Archive for the ‘Michigan’ Category


Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014
The size of a dinnerplate!!!

The size of a dinnerplate!!!

Frankenmuth, Michigan, where the flowers say welcome!!!



Of course there are the gift shops, tours and fudge shops but the highlight of this cute little town just north of Flint is the landscape for me.  There are hostas, Calla Lillies, and lots of other beautiful flowering plants growing everywhere along this main street.

I like the flowers, Paul likes the boats!


In the background is a really nice wooden, covered bridge that is another free attraction is this little bit of Bavaria.

A chance to take a ride on a real military helicopter

A chance to take a ride on a real military helicopter

Missed opportunities!  We were just cruising along and found this event to celebrate veterans with a moving Vietnam Memorial Wall and they had this helicopter that for $100 you could get a ride in the jumpseats!  I was ready but we were too late in the day and they were sold out!  We could have returned Monday but didn’t because the weather was not a good.

Labor Day is the kickoff of apple season so we ventured out to a couple of cider mills and found something unique to Michigan (I think!)  Every mill serves cider of course but they also have cider slurpies and donuts.  You can smell the donuts more than the cider when you pull into the parking lots and the slurpies are amazing!  Frozen apple cider from whatever apples they are picking!  We had one from two different mills and the flavor was definitely different depending on the apples.

We have done a lot of driving around the countryside here in Southeastern Michigan and really enjoying all of it.  We have had some amazing fresh corn and tomatoes – this is summertime to me.

Heading west!

It’s in the Air

Friday, August 29th, 2014

We just went from having 90 degree days with lots of humidity to I am watching leaves fall this morning!  And, they are predicting heat again this weekend.  Fall is starting in August here in Michigan.

Enjoying our frontyard for the past 2 weeks

Enjoying our frontyard for the past 2 weeks

And the backyard

And the backyard

What a nice view

What a nice view

This area is not really a tourist area but I am loving it.  I take walks on dirt roads where I can see corn and soybeans growing and then I can drive 5 miles and see beautiful communities right on lakes and then all the shopping a person needs within 7 miles!  Linden Michigan is definitely a nice place to hangout, at least in the late summer!  All this beauty will be frozen by Christmas!!!!

It finally happened!

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Don’t tell my kids!  I have noticed in the past couple of years that the memory isn’t the same.  I am not sure it is memory loss or things just become less important and so you forget!  Sunday we found a Costco and decided to do a bit of shopping.  Paul sees they have fuel as we pull into the lot so he fills up, I’m checking email and facebook on my Smartphone!  He returns and parks in the lot, we exit the car, enter Costco, shop, have a hotdog and then exit the store!  Oh no!  Paul ” Where did you park the car?”    I realize there are two of us but he parked!  I just shut my phone off and exited the car, thinking about what I needed in Costco!!!  I had no idea which direction to even look!  Paul thought he knew – right!  We head to the right and wander in the heat for a couple of minutes.  I have the cart, look silly walking towards the building with a full cart of merchandise so I finally just stop!  I figure when he finds the car he will get in and find me!  The good news is after about 5 minutes he either finds the car or remembers where he parked it because I get a whistle!  Denise , This way!   Chaparones may be in our future!!!!

Southeastern Michigan, hot, humid, a beautiful lake, lots of shade and the corn is amazing!  We are spending about 10 days here in Michigan at a hidden gem called Hide Away Campground.  It is not fancy and there are a lot of Mobile Homes that need dressed up but it is very quiet, clean and right on a small Lake!

Public Art always interests me!

Public Art always interests me!

We found a cute little town park in Fenton, MI and stopped for an ice cream.  While we were sitting in the park I was watching the kids fishing and realized the older ones were in the water catching crawfish and giving to the younger ones who would remove the pinchers with their utility tool and then put them on their hook, cast it and hope to catch a fish!


We could see the fish swimming in the stream which was not very deep and the fish didn’t look much larger than the crawfish!

On the Move

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

It is time to head west and we were off by about noon on Saturday after finding out my birthday package still had not arrive!  FedExExpress service is holding it hostage or maybe it is the USPS service.  Oh well, it will catch up with me when I visit CA.

Saturday evening was spent in a CampingWorld parking lot with water and electric hook ups!  Very nice, quiet and I get to shop in the morning!  Sunday morning I made my purchases and we were on our way to Pennyslvania by noon.  Our plan was to make it to Erie, PA where we could overnight at the Elks lodge and hopefully get to watch a NASCAR race in the bar.  Everything went as planned until a big rig accident 20 miles from our exit!  That set us back about 1 hour but we made the race by 2 and it was over by 3:30 so that was good because Sunday was our first day of sunshine in about a week!  And a beautiful day it was.

