Days 66 – 69, Wednesday – Saturday, September 19 – 22, 2018
I had reached Michigan for a stay with my family. At this point, I had been on the road for more than two months. I had driven from Washington State to Maine, down to Washington, D.C., and back to Michigan. Most of the those over 60 nights on the road were spent in campgrounds, with three in hotels and seven spent with friends and family.
So how was I feeling? Pretty good! I was really enjoying being out on the road! I could set my own pace, I could go where I wanted and stay as long as I wanted. The problem I was running into was that I wanted to stay longer at each place, and worried that I wouldn’t make it all the way around the country before I ended up having to head home. I could relax and decompress when I needed to after a very rough couple of years. I suppose that is a good problem to have, and looking back on this time, I recognize what an amazing experience this was, and how it helped me heal. After another rough couple of years, I’m ready for this again.
I found myself finding so many things to do in each local area I visited. In addition to googling things, I asked people what was around, stumbled upon activities, followed informational road signs, and headed down back roads to see what I could find. GPS is truly a Godsend.
I arrived in Michigan a few days ahead of my cousin’s wedding, and had some time to hang out with my parents who flew in, my aunts and uncles and cousins. It was great to have the family time. And sadly it was the last time I really had a vacation with my Dad, but of course I didn’t know that at the time…
Wednesday I slept in and had a lazy day, and caught up with my parents, since I hadn’t seen them for two months! That evening I went out for dessert with my cousins and the bride’s friends; cheesecake and Sauvignon Blanc.
We decorated the hall for the wedding on Thursday, making flower arrangements with twinkle lights inside, and hanging photos. It was fun to help. On the way home, my mom and I visited the Bay County Historical Society Museum. I’ll post about that separately!
My mom and I went to the Christmas store in Frankenmuth on Friday. It’s called Bronner’s and if you have never been there, you are in for a surprise. It is a gigantic store, filled with every imaginable Christmas item. Ornaments galore, garlands, nativities, trees, and more. They will also personalize ornaments with names or phrases for free! I always love visiting there when I am in Michigan. I also went to the Black Star Farms tasting room and did a tasting and got a few bottles of bubbles and a Riesling for mom. I had their wines several years before when I was in Michigan and I was so excited to have them again!
Friday night was the wedding. It was beautiful and sweet, and I loved watching my uncle walk my cousin down the aisle; his first granddaughter to get married… It was fun to catch up with lots of my family members who came in for the wedding.
Saturday at lunch we all met up at Krzyziak’s Polish Buffet. There were 19 of us and that is just my Dad’s side! Yea, I have a big family when we all get together. The Pacific Northwest doesn’t really have many Polish restaurants (or perhaps none), so I always enjoy getting back to my roots on my Michigan trips! I also loved seeing my Dad so happy, surrounded by his sisters and all my cousins. Family meant so much to him and he lit up when we visited. I miss that.
Looking back those days meant a lot to me. There weren’t really visits to places to blog about, but spending time with my family that I don’t get to see often enough (and then COVID) was truly precious.
Me and Dad – September 2018
The next day I was off with my parents to spend a few days with my mom’s side of the family too!