We managed to take 7 hours to drive from Portage, IN to Manistee, MI, a drive that the navigator said should take 3. We wandered down side roads, took the long way, searched (in vain) for an open coffee shop, wasted delightful hours poking around, and wound up at our place after dark, hungry, with no groceries except what I’d snagged from home: leftover cheese, crackers and fudge, a box of white wine and a bottle of Skinny Girl Margaritas.
Considering the amazing view that greeted us in the AM, it was a disappointing way to start our vacation, to be honest. The place is nice enough (glancing over at the jacuzzi tub in the middle of the floor and looking up at the awesome exposed beams across the ceiling, envisioning what W and/or Ad could do with those beams…as well as the hot tub down at the beach and the view out the windows…sigh…yes, it’s a beautiful spot with LOTS of potential…of a different kind.) But truthfully it’s beautiful, even if the Guys aren’t here…we just should have arrived when we could appreciate it for the amazing view, the waves and the beach and the sky and the lake. That said, Missy and I have settled in, and love the place. I’m just missing the guys, and W in particular, right this minute.
So anyway, as a result of not having any food and the entire Michigan coast being shut down for the winter, we found ourselves at an Indian casino for Thanksgiving dinner.
Delightfully ironic, but not exactly what I’d planned. Planner Girl Jade had not remembered that there would be nothing open on Thanksgiving night up here in the lonely, empty wilderness that is Lake Michigan in the winter. But we had to eat, and there was nothing else open…so. There we were. Missy’s greatest disappointment was that the casino didn’t actually have any “hot Indian men” standing around in loincloths. Yes I know, terribly inappropriate, but still…I kind of agreed. Wouldn’t that have made a good story.
Here’s a few snapshots from our day.
One reason we took so long driving was that we (“we” meaning “I”, since even when I am the Driver I can’t let go of being the Navigator) decided to go off the route that the computer wanted me to go and take side roads instead. “Scenic routes.” (I hate interstates!) One of those, “Hey, let’s go this way!” moments found us on a dirt road between farmsteads and fields. It had looked like a real road on the map.
Also, there were things like cows and barns and bushes and stuff.
The Missy sees cows.
And has mad crazy eyes.
But we finally made it to the lake.
That’s a big-ass lake out there!
Another reason we took so long: I kept having to stop to look at stuff.
Like this really cool fence made of sticks.
And an amazingly overgrown schoolhouse.
I suspect they are not actually boxes for chickens, but that made as good an explanation as any other. House after house had these sitting out by their mailboxes. The only logical explanation is that Michigonians (??) get their chickens delivered daily with their mail. Right?
There were also signs along the way.
Apparently Michigonians are not allowed to die until April.
“I hope we don’t see stacks of wrapped-up bodies at the gate waiting until April!” The Missy said.
They even have clocks at their cemeteries to make sure people arrive on time!
Also, they are very thankful for their “Perpetual Virgins.” They even celebrate them at Mass!
Meanwhile, back at home, Ad was cooking a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner for him, the Boychild, and the Pseudo-Father-in-Law.
“It’s just not the same without you here,” he said. (Awww, sweet, huh?)
But the hot tub made up for not being home, I think. (For us. Poor Ad has to wait til I get back for me to make it up to him.)
Or it would have, if I had been able to get in and enjoy it. At that point I still hadn’t figured out a way to tell the Missy that her Momma’s got a multiply-pierced-cooter. I still haven’t, but tonight (after three glasses of wine) I figured I didn’t care, and ran a jacuzzi.
Amazingly (and with some strategically placed legs) I managed to keep the rings a secret for another night. We’ll see if I can manage it the whole trip.
Today we putzed around Traverse City. I’m not a Black Friday shopper, and neither is the Missy, but she likes to do “post-Black Friday” shopping (shop on Black Friday after everyone else has left the stores.) So we headed up to Traverse City. Personally I wouldn’t normally go anywhere near a shopping mall on a vacation, but this trip is for her, too, so…there I was. Still, it made a good excuse to get out driving around the countryside.
“Dad and S (his wife) would never have done this,” she said, as we pulled over on the way to consult the map and figure out where we were.
“What?” I asked.
“Just drive around, seeing what there is to see, stopping to look at stuff, without a destination in mind.” LOL…that’s the first time I’ve considered my lack of a goal in my life as a positive. But she’s right. Some of the best times I’ve had on vacation are when we just took off, destination unknown. Or maybe destination known (I am Planner Girl, after all) but the route to get there loose and to-be-determined.
Tomorrow our itinerary is a little more structured: we’re headed to a spa for massages and facials. I can’t wait!