After the race we headed to the Presque Isle.  It was only about 2 miles from the Elks lodge and what a beautiful, vibrant spot it is.  A land mass that extends about 7 miles into Lake Erie with lots of beaches, mini lakes, trails and creates Presque Isle Bay between the peninsula and Erie where there is lots of sailing and waterskiing.  We had a great day of walking in nature and enjoying the sunshine.

Monday morning I took the opportunity to return to Presque Isle and take a morning walk on the beach.

Just me, Lake Erie and miles of beach!

Just me, Lake Erie and miles of beach!

It was beautiful and very few people on the beach.  While walking on the beach I was able to see an immature Bald Eagle that was injured and just hanging out on the beach.  I tried to take a picture but only had my phone and I didn’t want to get too close.

One of the things I enjoy is seeing different places and different cultures but the most entertaining things is checking out signage of local businesses!  Todays signs that made me smile I was not able to photograph but here they are!

1.  This one was a road sign with yelllow caution background a road sign stating:

 Buckle Up next million miles

2.  This one made me really laugh!  My feeling exactly about the new craze!

Gluten-Free Oil Change

Next stop is Linden Michigan where Paul will be spending the next 6-10 days working while I hopefully enjoy the weather.  Driving on the interstate is usually not too exciting however I managed to find something I have never seen before


TruckStop near Toledo Ohio

The sky turned dark right after we found our home for the next week and then the Thunderstorm warnings started flashing on the TV screen!  Great, we are in the path of more hail storms!  Duke and I settled in with the TV tuned to the local station and my Ipad set on Weather and enjoyed a very noisy afternoon!  It passed by 8 pm and today the sun is trying to stay out!  I am definitely being reminded how wonderfully consistant and calm weather in San Jose was/is.

Where is Ontonagon?

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

This was going to be just a short stopover and then we were on our way to Minnesota and the Mall of America and then we got here and just couldn’t leave.  There isn’t much to do but the lake is so inviting, the weather is great and the bugs are behaving themselves!  So our two nights became 6 and we found lots of fun stuff to do.  Ontonagon is not for shopping, dining or site seeing but if you love the lakes and just wanting to relax for a few days it is a must see.

Paul and I visited Porcupine State Park and took a short hike to see a couple of great waterfalls and another look at the Lake.  Paul even waded into the water so now he can say he walked in a Great Lake!

Manido Falls

Manabezho Falls

Duke loves the Great Lakes

Looking west on the shores of Lake Superior

It is so relaxing here that I spent 3 afternoons just sitting on the beach and reading.  Ontonagon is so far north and west of the eastern time zone that it isn’t even dark until 10:30 at night which is perfect because we have no TV here!  This is a beautiful place in the summer but I am sure things are much different come November thru April unless you snowmobile or ice fish.

Miners for a Day

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Looking for some adventure in this quiet little oasis Paul finds a Copper Mine that offers tours – great another tour! So of course we all have to go with him. We are like little children, sure that we might miss something if we don’t go. Well in this case we would have!

Quincy Mine is located in Hancock which is about 40 miles from our RV site in Ontonagon and on our way there we realize we need to eat! Again!!! I get out my Iphone and Yelp “Pasties” because we haven’t tried them yet and we are running out of time. I find a place that sounds exactly perfect to get these local delicacies! Amy J’s Pasty & Bake Shop is located about 1 mile from the mine and isn’t any bigger than a garage which is what it looks like. It is located in front of Amy’s home in a residential area and has the most wonderful aroma as you enter. Amy’s husband greets us and we ask about their Pasty, this time pronouncing it properly! He tells us they are wonderful and made with ground beef, pork, potato, carrot and rutabaga. Rutabaga! Who eats that is what I am wondering! We tell him that the 4 of us want 1 to try because we are not sure we like them. He doesn’t even flinch, he gets us one and 4 forks. That is another problem, Amy’s is mostly locals coming in for baked goods and taking them home. We want to eat it there because home is too far away. There is a small cafe table with two stool type chairs in the corner and Paul finds a desk chair from Amy’s desk and a folding chair up against the wall and now the table for 2 fits 4 for a taste of the Pasties!

