Guest Post: Kate from Embarrassment of Riches


We’ve asked a few friends and fellow-bloggers to drop-in and share while we take some time to get to know this amazing little person, Hudson, whom we’ve just welcomed to the world. We’ll no doubt be dropping in here and on from time to time, but we’re so grateful for these wonderful guest posts and hope you enjoy them as well. 

Kate is behind Embarrassment of Riches, a record of her and her husband’s adventures in New York. I’m often struck by how much their taste in restaurants parallels our own, and find their enthusiasm for exploring the city to be infectious. I’m so happy to learn more about her travels outside of the city–and plan to mine this for inspiration for our own family holidays…

At least once a year, my family made the fourteen-hour drive from the East Coast to
Missaukee County, Michigan to visit our Midwestern relatives. Sometimes we would
arc through Canada, but usually we slogged endlessly through Pennsylvania and
Ohio instead. If we set off too late and neither parent could keep their eyes open
any longer, the four of us would sleep upright in the locked car at a truck rest stop.
(Even at seven years old, I found this practice alarming.)
Lake City, more than two hundred miles north of Detroit, was home to both sets of
grandparents. I have fond memories of sitting at the kids’ table, late-night séances
with the Ouija board, tetherball, huckleberry picking, waterskiing in the summer,
snowmobiling in the winter, and Michigan-specific treats like Vernors pop, Blue
Moon ice cream, and iron pies. We canoed down the Manistee River and took
daytrips to Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes and Mackinac Island.
I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t always appreciate how provincial Lake City was.
(The tiny town only recently installed its first stoplight.) My mother’s parents
eschewed cable television for card games. They tapped trees to make their own
maple syrup (I secretly wished they’d buy Aunt Jemima) and kept honeybees
long before the current artisanal food craze. There was nothing approaching a
shopping mall except for the Woolworth’s was a half-hour away. As an adult, I
now understand the allure of Lake City to my parents, who spent their childhood
summers there themselves. The older I get, the more nostalgic I am for those simple
days spent in a simple place.
We're back from Sard...
City Island
Passage to India
Sakura Bloom Sling D...
The High Line, Phase...

Let’s Discuss

  1. Our taste in restaurants IS quite similar, especially during that short stretch earlier this summer when we showed up in the same place twice! Thanks Ashley and Aron for the opportunity to guest post -I'm beyond flattered. I hope you're having a blast with Hudson!

  2. I long for a vacation like this. So many things from our childhoods seem to be only really appreciated when we are adults. Like being a parent, that one hard to get until you are there but still, the sleeping in the car thing is a bit sketchy. :)

  3. Jeanette, I need to rib my parents about it, because they are usually so safety-conscious! I'd like to think it was a different time back then…but it was probably just sleep deprivation that hit them in a very, very remote (read: motel-less) area :)

  4. We used to wake up before dawn for long drives from New York to Florida and I vividly remember my Dad cranking the radio and rolling down the window after a day of driving to stay awake-I think I would have preferred the truck stop! I loved this post, thanks Kate for sharing.

  5. I'm from Michigan, and I LOVED this post! I feel like the midwest doesn't often get enough credit, and the sleeping bear dunes and the lakes are truly great. Thanks for the reminder of life's simple pleasures!

  6. Emmy, we would take day trips to the Sleeping Bear sand dunes from Lake City! Words cannot describe the joy of rolling and jumping around those dunes as a kid. It was like the ball pits of Chuck E Cheese x 1000.

    Caitlin, I would have hated that, especially because back then we didn't have iPods to drown out the noise! NY to Florida is a loooong trip.

  7. Kate your post made my day! I was born in Lansing, MI but moved to Arizona when I was six. We'd visit my grandparents in the summer and split our time between Alpena and Pentwater. When I visit now one of the first things I want is a Faygo RedPop float.

  8. I'm *from* Michigan and I had to look up where Lake City is but I do have fond memories of Sleeping Bear Dunes and other places near there…and I still drink Vernors whenever I can find it :)