Vicki Briganti – WWJ-TV Writer / Producer / Editor

When did Ferndale become more fun than Royal Oak?

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I met my three girlfriends at Como’s Restaurant’s outdoor deck on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Como’s was voted Best Outdoor or Patio Dining in Oakland County in the 2011 Metro Times Readers’ Choice Best of Detroit issue. After snow and more snow followed by rain and more rain, the sun and warmth were a welcomed weather change. The beer and iced tea were flowing as topics ranged from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Chaz Bono to Kate Middleton.

Several trips were made to the parking lot to drop more ‘quarters only’ into the meters. I overheard Lisa on her cell with her husband say, “Do you think I should call the police?”

Our bliss bubble was briefly broken. Lisa bought a new VW, didn’t even have her license plates yet, and some bozo keyed a huge gash into her hood. We stood around while Officer White took a report, unsure why anyone would vandalize her car in broad daylight. This sad crime, however, was only a detour on our quest to enjoy every single second of this finally sunny day.

We threw some healing, sympathetic vibes towards Lisa’s VW and crossed Woodward. At Pinwheel Bakery, we bought sugary treats to cheer ourselves up from mean people who key cars and all the bad Michigan weather we’d endured all winter and most of the spring. Their famous cappuccino coin cookies were delicious. Pinwheel Bakery was voted Best Bakery in Oakland County in the 2011 Metro Times survey.

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We stopped in the Natural Food Patch on 9 Mile and marveled at the vast tea selection. Voted Best Indie Health Food Store in the same 2011 Metro Times survey, Aimee bought some essential oils for her baths, and I bought some Darjeeling tea for my mornings. Along the route, we passed couples, mothers pushing strollers, and smiling, happy people wearing shorts and flip flops.

Not wanting our girl bonding to end, we wandered into Rosie O’Grady’s and grabbed a table near the outdoor couches. Outdoor couches? 80 degrees? Sun? Where am I? It felt more like Delray Beach, Florida than Ferndale, Michigan. Fabulous! More beer and iced tea, please. We ran past the time on our parking meters and hoped we didn’t get tickets.

I introduced a new topic: hoarding and obsessive compulsive disorder. Aimee entertained us with a tale of a friend who washes her family’s toothbrushes in the dishwasher. “What? Is that even sanitary? What if my toothbrush is purple? Could I end up using another family member’s green one the next day?” She said ‘yes’ and we laughed hysterically.

Maybe it was too much sun. Or maybe it was too much fun. Regardless, our finally sunny Saturday afternoon ended too soon. As I drove back to Royal Oak where I’ve lived for 13 years, I wondered: “When did Ferndale become more fun than Royal Oak?”

Thank you Aimee, Lisa, and Toni for a perfect day in Ferndale.

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