Week Four: Clarkston, Marine City, and Saline, Michigan

Driveway surfing at my BFF’s (from kindergarten) house in Clarkston was a great way to visit.  We really are the best house guest you can imagine…we bring our own house!  Close, but not too close!  Clarkston is a beautiful, not so small anymore, town about 60 miles north of Detroit.  Some may know that this is the “home” of Kid Rock. We passed by his gate on our daily walk.  Clarkstson was a rural area until urban flight expanded into the area. There is still a lot of open areas among the upscale housing developments.  It was great to catch up and spend quality time together.  Dianne and I meet up somewhere in the country on a regular basis and have been able to maintain a close friendship throughout the years:  one of the great treasures of my life. Dianne’s younger sister, Pam and her husband, Leon joined us for dinner one night. My fondest memory of Pam is when Dianne and I tried smoking a cigarette and Pam was there watching. Pam promptly said to us, “I’m telling mama”. So we did the only thing we could do…we forced her to smoke with us! Now we could tell on her too! Yes folks…that’s the Detroit way! 🙂

Our time together passed much too quickly and I look forward to our next time.

From Clarkston we drove a short 50 miles to my Dad and Suzanne’s property near Marine City. They have 20 acres and with a small pond and beautiful grounds. Their driveway is at least 150 feet long so there is plenty of room for us to driveway surf here. We’ve been exploring the Marine City, Algonac, Fair Haven area via the restaurant tour! I’ve concluded Michigan makes me fat! Well…maybe not fat, but I’ m certainly not losing weight on this trip. I was able to score tickets to a production of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” at the Snug Theatre in Marine City. It was opening night and we were able to get three seats together, so Ralph was kind enough to sit right behind us by himself. We all enjoyed the performance and laughed at the craziness of male/female relationships from dating to death.  We also visited Port Huron and the Thomas Edison Museum.  Thomas spent some of his younger years in Port Huron and worked at the age of 12 on the Grand Trunk train that ran from Port Huron to Detroit.  He sold fruit and newspapers on the train in order to earn money to buy chemicals and equipment for experiments.  The museum has one of two Grand Trunk Railroad cars in the nation.

Dad, Suzanne and me at the Thomas Edison Museum in Port Huron inside the Grand Trunk Railroad car

Dad, Suzanne and me at the Thomas Edison Museum in Port Huron inside the Grand Trunk Railroad car

We used Marine City as our base while in the Detroit area and visited family and friends for about ten days. While in the area we ate out almost every meal. That’s certainly not compatible with my eating plan and it’s been impossible to get in 10,000 steps a day. But I seem to be holding steady and that’s the next best thing to loosing weight. I’ve been in food heaven! Buddy’s pizza, Sanders hot fudge cream puff sandals, Sanders Bump cake, apple cider and fresh cider donuts, Apple pie and lots of fresh water fish and crab cakes. Looking forward to the lobster in New England. You may surmise from this that I live to eat, not eat to live, and you’d be right!

Our spot at Dad and Suzannes

Our spot at Dad and Suzannes

Lake freighter as observed from Port Huron

Lake freighter as observed from Port Huron

Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron

Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron

Our last night with Dad

Our last night with Dad

I was able to connect with long time friends Kathy and Louie  and Roseanne and Ken for a fun night of catching up and reminiscing.  I stood up at Kathy and Louie’s wedding many, many years ago.  It was a three day, big Polish wedding that I will never forget.

Kathy, me and Roseanne

Kathy, me and Roseanne

We’ve spent time with Ralph’s family and my family. Ralph had lunch with guys from high school and I spent time with some of my friends.

Ralph's high school buddies

Ralph’s high school buddies

We did a little more driveway surfing in Saline with family and I was able to connect with my step-daughter, Stephanie’s mother, Debbie. My heart is so full of love from connecting with everyone. We’ve been parked in beautiful country settings and have relished the greenery and moisture in the air. I’ve been cruising around in a 1953 Chevy, cruising Vineyard Lake on a pontoon boat, going to a Cider Mill for cider and donuts and doing all the Michigan things.   I’ve developed a strong desire to spend more time in Michigan in the summer. Ralph’s 50th Class Reunion is next year so we may just be back next summer.

A little float, a little wine and a lot of dog on Vineyard Lake in Brooklyn, MI

A little float, a little wine and a lot of dog on Vineyard Lake in Brooklyn, MI

A canal off Vineyard Lake. It went pack to a campsite co-op

A canal off Vineyard Lake. It went pack to a campsite co-op

LOTS of lily pads

LOTS of lily pads

Sunset on Vineyard Lake

Sunset on Vineyard Lake

Some of my favorite women: Jeanette, Joan and Cindy

Some of my favorite women: Jeanette, Joan and Cindy

Next stop Cleveland for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Happy Campers

The Happy Campers

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