It seems that travel continues to be a part of my life. Though my discomfort has not eased any...my loved ones are set on venturing out into the world. That means sometimes, I am taken along for the ride. Most recently, that resulted in a three-day bus tour of the Frankenmuth area. This was a trip that my mom and I had discussed in previous years...mainly because it was Christmas focused and we both adore the holiday season. Finally, we were able to visit the area. This included Bronner's Christmas Wonderland (dubbed the world's largest Christmas store) and a bit of local shopping.
Day One. The first day started early in the morning and was essentially a travel day. We were picked up at a nearby location and headed down towards the US border. This was my first time traveling by bus over the border since the pandemic, so that was a little bit different. Once we crossed the border, there was lunch at the Cracker Barrel. Since we do not have Cracker Barrel restaurants in Canada, this is always a real treat. My mom hates the food there (I like it, but I do not exactly have a refined palate) but loves the shop in the front. There is always so much to look at! Especially since there are holiday-related items scattered absolutely everywhere. After that, we continued the bus ride to Frankenmuth and stopped at Meijer's, which I had never been to before. It was like of like a Walmart of sorts. Then we checked into the Bavarian Inn Lodge for the duration of our stay. The hotel was super cute and German themed. My mom and I did some wandering around the hotel, watched some cable TV in the room, and prepared ourselves for all of the festivities the following day.
Day Two. It was another early start to the day. There is so much to pack into a very short time, so I suppose the early bird catches the worm! We had a quick breakfast, got ready, and then joined the rest of the people on the bus tour. It was time for the main event: Bronner's Christmas Wonderland. As I have mentioned many times before, Christmas is my favourite time of year. I love the lights, decorations, music, movies, and traditions. I love everything about it! So, the idea of heading into the world's largest Christmas store was both exciting and overwhelming. Especially since we were only given two hours to see it all. We zipped here, there, and everywhere, trying to take in as much of the store as possible. There was stuff all over the place. Large decorations, ornaments, advent calendars...you name it. It was a lot of fun and certainly a memorable experience.
After that, we went to the Birch Run Mall, which was an outlet mall not too far away. There wasn't anything that I was really looking for there, but they gave us a few hours to wander around. I ended up finding a cute pair of earrings at the Kate Spade outlet and some holiday themed books at a book outlet store. Once we finished up there, it was back on the hotel, where my mom and I played mini golf and some arcade games. Then it was back to the bus to enjoy dinner at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant and then there was a Christmas display tour at Bronner's Christmas Wonderland. I absolutely love looking at Christmas lights and displays (on Christmas Eve, my family has a tradition where we drive around and look at all the lights) so this was fun.
Day Three. Just as quickly as it began, it was all over. We were up early once more to head back home. Though, there was a stop at Walmart before crossing over the border. Both my mom and I were able to find a few special things there and take them home. (My highlights included Hallmark movies on DVD and a Dolly Parton perfume set.) I definitely did quite a bit of shopping while away! After that, it was time to cross the border back into Canada and head home. Though the drive was long and we weren't actually in Frankenmuth for all that long, it was a good experience overall. It was nice to do something a little bit different, enjoy holiday shopping and over the top light displays, and spend quality time with my mom. Though my travel anxiety persists, what matters is that I am trying to be in the world, even when it is difficult.
Have you done any traveling lately? How will you start to celebrate the holiday season?