Today, we travel to Michigan

I got up with Sascha to get things started.  I needed to make sure she went out and came back in to eat before we left to drop her at the kennel.  Unfortunately, she was spending a few days at the kennel while we went to Michigan for Zurek Christmas.  I knew she wouldn’t be happy about it, but at least she would be safe.  The kennel treats her pretty well, but not as nice as she would like to be treated.  They also don’t have a big red chair for her to take over at her will.

Rick and Rich got moving and we started packing the car.  Now Sascha is aware that we are leaving.  She just isn’t sure how far she is going on the trip.  Not far.  I finished getting things taken care of and Rich got Sascha into the car.  Now we were on the way to drop off Sascha.

I pulled into the kennel and Sascha got a little worried.  She is always happy to get to the kennel and have everyone greet here.  She just isn’t happy to stay.  When it came time for her to walk to the kennel from the office, she jumped on me and held on for dear life.  Poor baby.

After dropping Sascha off, we headed on to breakfast.  I wanted to try out a restaurant in Palatine before we got onto the highway.  It’s called Route 14 Café.  The food was OK, but nothing spectacular.  At least I know now.  After breakfast, the road was calling our names.

I’ve been going down 53 to 355 and then to 80.  This takes me out of the way of some of the major traffic.  The ride was smooth and not too many cars.  We stopped at the Lincoln oasis just before the Indiana state line.  The weather was beautiful.  Hard to believe this was Dec 26!

Back in the car, we keep moving forward into Indiana and then into Michigan.  We head to South Haven so we could visit with Rich’s grandmother.  Busia is 92 and still going pretty strong.  We had gotten kishka and halava for her as a gift.  I was bringing what I thought was Zurek soup to her as well.

We arrived at her house and tried to raise her.  She was telling us to come, but we just couldn’t hear her through the door.  Her voice isn’t quite that strong these days.  Once inside, we hugged and wished each other Merry Christmas.  We sat around the kitchen table and talked about the current state of our lives.  She was getting us caught up on some of the other family members around the country.

I gave her the presents we brought.  She wanted to try the soup right away.  After I had it out, we discovered it was Rich’s mushroom gravy!  He had rummaged through the refrigerator last night and moved things.  This displaced the containers I had arranged so I didn’t have to think about it when I went to pack things.  In all fairness, I didn’t even look at the container.  I grabbed the one where I had placed it for packing.  Good news, she has mushroom gravy for dinner.  Bad news is Rich lost his mushroom gravy for when he gets home.

We soon said good-bye to continue our travels to Holt.  First, I wanted to go by the beach to check out the view.  The waves weren’t too high and people were walking along the pier to the lighthouse.  We went by the cemetery to say hello to Rich’s mom.

As we were waiting at one of the traffic lights, I got honked at by a motorcycle because he was afraid I wouldn’t go when the light changed.  I do have Illinois plates and he just figured I was another tourist.  Funny thing was, he got behind me again after we left the cemetery to get gas.  Stupid guy.  He didn’t honk this time though.

We got gas and headed back on the road.  Along the way, Rich was playing with his new GPS.  It has a lot of cool features that the old one didn’t.  He was playing with the connection between the GPS and his Smartphone.  They just don’t stay connected.  We noticed that the GPS also tells when there is a delay expected on our route so we can take a detour, if we choose.  That will come in handy.

We got into town and to our hotel.  During check-in, we found out that we had been upgraded to a suite!  That’s so cool.  So it’ll be like a honeymoon for Rich and me tonight.  So home for the next few days would be very nice.

On to Alex and Kelli’s house.  They were waiting for us.  Alex was actually in the process of making a cheesecake.  He’s a great cook.  We toured the new basement area with new floor and completed walls.  Alex had gotten his bar into place.  It all looked really nice.  Of course, Rich and Alex had to have a drink at the new bar before we could leave for dinner.

We make a decision on where we plan to eat and then we gathered everyone up.  Rich, Rick, Joe, and I headed out for Famous Dave’s.  Joe navigated to get us there.  We arranged for a table to fix 8 for dinner.  Alex, Kelli, Erica and Greg arrived behind us.  We had a great dinner, joking around, and enjoying a leisurely dinner.  Erica decided that the kids should all go out for ice cream at the MSU store in Mason.  I’m not sure the guys had the opportunity to say no or not.

I believe Greg said he would pay for ice cream, but he said it right when the bill came.  I started to hand it to him, but he quickly retracted the statement.  Oh no, he couldn’t afford that!  It was worth a try.  Alex and I split the check.  It seemed fair.  Of course, I had to get the money out of Rich since I didn’t have any.  Alex and Rich had to finish their beers before we could leave.  I think the waitress was worried that she still needed to do something for us.

Back at the mansion, we settled in to talk as Rich and Alex continue to enjoy libations.  Pretty soon, it was getting late and I was tired.  We said good night to Rick and everyone who normally lives in the house.  We headed over to the hotel to settle in and get some rest before the celebration tomorrow.

First, we decided to go and look for an open store.  We found a Meijer that was 24 hours.  There were few people out tonight.  I went to look for bubble bath to use in the in-room Jacuzzi.  Rich forgot his Christmas shirt and didn’t really have anything to wear for the day tomorrow.  We found a nice red and green plaid flannel shirt.  Unfortunately, the Lions stuff right next to it.  We have a t-shirt and some refrigerator magnets.  A little poorer, we got out of the store and on our way to the hotel.

Good night, all.