It’s difficult writing about our Christmas trip back to Michigan – there was so much fun, love and activities squeezed into the week that I can’t adequately capture it. We started our journey home the Thursday night before Christmas, taking the redeye through Vegas (our second visit that week) and arriving in Detroit at 6:30 a.m. Friday morning – kicking off some major family and friend quality time over the next seven days before heading to Chicago to ring in the new year. (More on that later!)
As the first rays of sun peeked on Christmas Eve, the Krass family trucked down to Detroit for their annual visit to the Eastern Market – my fourth visit and the family’s 20th, at least. After breakfast and bloody marys at Vivio’s (another tradition) in our crew of 14, we toured the market picking up cheeses, hot apple ciders (well, that was just me), meat and more. We took the party to Bert’s for some fantastic karaoke – yet another tradition! Later that day, we partied with the rest of Jeff’s family at their Christmas Eve party before speeding two hours north to meet my family for church and Christmas at Grandma’s.
My family’s always done Christmas Eve at my Grandma Ratajczak’s house, followed by an early-morning wakeup at my parents’ on Christmas day. We crazy people used to get up around 5 a.m. on Christmas, but lately we’ve adapted to accommodate my little nieces’ sleep schedule. After opening our roomful of gifts, we headed back to Grandma’s for dinner with the fam and a couple Redick-side relatives, Uncle Bob and Grandma Redick, and later toured my Grandma Redick’s new assisted living digs since my Grandpa passed away.
Then it was up to Traverse City for a couple days – the Lake Michigan-flanked site of my wedding and one of my fave little cities. After numerous trips to the two local casinos, three winery visits (Leelanau Wine Cellars, Black Star Farms Winery and Cherry Republic), a children’s museum, two breweries and some snowfall, the Redick clan packed up and headed home for our one last night in Michigan. Friend time! My best buds Ashley, Ashley, Jenny and Lesley met me (and later, my siblings joined us) at Auburn Hotel for some much-needed gossip over beers.
The following morning, we were off to our old stomping ground Chicago for a long New Year’s weekend. More to come on that later…