Long-time readers may recall that my family often heads north to Michigan in the summer to escape the heat in Louisville. Three-fourths of us returned there these past weeks, though it wasn't quite the same as it used to be.
My oldest daughter, only a year away from departing the nest for college, is in a five week program for Kentucky's talented seniors-to-be. My younger daughter, moreover, spent three weeks in Michigan apart from us at one of the country's finest camps (and schools) for young artists.
Thus, my spouse and I spent most of the past week vacationing without our children -- something we really hadn't done since our 10th anniversary in 2001. Prior to that, we spent time locally car shopping and enjoying some shows and films. Check out "Winter's Bone," which has a Kentucky connection (the lead actress is a former local).
Once in Michigan, on our way to collect our theatre student, we hit the beach for a day, enjoyed the local brews, went for a woodland hike, sampled a variety of tasty local cherry products, and purchased a large box of delicious blueberries for home consumption. We even had a taste of Europe one evening at a very good cafe. That night, we stayed across the street from the Cadillac dealer of Cadillac! My Dad would have liked that.
As a side note, as it has in the past, the nation's political scene intersected our visit to Michigan. However, we once again decided not to attempt to combine politics (my business) and pleasure.
On the beach, I missed the persistent "look at me, Daddy" that our lakeside neighbors got to hear. On the other hand, I was able to complete a very long and interesting novel. And since Interlochen concluded with a fine show featuring my daughter, I got to experience the "watch me" moment nonetheless.
Incidentally, we drove the new Altima Hybrid and got over 37 mpg on the trip.
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