Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Day Trip to Frankenmuth, MI

Last Christmas our son, Jeremy, gave us $100 gift cards to Bronner's and Zehnder's in Frankenmuth.  We made a day trip on December 28th, but Bronner's was so busy we opted not to go there that day and only went to Zehnder's.  The gift card was only partially used, so we decided to go back yesterday and use it up.  

After my knee therapy, we headed to Frankenmuth, an 84 mile drive from our house and the weather was perfect - high 70's and partially sunny.  Frankenmuth is always busy since it's a tourist destination, but because school just started back it wasn't overly crowded.

Bronner's appears first when entering the city from the north, so that was our first stop.  It's a HUGE year-round Christmas store - 320,000 sq. ft. [or approximately 7.35 acres] with more than 20 acres of outdoor space.  They boast of being the world's largest Christmas store, open 361 days of the year.  

It's a wonderland of seasonal magic.  Even though Christmas is only 116 days away, it's hard for me to think Christmas in August.

Close to the entrance we used [there are several entrances and exits] was a large cookbook display that captured my attention, and I used a chunk of the gift card on two of them.

My daughter loves cardinals and there were a few cardinal Christmas displays, so I bought her a male and female pair of salt and pepper shakers.  I wish now that I would have bought a pair for myself since I have cardinal dishes, teacups and a teapot.  I may call to see if they ship, since there is still money left on the gift card.

~ One of many outside displays ~

Bronnor's is a family owned business of Christian believers.  When I got home and looked in my bag of purchases, there was an enclosed religious tract that told how the hymn What a Friend we Have in Jeusus was written.

From Bronnor's we headed northward into town and parked at Zehner's Restaurant.  It was approaching 3:00 o'clock so we were ready for our famous Chicken Dinner with all the trimmings.

I couldn't resist getting Jerry's head inside the Zehnder's Chicken!

Once inside, we were seated in the original room of the restaurant, built in 1856 and rebuilt in 1957.  It was our first time to dine in this room.  We've been there many times and have eaten in most of the other dining rooms.   There were no waiting lines.

We got their family style dinner, which begins with homemade Chicken Noodle Soup, Stolen Bread and Red Raspberry Jam, assorted Breads and Garlic Toast with Cheese Spreads and Liver Pate, Creamy Cabbage Salad, Cottage Cheese, Cranberry Relish.

Are you hungary yet?  ;-)  After the appetizers, came our Chicken Dinner, which included their famous Golden Fried Chicken [we opted for white meat only], Creamy Mashed Potatoes with Chicken Gravy, Dressing, Buttered Egg Noodles and Corn on the Cobb. Everything was yummy!

Our dessert was a dish of Orange Sherbet.

Directly across the street from Zehnder's is the Bavarian Village that serves the same food in a German atmosphere.

After dinner I browsed the basement shops and a nearby boutique, but didn't see anything that called my name, so we got back in our car and made our journey back home.  It was a very enjoyable outing.

Monday, August 29, 2022

The Last Weekend of August

One of the pleasures of working at The Whitney is when I'm surprised by people I know at Mansion Tea.  Last Saturday was a busy day with a morning wedding/reception and shower on the first floor, and a birthday party and the 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. seatings for Mansion Tea on the second floor. 

I was delighted to walk into Mrs. Whitney's bedroom for the 1:30 p.m. seating and see Amy and her husband, Dave, seated at one of the tables.  I've blogged about Amy several times and enjoyed having her for tea at my home last February.  She looked lovely Saturday in her navy blue hat that coordinated with her outfit.  She's a Kindergarten teacher and The Whitney was her last outing before returning to the classroom today.  The light streaming in through the window made it difficult to get a good picture.

Kristen [a server] and I squeezed behind Amy for a picture of all of us.  Kristen was at my house the day Amy and her teacher-friend, Kim, came to tea.

I managed to buy three more bone china teacups from England at an estate sale last week to take to work.  They weren't the bargain price I got previously, but at $5 each they were still a good buy.

On Sunday, another friend texted me that she and a group of 12 were coming to celebrate her daughter's "thirTEAeth" birthday.  I wrote back that I was sorry I wouldn't be there since I don't work Sundays, but Steven, the server who takes over for me on Sundays, would do a great job.  They had tea in Mr. Whitney's study on the first floor, which provided a private gathering place.   My friend said Steven "knocked it out of the ballpark!"

Amy, the birthday gal, and her daughter, Clara, at The Whitney's front entrance.

My friend, Debbie, is in the middle below.  She's the Executive Director at Plymouth's Independence Village where I've done a few presentations.

Steven is in the upper right corner of the picture below, pouring tea.  He pulls double-duty on Sunday.  He's responsible for making the tea and overseeing the service in additon to his serving job.  It's a very busy day for him.

I love this picture of Clara sipping her tea.  Such a little princess!

And here's the entire group on the 1st floor staircase.

