I didn’t do any pre-trip research because I knew my free time would be limited.

Stay

I stayed at the Graduate Ann Arbor. The bed in my room was comfortable, and I had ample room to spread out my work and belongings. Although the room was darker than I prefer (moody dark walls), and my bathroom was low on counter space, the linens and bath products were lovely, and there was a fridge and a Keurig machine which came in handy for a late-night work session. Service was great, and the location was perfect. I would definitely stay here again.

Do

I spent much of my days at the conference which was held at the University of Michigan. You know, the university with the big yellow and blue “M”. There’s definitely a high school spirit at UofMichigan, and there were a lot of people walking around town in blue and yellow athletic ensembles. The campus was a short walk from the Graduate hotel. The buildings on campus were historic and charming, and the quad was lush and green. I know I’m an academic, but I can’t be the only one who loves university campuses. Surely.

Nickels Arcade is an interesting piece of architecture. On either side of the walkway are shops and the very charming Comet café.

The area of Kerrytown was another short walk from the Graduate hotel. This is a small, historic district that has cobblestone streets as well as interesting buildings, shops, and artistic spaces. A highlight here is Zingerman’s which is a deli-bakery-everything-you’d-ever-want-to-eat type of place. I also enjoyed the store/gallery Found. I spent much too long in the store looking at every bit of goodness inside.

If you stay downtown, the area is very walkable. Main St., Liberty St., and Washington St. have an abundance of cafés, pubs, restaurants, and shops. Strolling casually along makes for an enjoyable little tour of the area.

Eat

I had a few opportunities to eat out while I was in town, and I would go back to every restaurant I visited. Good sign, right?

I loved the fresh, young, energetic, and stylish vibe at Sava’s. Beyond this, my salmon rice bowl was delicious as was Sava’s version of tiramisu. Everything was fresh, and service was attentive and friendly.

I know it’s not so common to go to a tapas restaurant solo, but this is what I did late one night. I had passed Aventura at some point on my trip, and I wanted to try it, so I did. I met the nicest people while I was sitting at the bar (Note: I have absolutely no problem dining solo. I know some people would never do it, but I enjoy it. I always end up meeting people, which is fun. Do you dine solo?). My meal at Aventura was fresh and tasty. I opted for brussels sprouts (that had sweet apple mixed in) and the jamón flatbread. Salty goodness! Again, service was friendly, and the decor was lovely. Unfortunately, I must have been too tired to grab any photos!

One morning, I opted for breakfast at Fred’s. As with the other two restaurants, one of the reasons why I was keen on this place was because of the decor. When I walked by it one evening when it was closed, I saw white-on-white-on-white. I had to go! Oh my goodness. If Anthropologie had a restaurant, it would be Fred’s. Every angle was beautiful. Beyond the decor, the food was awesome. I went for the ever-so-popular açaí bowl and a cappuccino. I’d order this again today if I could. It did not disappoint.

Ann Arbor makes for a great weekend getaway, especially if you live with a 3-4 hour drive. The next time I go, I’m going to review the Design*Sponge Ann Arbor City Guide because I know I didn’t have time to enjoy all that the city has to offer.

Design: Poolside

This weekend really felt like summer. I celebrated the completion of my MBA with family and friends, I ate ice cream, and I spent time at the pool.

So today, to “cool off,” I’m taking you on a virtual tour of some spectacular pools. Ready to dive in?

Bulgari Hotel, photo by Christina Arrighi

via Reno Guide

Bradley E. Heppner

Rolling Stone Landscapes

House Chapple, Tribe Studio Architects

The Friday Five: Things On My Mind

A few things on my mind.

1. #MBALife

As of yesterday at about 5pm, I became an MBA grad. Wild. The last four years have been a lot of work, but I learned so much, and I met so many great people, so the lack of free weekends, the never ending hours of group work, and the stress of exams were worth it.

2. Ann Arbor, Michigan

I was in Ann Arbor at the beginning of this week for a conference. You can see a few photos at #WhiteCabanaGoesToAnnArbor, but I have a full post in the works, so stay tuned for that.

