Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Missing in Action

                        "My life is a party to be experienced and shared with everyone I know."
                                              Louise Hay

That is the daily quote for my positive thought tear-off-a-page-calendar from yesterday, the day that I "went missing."  I was not in danger or really missing (and thank you, Alexis, for wondering what happened to me!)  We were just in a cute little cabin on the shore of Lake Huron, and it didn't have any Wi-Fi service!

And when I say "little," believe me I MEAN little!!! If I were a spitter, which I am not, I could have spit across the entire room, and done a really fine job of it.  It had a double bed and a single bed. We used the single to hold our "stuff."

On Tuesday morning, we crossed the border back into the United States. There is something about knowing that we are citizens of the place where we are that gives us a sense of security. We KNOW the laws, the rules, and how to read the signs.  Canada was beautiful, and we are definitely going back, but as I said in my last post,  there is just something weird about not understanding the "rules" of any place. For instance, after Randy turned right on a red light, I asked him if he was sure that it was legal in Canada. His answer was that he surely hoped so, because not knowing the law was not going to be an excuse if it were NOT legal. (The same as how many bottles of wine one may carry in and out of the country...........!)

The first thing we did when we arrived in Michigan is drive 20 miles west, only to decide that we needed to drive those 20 miles back east so we could visit a AAA to get all new maps and tour books. You have to remember that we have our car filled with books for New England, Nova Scotia, etc...........and we have changed what we pass off as "minds" a couple of times in the past week, so those books are of no use to us here.  In Port Huron, Michigan, we loaded up with new books, and then we headed north on Rt. 25.

The new "plan," if you want to call it that, was to drive entirely around the "Thumb" of Michigan. That is the piece of land that sticks up like a thumb into Lake Huron.  It has many lighthouses on the shores and hundreds of shipwrecks out in the lake.

Our first stop was for a picnic lunch in Lexington, Michigan, which had a beautiful harbor and park. We walked wayyyyyyyyy out into the harbor on a walkway that was surrounded by giant rocks. Randy wanted to bring one home, but it was far too large to even discuss further. A very old lady who also was contemplating taking one home made Randy realize the impossibility of it all.

Going north a bit more we came to Harbor Beach, a little town that just had a good feeling about it. The Harbor Beach Lighthouse was in the distance from the shore. We rented our little teensy cabin, ate dinner at the local Ma and Pa restaurant, and then took those very useful beach chairs "downtown" to the town green to enjoy the 26th Michigan National Guard Army Band which just happened to have a gig in this town. 

We sat with several hundred citizens and watched two of the best fiddle players we've ever heard, and then some very patriotic music.  We stood and clapped and cheered for their veterans, just as we would have cheered for our own.  Ice cream followed at the local ice cream parlor (all home-made). 

Back to our teeny tiny cabin, we took a glass of wine down to Lake Huron and sat quietly on a set of steps to watch birds flying in and out of some marshes nearby.  Two very young deer, one with his first fuzzy antlers, came out of the woods. They were more curious about us than we were about them, and since we sat very still, they both came within feet of us to look us over quite well before they wandered back into the wood.

We were asleep within a few minutes in that teensy little cabin.

For those of you watching the map, you can see that we only drove about 66 miles on Tuesday.  No matter.

Today we continued our drive around The Thumb, and found some really great vacation spots up on the top of it.  We stopped at one other lighthouse and went through its little museum.  Only a couple of towns seem to cater to tourists, it seems.  The ones we liked a lot were Port Austin,  Port Crescent, and Caseville.  After that it's just a drive again.

When we finally had completed The Thumb, we had a picnic lunch in a city park in Bay City, Michigan.
This was a very nice city with parks and a beautiful harbor, lovely stores, and we understand that they host a fabulous art show sometime each summer.

We then gave Thelma a thrill by actually following "her" directions, and got onto Interstate 75 going north.

Poor Thelma.  She always wants to take the main highways.  We don't.  No, we do not know how to tell her that, and if we did, we'd forget to reset her, and then when we DO want to go by the quickest route she wouldn't know that.  We have gotten so that the "mute" button on Thelma is usually on, and we just know that if she could, she would be yelling at us all the time. Sometimes we shout at her. "Shut up!" is the most common one, but occasionally we just laugh and say things like, "That's what YOU think, Thelma! We are NOT going that way, so get over yourself!!"  Why do we even have Thelma along, you ask?  We would never travel without her! Thelma knows where parks and hotels and grocery stores are located. She got us to the AAA yesterday.  It's definitely a love/hate relationship, however.

We drove for a couple of hours, listening to Innocent by Scott Turow.  One of you had recommended it, and we made a point of watching the DVD Presumed Innocent before we left Akron (recommended by the same reader,) so the miles went flying by.  The book is getting quite good.

We have landed in  Gaylord, Michigan.  We chose this city because it has a "sister city" in Switzerland, and has many buildings that look Swiss. Chalets are all over the main drag, and the motels have that sort of decor also.  In the winter 173 inches  of snow usually fall here, and there are some ski places which make it like Switzerland.  There are 15 golf courses nearby, they tell us.  We are in a great Quality Inn, and are going to go downtown to find some local food, and then probably take our trusty beach chairs to the 8:00 band concert in the center of the city, on Main Street.

Are we having fun?  You bet!