Oaxaca mural

Oaxaca mural

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Christmas in July

On our way home from Mackinac, Alejandro and I stopped in the Michigan city of Frankenmuth.  Frankenmuth was founded in 1845 by Lutheran missionaries from Bavaria.  The town has made itself a tourist destination by playing on its Old World heritage with lots of pseudo-German architecture.

At the edge of town is Bronner's, which advertises itself as the world's largest Christmas store.

Outside of the store is a replica of the Austrian chapel where "Silent Night" was written.

The inside of the store is decorated with all sorts of Christmas displays.

The selection of Christmas merchandise is enormous, with everything imaginable for decking out your home for the holiday season.  The huge section of Christmas tree decorations is divided into categories.  If you want to color coordinate your tree, you will find displays of ornaments all of one color.  If you want to buy an ornament for your teacher or doctor there is a whole section of ornaments related to occupations.  You can buy decorations with the emblems of your favorite sports teams.  (Even though this is Michigan, there was a whole section devoted to rival Ohio State!)  There are ornaments portraying different countries of the world... England, Germany, France, even countries like Egypt.  Of course a lot of the merchandise, sadly, is made in China, but you will also find items that are made in the U.S. and other countries.  There were some exquisite crystal ornaments imported from Poland that caught my eye.
It's hard to leave the store without buying something.  Alejandro bought several ornaments for his family.  I don't decorate my home for Christmas.  (No, I'm not a Scrooge; it's just that I am rarely home at Christmas.)  However, I bought a couple items as gifts, and I couldn't resist this figurine of a Mexican Santa for myself.
 After our little shopping spree we had lunch as Frankenmuth's most famous restaurant, Zehnder's.

For several generations, Zehnder's has been serving chicken dinners.  It's been a long time since I have been there, and I could be mistaken, but it seems as if they have expanded their menu.  There is a lot more than fried chicken.  I had chicken schnitzel, and Alejandro had Bavarian sausages.

We took a short walk around the town after dinner, but it was getting late.  We hit the highway again at 6 P.M., and we made it back home to Olmsted Falls, Ohio, by 10:00 P.M.  We had four fun days, and Alejandro got to see a bit of our neighboring state to the north.


  1. The Mexican Christmas Santa is quite a find. I've never seen one. I was in Frankenmuth when I made the trip to Macinac. Michigan is a fascinating state!

    1. Unfortunately, the Mexican Santa is made in China, but I couldn't resist it.
      Yes, there are a lot of interesting places especially in the Upper Peninsula and northern part of the Lower Peninsula.

  2. Wow! You guys were far afield. I had to google-map the places you mention, and only then did I realize you were ~250 miles from home.

    Looks like fun. Someday I'll have to get to know the Midwest a bit better.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where there's a chain of stores called "Christmas Tree Shops" that has nothing to do with Christmas. Go figure.

    1. Frankenmuth is about 250 miles, but our first destination, the Strait of Mackinac area is about 450 miles away. We left the house at 7 AM and got into the Mackinac area around 3 PM.