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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Photos, Stories, and HOH Funnies from my Michigan Vacation

I just got back from a relaxing family vacation in Michigan. We stayed at my aunt and uncle's lakeside home which once belonged to my grandparents. They have totally remodeled the place from a cozy cottage to luxury living quarters. I was nostalgic for the familiar homeplace I remembered and at the same time impressed with all they had accomplished.

Once we had greeted my aunt and uncle, we headed right down to the beach. My first funny "oops" happened there when I heard my husband comment,"The lake looks deep enough to throw a cat in." Huh? I know my husband is no fan of cats due to his strong allergic reactions to them, but really, why would you measure a lake by a cat? When I asked what he meant by that, he repeated himself, "The lake looks deep enough to throw a cast in." This time he made a fishing motion. Ohhh. Fishing. Sure, I knew that. tee, hee.

I wanted to bring gifts with us to show my aunt and uncle how much we appreciated their letting us stay with them. I gave them a tote bag with a genealogy logo because they enjoy family history research and a jigsaw puzzle of Mackinac Island, a nearby tourist spot, which I thought they would enjoy working on with their grandchildren when they come to visit. Well, my son topped my gift ideas in a big way. When he heard that my uncle liked early sailing ships, he decided to build one for him out of balsa wood. He did it all on his own without a kit or a pattern and no help from his parents. My uncle was thrilled! He decided the two of them needed to build a display stand for the ship together while he was there.

Our first day with them they took us to church and then out to eat at a lovely restaurant at the Bay View Inn. The Bay View area is known for its Victorian houses that are open only in the summertime. After we returned to their house, they took us out in their pontoon boat. To my son's delight, my uncle asked him to steer the boat. First, we had to buy some gas for the boat. Would you believe it was $5.80 a gallon? The lake has only one place for fuel.

The next day my husband and son set out in the rowboat for a fishing adventure. Despite their attempts at several places around the lake, the only thing my son hooked was a willow tree when he cast too close to shore. *smile* Dad didn't catch any fish either. While they were gone, I enjoyed sleeping in and then going down to the beach for some reading and swimming. When they rowed back, I walked out to greet them as the water is shallow quite a ways out from the shore. We enjoyed a cookout and lively game of cards that evening with my aunt and uncle.

The following day, we spent some time in Petoskey. We looked in the shops, sampled some ice cream and fudge, and got in a round of miniature golf at a pirate themed mini golf course. Back at the cottage, my son and I went swimming in the lake and hunted for Petoskey stones. As a kid, I had never been up to the lake for a visit without finding one and sure enough, I found one for my son and then later he found an even larger one on his own. The tradition continues.

Our last full day there, we went to Mackinac Island. This was my son's first time there. I had been many times with my family as a kid and a couple of times with friends as an adult. I was really excited to show him the island. My aunt gave us passes for the ferry to the island. I think my son really enjoyed the boat ride there and seeing the Mackinac Bridge on the way. Our first stop on the island was the fort. We looked in all the buildings and then watched a humorous court martial reenactment on the lawn. After lunch, we rented bicycles and rode around the island. This was my favorite part.

Unfortunately for me the climb up the hill to the fort and the many stairs up to Arch Rock required me to use my inhaler twice. (I have exercise-induced asthma.) After we had returned our bicycles, we decided to do a little more exploring as there was a cave on the map that my husband wanted to see. Called Skull Cave, it certainly sounded intriguing. Unfortunately for me, it required a climb up the hill to the fort again and even more climbing beyond. Oooofff. I was just so winded. Old people were passing me by. I refused to use the inhaler a third time as I almost never use it regularly. We had to stop several times along the way for me to catch my breath. I was hoping this cave would be as spectacularly scary as it sounded. When we finally arrived, we discovered it was little more than a hole in the side of a hill. No skulls in sight. Not much of a cave. I instantly dubbed it "Numbskull Cave" because I felt like an idiot for putting myself through the climb when I could have remained in town and spent the time shopping. *smile* Once we returned to town my husband and son treated themselves to the island's famous fudge and I rewarded myself with a new necklace and earrings. All's well that end's well, right?

My other vacation HOH funny happened while I was on the cell phone with my mother. She was telling me that she and my dad had picked 6,000 blueberries. Immediately, I wondered, how do you know that, Mom? Did you count them individually? When I questioned her about what she had said, she restated that she had picked six pounds of blueberries. Ohhh, well that does make more sense. It was funny mentally picturing my mom counting the blueberries as she put them in her basket... 5,998...5,999...6,000...turning to my dad to say "I'm done now." hee, hee.

The next morning we found it hard to leave. We had enjoyed our time at the lake and getting to know my aunt and uncle better. But we were missing our dog too and we had to pick him up that afternoon from the place he boarded. Our drive home went smoothly and our dog was sure happy to see us again.


Kim said...

Looks like you had a GREAT time! I lived in MI as a young girl and remember my grandma collected petosky stones. I haven't thought of those in years! :-) Makincac Island brought back memories too. Thanks so much.

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Hi Kim,
Something else we have in common! I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. Yes, Michigan was so relaxing and the weather was perfect.