Saturday, July 30, 2011

Visiting Friends in Michigan

The Upper and Lower peninsulas of Michigan are connected by a 4 mile long suspension bridge over the Mackinac straits. When crossing the bridge Lake Huron is to the East and Lake Michigan to the West.  In the winter the waters of the strait between St Ignace and Mackinac Island freezes over and people are known to have loaded houses and churches on sleds and moved them across the ice. A few of the older building on Mackinac Island are known to have been moved in this manner. Historic mobile homes!

From St Ignace our journey to Petoskey was only about 60 miles. We based ourselves there in order to visit a friend from CA who summers with her extended family in Harbor Springs. What a wonderful time we had with them…on Saturday they embraced us right into the center of all their family activities which included a BBQ on the beach of Hot dog and Smores, I will be taking the Smores recipe to the UK for my grandchildren.
After lunch I went for a paddle but brave Tom (under orders from Place’s Mum) went for a swim so I had to match that and swim also (the first of many in Lake Michigan), then Place had her first swim of the season. Of course children being children they were in and out of the water all the time. The lake is quite shallow at the edges so the water heats up to a “refreshing temperature”.  The Midwest is having a heat wave 98 farenhite and even the locals are complaining and it looks like it will last for a while.

That night Place treated us with her sister Ann to dinner, for dessert I had a “hummer” a mixture of Kahlua, Crème de Cocoa and French vanilla ice cream,  served in a large wine glass and sucked through a straw, another delicious recipe this time for Jennifer. 
On Sunday we went to Mass in the local church as we had 3 phone calls from my friend Barbara explaining precisely where the church was and the times for Mass. The church was over-full, no AC and the doors were closed, I don’t think I said one prayer but we certainly get points for suffering the heat and humidity.  We crossed the road to join Place’s family once again for a brunch at the local club.  At brunch we met another relative Dan, who had traveled the USA in an RV with his wife when they were much younger; he regaled us with many stories.  His best being: their RV ran out of gas, luckily they were towing “four wheels down” and knew the car had gas, having unhitched the car they used it to push the RV to the a nearby gas station. What a hoot only the young would try that trick. One for the book!

After lunch we went boating on the Lake in Place’s cousin Jacko’s boat; once the word was out that the boat was going out with guests invited there was a rush of relations to get on. We anchored off a beautiful beach and spent the afternoon swimming off the boat. We were thrilled as it is years since we last had an opportunity like this; and the lake was still at that refreshing temperature!  Towels onboard were communal, at least as far as the children were concerned – we were just part of the family to them.
That night we returned to the veranda of the same restaurant as Saturday night with Place for a more casual meal.  I was tasked with picking the restaurant and as I wanted another hummer - Place and Tom didn’t realize this until it was time for dessert.  I really enjoyed having a “drink” I miss my glass of wine.

On our way to and from Harbor Springs we saw beautiful cottages and wonderful shops, including a fudge and ice cream shop where I had a delicious cherry ice cream cone.  
This was a lovely and welcome break in our trip as we had no planning to do, all we had to do was turn up, be entertained, enjoy ourselves and leave with wonderful lasting memories of Place’s family.

Our next stop was Sleeping Bear Dunes State Park…Blog coming!

No comments:

Post a Comment