Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The U.P.: Part 2

Marquette, Michigan

Lauren and I in downtown Marquette
It's a beautiful day in the U.P. I've moved over from one friend's house to another, spending time now with my friend Lauren. I shared a dorm room with Lauren my third year at NMU, and she too belongs to the Club of Kirstin's Former Roommates, Labmates, and Neighbors Who Got Married Shortly After Sharing a Small Space With Her.

Lauren is a great friend. We actually knew each other from high school before rooming at NMU. She's one of the few friends I've held onto from my hometown, and we've grown and changed together over the years.

On the NMU campus

We went strolling through downtown Marquette and stopped at Lauren's favorite bakery. We watched movies and ate gargantuan bowls of popcorn. We spoke German to each other and drove her husband nuts.

While in Marquette, I also took the opporunity to visit my alma mater, Northern Michigan University. I hadn't set foot on the campus in 5 years, so I was excited to see it changing and improving. I toured the new Jamrich Hall, and of course I had to stop by the on-campus Starbucks. (Howard Schultz, founder of Starbucks Coffee, is an NMU alumnus.) I then surprised my undergrad research advisor in his office, and boy, was that fun. He recognized me right away (after a moment of shock). We caught up on our research projects, and it was really great to see him again.

No visit to Marquette is complete without seeing my favorite spot on Lake Superior, a gravel beach behind the Superior Dome. It's a beautiful, serene place where I always went to decompress and pray. I just love looking out over the water and contemplating its vastness. I love feeling the breeze from the magnificent freshwater sea. I love imagining what might live on the bottom.

I have been fortunate to live in a number of beautiful places, and Marquette is certainly one of them. It is a part of my story. I have been blessed with incredible friends who open their doors, share their lives, and welcome me when I'm in town. I'm grateful to spend time with such lovely people.

Lake Superior, seen from my favorite spot

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