Happppppy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful time celebrating, because Scott and I sure did!
I cannot believe it is officially 2013. Whoa. Where did this year fly off to?
To go with the theme of fireworks and bright colored lights and confetti to ring in the New Year, I thought it would be fun to share a new treasure Scott and I found just a few minutes away from our home in Rochester Hills.
It is an adorable downtown strip full of beautiful, sparkly lights!
If you caught yesterday’s post, you know that my mom was in town visiting us from Florida this weekend. It was really nice to have her here during the holiday season, and I loved showing her around our new city.
Before she got here, I had really talked up the Downtown Rochester area. Scott took me here the day after we moved up to Michigan, and it reminded us a little of Park Avenue in Orlando… except more “holiday/winterized.” Yup, I just made up that phrase… feel free to use it and share among friends.
Upon arrival, we knew we only had one full day with my mom to squeeze in everything. While I was in practice Saturday morning, Scott took her to one of our new breakfast spots, followed by an afternoon of shopping at the Somerset Collection, then Great Lakes Crossing Outlets.
I met up with them at their second stop after practice and we did a lot of walking and looking around. Scott asked to pop into the Puma Outlet, so of course I did not turn it down.
I have been looking for a good pair of rain/snow boots since I moved up here and found a great black pair in my size on clearance. The only one left, in all black, in my size, marked at a seventy-five percent discount.
Ummm… yes! I paid a grand total of $30 for these guys and I am loving them! We headed home shortly after for me to change and get ready to head out for dinner.
With my new snow boots zipped up and ready to go, we headed over to Downtown Rochester right around sunset. When we first arrived, Scott and I were a little disappointed to see that none of the lights were on. Did we miss it?
Thank you, smart phone, for confirming that they will still be around until January 6th, but only come on after 7 p.m.
To kill some time, Scott took us by the hotel he stayed at for a month before I moved up here with him. It is called the Royal Park Hotel and it is absolutely stunning! Every time we are on that side of town, I ask to hop out and go look at the stream. It is always beautiful scenery, but was truly breathtaking back in the fall.
Both Scott and my mom fought me on taking these pictures, but eventually I won them over and have some great shots to show for it. Go on and get in the snow, you wimps! 😉
Since it was getting darker, we decided to head back over a few streets, park, and explore the shops along the strip of downtown. While my mom was looking for a warm pair of socks, Scott and I entertained ourselves in the animal hat section. It really does not take much!
The temperature kept dropping, so we headed over to our restaurant of choice to warm up and grab dinner.
Check out this fantastic sight we found in a bakery window display along the way!
We could have really used that a few weeks ago to go along with Scott’s Christmas Sweater Spectacle. Awesome!
Hibachi House Grill & Bar
I have been to a number of hibachi restaurants before, so I generally know what to expect when trying somewhere new. Generally, dinner includes a ton of yummy food, and entertainment by a trickster Japanese cook preparing your meal in front of you, your party, and a few strangers.
Usually, I am always part of the first group that sits down at a new table and have to wait a little while for the table to fill up before ordering. This visit was no exception, and I had plenty of time to relax and enjoy a few cups of hot green tea.
When our table was ready, the chef appeared and pulled out a few traditional tricks I have seen before, along with a few new ones. No matter how many times I have seen it, it still amazes me how fast they chop everything! And yell while doing it!
While everyone else at the table dug into their plates as each part was prepared, I waited until my plate had everything before starting. Am I the only one who does this?
I used to eat it as it became ready, but then found myself filling up on rice and noodles. These days, I prefer to wait until I have everything on my plate, then mix it up and enjoy everything together.
I ordered the spicy chicken dinner, and it certainly did not disappoint!
In fact, I just enjoyed the rest of my leftovers last night. It was very tasty!
Big, Bright Lights Show
Half way through dinner, we saw a big flash of lights turn on outside the window. It was time for the Big, Bright Light Show! It is labelled a show, but is really just an incredible display of stationary lights.
Still pretty cool!
We enjoyed walking dinner off a little bit and took a few extra blocks before getting back to the car. When we got to a big intersection, I could not help but to hop up on ledge and pose in front of it. Bright lights make me so happy!
It is really hard to show just how beautiful these lights are through pictures. While driving off, I thought a video might relay the beauty a little better. This is just one of two sides of what runs down Main Street!
I just loved how each and every building was strung with one kind of light from top to bottom, and some even side to side. Now the real question I have is… Do they keep these babies up all year long?
If anyone knows, please share!
Hope you have a wonderful and bright start to 2013.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!