Amy J and Hubby

Amy’s Pasties are really good! We ordered another! I could taste the rutabaga but it was sort of sweet. The meat is not really ground it is more like sliced and the Pasty taste to me like a pot roast stew in a pastry without the juice.

Back to the mines! We arrive at the mine and take a quick walking tour of the shaft house where we got to see the rails and cars that travel into the mine on the actual shaft tracks. The most interesting thing is the car for the men to travel on. It looks like stairs and holds 30 men, two to a seat and they travel at 15 miles per hour twice a day into the mine and then out at night after a 12 hour shift under the earth! That sounds like a roller coaster instead of transportation- and there were no seat belts!

The car on the right is what the men take into the mine!

The Shaft House

Next stop is the steam hoist room where we got to choose bright yellow hard hats before we could enter! This place was huge and was built as a showplace for this really large steam hoist. They had expensive tile on the walls, cement building including the roof and lots of windows. It certainly did not look like an industrial building .

Steam Engine Building

Next stop is the mine but first we have to choose a miners jacket to wear because it is 46 degrees at level 7 of the mine which is where we are going.

Kip in his Miner’s wear!

This is the cool part or at least the part why Paul chose this mine! We get to ride a cog railroad down the mountain to the entry of the level 7 of the mine! The miners didn’t use this entrance, in fact it was not an entrance when the mine was operating!

Cog Tracks – See the middle track? That is for the cog!

2012 Miners riding the cog train to work!

They were not kidding about it being cold. We get off the rail car and before you enter the mine you can feel the wind coming from the entrance – it is artic cold! We were driven by a tractor in a car into the mine about 1/2 mile! This is pretty cool. I don’t imagine it was cool when it was being mined! 12 hour shifts 6 days a week, in the dark, drilling holes and then blasting, hoping to find the copper so they could get paid!

Level 7, Quincy Mine
A drill in the background

Paul, the only guy our guide has ever seen not need the jacket!
I wore his and mine!!!!

Now back to the Lake and another good book!

More Great Lakes

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

We left Mackinaw Monday and headed north into the U.P. (Upper Peninsula) of Michigan to enjoy a bit of tranquility for a few days before heading to Oshkosh for the “Big Airshow”!  Tuesday we moved deeper into the U.P. and found a great little park right on the shores of Lake Superior! We wish we could stay here awhile!

The UP is beautiful with lots of greenery and great views of the lakes.  We spent our first night in a park right on Lake Michigan with 3 other RV’s for $27.50 a night!  Tonight we are staying for $20 a night!!! Big change from the over $35 a night we have been experiencing where we are sandwiched between a giant RV and a Tent!  The lake was spectacular and just as inviting as Lake Huron.  We enjoyed watching a couple of very large white swans enjoy the great hunting off our beach.  Kip and I also got a quick glimpse of an eagle.

The UP is very relaxed and different from the other Michigan!  The locals refer to themselves as YOOPERS!  (U.P. ers) and Pasty (pass tee)  is the local favorite cuisine.  We were calling them Pasties until a local said those are different!!!!  Haven’t tried one yet but will try.

Ontonagan Michigan is a very tiny town right on the shores of Lake Superior and we will call it home for just a couple of days.  The weather is outstanding, bugs are few and the views are perfect!

Life is good!

Sunset 9:45 pm!

My favorite! This is 9:50 pm

Official Sunset time 9:53 p.m., July 10, 2012

5 Great Lakes, swam in 3, rode a boat in one and touched my toes in 1!  We are checking things off our bucket list pretty quickly this year  but that is ok because the list keeps growing by the day!  For every one I get checked I have added 3 more!




All you need is a little soap and a Rubber Duck!

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

With all this water there is sure to be a Lock somewhere and of course Paul wants to see it.  He talked all of us into going on a tour of the Soo Locks in Sault Ste Marie Michigan.  Not my idea of a good time but it was a beautiful day so getting another boat ride was ok.  We arrived for the 1:40 boat ride and spent the next 2 hours going about 1/2 mile on the St. Mary River between Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and Sault Ste Marie Ontario Canada!!!

A ship leaving the lock


Our boat entering the lock

Starting to take on water

Almost to lake level

Opening the gates

Entering St. Mary River on the Lake Superior side 13′ above where we left the St. Mary River on the Lake Huron side!

