Making Michigan Memories

I've been going to Michigan my whole life.  That's because my dad was from Grand Rapids.  Growing up, my parents would pack us kids into our giant station wagon and off we'd go every summer to stay with my dear Aunt Edna.  Even though she put too much pepper on our fried eggs, we loved it and were in heaven.  My mom loved the lake, so in 1973, she asked Gene and Sharon, my Michigan cousin and his wife, where we could go in Michigan and stay on the Lake.  Gene and Sharon looked at each other and simultaneously said one word - "Pentwater", and thus a tradition was born.

Most years, we've stayed at the only motel in town, Channel Lane Inn - which is on the channel, of course, such a pretty spot, but this year, we have our new travel trailer, so I made reservations for Dan and I to stay in Charles Mears State Park.  I was only able to get our reservation by checking repeatedly for cancellations, and after several weeks of trying, I was rewarded with 10 days on s…

Bike Rack Battles

This post will take a different spin than my regular posts.  Rather than discussing a trip we've taken, I will describe the route we've taken to achieve our goal of being able to take our bikes with us on our trips.  We've gone round and round with different options.

Take 1:
The story begins with us at Middleton RV last fall where we purchased the many accessories for our new RV; this included the Jack-It bike rack.  We paid $250 for the Jack-It which is about $50 over the Amazon price; however, we were happy to pay this as Middleton put this baby together and mounted it on our RV as part of the deal.  It ended up that we did not use the new bike rack until the following April when we went to Arrow Rock state park.  In April, we had some trouble figuring out how to mount our bikes, but after help from our local bike shop to move the pegs and much effort on our part, we were finally able to hoist the bikes up onto the rack and off we went.  It seemed hard.

Take 2:

While vi…

Branson Bound and Budgeted

Our Branson adventure begins at the Old Highway 86 Corps of Engineer campground.  This beautiful  campground features electric and water hook ups.  Our rate was $10.50 per night due to Dan having the National Parks Senior pass.  This is 50% off the regular price.  The campground is a peninsula with lake views on both sides.  The land  "base" is a view of a small Ozark mountain watching over us.  It almost felt European.

The campsites line the edges of the peninsula with an additional row in the middle; however, even the campsites in the middle row seemed to have a good view of Table Rock Lake; although, our site was on the lake's edge.  The campground features a boat launch, swimming area, sand volleyball, basketball, a playground, and a shower house, of course.  To me, this campground felt like heaven.  It was so pretty, so clean, and it felt a world away.  Even the weather was perfect.  From our campsite, we could watch the lake and see the Branson Belle silently go o…

Retirement in Amarillo?

The date had been set.  Dan's last day of work would be Friday, May 31, 2019.  This was the day the license expired on the million mile van, and this was the day Dan would say good-bye to all the nice folks at First Capitol Courier.  However, it was not to be.

Early Friday afternoon, on the 31st, Dan called and said, "I have a question for you;'s just a question."  This is our standard modus operandus opening for what could be a "lively discussion".  Dan continues -  they have a run to Amarillo, Texas, and it doesn't have to be delivered until Monday morning.  He discussed the options for taking it, not taking it, when to leave, if I would go, and what vehicle to take, deliver it or make a trip of it - so much to decide and fast.  After a quick review on Tripadvisor to see what there is to do in Amarillo, I called him back quickly (as per his instructions) and said I would go.  We would leave on Sunday, after his retirement dinner on Saturday nig…

Straight to Arrow Rock

Hello 2019 Camping Season!

It's off to Arrow Rock State Historic Site for our first camping trip of the year.  We picked this weekend (4/17/19-4/22/19), to begin our season and to celebrate my birthday.  Arrow Rock State Historic Site is about 2 1/2 hours from home.   We had reserved 5 nights with full hook ups.  Note: At this state park, there is only 1 site with full hook ups - which we have come to love, after having them just one time.

Day 1 - Wednesday, 4/17 - Travel Day

This day, we got our trailer, stopped by Grenada Bike Shop, back home to pack up and then off to Aldi's in Columbia.   We had to stop at Grenada as we could not figure out how to put our bikes on the Jack-It bike rack.  Now, before you laugh at us, it turns out the bike rack was put together wrong.  Seems the RV dealer knows more about RVs than bike racks.  The folks at Grenada helped us out at no charge, which we appreciated.  In Columbia, at the Aldi's parking lot, a lady started talking to us, aski…