Ann Arbor holiday weekend

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After decorating our tree on Thursday, we decided to stay up all night and venture into Black Friday starting at 3am. There has been a long tradition with my hubby’s family where every Friday after Thanksgiving they go out Christmas shopping. My first time to experience such a tradition was last year. This year, we wondered if we could continue the tradition just the two of us. We stayed up and left at 3 am for our first stop at Old Navy, which turned out to be disastrous. The line for checkout was outside the store! Forget that! We then ventured to JC Penny which opened at 4am. We found the items we had marked down. We then arrived at Walmart and stood in line from 4:30am to 5:00 in 32 degree weather. The line was VERY long but we made it into the store and out within 20 minutes. Target was our next stop. I then urged my hubby to stop at Panera for breakfast, for staying up late creates an appetite.

After a few more stops, we arrived home at 8:30am, where we proceeded to crash on our mattresses until 1:30pm. It was lovely. We then planned to get away for a few days and visit Ann Arbor, which is only an hour from where we live.

We arrived to Ann Arbor Friday night looking for a place to eat, naturally. We parked in downtown and walked around Main street until something caught our eye. We finally decided to go to Kai Garden, a Chinese / Taiwanese Restaurant. Since I have started eating vegan, it has been interesting to see what choices restaurants have for their customers. I proceeded to choose the Vegetable Delight in Garlic Sauce with Crispy Tofu and Brown Rice.

After lunch, we strolled down to Kerrytown, where there was a great Farmer’s Market awaiting us. It was a gorgeous day so we enjoyed the outdoors and the fresh green wreaths that were on sale. We then walked near the U of M campus to Nickels Arcade, which was Michigan’s first indoor mall.
We then found a major weakness of ours. A used books, CDs, and DVDs store. We spent 1.5 hours finding treasures until we were very dizzy! Those kinds of places make me feel claustopobic and dirty afterwards because the place was so dusty. After we dusted our feet from that place we visited a Trader Joes. I had never been to one but had constantly heard people talk about how great this store was. Boy, were people right. This place was so much cheaper than Whole Foods. It made me sad that East Lansing did not have a store, but we kept on living.
That evening, we decided to go try a Cuban restaurant called
Cafe Habana. It had such a great environment and it was one of the cuisines my hubby and I had not tried together. We ordered tostones, which are green plantains fried twice and served with Mojo, which is a garlic sauce. Real good stuff. There were not many choices for vegan and I did not feel like another sandwich so I ate black beans and rice and steamed green beans. It was a lovely meal.
Our third and last day was the lovely Sunday. We packed all our things and checked out from our hotel and headed to 1st Baptist Church in downtown Ann Arbor. It was beautiful to see a church all decorated for the first Sunday of Advent. The church was very beautiful and we enjoyed the choir singing from the back of the church.
After the service we headed to Seva, a popular vegetarian restaurant in Ann Arbor.
My hubby and I saw a ton of people waiting in line for seating the night before so we investigated the menu and history. I convinced my hubby it would be a great adventure to try this place. I was just excited to go to a place where I would not have a problem ordering. BOY, was I wrong! It had too many choices. Both my hubby and I had to help each other make a decision. We ended up with the following:
My hubby had the Nachos Grande that consisted of house-made corn chips topped with tomatoes, green onions, black olives, jalapeños and cheese, served with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and your choice of pinto beans or black beans. He was very pleased with his dish.

I chose the Tofu Rancheros which consisted of Crisp corn tortilla stacked with refried pinto beans, sautéed tofu, ranchero sauce and guacamole, with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, green onions and a steamed whole wheat tortilla. It was very delicious.

To top everything off, we went to Michigan Theater for a free viewing of Christmas in Conneticut in a very old theater. It was a great weekend of relaxation and we hope to do it again soon!Silly me thought about asking about MSG half way through my meal, where the waitress proceeded to tell me that their restaurant does not cook with MSG. The menu said otherwise. I proved her wrong when I later got to the hotel and noticed that I had broken out in hives and had a nagging headache! So disappointing when a restaurant LIES! They will be receiving a phone call from me.

After sleeping in on Saturday morning, which never happens, we headed out for breakfast. I read that Zingerman’s Bakery and Delicatessan are very popular, especially when it comes for breakfast. From what I hear, it is one of Oprah’s favorite places to go. Can we all say “oooo ahhhh!” LOL. Anyway, when we arrived we decided that it was so close to lunch, we chose to have one of their sandwiches. My hubby had a pastrami sandwich and I had a lovely Vegan sandwich consisiting of the following: Portabella mushroom, artichokes, red pepper, onions, and hummus on toasted farm bread with a pickle. My beverage of choice was a Kombucha Wonder Drink.

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  • pegasuslegend

    delicious…sounds and looks great!


    @pegasuslegend- Thanks! It WAS very good!

  • Vegetable Matter

    Sounds like a great trip, focused (correctly) on eating!

  • My Little Space

    Oh Noelle, hope you’re getting much more better now! Sounds like you had lots of fun on Black Friday shopping trip! Great to hear that you’ve already got what you’re looking for. And those are such yummy meal you’ve for the day! Enjoy your holiday. Cheers.


    @Vegetable Matter- Yes it was very focused.

    @My Little Space-Yes I am so happy to be better. Thanks for checking up on me! I hope you had a good holiday too!

  • Dairy Free Betty

    all that food looks soo good!! Must be nice to be at a restaurants where you can actually EAT!! :)


    @Dairy Free Betty- That is so true! My hubby recounts his weekend to his buddies at school about going to a vegetarian restaruant and they give him a hard time saying “What did you do wrong?” LOL

  • Simply Life

    Sounds like a great day and wow, those nachos look yummy!

  • Angie’s Recipes

    Noelle, first thank you for stopping by my blog. :-))
    Looks like you had some great time!

  • Andrea@WellnessNotes

    I got up at 4:00 to hit the stores by 5 on Black Friday, but I don’t think I could have handled the long lines after having stayed up all night! :)

    Sorry about the MSG incident, but it looks like the other food made up for it! :)

  • Cocina Savant

    everything looks tasty! i love the black friday shopping tradition (although Daniel’s not a fan), my sister and I go any thanksgiving we spend together and the trip after sounds like a blast :)

  • Evan Halperin

    Zingermans rules the world. I need to go with my fiancee to A2 to get my zingermans fix!


    @ Simply Life-Nachos definitely looks yummy!I was glad my hubby was happy!

    @Andrea-Glad to have stopped by!

    @Cocina Savant-I wish I could go with my sister, alas she lives far away, sniff sniff.

    @Evan-Thanks for stopping by. Glad you liked the pizzas!