October 17, 2009

Michigan - Day Four

I am truly blessed to have such great friends.

Today D & V drove me hundreds of miles so I could experience a dream come true.

The movie "Somewhere in Time" is H and my favorite love story of all time. A long while back I researched the hotel where the movie was filmed and found out it was The Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island, Michigan. "Well, that's the end of that," was my conclusion, thinking I would never travel to Michigan, and by extension, would never see The Grand Hotel.

Today changed all that.

It is more beautiful than I imagined, and I couldn't believe I was there!

Even better, it just happens that this weekend is the "Somewhere in Time" weekend, and there were a lot of people dressed in period clothing.

It was a great, great day, and I am so grateful to my friends who made it possible.


-- Post From My iPhone

October 16, 2009

Michigan - Day Three

And ANOTHER fantastic day here in Michigan. I had no idea that there was so much to do and see here. Skiing, rafting, canoeing, hiking, fishing (HUGE) salmon everywhere - the lust is endless. And everywhere you look, gorgeous landscape.

Some pics from today

Beavers at work

Fish fry Friday. All You can eat fish dinners.

October 15, 2009

Michigan - Day Two

Today was a great day. No, it was another great day.

I'm getting used to the time difference and was up, cleaned up and ready to visit with my friends...all before dawn.

After we ate breakfast it was off on today's explorations. First up was two-tracking.

For those of you who don't know what two-tracking is, it's sort of like off roading. There are lots and lots of unpaved back roads here that are narrow and are designated by the two grooves, or tracks, made by vehicles. Driving on the dirt back roads is called two-tracking.

Ever watchful to avoid snakes, bears, porcupines, and wolves, we stopped a few times and hiked into the forest to see what we could find. It was so quiet and still, except for the trees that whispered to us. We found beautiful trees, lichen, mushrooms and cornfields.

After two-tracking we went to a preserve area and went deep into the forest. There was a pathway we followed in, which eventually turned into a narrow raised boardwalk through the trees. We heard, but didn't see, a pheasant taking flight, and saw small creek bridges, and more beautiful heavily wooded forests.

And it was C-O-L-D. Brrr!

Nothing cures a chill like hot soup, so we went to a nearby cafe and had a bowl of hot soup and split a sandwich.

Our last outing for the day was a trip to nearby resort & spa for some swimming, followed by a jacuzzi.

We wrapped up the day with a good dinner and desert in front of the fire.

Yes, another good day.


A forest friend

Salmon fishing

Deer in the woods

Tomorrow will be another full day, so for now g'nite.


October 14, 2009

Michigan - Day One

After my little Chicago misstep with missing my flight, I kept a close eye on the gate situation for my new flight. A very close eye.

They were unable to ditch me a second time, in spite of all their efforts and the THREE gate changes before my flight actually left.

"Fool me once" and all that...

I arrived safe and sound, and my friends were waiting for me.

My suitcase was not.

After going to the very funny and personable agent for help, (there was only one in the entire airport) she located my bag in a back area. Yay!!

Because of my delay in Chicago we drove home in the dark, so I wasn't able to see much og the area, but come morning - well, here's the view from my bedroom window.

After breakfast V and I hit the road.

Critter Watch today included wild turkeys, black squirrels, a racoon, deer and a black bear (99% sure on that). Oh, and a porcupine (DOA) but still saw it.

Not sure what's on V's agenda for tomorrow, but I know it'll be gorgeous.

For now, a hot cup of tea in front of a beautiful fire ends a great day.


October 13, 2009

Fall Colors of Michigan

It's fall and all the pictures of beautiful blazing fall colors of golds, reds and magenta are popping up everywhere. Every year I lust after these pictures and lament about the muted tones in my own area. Oh,don't feel too sorry for me. I live in a gorgeous tourist destination with beaches to die for, but it's just not the same in the fall when you see bucolic scenes of leave piles, hay rides, pumpkin patches and those glowing trees.

So, I am now on my quest to capture some of those enviable scenes for myself. As I write this, I am sitting in Chicago's O'Hare Airport, en route to my friend's house in Michigan. A small connection flight to go and I'll find myself in an autumn wonderland.

For now, though, I've already stumbled upon a wonder here in Chicago.

Yep. An automatic toilet seat cover apparatus. Why don't we have these at home?! It's awesome, and I can't wait to share it with the world.

I also found this:

You gotta love it

More to follow...


When and IF you ever have to fly in or out of Chicago O'Hare Airport, keep your eye on the departure gate! Apparently last minute gate changes are a constant here.

As you read earlier, I arrived in plenty of time for my connection, found my gate, spoke to the agent and confirmed the flight was leaving on time FROM THAT GATE, then sat down to wait

And wait ...

And wait a bit more.

Getting a bit concerned, I went back to the gate to find out wassup? Only to be nonchalantly told, "Oh, that flight left."

Say WHAT??!!?!?!

Yep, they changed the gate and section of the airport, and I am now waiting for the next flight, leaving three hours later.

Sucks for me, but sucks even more for my poor friend who is waiting for me at the airport in Michigan.

I'm hoping my next update will be from Michigan.

Ever hopeful...


Post From My iPhone

October 01, 2009

Halloween's Coming!

Just a reminder that for a great family fun event, Irvine Park Railroad Pumpkin Patch is always a hit!

Here is some info from their site:

Irvine Park Railroad’s 4th Annual Pumpkin Patch

Irvine Park Railroad’s 4th annual pumpkin patch is fun for the entire family! Children and adults are invited to the pumpkin patch which is open daily at 10:00 am beginning September 19th through November 1st. Irvine Park Railroad is located inside of Irvine Regional Park in the foothills of Orange, California.

The pumpkin patch is located in Locomotive Loop just behind the train station. Thousands of pumpkins, in all shapes and sizes, fill Locomotive Loop. All visitors are sure to find the perfect pumpkin!

This year’s pumpkin patch activities include: Train rides, hay rides, a haunted house, a hay maze, pony rides, a moon bounce, carnival games, John Deere tractor racers, face painting (weekends only), picture stands, great food and The Orange County Zoo.

Admission into the pumpkin patch is free. Prices for all other activities vary; please visit www.irvineparkrailroad.com for additional information and costs.

Children ages 12 and under can wear their Halloween costume to Irvine Park Railroad on Saturday, October 31st. Every child that wears a costume on that day will receive a free goodie bag filled with Irvine Park Railroad giveaways.

Irvine Park Railroad welcomes schools and groups. Please visit www.irvineparkrailroad.com or call (714) 997-3968 for school and group information.

The Irvine Park Railroad pumpkin patch is open daily from

September 19th through November 1st

Weekdays 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Weekends 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

The parking fee for Irvine Regional Park is $3.00 per vehicle on weekdays and $5.00 per vehicle on weekends.

Irvine Park Railroad’s annual events include the Anniversary Celebration, Easter Eggstravaganza, Pumpkin Patch, and Christmas Train.

Become a fan of Irvine Park Railroad on Facebook, follow our tweets on twitter, and view pictures on Flickr. Please visit the photo gallery www.irvineparkrailroad.com to view pictures of last year’s pumpkin patch.

For pricing, park directions, and complete details, please visit www.irvineparkrailroad.com.