3. Books

Audio books. Amazing. I have been doing quite a bit of driving lately, and I’m now keen on audio books. I finished Elena Ferrante’s Book 2 over the weekend, and I’m eager to start on Book 3. Bonus: I have been getting my audio books for free from the Waterloo Public Library.

4. Father’s Day

It’s Father’s Day this weekend. Did you see Daniela’s Father’s Day gift guide? She’s a brilliant gift giver, and I’m grateful that she took the time to share some gift ideas.

5. TV

Sherlock. I know I’m late to the game, but I watched Series 1 this week. Oh, yes, it’s good.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.

Trivia Thursday: The Clawfoot Bathtub

Are you a bathtub or shower person? And if you like bathtubs, what style do you have? If your tub sits on four ball and claw legs, then you have a traditional clawfoot tub.

Emily Chalmers, via SF Girl By Bay

This style reached popular stats in the late 19th century when it spread to England from Holland at a time when bathing became fashionable. Fashionable. Could you imagine living in a period where bathing was such a luxury. In some parts of the world, I know it still is!

In the 1880s, companies started manufacturing porcelain enameled cast-iron tubs. Nowadays, these tubs could be made of fiberglass or acrylic, which makes them much lighter than the traditional cast-iron version.

via Domino
Christian Liaigre, via Elle Decor

Gift Guide: Father’s Day

With Father’s Day right around the corner (this Sunday), Daniela is back with an awesome gift guide.

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Hey everyone I’m back with a Father’s Day gift guide that is sure to impress the father or father figure in your life. I’ve included gifts at a variety of price points, and I hope you find something special for the dad in your life.

If you haven’t read the story behind the company The Ridge, you should. It started as a Kickstarter project by a college kid and his dad (see The Ridge Story). The original wallet comes in aluminum, titanium, and carbon fiber. Here, though, I am featuring the aluminum version. This wallet is perfect for the person who wants a simple, lightweight option for the cards and money he carries. You can choose a money clip or cash strap option. In addition, the wallet holds up to 12 cards and has a lifetime warranty.

Aluminum – Raw, $65 USD, The Ridge

Next up is this versatile, casual woven cotton belt that can easily be worn on dress down Friday’s at the office or a night on the town.

woven belt, $92 CAD, Nordstrom

Lamy pens are timeless and have been around since the 1960’s. The Lamy 2000 is German designed and manufactured. If the dad in your life does any writing day to day, this is a perfect gift for him. Add a personalized journal (complete with a photo, perhaps) to go with his pen.

Lamy 2000

super dad notebook, Minted

I love David Yurman and his jewelry designs. I am lucky to have a number of special pieces courtesy of my husband and daughters. My picks for a great Father’s Day gift from David Yurman are two bracelets – the classic spiritual beads in riverstone and the sleek white hex cuff bracelet.

Spiritual Bead bracelet

Hex cuff bracelet

Why not give the golfer in your life the best golf balls on earth? These are used by Jordan Spieth as well as many other top golfers. Even if these balls don’t help dad with his golf game, he will definitely be proud to show them off on the golf course.

Pro VI golf balls

A classic gift for dad is an everyday watch. I have a couple of brand options at two price points. Tissot is a well known household watch name made by Swatch. The Tissot Quickster Chronograph T-sport is a great casual watch.

Tissot Quickster Chronograph T-sport, $495 CAD, The Bay

The Farer Stanhope is a modern timepiece that can be dressed up and down easily for a formal event or a casual day out. This is an automatic watch designed by the British and made by the Swiss. Farer is a newer watch company designing quality automatic watches.

Stanhope, $1175 USD, Farer

Next up – the bbq enthusiast. I love this “bbq” apron. It’s awesome for the “king of the grill” in your life. This leather apron comes with deep pockets great for all the bbq utensils.

leather apron, $50.84, The Well

Happy shopping, and Happy Father’s Day!

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Thanks, Daniela! You’ve shared a lot of wonderful gift ideas with us today.