Since the coach was in the shop and friends of ours live in Jackson, Michigan – about a 115 mile drive north we spent the weekend with them in their home.
We left Friday morning 11:00 am and a stop at Rise n Roll bakery in Middlebury to pick up some donuts to share with Denise and Skip. We had an uneventful trip and arrived in Jackson just before 3:00 pm. Denise was waiting for us and Skip arrived home from work about 45 minutes after we arrived. We visited for a short while before we decided it was time for some dinner.
Our hosts took us to one of their local favorites, Steaks Eatery. It was easy to see why it was one of their favorites…the food was wonderful and the portions were huge. We ordered an appetizer sampler platter (deep fried mushrooms, cheese sticks, potato chips, chicken & cheese stuffed jalapenos) to start and it was super yummy. Then we each ordered steaks: a ribeye for Skip, a filet for Michael, shrimp & scallop stuffed ribeye for Denise and prime rib for me. Everything was very good but I took home over half of my prime rib and so did Denise. The only bad thing was that I forgot it in Denise’s refrigerator! 🙁
Once back at Denise and Skip’s home we spent the remainder of the evening relaxing in their backyard. The weather was perfect and the company was great. We did quite a bit of catching up since it has been almost 3 years since we’ve been together.
Saturday was a long day. Denise had planned a surprise 60th birthday party for Skip and Saturday was the day. Denise and I left the house shortly after 9:00 am under the guise of going ‘shopping’, however we were actually picking up the last few items needed for the party and then we headed over to Skip’s daughter, Angie’s home, where the party was held.
Shortly after arriving and unloading the car Skip and Michael arrived. Oh boy! They were supposed to be doing their own thing (farmers market, meat market & lunch). Skip had decided to drop a few things off for his granddaughter, Liz. We did some fast talking as to why we were there (Liz was going shopping with us and was running late) and why there were so many hot dog buns & ice on the deck (they were having a small get together) and then sent them on their way. We were pretty sure Skip knew something was up.
Once they were gone we got to work putting up canopy’s, setting out chairs, prepping food, putting drinks on ice etc. Denise planned a Detroit Tiger’s themed party as Skip is a big fan. We had hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn and cracker jacks…along with lots of other goodies – nachos, salads and fruit.
People started arriving about 1:45 pm and Skip & Michael arrived shortly after 2:00 pm. They’d been called earlier and asked to bring over a picnic table and some chairs for the get together Angie and her husband Nate were having for his side of the family.
We were right…he did have a feeling something was up but wasn’t quite sure what. His birthday isn’t until the end of September so it was sort of a surprise. No matter….he enjoyed having so many friends and family come to wish him well.
We had a nice time getting to know Denise and Skip’s family and friends and were made to feel very welcome and part of the crowd.
We didn’t end up leaving for home until about 10:30 pm and by the time we got home we were pretty pooped so Michael and I went straight to bed. Denise and Skip sat outside and chatted for a while…which we didn’t find out until the next morning.
Sunday morning we all slept in a little bit and when we got up Skip cooked us all a wonderful breakfast…eggs, bacon, sausage & potatoes.
Skip’s sister and her husband from California were in town visiting and not knowing about the surprise party on Saturday Skip invited some of his family over to the house for a cookout Sunday afternoon.
Skip grilled burgers, brats and hot dogs to go along with various sides. We’d put up a couple of canopies in the backyard and we all just sat outside and chatted for several hours before the wind picked up and it started to rain. We moved into the house but that pretty much ended the get together and everyone started going their separate ways.
There were a few people who were making a trip to The Parlour, an ice cream place in Jackson that Michael says is definitely worth another visit. They serve food too, but the main attraction is the ice cream. They offer a ‘Dare to be Great’ sundae that has 21 scoops (HUGE scoops) of your choice of ice cream for $49.95….BUT if you eat it all by yourself in less than an hour you get it free and your name on a plaque on the wall.
We ended up with 10 people at the ice cream place and I was totally shocked at how big the dishes were! I ordered a one scoop hot fudge brownie sundae and could barely finish it. Michael ordered 2 scoops of rainbow sherbet and said next time he’d only order one. Skip’s 2 sisters, his mom and brother in law all ordered a 3 scoop sundae and were able to polish them off. These scoops are not your average size scoops either…more like double the average sized scoop. I’m still trying to figure out how they ate everything!
This morning we were about at 6:30 am in preparation for our trip back to Elkhart to pick up the coach. Skip had already left for work. Denise was up and gave us hugs and we promised to come back soon.
We pulled out of Denise’s driveway about 7:10 am, made a stop for diesel in Jonesville and arrived at Heartland just about 10:00 am. We checked out the work that was done, including getting a new fender skirt ($411.00) for the one that was destroyed when we had our blow out back in May, got the low down on exactly what was done, paid our bill and were on the road at 10:35 am.
When we left Heartland and headed east toward Chicago (yuck!) as we were headed to Great Lakes Naval Base – about 160 miles away. We’d made reservations for 2 nights at the FamCamp on base.
We made decent time even though Chicago traffic slowed us down a few times. We made it to the FamCamp about 1:30. I’d called ahead to find out our site number (11) so that we could go straight to the campground and drop the coach before going over to the Gateway Inn to register and pay. The area around the Gateway Inn isn’t very RV friendly so we were glad we dropped off the coach first.
The campground is only 30 amp (no big deal) and has not water or sewer. There is only a pit toilet but there are showers at the beach and at the marina which are both just down the road a short way.
There are only about 20 sites here but the campground sits right on Lake Michigan. We have a nice view of the lake and the sound of the waves can be easily heard from the coach.
As soon as we got the coach unhooked and the power plugged in we started unpacking. The entire back seat of the truck was full and we had everything from our closet in the dining room and the shower that needed to be put away. It took us about 2.5 hours to get some semblance of order in the house.
When we thought we were at a good stopping point we grabbed our towels, shower bags and a change of clothes and drove over to the marina to take showers. The shower/bathrooms are nice and clean.
I had some spaghetti sauce in the freezer so I warmed that up, made some pasta and garlic bread and we ate dinner at our dining table for the first time in almost 10 weeks!
Bed will come early tonight as we’re both pooped. Until then we’ll be relaxing in our recliners.