8 Things Michiganders Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
There's so many more, but here's just a few things we've had to explain to our out-of-state friends and family.
We've lived here for three years, and we consider ourselves full-fledged Michiganders at this point. Why, you may ask? Because we know what all of these things are, and we have to explain them to our friends and family who don't live here.
1. It's not soda, it's POP.
This is a regional thing - in some areas, it's soda. In others, it's "Coke." But here in the mitt, it's POP. And don't you DARE throw out those cans - they're worth money!
2. It's not a liquor store, it's a PARTY STORE.
Don't get us wrong - you can't get balloons and streamers here...just booze and some snacks. But that's all you need for a party, right?
3. It's called a MICHIGAN LEFT, and it's confusing.
It can be confusing, even to lifelong residents. It's like making a u-turn AFTER an intersection, instead of just taking a left.
4. We don't just "do" hot dogs - we do CONEYS.
In Michigan, we top our dogs with Coney sauce, chopped onions and mustard. Do you want Flint style or Detroit style? Detroit style is more of a chili style, while Flint is more dry. And, if you really want to get specific, you'll ask for a Koegel.
5. Yoopers and Trolls are real things.
If you say "troll" in Michigan, we don't think of those little dolls with the gem in their belly and the colorful hair. A "troll" is somebody who lives south of the Mackinac bridge in the lower peninsula. "Yoopers" are people who live in the Upper Peninsula, or the "U.P." And a lot of them are Packers fans with Wisconsin accents because, really, the UP should be part of Wisconsin.
6. Speaking of Mackinac, it's pronounced Mack-i-NAW!
Ever since I was a kid, my dad (a native of Milwaukee) has called it Macki-NACK island. "Wanna go to MackiNACK for vacation?" No, you want to go to Macki-NAW. The bridge, the island...don't get it screwed up. And just in case you were wondering, there are absolutely NO CARS allowed on the island. It's pretty cool.
7. Yes, you can drive to Canada in a short amount of time.
Depending on where you live, it could be a few minutes or a couple of hours. Either way, our neighbors to the north (or south, if you're in Detroit) are visited by Michiganders quite often. Crossing the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit will put you in Windsor. Drive an hour east of Flint, and you'll be in Sarnia.
Two fun facts: there's a marathon/half-marathon that runs over the bridge from Detroit to Canada. You have to have a passport to register. I've done it; it's super cool.
Also, it takes us less time to drive from Flint to Niagara Falls than it does for us to drive "home" to Chicago or Milwaukee. Like, less than half. Go figure.
8. Superman Ice Cream - it's really, REALLY good.
It's colorful - blue, red, and yellow. And it's freakin' delicious. The rumor is that it was created by the Detroit beer company Stroh's - during prohibition, brewers had to find another way to make money, so some of them started to make food and pop. Stroh's used the colors in Superman's costume to make this frosty dish, which includes Blue Moon and different red pop flavors, along with vanilla.
We've lived in states like Washington, Wisconsin, Utah, and others, but Michigan is BY FAR our favorite place. It's a beautiful state with pretty decent weather, gorgeous landscapes, a ton of stuff to do, and if you ever DO get bored, you can hop on over to Canada for the day.