I've moved to JennetteFulda.com

When in Ann Arbor

Here is a piece of advice to hotel/motel owners: Do not leave copies of a newspaper in your rooms which contains a crime map. Your guests will not be reassured to discover two burglaries occurred in the area in November of 2008.

Crime map

However, it will make them double-check that the sliding door is locked.

I found myself in Ann Arbor, Michigan last weekend for personal business on the coldest day of the year. I’d never been to Ann Arbor before, but now I think of it as a frozen, icy wasteland. However, the drive through blowing snow didn’t faze me. Michigan ain’t got nothin’ on Colorado. Sure, I could barely see, but there wasn’t anything on my windshield, the pavement was visible, and if I did go off the side of the road I was on a flat plain, not the edge of a mountain.

Michigan, you aint' got nuthin' on Colorado

When I walked into my hotel room, I realized how spoiled I have been by my free trips recently. “Oh right,” I said as I looked at the bed which was at most 3 feet away from each surrounding wall and the furniture. “This is what I can actually afford.”

After I took care of business in Ann Arbor, I drove to Toledo to visit Jen from Perfect in our Imperfections who was a gracious host and totally cool in a crisis. Here’s another tip: Air pumps at gas stations freeze in sub-zero temperatures. Tip #2: If you leave the cap off of your tire it will deflate surprisingly quickly. That’s how we found ourselves stranded in a gas station parking lot on the way to breakfast.

Jen felt bad about noticing my slightly deflated tire, but I was glad she’d seen it before I had a blow out on I-69 and had to curl up with a blanket for hours waiting for AAA to save me. I dragged the gas station attendant outside to help us, but he was unable to defrost the pump with his hands nor by setting it on my defroster for several minutes. “I can give you your 75 cents back,” he said, which would of course make everything all better. I got a can of Fix-a-Flat out of the trunk as Jen got put on hold by AAA, but that canister appeared to be frozen too and would not defrost in a timely manner.

“Is that a Firestone sign?” Jen asked as she listened to undoubtedly dopey hold music.

“Why yes it is,” I said as I looked at the sign across the street and two storefronts down. So I hiked to Joe’s Tire & Wheel and threw myself upon Joe’s mercy. Joe yelled at Mike in the garage to get the portable air compressor and then I rode with him in his truck back to the gas station where he inflated my tire.

“Looks like your rim is bent too,” Mike noted. So we drove back to Joe’s where they hammered my rim back into place and checked the pressure in the rest of my tires which were also low. They didn’t charge me anything. So, if you are ever in Toledo, shop at Joe’s Tire and Wheel! They are da’ bomb. Ask Joe to show you pictures of his parrots and salt water fish while you wait.

Them Jen, Mr. Jen, and I had breakfast quiches at a nearby cafe, letting my toes thaw out. My big right toe was actually turning blue, which was scary because I am not a Smurf.

Jen and Jennette

Please note, my camera somehow added 20 pounds to both Jen and I. This camera is also pointed at me at all times. Silly camera!

Then I drove home, but not before gassing up at Kroger and discovering they give Plus Card members a 20 cent discount on gas in Toledo whereas they only give us a 10 cent discount in Indianapolis. Hoosiers, we’re getting gypped!

On the way home, I drove past a sign for the Flower hospital. If you have any weeping willows, you can probably cure their depression there.

Flower hospital

I also discovered that there is a Nestle plant located between Indy and Muncie. How did this escape my notice?

Nestle in Indiana

Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away
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Debbi • January 20, 2009 at 9:09 am

I have that same camera!! :-)


heidi • January 20, 2009 at 9:54 am

the moment i saw the pic of the crime map i thought, what the hey – she was in A2! It was cold a few days ago, funny how decent 12 degrees feels after it had been -10!


Mara • January 20, 2009 at 10:20 am

I had the SAME thought when I saw your pic of the hospital sign!!!


leslie • January 20, 2009 at 10:49 am

Unfortunately the Nestle factory does not smell like chocolate… I asked LOL


Jen Hughes • January 20, 2009 at 10:51 am

The plant is rather new. I think it was built last year. The bunny in front of it has been up less than 6 months. I nearly wrecked one night driving up to Anderson when I saw the big dang bunny pop up out of nowhere!


Julie • January 20, 2009 at 11:12 am

By the way, I have to give a shout-out to your hair P.Q. You have fabulous hair and I have incredible hair envy. ps- mine is currently thinning and falling out. pss- I love your blog a lot.


deanna • January 20, 2009 at 12:10 pm

Your adventures amaze me and your perservance and ability to quickly adapt to ever adjusting circumstances are flawless!!!


Jennifer • January 20, 2009 at 12:30 pm

I am so sorry you had such a dreadful time in CO. It was actually in the 60s yesterday and the 50s all weekend, but we’re in Northern CO, not the mountains. I avoid the mountains in the winter at all costs.

I don’t think I’ll be making any trips to Michigan either!


deanna • January 20, 2009 at 12:31 pm

Your adventures amaze me and your perservance and ability to quickly adapt to ever changing circumstances are flawless!!!


Rina • January 20, 2009 at 12:59 pm

… that’s you PLUS 20 pounds?!?! Honey, you look awesome.


Sandy • January 20, 2009 at 1:43 pm

Shout out from a Michigander transplanted to Colorado. I can tell you from 35 years in Michigan and 17 in Colorado that I will gladly spend any winters I have left in Colorado over Michigan.

As pointed out by a co-worker, the winters here are actually much better, just a tad more ‘dramatic’.


Amy • January 20, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Don’t judge Ann Arbor based on one day of deep winter!

In the spring, summer, and fall A2 is a beautiful city. I spent 7 years in college at U of M and loved it.

(I’m not an idiot, I just went back for a masters)


Jill • January 20, 2009 at 2:39 pm

When in Ann Arbor….





Becca • January 20, 2009 at 6:37 pm

On a routine trip to Fort Wayne from my Fishers home, my husband and I were also surprised by the Nestle bunny. I think they erected it in the middle of the night in order to have the most “shock impact”.

Should I feel guilty that my husband’s first comment was, “Cool – that will bring more jobs to Indy.” and my first comment was, “Golly – I wonder if they do tours and tastings?”


Amy • January 20, 2009 at 8:57 pm

Next time you are in Ann Arbor – you must eat at Seva, near campus. All vegetarian, most of it very healthy and all of it delicious!!!


PastaQueen • January 20, 2009 at 9:05 pm

@Amy – I ate at Zingermans and had a parsnip salad and a mushroom sandwich with tomato hummus spread. It was yummy, if a bit expensive!


Mary in TX • January 21, 2009 at 1:22 pm

We have Kroger in the Dallas area and we get 10 cents off here too! But I was under the illusion that we were getting an extra sweet deal. WTF?!?


Tiffany • January 21, 2009 at 6:08 pm

Man! We only get 10 cents in Kentucky too! What’s up with that?


J • January 22, 2009 at 11:07 am

I like your hair long.


Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

Man looking into telescope

Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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