North into Michigan to visit friends in Lansing

Last post I wrote up our significant deviation from our 2019 route plans as we ventured south into Ohio for a major geacaching event.  Another advantage to this change is that it allowed us to visit Key West friends Deb and Steve in Lansing, MI, which was directly on our revised route to Grand Marais in the Upper Peninsula. 1-pub-grub-1

In April and May, as we worked our way out of Florida and up the East Coast, nearly every stop involved meeting up with friends and family: Gloria and Jerry in Venice; Xavier and Joy in Coral Springs; Talek in Cuba; Alex, Carlyle and Haley in Inverness; Dad, Marcia, Jackson, Andrea, Aunt Judy, Uncle Bill and Brian in Central Florida, Robb, Colleen and the twins in Ocala; Donna and Fred in Savannah, Mom and Tim in Wilmington, and Jayson, Linda, Chris, Amy, Junior, Katera, and the vast array of grandkids in Chesapeake.  Whew, that’s a lot.  But since May 21st, for 10 1/2 weeks, it has been just us as we traveled through New England and Canada. 2-us-and-the-kids

Now that we were back in The States, Deb and Steve would break that nearly 11 week drought by hosting us for three days.  Steve arranged for us to leave our rig at the local 40 & 8 chateau, a veterans organization loosely affiliated with the American Legion, while we stayed at their home.

What a great time!  In addition to a short evening at the 40 & 8, they showed us their town with daily outings.  This covered the full range of places from the lovely environment at the Waterfront Bar and Grill to their favorite “dive” bar, the B&I, for low cost drinks and plenty of wait staff attitude.  We had a great late afternoon at a “Grub Crawl” hosted by the local chamber.  For a fixed fee ($10 a person for those of us that ordered online) half a dozen local eateries and food trucks provided good sized sample portions of their most popular offerings.  4-pub-grub-2

We hung out with their grand kids, Kali and Jameson, for a bit of hide and seek and general rambunctiousness.  Rose enjoyed the added benefit of a top tier make over: you just can’t beat the make up artistry of a 5 year old.  5-maekover-in-progress

Steve and I loaded up the bikes in his truck and hit a couple of sites to geocache.  The extraordinary growth in vegetation since some of them were placed made it a challenging afternoon, but we still scored seven finds.  6-makeover-results

It wasn’t all dining out on the town; Steve pulled out the last of his Key West crab claws and Deb incorporated them into an al fredo pasta: de-freaking-licious.  Not to be beat on the culinary end of things, Steve went all in on his special Bloody Mary, complete with pickled asparagus, three types of stuffed olives, and a local meat stick (think gourmet Slim Jim.) A drink that is more like a meal! 7-crab-claw

Stuffed and happy, we departed after our three day stay bound for the Upper Peninsula.  8-bloody-mary