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The Little Things I Miss About Michigan

- Hye Sung

I lived in Michigan for about two years and have spent time in West Michigan, Northern Michigan, and the Detroit Metro area, so I feel like I have a fairly thorough understanding of this state–despite my lack of experience in the Upper Peninsula. This oddly-shaped state is charming, and I always manage to get teary-eyed at the ‘Pure Michigan’ commercials and advertisements. There is much to love about this state, but here are a few things I miss about this beautiful state.

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Michigan’s own ginger ale

  • Saying ‘pop’ instead of ‘soda’. I know this sounds ridiculous, but this is somehow something I really miss and is one of my favorite things about the Midwest. When I first heard somebody seriously use the word ‘pop’, my northeastern ears were kind of startled. It sounded so… goofy. But now, I prefer pop over soda. It makes sense–it’s almost onomatopoeia-like. Nowadays I get strange looks when I say it, but I don’t really care. Pop feels natural to say, and I find it… adorable.

    Now you understand 'Pure Michigan'

    Now you understand ‘Pure Michigan’

  • Lake Michigan, as well as the other great lakes… but mostly Lake Michigan. I love Lake Michigan. The beaches along Lake Michigan, from Grand Haven to Traverse City, are beautiful. The waters are clear and blue, and the towns around them are quaint and sweet. My ‘happy place’ would have to be a beach along the coast of Lake Michigan, with Blue Moon ice cream in one hand, and a book in the other.

    Yum.

    Yum.

  • Blue Moon ice cream… I could go on and on about Blue Moon ice cream. It’s mysterious flavor (almost like amaretto but also kind of citrusy?) that is often described as ‘blue flavor’ is part of what makes this Michigan-Wisconsin treat so glorious. Everybody loves some mystery. But the mysterious flavor and its even more mysterious origins aside, it is delicious!  With complete confidence I will endorse it as the perfect summer ice cream, with its custardy texture and subtle fruity flavor.

I mean, there is a ton more I miss about Michigan (and most of those involve food)… but on this rainy, hectic day in Portland, Oregon, I just want to lay out on Lake Michigan, eat some ice cream, and enjoy some of that good old Midwestern vernacular.

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