On the Lake Superior side we got to view a Steel Plant in Canada that is on the shores of the river because they bring raw materials here to make the steel that is shipped down river into Lake Huron and down to Detroit to build our cars!   And then it is back into the locks to be lowered 21′ feet back to Lake Huron level!

Entering the Canadian locks

St. Mary river beyond the gate is Lake Huron level

Removing the water

At lake level

St. Mary River upstream from Lake Huron

It is just like being in a bathtub and filling it with water.  Exciting? No, Entertaining? Yes!  Check another item off the Bucket List!  I hope!!!!

Right over my head

Friday, July 6th, 2012

We found a huge family campground at the tip of Michigan, right on Lake Huron to spend the Independence Day Holiday and we can see the Mackinac Bridge to the Upper Peninsula.  It is beautiful here and the bugs are not too bad!  I spent several afternoons sitting on the banks of the lake reading a book!

Our view of Mackinac Bridge

Today Kip joined me for an hour or so and brought his binoculars.  We have a great view of Mackinac Island and enjoy watching the boats come and go and the occasional para-sail.  We are sitting there, Kip looking through his binoculars and I reading a fascinating book when he says “quick look a humpback at 11 o’clock”  Of course I drop my book and look towards 11 o’clock and he says “no look through here” and hands me the binoculars!  I look and look, thinking why would he give up the glasses so quickly when there is a whale to be watching!!! And then he says “this is fresh water there are no whales!!”  Thanks!  When you are sitting here looking at this water it feels like the ocean it is so big and there are waves splashing onto the beach so I guess for a few minutes I thought I was on the beach.  Or, it just went over my head!

We have been busy this week with visiting Mackinac Island or is it Mackinaw Island!  There seems to be a bit of confusion here but the local paper knows it is confusing so they had a nice little article this week about why it is spelled two ways and pronounced one.  It has to do with the Indians and the French!  I found the article even more confusing but figured out everything is Mackinac except for the Mackinaw City which is where we are camping.  – Anyway!

We rode to the island on the ferry and when you disembark you could be back in the 1800’s except for all the people, fudge shops, tour companies and souvenir shops!  The streets are lined with bicycles and horses because that is the only mode of transportation.  It was fun watching the horse drawn carriages towing supplies to the Grand Hotel on the hill.  The hotel is the gem of this island for the day tourist.  You can step onto the grounds and step back to the “good ole days!”  Very grand!  I loved the veranda where you could take your drink and sit in a rocking chair overlooking the grounds to the lake.  We enjoyed a cocktail at the rooftop bar which was very beach like with a 360 degree view.  Pat was hoping for something more “grand”  but we voted for the view!

The Grand Hotel from our ferry

Entering from town

Dress Code? Really! Ladies no slacks, Gents coat and tie! Apparently we slipped under the radar!!!

360 degree view!

Paul made us ride the ferry to the Island that went under the bridge!  Not sure why but we went along!

Mackinaw Bridge from the Lake Huron Side on the ferry

Mackinac Bridge from the Lake Michigan side

Of course! Under the Mackinac Bridge! You can actually see the cars above driving

I also decided enough with this lazing on the beach and took a tour of the lake in a Para-sail. The view from above is spectacular.  I swam in my second Great Lake.  So far that is 2 swims and one toe touch!




We spent the afternoon driving to some of the most beautiful beaches and lakes in Michigan along the Gold Coast where we stopped in to visit a good friends brother!  He was surprised – especially since he really didn’t know who we were!  He gave us a few suggestions of places to go and shared a few laughs about our friend Theron and his antics growing up here and we were off!  One of the places he recommended was an Inn called Legs Inn in Coast Village.  It didn’t look very grand but when you walked inside it is a very special place.  We had patio seating among the most beautiful gardens and watched the beginnings of a beautiful sunset.

Sunset over Lake Michigan

Michigan is a beautiful state, right up there with many of my favorites

An Old Man’s Game

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

After crossing the Blue Bridge we spent a few nights just relaxing for the start of the holiday week in Port Huron Michigan which is on the banks of the St. Clair River.  We had fireworks both Saturday and Sunday evenings as they are also celebrating Canada Day!  The display of fireworks on the river was really nice.

Blue Bridge from Canada to the USA across the St. Clair River

Blue Bridge at night

Sunday was a pretty lazy day starting with breakfast at Cracker Barrel where you can shop for some old fashion favorites like moon pies, sit a spell on the patio or take in a game of checkers!!!

I think Kip is winning but then there was a quick reflex and Paul clears the board of the red checkers!!!!