Clarkston, Flint, Clarkston

Last Saturday was one of those fly-off-the-cuff kind of days. After sitting around and watching boring morning shows (why are there no cartoons on Saturday mornings around here?), Brad and I stumbled upon a local public television broadcast of "Under the Radar: Michigan," a program that showcases different cities and towns across the state. Perfect. One of highlighted cities in the episode we watched? Good ol' Flint. So, we hopped in the car, turned on the GPS, and set off for an afternoon trip.

We drove for a little while before wondering why in the world our GPS insisted on taking the longest way possible (as usual). Then, while stopped at a traffic light in Clarkston, I noticed a sign for a RePurpose estate sale. Funny enough, we had originally planned on going to the estate sale before deciding that it would be out of the way. Persuaded by the coincidence, Brad got in the turn lane, and we were off to shop for some knick-knacks.

Sign outside the estate sale (which was being filmed for the season premiere of "Cash and Cari" on HGTV), warning everyone to be good while the TV crew was there.
After browsing tables filled with Christmas ornamanets and beaded Native American jewelry, we hopped back in the car to make our way to Flint. Somehow, after going the most random route possible, we made it there.

As we expected, the city was fairly old and looked like a remnant of what used to be a bustling environment. Restaurants and small shops were open, but unsmiling people walked too closely to our parked car. The University of Michigan owned large masses of property around town, but the other side of the street was covered with "Occupy Flint" tents and run-down houses. Not a horrible place, but it was definitely the picture of a town weathered after years of prosperity and the onslaught of struggle.

Lunch was great, although a bit slow. We went to a place that touted itself as a "tapas bar," which brings me to the sad admittance that Brad and I had no idea what tapas were. We asked the waitress, who explained them in a very appealing way, but we kind of took the lame way out and ordered burgers instead. After what seemed like forever (the bartender was serving double-duty as a waitress, and didn't seem to know exactly how to walk over to the table), we finally got our food. Definitely more of a dinner venue than a lunch place, but everything was delicious nonetheless.

Brad did a really good job taking this picture! I'm both surprised and impressed.

Crab cake burger on a pretzel roll with sweet potato fries. Yum.
After spending five years trying to get our waitress to bring the check, we drove across town to the Flint Institute of Arts museum. I'm very happy to say that I married someone who actually has an interest in looking at things people create and trying to figure out how they were made--it means I get to go to places like this on a regular basis.

Sophie Matisse's interpretation of Guernica by Picasso
No One - In Particular #4 (Old) by Evan Penny & Dancing Maiden by Alberto Cambi

I thought this guy was just standing in the corner thinking about something . . . and when Brad kept telling me to look at him, I got annoyed because staring at people is rude. I got the pants creeped off me when I realized he wasn't real.
After galleries of paintings, tapestries, quilts, and paperweights (not kidding), we left the museum and Flint to head back home. But since I wanted a cupcake, we navigated to a random place on our route . . . which took us back to Clarkston. I'm glad we ended up back in the area, because it's a pretty little town filled with coffee shops, bakeries, special small shop events, and Christmas lights. Definitely a place I plan to re-visit. And we made a new friend in the basement of a furniture store.

What a cutie pie. He was so sweet and friendly. I wish I remembered his name.
Evil twin dog who growled at us when we found him sitting in a back room. I like to refer to him as the Black Swan.
Cozy inside while the night is cold outside
On another note, this weekend marks the beginning of several tree lightings and Christmas parades across the area, so hopefully, I'll have some new stories to share with you on that soon. I'm so excited that the holiday season is here!

Happy Friday, everyone.