Sunday, August 28, 2016

Family Time Kept Us Moving

Sunset over the Port Austin Lighthouse
One would think eight weeks at home would be a long stay. However, we didn't stay in one place for long. We dropped our bags, sorted out our storage locker, bought some new street clothes, got the car out of storage and hit the road!

First stop: Carmel, Indiana. Mackenzie was graduating from high school so we represented
the family. It was fun to visit their farm in the middle of suburbia and see the Upton family in action. Usually they come to Pointe aux Barques to visit us, but we will be gone before this year's visit.

Next stop: Saugatuck, Michigan on the shores of Lake Michigan. Dennis' niece Beth (Beverly's sister) and family live there and we had never visited them. Since we were on that side of Michigan, we called to see if they were free for a night and if so, we would stop to see them. We learned that her parents were going to be there, too.

Michigan has beautiful beaches and blue water AND
no salt, no jellyfish, no sharks and no crocodiles!
Great! So we can see Barb and Joe without a trip to Saginaw. This is good. Then we hear that brother Larry is coming too. And then we learn that brother Rick from Arkansas is driving up with his son, Tony! It could not get any better: an impromptu family reunion! Over Memorial Day weekend. Wonderful fun.

Thank you Phil and Beth! Hugs!
Beth and Phil were gracious hosts for the gang. They showed us their entertainment business call BAM! in nearby Holland. Most of all, it was wonderful to see the four Day brothers together and looking marvelous! What started as a little stop to say "hi", turned into a wonderful family weekend. And we are still living out of a duffle bag.

Larry, Joe, Dennis and Rick

Next stop: Grosse Pointe. This time for a very important dance recital! Miss Addison is so grown up at age nine and quite a dancer! Ballet, tap and jazz! She is making good use of those long Gallagher legs she has inherited! It was great to hear about her activities, school and friends. And I caught up on my hugs!

We were able to snatch her away for the weekend and take her to the cottage with us. What fun: catching frogs at Frog Pond, chasing minnows with a net, skipping stones, swimming in icy Lake Huron, and nature walks.

We went on golf cart rides looking for deer in the forest and found eight of them. Probably the same 2-3 just in different locations! Then I let her drive the golf cart on the golf course. That was a big deal!
Catching frogs with Grand D

And, of course, no visit to PAB is complete without a trip to the Grindstone General Store for ice cream. This is a place where a Baby Cone is more than you can eat! Miss A. didn't want a Baby; she wanted a Single. She insisted she could eat all of it, so she bet made a $10 bet that she could.  

Dennis ordered her a Baby without telling her and she was overwhelmed by the size of it. She tried to eat it all, but finally declared her tummy was feeling too good! Then we told her it was a Baby. She was amazed. I won!


Taking possession of the boys' bunk room!

The Explorers
Actually, it was a profitable weekend for me. Miss A. wanted to sleep in the bunk room on the first floor by herself. She really wanted the top bunk, but I know how much she moves around in her sleep, so we agreed on the bottom bunk until I find a side rail.

This will give her mom a heart attack!

Her mother bet me $10 that she wouldn't sleep in there alone. I won the bet both nights and she made it her special place with books and toys on the top bunk during the day. She agreed to share the bunk room with Uncle Nick - her favorite uncle! I so enjoyed watching her curious mind at work and she is such a polite young lady.

These were the most precious days for me. I loved just watching her take in everything. She shook hands when introduced and conversed like an adult with people she met. They grow up so fast!

And she and Grand D really bonded and were busy with all kinds of activities!

Good stone skipping form!

The minnows were elusive.
My sister and husband drove over from Traverse City to spend a few days at the cottage. It was nice to have time together when we weren't involved in a holiday and all of the cooking and chaos. Vicki and Larry may meet us when we complete our circumnavigation in St. Lucia next April. Having sailed with us in the British Virgin Islands, we know they won't sail as Vicki gets seasick. Unfortunately, I did take any pictures of us!

We are looking forward to sailing with Merc and Bob
Merc and Bob from Chicago joined us for two nights while on their way to Toronto. We met them in the World ARC when they were sailing on Vivo, a boat that dropped out in Australia. There are people you just click with and they are one of several couples we connected with on the WARC and continue to stay in touch. It was great to spend some relaxing time with them. Since they didn't get to complete the circumnavigation, they are planning to join us in Brazil and sail to St. Lucia. Then it is party time!

We manage to get in dinners with a number of friends on Grosse Pointe and Bloomfield Hills. It was fun seeing the Bloomfield Hills gang. Unfortunately, our friends Deborah and Bill had to cancel their long planned visit to the cottage, but we did have dinner together. And we caught up with Grosse Pointe friends. A lot of dining out!

And I managed to make it to three of Miss A's swim meets. She is following in her mother and Aunt Katie's flip flops. Uncle Nick and Daphne were in town for a swim meet and dinner so that put me down the line for hugs!

Unfortunately, we did not get to see the London boys this trip, but they will be in town for Uncle Nick's wedding next summer. Can't wait to have all of the kids and "Grands" together and some cottage time with them, too. It has been too long since the whole gang was together.

Our time "at home" flew by and once again we were packing those same bags to return to the boat. This time we were carrying new B&G touch screen chart plotters that the company generously swapped with us. And we have the latest navigation software. The guys in Australia hadn't even seen our new version!

So we are on the road, air and sea again. And I brought back favorite things: lemonade mix, dill relish, unsweetened instant ice tea, Costco canned chicken, etc. And I even managed to bring back six new cockpit pillows! All important essentials to my happiness!

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