a few weeks ago, i made a long-awaited, greatly anticipated trip to the great village of spring lake, michigan, to see my dear friend tara– her home, her food, her ice cream (!!!), her family, her life on the west side!

let me just say the experience was quite delightful, the perfect encapsulation of our favorite things from our year in detroit together. we walked the boardwalk and saw freshly caught salmon fileted and processed by some super professional fishmongers (i felt like i was in seattle or something!). we ate amazing rock piles from dairy treat.

this is a most fabulous combination of soft serve, strawberries, bananas, and peanuts. they graciously give you a spoon and a straw to ensure a happy and thoroughly complete consumption of this dairy treat as it transforms from firmish to softish to fantastically soupy.

we picked blueberries in the sweltering, smoldering late-august sun.

we tried three different varieties of berries: rubels, which are said to have the highest antioxidant levels (and, incidently, the highest populations of mosquitoes waiting for human prey); jerseys, and bluecrops. this picking was so lovely, hot, and just happy. tara said that my outfit appropriately matched the blueberry plants. i replied, “well, i am what i eat!”

the blueberry picking also takes me bake to the very first blog post i ever wrote. it featured blueberries from ms. tara picked on the west side of the state and lovingly transported to our happy freezer in detroit. well friends, we’ve come full circle. the blueberries will be making smashing comeback sooner rather than later!

we ate the most delicious blueberry pie– made fresh by mama whipkey– i have EVER encountered. it was BEAUTIFUL. but was gone too fast for me to catch a picture.

overall, the day was a delight. how grateful am i for friends, sunshine, blueberries, and good times!