Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Michigan Friends


When we last left you we had arrived at the casino just outside Suttons Bay. As we checked in, we were eager to get our free $10 players card, because the day before, our friend Jim had successfully turned his into $180. Wow, sounds so easy, right? Well, spoiler alert, we didn't even get the time to use ours and like every other card we've gotten at a casino, they went right into the trash. Clearly, we will never get rich gambling. Conversely, we'll never go broke gambling either. I guess that's a good thing.

Jim and Diana were out kayaking with friends so Steven and I headed to one of our favorite places, the Knot Just A Bar. The food is tasty and the drinks are good, but the best part about this place is the view. It overlooks Lake Michigan and is just a very relaxing place to spend a couple of hours yakking and people-watching.

The view of Lake Michigan from our table at Knot Just A Bar.

Shortly after we got home, Jim and Diana returned from their kayaking trip. It was so wonderful to see them again. The last time we saw them was when we were working at Amazon as they stopped by to visit on their way to Florida for the winter season. Though they had plans for dinner with friends, they graciously invited us along.

Mary, Lane, Patti, Rod, Jim, Diana and Steven.

Mary, who we met last year at Wild Cherry, brought along a tasty batch of Lemoncello from the distillery where she works. I might add it was a little TOO tasty, in that getting up early the next morning was hard. But Toadie had an appointment to keep at the Williams Chevrolet in Traverse City for her 60k mile check up so we dragged ourselves up and out!

We love this dealer, it's the same place we took Toadie last year for service and once again, they supplied us with a loaner, a Chevy Silverado. It's fun to drive around in a new ride while Toadie is being cared for. Last year we had the loaner (another Silverado!) for three day and, as it turns out, we did this year as well as we were waiting on a tiny little piece of trim to arrive. Pretty sweet deal!

IMG_6537  IMG_6540
Our loaner Silverado was a pretty sweet ride (sorry Toadie).

One of the greatest things about our nomadic lifestyle is the people we meet. You just never know when or where you’ll meet someone that you click with in a meaningful way. We met Jim and Diana in Campbellsville, KY during our first stint at Amazon in 2016. We met Bill and Cindy on a ferry from Cedar Island, NC to the Outer Banks in 2017. We learned they were from the very area in Michigan where we would be spending a month, so we made plans to meet up. When we decided to return this year to Michigan, they were among the first folks we contacted to make plans.

Hanging with our Michigan peeps: Bill, Cindy, Jim and Diana.

It was with these wonderful friends that we celebrated our fourth anniversary of fulltime traveling. It's almost inconceivable that we've been on the road for four years, but when we add up even just a fraction of the experiences, it seems like a lifetime. A fabulous lifetime.

And speaking of friends, guess who showed up in Suttons Bay? Jodee and Bill! And Tessa the fluffy Wonderdog! Actually, it was Jodee who introduced us to Jim and Diana in Campbellsville, even though she wasn't there. Funny how those things work out. We had a fun reunion at Bill and Jodee's site at Wild Cherry Resort before heading off for a BBQ dinner.

Chow and chat with Jim, Diana, Bill and Jodee at Hop Lot Brewing in Suttons Bay.

Though we had initially thought we'd stay a week at the casino in Suttons Bay to hang out with our friends, we had only five days, basically due to poor planning on my part. We had planned a week in Chicago and would stay at the McCormick Place just east of downtown. In order to miss the famed Chicago traffic, we wanted to arrive on a Sunday. That meant leaving Suttons Bay on Saturday for an overnight stay with FHU to catch up on laundry. Bummer.

We spent our last day with Bill and Cindy who took us on a fabulous tour of the places where they grew up. We saw some pretty spectacular views of Lake Michigan, enjoyed some wine lakeside, a stop at a brewery and a lovely dinner afterward. It was a wonderful day.

We had clear skies and wonderful views of Lake Michigan.

Point Betsie Lighthouse.

Cindy and Bill took us to Crystal Downs Country Club where they had their wedding reception.

It was a beautiful evening to walk out on the pier to Frankfort Light.

Paddle boarding at sunset in Frankfort.

A beautiful sunset in Frankfort ended a great day of sightseeing with Cindy and Bill.

Before we left on Saturday we met up with Jodee and Bill one last time for breakfast. It will be a while before we see them again, so we wanted to say a proper goodbye. We'll miss you. We'll miss everybody.

One last get together with Bill and Jodee (and Tessa) before leaving Suttons Bay.

NEXT UP: Chicago!


  1. It was really fun to hang with you guys for a few days! 😊

    1. Wish we'd had more time, especially if you could have taught us how to turn $10 into $180. You have skillz!

  2. Jim and Diana were our very first visitors out here in SD. We have not met Bill and Jodee yet as our paths have never crossed. Looks like you had a great time!

    1. Sorry we missed you in SD, glad you're back and enjoying your property!

  3. Loved getting to see you two again!! I think you broke something on Toadie just so you could get the Silverado again :-)))

    1. Funny, the first time we had their loaner for three days THEY broke something on Toadie! They called all apologetic and we said, yeah, take your time with that repair. :) Good to hang with you guys, as per usual!

  4. Looks like so much fun with good friends! And what a gorgeous area...the water, the views, the weather...I hope we're as lucky when we get to Michigan.

    1. I am going to really enjoy your trip to MI, it has been such a great place for us. I would never have guessed we'd be there two years in a row!

  5. Wow, it looks like we just missed you in Suttons Bay. I wish you could have come to the Xscapers Convergence we had at Wild Cherry on September 12-18!

    1. We knew about the convergence, but were well on the other side of Lake Michigan by the time it rolled around. We knew you were rattling around MI, too, and I believe you were heading to the U.P. the day we arrived in Suttons Bay. Next time. :)