Thursday, July 10, 2008

Vacation Log Days Five and Six

Tuesday and Wednesday

Today I only slept until 9am. Still, I stayed in bed and finished one of the books I brought. That was awesome. Bob got up and showered and I followed suit. It felt so good to get clean as I hadn’t bathed since Saturday and felt like I was a big creepy crawly.

Today we didn’t have a plan. We decided to go get some wood from the place we bought it on Sunday and then go to the grocery store and then…who knows.

We began the afternoon by stopping at the Trading Post for a piece of pizza. It was big and greasy and so good. After that we got wood. It didn’t go quite as smoothly since there were dozens and dozens of bugs on the woods and I did the girly thing and freaked the hell out. Bob did the guy thing and took over.

After the wood getting, we stopped at the grocery store for more supplies. After that we drove to a nearby town where we decided to stop and see the sites. We saw some giant bluffs next to a canal or channel. We decided to stop for photos. There was a woman there playing with her two dogs. She would throw a toy into the water and one or the both of them would go fetch. She said they’d been on their boat for 2 days and the doggies needed some exercise. NICE!

After that, we followed the canal to Lake Michigan! Here we saw the lake and a giant beach, a lighthouse, a jetty, and other amazing scenery. People were swimming and flying kites and just hanging out. The weather was weird as it would be sunny and bright one minute and then dark and hazy and stormy the next. It was truly a case of, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.”

We spent a lot of time down by the lake and I took a lot of pictures. For some reason I cannot get my camera clean and all my photos are coming out with lines and squiggles on them. NOT FUN!

After hanging by the lake, we decided to tour the town by the lake. It was a cute town called Frankfort and had a lot of cute shops. We didn’t really shop or stop in any of them but we did see one selling Minnetonka Moccasins! I did run into a coffee store for an iced coffee since now the sun was out and it was fairly hot. While the barista was making my drink, I sat down at one of the shop’s computers and did a little web surfing. Bob had been worried about a particular bill and our ability to pay it online. I went to our online banking site and paid the bill electronically and Bob was happy.

After Frankfort, we just took a scenic drive back to our cabin. I have to say that the scenery here is amazing. There are rolling hills and bluffs, lots of trees, and so many lakes. MI could compete with MN for all the lakes we see on any given drive.

When we got back to the cabin, Bob wanted to make dinner. He had it in his head to make dinner. He wanted to make a burger that had been in his brain to make for weeks now. He mixed some mildly spicy sausage with hamburger, crackers, onion, and an egg and divided it, made them into patties and grilled them. I made packets of potatoes and onions to grill as well as corn on the cob. It was all delicious.

After dinner we just hung around outside. Bob wanted to build another fire but it was so windy that we had to wait for the wind to die down. Thankfully, the sky was clear and we got to see an amazing sunset. I took pictures of the setting sun and then we began to see stars pop out.

Once the sun went down, it was time for a fire. Unfortunately, the wood was still damp from the rain the night before. Bob made a valiant effort but mostly we got smoke. He used paper, kindling, sparklers, and finally lighter fluid to get it going. At one point it was good enough to get a few S’mores out of but eventually, I gave up sitting by Bob’s fire and went to sit on the dock and look at the stars. It was a brilliantly clear night and the stars were shining by the millions. It looked like a rhinestone covered velvet cloth. Beautiful.

We went to bed late again and were both so tired that sleep came quickly.

Wednesday dawned bright and sunny but super windy once again. We got up and had some coffee before setting out on a day of exploring.

We traveled a bit south to check our Betsie’s Lighthouse. The lighthouse itself was closed but the view of Lake Michigan was astonishing. Poor Bob couldn’t get his chair down to the beach. We need to invent some kind of snowmobile tracks and ski adaptors for wheelchairs. Still, he was content to sit and stare at the lake from the road while I explored.

People were walking up and down the beach gathering rocks. Most of them were smooth as glass, polished clean around by the surf of Lake Michigan. Other people were swimming although I thought that even with the warm day, it might be too cold to swim in Lake Michigan. However, with the waves pounding the shores and the horizon stretching far beyond any land visible to our eyes, it did resemble an ocean and I wouldn’t fault anyone wanting to take a dip.

After Betsie’s Point, we headed North to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park. We got about half way there when we realized we were almost out of gas. We turned around and headed for the nearest gas station; an oasis of sorts selling canoe, kayak, and tubing rides down the river. They sold their gas for $4.25 a gallon but we were glad to pay it because we hadn’t seen any other gas station nearby. Oh, and they also sold the state park passes so it was good we stopped.

Once we were all gassed up, we were on our way again. We turned into the Sleeping Bear Dunes 7-mile scenic drive and oh boy was it scenic. We spent hours here. If I’d have been thinking, I would have packed a picnic lunch to eat like zillions of the other tourists seemed to have done. Still, we enjoyed the beauty of the park.

It was a contrast in scenic spectrums. There were wooded forests of pine and other trees. There were grassy areas. There were the dunes off the coast of Lake Michigan, and there was Lake Michigan itself. I took hundreds of photos (though my dirty lens still plagued me) and we had a blast. Bob was super patient with my hopping out of the van to shoot the flora and fauna and I was just so thrilled with all the views.

After we left the park, we drove to nearby Glen Arbor. We’d heard that it was a quaint town with good places to eat and a cherry store. Both turned out to be true.

Glen Arbor is a town located on Lake Michigan. We ate at a place called Boon Dockes that seemed to do swift business for the locals and the tourists. We shared a mushroom swiss burger and some appetizers. We ate out on the patio under a big umbrella since the weather was awesome but the sun so hot.

After lunch, (which was more like lupper since we hit the restaurant around 3 or so.) we walked about the town. We found the cherry place and bought some gifts for the people watching our cats and some yummy stuff for us. I wasn’t sure the cherry salsa would be good since I don’t like a sweet salsa, but they had samples and it was good enough for me to buy a jar to bring home.

We also toured a chocolate shop and a little local art boutique in which we also bought a little something. The rest of our walk was just us enjoying the views and the people. (I have to say that we have met some of the nicest, friendliest people in the world on this trip. If nothing else, Michigan will remain in our memories for that alone.)

Once we left Glen Arbor, we came back to our cabin and just relaxed. We watched a little TV while we waited for the wind to die down (Either MI is a very windy place or our cabin is just situated on a very windy lake). Later, Bob built a fire and I stayed in writing this down and preserving my photos. Bob said it was very buggy since the wind died down and I didn’t want to fight the bugs so I stayed in, watched the 11:00 news and went to bed. Later, Bob reported that the night had been perfect. The bugs went away and the stars came out by the millions. I’m sorry I missed it.

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