Over this past weekend, I embarked on an amazing little weekend journey Thelma and Louise style. My great friend of 20 years and I, for one reason or another, hadn't yet made a big road trip together, and with my nephew Benjamin having a big recital coming up at Central Michigan University, it seemed like the perfect opportunity. Leaving all of the roots behind, I was packed and ready to rock on Friday morning at 5 am. Michigan here we come! When we left good ole Tennessee, the temperature was hovering at a decent 50. I felt pretty prepared with a couple of cute scarves, sweatshirts, a cute cardigan, and boots, but as the temperature started to drop as we drove further North (I know this because Thelma would inform me of each and every degree we were dropping), I began to realize that if we were dealing with 25 degrees and we were only halfway there, we were in for a BIG surprise. No big deal. There are Target stores everywhere and Thelma and I were fully prepared to buy any essentials we may need to brave the mitten. No coats, no socks, NO PROBLEM!
When we first arrived in Michigan, we made our way to Pohl Bison Bed & Breakfast. Having never stayed at a Bed & Breakfast, Thelma and I were wondering what to expect. I can tell you that I was unprepared for what I would find. We pulled up after dark and weren't even sure where to go first. Do we just walk in? This is someone's house, right? Do we knock? That worry quickly dissipated as the owner and operator of the Pohl Bison who I would from then on refer to as Miss Krista, made her way to greet us. She was a lovely lady with a fantastically peaceful and soft-spoken demeanor. I'm not at all sure that she was prepared for my loud Southern mouth, but I was able to dial it back a bit to meet her in the middle. As Miss Krista showed us around the main floor of Pohl Bison, I couldn't take my eyes off of the woodworking. The room was riddled with amazing pelts and taxidermy and had an incredible warmth that swirled around the entire place. Right in the middle of the main floor was a beautiful wooden spiral staircase that led up to a cozy loft landing with a sitting space to relax before bed. Krista continued to show us to our room and when we walked in I'm pretty sure Thelma and I both became immediately sleepy because it was such a warm inviting space that begged you to jammy up and hop into bed with a good book and a cup of warm cocoa. In the fridge outside, the room was a plate full of delicious bison summer sausage and cheeses. It was at this point that I realized that they truly spoke my love language here. Now I'm not sure if it was due to the fact that it was so quiet, or maybe part of it was that I didn't have a bed full of children, perhaps it was the trio of Sangrias I drake at dinner, but whatever the reason, I slept so well the first night we were there. I was awakened by the smell of breakfast and the sound of happy conversation from the main level. I tried to make myself presentable and Thelma did the same because we weren't going to miss out on a breakfast that smelled that amazing. Before I made the spiral staircase decent, I looked out of the loft window and noticed it had snowed a tiny bit. I smiled because I could see the bison from the window and along with a dusting of snow; it was simply amazing. The couple staying in the other room was also having breakfast, and we were able to sit and talk with them and the Pohl's over coffee and a lovely breakfast.
After breakfast, we needed to get in gear because the recital was rapidly approaching and we needed to prepare for a small reception following the event, and we had some shenanigans up our sleeve as well. You see, Thelma and I are particular fans of a show called The Incredible Dr. Pol, and as luck would have it, it is filmed only a few minutes down the road. We planned to try out best to meet Dr. Pol and have our photo taken with him. Well, when we arrived, we were met by a sign on the door instructing us otherwise. We relented but not before I called and asked if the doc was in. Even Southern charm didn't get the job done this time. For now, we would have to settle for a photo of the sign. What do you do? We had places to go and receptions to plan so we didn't have time to pout.
To say that the recital was fantastic is an understatement. I couldn't have been more proud to have been able to make the trip to see Benjamin play. You see, that boy isn't my nephew by relation, but my nephew because his mother and I raised our two oldest children together and we both played a big role in the brightly driven young adults that each of them has become. So, he IS my nephew and the fact that his aunts by relation include me with their rightfully earned title makes my soul happy. After all, it does take a village. After the recital, we had dinner at a lovely little restaurant and soaked up as many laughs and good times as we could before we made our way back to the bed & breakfast to relax and prepare for an early departure.
The next morning we packed up and headed downstairs at 6 a.m. to tell the Pohl's goodbye. We sat for a moment before Miss Krista handed us a bag of fresh fruit and freshly baked blueberry muffins to take with us on the road. Though we had told them not to cook for us because of our early start to the day, she insisted on giving us a few goodies to take with us. I'm so glad she did, because a few hours into our drive, I was getting peckish. What I took away from this trip was far more than I expected. I realized that it's okay to separate from the roots sometimes and that my village is capable of holding down the fort when I'm gone. I learned that I need more road trips with Thelma. Sure, I had a few laughter induced headaches, but aren't those the best kind to have? Lastly, I learned that being outside your comfort zone actually pushes it back further and further until the comfort zone is not so present in your mind as it once was. The Pohl Bison Bed & Breakfast was the perfect balance of the comradery you get with camping but in the comfort of a rustic peaceful retreat. I'm certain I will return, and if you are ever in need of a place to rest your head in and around Central Michigan University area, add them to your list. Grow your roots with new people and find out how they grow theirs. There is something to be gained in the establishment of new relationships and the extending of your comfort zone. Live, Love, and Grow Roots!