Thursday, March 17, 2016

What I Miss About Michigan

While I was back in Michigan for the holidays, @WonderfullyKara asked me "Besides Faygo, what do you miss most about Michigan?". To be honest, I was stumped for a few seconds. Don't get me wrong, I am SMITTEN WITH THE MITTEN, but I love our life in Southern California so it is difficult for me to long for somewhere else.

Faygo Red Pop is my JAM! The hubby loves Rock N' Rye best!

With that being said, I have had time to ponder and have realized there are actually MANY things I miss about my home state (besides just the yummy foods and drinks... but it still baffles me that no where outside of Michigan has Superman Ice Cream!), so figured I'd throw them together in a little list (I mean, what is a blog without a list, right?!).

For goodness' sake, I have a Michigan tattoo on my biceps with
"Smitten" in the banner underneath and a heart where my family is
you better believe I LOVE that place!

What I Miss About Michigan


This is a no-brainer. Both my family and Ryan's family are all back in Michigan. I knew if I didn't move soon after graduating college that I would get set in my ways and it would become increasingly harder to leave the Mitten (and our loved ones), so four days after graduation I packed up two suitcases and hopped on a plane to San Diego for a summer job. Thankfully we have been blessed to be able to see our family every few months (either them coming to the West Coast, us heading back to Michigan, or meeting somewhere in the middle), but it is definitely something we miss no longer living in the state.

What other state can you use your hand as a
portable map to show where you're from?!


The Padot family is ALL about sports. There is always some sort of game on the TV, whether it is football, basketball, hockey, or when the pickings are slim we have even been known to have bowling or Nascar on the screen! Growing up just south of Detroit, the sports teams are plentiful. We've got the Lions, Tigers and Wings (OH MI). And don't forget about the Pistons and all of the college teams (GO BLUE!). San Diegans don't seem to be that gung-ho about their sports (maybe it's because they don't have many teams and the ones that that do have aren't that great... or maybe it's that most folks in SoCal tend to be "transplants" so like their "hometown" teams rather than local ones...).


There is just something absolutely magical about being in The Big House on a Football Saturday with 115,000+ of your closest friends cheering for the Michigan Wolverines. THERE IS NOTHING QUITE LIKE IT! At least nothing that even comes close out on the West Coast.

The Big House... Under The Lights! (Ryan and I were able
to fly back for the first night game in the stadium a couple years back!)


I hope this doesn't come off harsh, but the people in Michigan (and the Midwest in general) are hard workers. They know how to put their heads down and get a job done. They aren't expecting a hand out or feel entitled. You might not notice it when you are living there, but once you leave and see the lackadaisicalness of others outside of the Midwest, the attribute quickly becomes evident.



Again, this might be something that you take for granted, but when you step out of the Michigan bubble it becomes blatantly clear... People from the Midwest tend to be astronomically more friendly than folks from the rest of the country. When Ryan and I were running out on the trails over the holidays, every person we came across said "Hello" and wished us a Merry Christmas. I can't even tell you how many times I tell someone "Good Morning" while out and about (running or otherwise) in California and folks will look right through me without cracking a smile or even acknowledging my presence. Michigan just feels so much more homey, warm (even with below freezing temperatures) and welcoming.


So I hope I didn't make enemies out of all my SoCal friends... But, please, hear me out! I am NOT saying this is the case for every person, I just think when you are comparing Michigan to California (or the Midwest to the West Coast) there are some blatantly obvious differences that tend to jump out when making overarching generalizations.

I still laugh about this... Even though my blood
has totally thinned and we DEFINITELY break out
hoodies if it's under 60 degrees...

If you no longer live in the same state you grew up in, are there any obvious differences you have noticed between the two locations?


LaChicaRuns said...

I am a native Puerto Rican and adopted Michiganian. I used to say I am here against my will, but I've learned to love my adoptive state. People are indeed super friendly, hardworking and kind. The running community? I can't imagine a better group of people to spend time with.
You forgot to mention the beauty. There are some amazing sights in the Mitten State that I wish I could share with the world. Trail running has really opened up a new world for me here.
Take care!

Rachel said...

So true! There is definitely a difference when you visit the West or East Coast versus the Midwest. I love living in Michigan, even in the winter! I'm so happy you are a Wolverines fan! Go Blue! The Big House is my all time favorite football stadium. Have you done the Big House 5k? I'm doing it this year, and am so excited to run on the field! I've never tried Faygo. Maybe I'll have to now. Great comparisons!!

Juliana said...

I grew up in Texas and all of the things you listed are, are on my list too! I miss my family and the food the most. It still blows my mind that So Cal is not more into sports-I went to/go to/work at USC and even the tailgating cant compare to the South or Midwest!

Unknown said...

I'm from the Midwest as well! (Wisconsin!) and the Midwest Nice holds true. I moved the East Coast about 4 years ago and it is much different! Same thing at home I can wave/say hi to random people and they respond, out East...not always the case :) and agreed Taligating back home at Lambeau Field compared to out east is MUCH Better! :)