I”ve been taking things too seriously lately. All this talk of elections, presidential searches and major national issues is getting on my nerves, so I”m sure anyone who still reads this column must be really sick of it. So, I”m going to take this opportunity to delve into a topic that is not controversial, will not shape the lives of millions and does not enrage half the campus based on my own feelings.
For three years now I”ve left Ann Arbor to take a break from classes, work and the craziness of college at the end of February. Without fail, snow lines the streets as I begin my journey to spring break. And without fail, there is some trace of snow still on the ground when I return. But I”ve been able to count on a more important trait that first day I return to Ann Arbor as well: A complete shift in attitude, feel and atmosphere in the city. March in Ann Arbor is a gorgeous time to be a college student. With midterms behind us and finals a far away blip on the radar screen, finally we have the chance to enjoy the city that has pounded us with sleet, snow and freezing temperatures for months.
This winter wasn”t that bad, but I still yearned for the first day I could walk through the Diag without a coat, see students sprawled on the grass reading and enjoy some cookies “n cream from Stucci”s without rushing indoors. So, as this is my final spring in Ann Arbor, I”ve been reflecting about my favorite spring activities and planning for this year”s enjoyment. Let me say that I checked the forecast for this week, and it”s supposed to snow at the end of the week. But let that not throw me off course, because it”s nice today, and I can”t wait for spring:
n If there is one great place in Ann Arbor to enjoy a drink, some friends and the beautiful weather, that place surely is Dominick”s. I”ve hear unconfirmed rumors that this watering hole will open its doors for the season today, and I”ll be there the second they do.
While other campus bars add limited outdoor seating when spring rolls into town, only Dominick”s can provide a truly outdoor experience. Coupled with hefty amounts of their coveted sangria, the atmosphere at Dominick”s can”t be beat. If they can only deal with the long lines that will surely form moments after they open, then fun is sure to be had by all.
n I love waking up at 6:45 and heading out to the University Golf Course to be the first one on the tee. Playing at your own pace, a round can be completed in time for your 11 a.m. lecture, with a stop at Brueggger”s in between. But the real gem of a course for early spring golfing has to be Rolling Hills. Tucked behind US-23 to the east, this little known beauty looks nothing like Pebble Beach or Augusta National, but it has grass, greens and pins. That”s all you need.
This place is barely a golf course, but for three years now it has served as the first track I”ve hit north of the Mason-Dixon line in the spring. For those who have never visited, yes, you do just pay the guy in the coveralls $10 for all you can play, and I highly suggest a beer from the clubhouse. A roommate of mine and myself will see you out there this week.
n While I can”t say that I”ve spent excessive amounts of time in the Arboretum, it”s a great place, and the spring is the time to be there. Later in the day the better, trust me. It can be a fun place.
n Finally, and perhaps most importantly, go buy a grill. It”s an essential piece of equipment for any Ann Arbor summer. If you”re lucky enough to have a porch riddled with second-hand couches like me, then few experiences could be finer than grilling up some dogs and burgers, turning your speakers toward the windows and hanging out with some friends.
The only trouble I can see through this spring is how to fit all of these experiences in. I guess early morning golf, lunchtime BBQs and evening Dominick”s runs will be in order. Oh yeah, and some class here and there, too.
Mike Spahn”s column runs every other Monday. Give him feedback at www.michigandaily.com/forum or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.