We pulled out of Zack’s driveway at just about 8:00 am and pulled into the Hideaway RV park in Jackson, Michigan a few minutes after 6:00 pm. We lost an hour with the time change, stopped at a Blue Beacon to get a spa treatment and to dump our tanks and grabbed some lunch to eat on the road. It was a long day but actually went pretty quickly.
It rained lightly the second half of the trip and was still raining when we checked into the campground and got situated in our site. We made quick work of setting up as we were meeting our friends Skip and Denise for dinner at Steaks Eatery.
We had a nice dinner, enjoyed visiting with Skip and Denise as well as Skip’s mom, Joan. We’d been to Steaks a few years ago and enjoyed it then, as well. But the highlight was catching up with Denise. We met in our senior year of high school where we both had recently transferred.
We had a 100 miles to travel so we didn’t pull out of the campground until 11:00 am ish. We were headed to Birch Run, Michigan for a Grand Design rally. Birch Run is a hop, skip and jump away from Frankenmuth, a big German-influenced town.
Randy our Dexter rep and his wife were in Frankenmuth and took us out to dinner at Slo Bones BBQ. We had a nice visit but got a chance to get to know Randy a little more and it was nice to meet his wife, Debbie. Unfortunately, the BBQ wasn’t Texas BBQ…but then again…we were in Michigan.
After Randy’s visit we headed into Frankenmuth to check out Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland. Another place we were told we had to visit. The store is HUGE….one and half football fields HUGE. They carry just about any Christmas ‘thing’ you’d want or need…Santas, Advent Calendars, stockings, nativities and just about any ornament you can think of…birds, Collegiate, kids, family, wedding, holidays, states, occupations….it goes on and on. While we didn’t buy anything it was fun just looking.
The first official day of the rally. There was a small barn set aside for vendors (8 total) inside and then about 5 set up outside. We ‘manned’ our booth Thursday through Saturday…roughly from 10-4. We didn’t have any extra product to sell but got several leads and did sell a couple of suspension upgrades that we shipped to the customer’s home for DIYing.
Our oldest son, Zack, was our installer at this rally. He did a disc brake conversion on Friday and a suspension upgrade on Saturday. He stayed with us in our coach, making one of the couches into a bed. However, the first two nights he didn’t sleep the best due to a bar that lays across the couch. The third day we picked up an inflatable mattress and that seemed to help.
One of the must do’s is to have the all you can eat chicken dinner at Zehnder’s in downtown Frankenmuth. We had 6:00 pm reservations and the 3 of us went to check it out. Besides the chicken dinner (dressing, mashed potatoes, noodles and a vegetable) we also received several starters (cole claw, cottage cheese, cranberry orange relish, assorted breads, preserves, cheese spread and chicken liver pate.) We were also served noodle soup to start. And if that weren’t enough we were also served our choice of sherbet or ice cream to finish of the meal.
While the dinner was enjoyable…just me and my two oldest ‘boys’…both Zack and I found the chicken to be a bit underseasoned. Although after dinner we found extra seasoning on the table! Go figure. It seemed to be just right for Michael’s tastes though. I really enjoyed everything else though…not the pate…wasn’t going there! Zack didn’t think he’d go back…but I think Michael and I would…or we’d try the place across the street, The Bavarian Inn, which has a similar offering.
Michael and I have agreed to vend for RVLock at the Heartland rally as well as some of the other rallies we attend. They don’t have a presence at any rallies so this should be a good partnership. We’ve had one of their RVLocks on our coach for years and love it. It’s a keyless entry system and works very well.
They also have locks for the basement (baggage) doors, as well. And thanks to Zack, we now have them on 8 of our basement doors and still have 3 doors to outfit. They all work with a remote or manually and are all keyed alike so that with just one button push on the remote they all unlock. Nice.
We closed up shop about 2:00 pm and all headed into Frankenmuth to do a little shopping. Zack wanted to find gifts for Kelsea, Paityn and Cameron. We wandered around the shops and enjoyed tasting samples and viewing the European architecture of the city. We all found goodies to enjoy later.
With shopping out of the way we headed to dinner at Tony’s…another spot that is a ‘must do’. Known for their dishes made with a pound of bacon and their huge sundaes…we had to give it a try. Who doesn’t love bacon?