Thursday, June 23, 2011

pure michigan

Okay I feel terrible. Just terrible. Here I am making all these fancy promises about posting regularly and Michiganese story-telling and whatnot, and yet, nothing. Well before you go jumping on my case, I defend myself by saying I've been really, really... really busy. Points for a super original excuse? No? Okay, it's a lame excuse and I know it. I confess my lack-of-blogging sins and ask for forgiveness. Let's just move on, shall we? Even though we returned from our trip a week and a half ago, tales I promised you and so it's tales you shall have. Which brings us to...


Puuuuuure Michigan. Okay, just kidding. I only said that because I can't say the word Michigan now without hearing Tim the Toolman Taylor's soothing voice whispering those two majestic words in my ear. (Another win for the evil-doers known as advertisers!) Although, I can tell you first-hand, the state does have a unique tranquil vibe to it. Tim Allen was an excellent voiceover choice. But I digress. 

Now for your sake (and the sake of your attention span) I won't take you through each and every detail of our trip to the fair city of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Just know, delicious meals were eaten (see waffle.) Belly laughs were had (see ridiculous picture of me on a giant tire swing.) Grand Rapids never knew what hit 'em.

The part that does beg to be discussed, however, is one of the few times in my life I have felt like I was living in a movie. You know, one of those moments where you take a step back and go, Is this really my life? I'm far too flawed a human and have not worked nearly enough to deserve this good fortune...  Well that's exactly what I said on Thursday morning when we checked into the JW Marriott Grand Rapids (fan-freaking-tastic hotel by the way), and I learned we would be staying in the Founder's Suite as a part of the hotel's sponsorship with Jason. Now I'm not entirely certain who these "founders" are, but let me assure you, they have exquisite taste.

As we approached the suite, I noticed that the entry had double doors, which gave me a small indication of the type of situation we were about to walk into. However, nothing could have prepared me for how beautiful this place was. It was massive. You could tell every last detail was thought of and no expense was spared. And of course, being the sophisticated woman I am, immediately following the departure of the bellhop, I went running from one end of the suite to the other stopping in every room to do a few loops, just because I could. (Post freak-out I was actually out of breath - not sure if that indicates how big the place was or how out of shape I am.) Also, I may or may not have done a front flip onto the bed. So what if I'm an infant? It was fun! Here are a couple photos of the nicest place I have ever rested my head (again, my poor photography skills don't do it justice. I'm working on it though, I promise.)

It was simply incredible. The suite itself was beautiful of course, but the experience of enjoying it was what made it so memorable. Growing up, my family never had a ton of money and while I had a perfectly happy and wonderful childhood, "luxury" is honestly a completely new concept for me. I'm the girl who whispers to Jason How much does this cost? every time a flight attendant hands me something in First Class. (You think I'm gonna let that lady with a neck scarf pull one over on me? No way.) Anyway, because of this completely foreign concept, I tried to soak up every single moment I could.

Each morning I woke up with the sun pouring into the room through the huge bedroom windows. I would groggily roll over and the first glimpse of each day was this expansive view looking out over the entire downtown. For a few minutes (okay fine, a half hour) I would just lay in bed with the huge, fluffy, marshmallow of a comforter enveloping me. (Fun fact about me: I adore the sound of a crisp, cotton comforter shuffling against itself. If you haven't heard it, it's impossible to describe but hopefully someone out there knows what I'm talking about. It's a bit weird I guess, but the sound is one of life's simple pleasures to me.)

Also, it must be mentioned, as further proof of the fact that I'm dating a 13-year-old trapped in a 29-year-old's body, my mature, accomplished businessman of a boyfriend ordered a root beer float from room service on Thursday. (Reason #241 that I love him.) Seeing the hotel staff deliver it to such an expensive room on a wooden tray with a spoon so carefully presented was pretty hilarious. (Needless to say we ordered one every single day thereafter.) If a hand-delivered root beer float doesn't say luxury, I don't know what does.

At night I got to curl up on the cozy couch in the office and watch TV (and by watch I mean fall asleep to) while Jason worked at the desk. The glow of the lights from the city peeked through the window sheers and created such a wonderful warm light in the room. Just the ambiance you'd expect in a place called the Fouuuuundah's Suite (please read with hoity a toity self-imposed accent, because that's certainly how I wrote it.) I drank the delicious red wine that the general manager left for us at a completely unacceptable hour of the afternoon because, hey, it was vacation. Best of all, in a display of pure and unabashed girliness, I drew a huge bubble bath in the gargantuan tub and soaked while I watched the Meg Ryan chick flick "French Kiss" from the mounted flatscreen in the bathroom (playing on the Oprah Winfrey Network no less. Talk about quintessential girl activity.) Every second was absolutely heavenly. (Side note: Can we talk about how weird Meg Ryan's walk is? And where has she been for the past ten years? Weird.)

Now I would hope that the people close to me know that extravagance like this is not what's important to me. In fact, if I never have another chance to stay in a place like that again, it's fine by me because I don't think that's what leads to a full life. Still, I have to admit it was nice to have a peek at what true luxury is, and it was a great memory to share with my big-kid of a boyfriend. These are things I never imagined I would be able do when I was growing up. I'm so incredibly grateful for the experiences I've had thanks to Jason and the business he's created. I can't help but feel a little unworthy sometimes, but I can only hope that someday I find something I'm so passionate about that my hard work produces some incredible experiences of its own. Payback is gonna be awesome.

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