Ann Arbor Shenanigans

Being back in my beloved hometown, Ann Arbor, has been a full spectrum experience.  I spend most of my time at the hospital giving my super mamma some love and healing energy, but I’ve been lucky to fit in a few nights of revelry with old friends and family. Thank goddess for small mercies, or in this case, wine, good food, superb company, and maybe a bit of dancing!  Okay, really though, I try to fit in dancing whenever I can because it is my church.  There’s nothing like a good boogie to make everything else feel just a teeny weeny bit better, don’t’cha think?!

If you’re saying to yourself that you don’t remember the last time you had a good boogie, then please, do yourself a big favor and move it!  Put on your favorite song and shake your booty like you really, truly mean it.  I promise you’ll feel better.  Whatever stagnant energy you have festering inside you will break up into stardust and float away.

On that note, we celebrated my step-mom, Desiree’s, birthday like professionals. . .starting with a seemingly endless happy hour party.  Some of my longest, dearest friends came to join the good times.

We went to this restaurant called The Quarter Bistro in Ann Arbor, and if you haven’t checked out their happy hour, maybe you should.  Everything is 5 bucks and it did a fine job at putting us in a wild party mood.  Haha.  I’m pretty sure I didn’t take enough advantage of that five dollar food menu (evident by the outcome of the end of the night), but the drinks kept showing up at my table, and well gosh, I couldn’t resist the friendly American hospitality.  I mean, who can?  The below picture is clearly a good example of how awesome the happy hour was.


And then, we started talking about dancing.  Let’s go dancing.  But, where?  Hmm. . .and after a pit stop we ended up in downtown Ann Arbor at a place called LIVE for “gay night.” We arrived early and had the dance floor to ourselves, and I must say, we didn’t mind at all.  Being the party is the best way to BE!  Be the party wherever you are.

The two DJ’s played tons of good tunes. . . .like Madonna, Prince, TLC, to name a few. There were too many songs to remember, of course, but I shook my booty like a BOSS!!!  Oh yeah. . .and in black suede wedge boots.  Holla!  It’s been awhile since I have worn anything but sandals.  Such is life when you live by the beach.

Thanks to happy hour, and my starved appetite for some good ol’ American culture, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at LIVE.  The dance floor eventually filled up and there was a pretty cool lights and smoke show, too. . .until we got smoked out. . .and not the good kind.  But, it was still a super groovy time, indeed.

One thing I’ve realized after living in India for so long is how much I really love cheese. . .and cheese displays.  O.M.G. Will you just look at this thing?


It’s almost as if they’re blocks of rustic gold sitting like cute little nuggets that just wait to be cuddled.  Riiiiight?!  I still get a little teary eyed in any grocery store even after a few weeks of Michigan time.  I swear, this reverse culture shock is so special.  New perspectives are gems, really, and appreciation for random things is truly a gift.  I spoke to the lady at the check out in this posh grocery store and told her how lovely it was.  She was curious about my opinion and I briefly explained.  And then she stopped what she was doing and said, “Wow, I really need to work on my gratitude.”  Welp, I’m here to remind you, sister.  Sometimes the little things are really really really big, um, like those blocks of delicious cheeeeeeese!  Okay, enough about my cheese obsession.

I’ve done a good job at making friends with the nurses at the hospital.  There’s a really cute Hungarian chick who’s got a holistic preference to medicine and she likes to come into my mom’s room and spread essential oils for some alternative therapy.  My mom has also become so popular that when staff make their rounds they yell hello’s from the corridor as they pass by.  It’s pretty cute.

The good news is:  Mom is doing better. . .ish. . .and there’s some movement and feeling in her lower half.  But she’s got a long way to go.  A long way.  The faeries surely have their work cut out for them.  Keep sending good vibes, dear universe.

I have also reconnected with my most favorite coffee cup in the whole wide world. . .


My daily morning hot beverage just seems to taste better when those dudes are hanging around.  All you need is LOVE!

I got to hang with my brothers and my BFF’s. . .drink delicious craft beer, attend 2am fried chicken parties (what?), go ice skating, and manifest pretty much no snow AND sunshine for most of my visit.  All in all, I reckon I had some good luck and good vibes on my side.

For my last hurrah in town, guess what I wanted to do?  Yep, you got it.  DANCE!  So, I rallied the troops and we went to a funny little local place called the Elks Lodge.  It’s not usually open to the public, but on this particular night, a dear old friend happened to be the DJ and we enjoyed a super fun night. . .

After a whole month of tiring hospital visits, and a few fun shenanigans, the wind in the palm trees, Magic Man, and miss Shanti have been missing me, and I must take time out of hospital duties to deal with my own life.  However, the winds of change are blowing strong and I’ll soon be back in sweet Ann Arbor to continue the fun.

Now, I’m sitting in the airport on my way to Dallas. . .and then to Abu Dhabi. . .and then to Bombay. . .and then maybe, just maybe, back to Goa.  Right now, it feels like I’m flying to the moon.  At least I know Magic Man will be there to hug me when I get off my final plane delirious and ready for some good sleep.

I left my mamma in the hospital in tears and it wasn’t easy, but I have faith in her stubbornness to heal until I get back.  For now, I’m working on that ever present gratitude. Gratitude for my friends and family who are the best in the world and gratitude for things like planes. . .even though it’s a lot of sitting. . .so that I can zoom back and forth in the universe and tend to my loved ones across the globe.

Remember: Be the party wherever you are and never forget how lucky you are, either!

Loving you, family!

One thought on “Ann Arbor Shenanigans

  1. Steve Lawrence Reply

    Dang, Hayley, that was a beautiful testament to your visit to Ann Arbor. You make me want to dance! Also, thanks for recognizing me and reconnecting at ABC a short while back. You are a breath of fresh air for everyone you touch and I wish you the best in all you do. Come visit again when you can!

    Steve L.

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