Sandra Scott Travels: Fairy Doors Open Wonderful Surprises

Dinner is served

Dinner is served

Last week I asked: What are Fairy Doors?

Miniature art installations

The Ark Fairy Door
The Ark Fairy Door

I love it when people think out of the box creating an unexpected surprise.

Actually, there were a lot of wonderful surprises when John and I visited Ann Arbor, Michigan.

There were great museums, a wonderful diversity of places to eat, amazing artists and galleries, unique shops, live theatrical presentations, and more.

I loved the whimsical Fairy Doors.

What a cool idea.

John and I stayed at the new Residence Inn with a great location in the center of Ann Arbor.

“Table Manners”
“Table Manners”

Luckily, someone said to us, “Make sure you look for the Fairy Doors.”

Fairy Doors are miniature replicas of the doors to some of the places in Ann Arbor.

Not only are the doors reproduced but with some it is possible to look inside to see a miniature interior.

Had we not known to look we would have walked pass them without looking down to discover these treasures.

It seems that the Fairy Doors began to appear unannounced in 2005.

Blue Nile Ethiopian Restaurant.
Blue Nile Ethiopian Restaurant.

Like all fairies, the ones in Ann Arbor are surrounded in mystery.

But the local, fairyologist, Jonathan B. Wright, is the authority on these wonderful miniature art doors.

On Main Street we saw our first Fairy Door at the Peaceable Kingdom, the perfect place for a Fairy Door because the shop is filled with folk and whimsical works of art.

I loved the applique by Chris Roberts-Antieau named “Table Manners” the table manners everyone should follow.

Dinner is served
Dinner is served

John and I had an amazing lunch at the Blue Nile Ethiopian Restaurant.

This wasn’t our first Ethiopian restaurant so we knew the food would be presented on a large platter with dollops of food on bread called injera, a light sponge-like bread.

We would rip off a piece of injera using it to pick up the food.

The food was awesome.

Schmidt’s Antiques
Schmidt’s Antiques

In the center we had portions of chicken, lamb and beef surrounded by veggies – chick peas, collard green, red lentils and more.

The spiced tea was the best we have ever had.

Everything we tried was excellent and not easy to describe.

It is said that people who eat from the same plate and break bread together will create a bond of friendship.

We couldn’t visit Ann Arbor without a side trip to Ypsilanti where our daughter-in-law went to college.

A sample of Schmidt’s antiques
A sample of Schmidt’s antiques

“Ypsi” is only 11 miles away and a great place for antique and vintage shoppers.

We stopped at Schmidt’s Antiques on Michigan Ave.

Inside the unassuming red barn was a world of important antiques of the highest quality.

The most amazing thing were the prices.

Most of them were affordable.

I saw stunning, high-quality dining room table and chairs that cost about the same as a new set that would be of lesser quality.

Antiques are a good buy now.

Having fun at the Hands On Museum
Having fun at the Hands On Museum

Next to it was the newly opened Muse, a vintage store filled with one-of-a-kind things for the vintage shopper.

On the way back in Ann Arbor, we visited the Hands On Museum that was just a short walk from the Residence Inn.

I love these interactive science museums and don’t think they are only for children.

There were several displays I wanted to “play with” like Google Earth but didn’t feel right pushing the youngsters out of the way.

They actually have an adult-only evening.


One night we attended a concert of Gaelic music at the Ark, just a short walk from our hotel, and noticed another Fairy Door.

Trivia Tease™: Where is the Plains of Abraham?

Look for the answer next week.

Sandra and her husband, John, have been exploring the world for decades, always on the lookout for something new and unique to experience. We have sailed down the Nile for a week on a felucca, stayed with the Pesch Indians in La Mosquitia, visited schools in a variety of countries, and — to add balance to our life — stayed at some of the most luxurious hotels in the world. Let the fun continue!