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Road Trip! Part 1 of 2

Let’s Go To Michigan

Picture of beat up van
Not our van. But it seems like it some days. This is from the movie “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”. A great, fun family movie.

Our family of 5 packed up 2 huge suitcases then headed for a long weekend in Michigan. Since our rather large mini-van (oxymoron, I know) started to behave poorly, we had to use my wife’s SUV.
To be fair, her car has had fewer expensive problems than my “mini”-van which surprised the heck out of me since her car cost less, is built by a cheaper manufacturer and is a base model which means everything is made of plastic. My mini-van is a premium model built by a well-known Japanese manufacturer of reliable vehicles and it has had numerous costly suspension problems. But that’s not my point…
My point is that we had to cram a family of 5 into this smaller SUV which – contrary to the manufacturer’s claim – only seats 4 people comfortably. I also take issue with the descriptive word “comfortably” because the back seat seems to be made primarily of plywood. I’m off topic again.

So, we cram 3 days worth of clothing, electronic devices, snacks, extraneous pillows (remember it’s uncomfortable) and whatever else we “might” need into the back of this car and head for a pleasant peninsula.
The trip there was uneventful. Our daughter, who is in driver’s education and needs hours behind the wheel, agreed to drive once we exited Indiana and entered Michigan. So, we pulled into the Visitor’s Center right across the border to let her drive. She lasted for exactly 1 exit before she pulled off to hand the reins back over to us to continue the drive. I asked her what happened. She said she was terrified about going 70+ mph with so much truck traffic that she just couldn’t continue. It was too much of a jump for her to go from our normal “around-town” driving to screaming along a major Interstate Highway with heavy traffic. I get it.
We’re hungry now. We stop at a small town along the Interstate to grab some food. The highway signs promised the usual indigestion inducing fast-food stops. We gambled that they might also have a local restaurant or two. We were right. We stopped for lunch at a very cool breakfast/lunch place that had only recently opened. The menu had all the usual breakfast and lunch items but with a twist. The kids are always leery of any “twists” in their food items so they reluctantly ordered the usual – chicken fingers, hamburgers, etc.  To all of our surprise, the food was pretty spectacular, freshly prepared, and the service was so friendly.

Well fed, we were off again.  I decided we should take a short trip to the shoreline of Lake Michigan.  Our kids have never seen it from this side before so I thought it would be great for all of us and it was only 3 miles up the road.  To our sad surprise, this local town was charging $10 for us to spend 15 minutes dipping our toes in the lake.  Back in the car – not gonna do it.  I’m kind of cheap when it comes to charging me for something I can get for free in our own town.

On the road again…

Click here for Part 2 of the Road Trip.

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