Sunday, July 18, 2010

There's Gnome Place like Frankenmuth!

If you know me at all, you know that  I (along with a few others) have this sick and twisted relationship with gnomes. So I thought to start this post off with what I found, hanging out in a shop window in downtown Frankenmuth ('Michigan's Little Bavaria')

Check him out! He's gesturing to himself as if to say, "Who's got the tallest, pointy-est hat on this side of German Town? That's right! This cool cat right here!"

But on to the real story here. The day before I turned the big THREE-FIVE, we took a trip up to this awesome town that boasts a real authentic German feel. From the beautifully designed buildings all the way down to the wait staff and their lederhosen. The moment you drive into town you're engulfed in everything that is Bavarian.

(I should also note here that as I typed this blog, I kept thinking to myself: 'Didn't I write about this before?" It finally hit me that I did write a small blurb about Frankenmuth and you can find the link to that blog further down on this little story when I talk about Christmas Cookies.)

On this day, we mostly came up for a little pre-birthday celebration dinner. Frankenmuth also boasts it's 'World Famous Chicken Dinner' and let me tell you! They aren't kidding around here.  There are two restaurants in town that like to duke it out for the title. First you have Zender's...

...and then you have our favorite: The Bavarian Inn. 
I don't know what the difference is, if there is one really. They both serve family style chicken dinners with all the German sides this family has grown to love. I guess what draws us to The Bavarian Inn, is that for some reason it seems a little more traditional and as an added bonus, when you visit their website you can take the "Tim Allen Tour'. So ya know...that just really adds to the flavor of the whole place.

But before we could head on out to our chicken dinner, we had to hit up some shops first. Within walking distance to our restaurant is River Place Shops. Lots of fun, unique stores to tempt anyone with a credit card and a patient husband/Dad/brother.

Here the chitlins are, vegging out while Mom and G'ma hit up a store....

I just loved the design on this building....

A beverage dispenser with a gnome on it!! I should of bought it. I know Erin was really wanting one....
The kids and I getting out picture taken....
Isn't Jason adorable?
The boys standing by one of the fountains in the village....
The kids trying on some bug glasses...Jack bought a pair.

After we shopped to our hearts content, it was time for some Chicken Dinner! We made our way to the Bavarian Inn where we were seated right away (thank goodness for reservations) and immediately we were digging in to our Stollen Bread and Strawberry Rhubarb Jam that was waiting for us at the table.

Finally our dinner starts coming out. You truly cannot appreciate how GOOD this chicken is until you've actually eaten here.

 Oh yum, oh yum oh yum!!!!

We were also served traditional german noodles, mashed potatoes and gravy, coleslaw, crandberry relish, chicken salad, chicken noodle soup and stuffing. OH MY GOSH! I was the one that was stuffed!!! After we finished, we had our choice of ice cream. Vanilla, Orange sherbert, orange/vanilla swirl or cranberry. This is the first time that I've been here that I had the option of having cranberry. Usually we get the swirl. Of course we had to order that. They came to our table with ginger cookies and were SO GOOD!

Mom and Dad waiting for the dessert to come.
But Mom had a little surprise up her sleeve. She arranged for them to come out and sing Happy Birthday to me and give me my very own birthday cake.

My very own birthday cupcake. Reminds you of Jon and I, doesn't it?
Happy 'Day before my Birthday' to me!

The food was so delicious and we were all so stuffed! We can't wait to come back again during Christmas. Frankenmuth also boasts the Worlds Largest Christmas Store -  Bonners. It's opened year round but we didn't want to hit it up this trip. Come Christmas - Watch out!!! We are all gonna be on that like cookie crumbs on Santa's beard! But for today, we waddled our way out of the restaurant, and hit up the downstairs bakeries. I bought my sister 6 bottles of chicken seasoning (Remember the horse head in the bed business I talked about in my 'IKEA' blog? You'll understand then, that I had no choice but to pick her up some of whatever it is she wanted.). I also picked up some gifts for my girl friends, another rosette iron pattern (remember: Christmas cookies?) to make a different design for my cookies this Christmas and finally, I bought these adorable teaspoons that say I'm the 'Queen of the Kitchen'. I think I"m gonna buy a frame, drill holes in the bottom of it and hang the spoons on ribbons and put it in my kitchen....somewhere.....

Pretty much by that point we were plum tuckered out and it was time to head home. This seriously awesome 34 year old needed to get her beauty sleep to prepare her for the big THREE-FIVE when she wakes up the next day......

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