Meanwhile, I was very busy in my own home, having a birthday dinner for my daughter and her husband.  I wish I would have remembered to take the picture before we started eating and our plates got messy.  Ever since Lori was a teenager she requested Chicken Parmesan for her birthday dinner, so that's what we had yesterday.  Dave, her husband, is Italian and likes spaghetti with meat sauce, so I added that to the menu too.

My youngest son, Jeremy, happened to be in the area for a fantasy football draft, so he stopped by for a brief visit afterwards to extend his birthday wishes.  He had already eaten at his event, so just nibbled at our house.

I ordered a Cassata cake from a local bakery.  It's also one of Lori's favorites.

Lori has brought us joy from the moment she entered this world, and my hubby and I are so thankful for her life.

The grands, and one great-grand are beginning a new school year.  Brooke left yesterday after church for Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois where she will graduate a year early in May 2023. Ellie's in the 5th grade, Landon's an 8th grader, and Izzy's a high school senior. Samantha sent us some potential graduation pictures.  Sweet little Evie started kindergarten. Time passes so quickly.

This week began with an appointment at NuLife Medical this morning for my 4th knee injection. Next week will be my last, and they told me today my knee will be evaluated by comparing my first visit to consecutive visits, and and then the final visit.  Therapy will continue on a little longer.  I'm hoping this treatment is effective.  If it is, I'll sing its praises from the rooftop!

Closing now to head into the kitchen to fix dinner.  Our son, Steve, is joining us as Sharon isn't back from Illinois yet.  Have a good week!

Sunday, August 21, 2022

A Fun Weekend

Friday morning, before my hubby and I went out to breakfast, we stopped by an estate sales about a half mile from my house.  There were several teacups pictured in the ad and since it was the last day of the sale I thought I might get a good price on them for The Whitney.  Some had been sold but 10 remained and a sign was posted $2 per item since they were trying to empty the house.  I was all set to take the ten for $20 when the lady at the register said she'd give them all to me for $6.  What a bargain!  I kept two [a demitasse and a commemorative cup of the British Royal Family] and happily took the other eight to work with me yesterday.

Later in the day as I was driving to Chico's [women's clothing store], I passed an antique store that's only open on Wed., Fri. and Saturdays.  I recently discovered it, but it was a day they weren't open so I couldn't go in.  Happily this time it was a Friday when they were open, so I turned my car around and went inside for a look.

42172 Garfield
Clinton Twp., MI
The store has a Facebook page too.

I've been to many antique stores over the years, but none as nice as this one.  Everything was beautifully displayed with upscale items at reasonable prices.  The first thing that caught my eye was a tea-themed picture.  I asked permission to take a photo of it and the owner came out of her office to talk.  She told me she had been open about a year and a half and I was amazed I hadn't discovered her store sooner.  She granted permission to take as many photos as I wanted.  The ceiling lights reflected on the glass of the tea picture, but you can still tell it's three Victorian ladies having tea.  I wish I would have had a spot for it in my home because it was lovely.

There are no other vendors in the shop - it's all Maria's things, and this is a secondary business. She also has a china shop that she operates out of her home where she has thousands of teacups and other pieces of fine china.  

While the tea-themed picture didn't come home with me, several commemorative pieces of British Royal Family china did, as well as a Crinoline Lady teacup.  Believe it or not, I didn't buy all the commemorative things she had.  It's rare to find an antique store with such a wide assortment of British Royal Family commemoratives. Sure hope there's another Queen Elizabeth II presentation in my future after acquiring all these things.  ;-)

Silver Jubilee plate of Queen Elizabeth II's grandparents
King George V and Queen Mary of Teck

My total bill for everything was $40.  If you are ever in the area, I highly recomment this antique store.  You will enjoy browsing and probably won't leave empty-handed.  I will definitely be returning.

Yesterday, I left for work anticipating 80 guests for tea - The Whitney has resumed two seatings, one at 11:00 a.m. and the other at 1:30 p.m.  I wasn't expecting to see anyone I knew when some of the friends I had recently been with at the Southern Tea Time reunion in Defiance, Ohio appeared at the 1:30 seating.  What a nice surprise.  The first floor was closed in preparation for a wedding, so the second floor was used for tea time.  My friends had tea in Mr. Whitney's bedroom.  Thanks ladies for coming to visit!

When I got home from work, granddaughters Isabella [Izzy] and Evie were there.  My hubby had taken them for their annual back-to-school shopping.   They were excited to show me the things they got.

Granddaughter Brooke turned 20 yesterday and entered a new decade in her life.  She's pictured below with her new kitten, Gus.

This morning we got up and got ready for church.  I took a few pictures before we left home and another after we got to church with Brooke.  Ellie was all ready for church [below], but laid back down to check her phone.

I had to take this picture because I have a similar one from 2017, which is a reminder to savor every moment with loved ones because time passes SO quickly!

~ Papa with his girls ~

At church - Brooke, Izzy and Ellie

We went out to eat after church and afterwards the girls gathered their belongings to make their drive back to Chelsea.   It was a very good weekend!