week one (went by too fast)

We set off last Sunday about three hours past the time we planned to leave. Which was ok -- we had a guaranteed reservation at the Holiday Inn in Richfield, Ohio, so it didn't matter what time we got there. We'd had unexpected company the evening before so we were a bit behind in packing.

Twitch, of course, was all set:

twitch all packed up
ok, i'm ready, let's go already

We headed up to Danbury to catch I-84 -- there was no way we were going through Westchester County or New Jersey. The trip was fine and uneventful except for a a construction tie-up about ten miles east of Youngstown, Ohio, which set us back by more than an hour. We were listening to Eragon, a book about dragons and magic. We had junk and soda and it was a peaceful trip.

Ben, Ginger, and Twitch sharing the back seat

We arrived at the Holiday Inn in Richfield about 9:30, hungry and tired. Of course, the restaurant in the hotel closed at ten, so we had to seek out a restaurant. Settled on Wendy's at some truck stop, where the food was awful and the service even worse. Though this hotel advertised high-speed Internet access, what they don't tell you is that you get this only in the business center and not in your room. They didn't lie, exactly, but we were less than thrilled about this. This was not one of the better Holiday Inns and it's unlikely that we'll stay there again.

After breakfast (a mediocre meal at the hotel, though the coffee was good), we headed for Oscoda. Except for an accident that tied things up on Rt. 23 just outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan, it was smooth sailing all the way up. We made it pretty fast: just 6.5 hours from Richfield to Oscoda.

It was so great to see Mom and Dad, finally!

We headed to town to pick up a couple of things we needed, and Ben asked if we could stop at Three Mile Beach on the way back:

Ben at Three Mile Beach, August 23, 2004


noisy but pretty fireworksOne night, Ben brought out his fireworks. Ginger turned into a basket case while he set them off, but they were pretty to watch. Setting off fireworks makes me really nervous, but Papa Jim and Mamie were supervising. Ginger got so upset she jumped into the car when I went to get something and we couldn't get her out of it without dragging her -- I guess she feels safe there.

Stanley and Twitch pretty much staked a permanent spot on the porch. Twitch is in kitty heaven -- on the porch, he's ALMOST outside. Lots of hummingbirds to watch, and toads and other little creatures safe from his clutches.

Stanley and Twitch on the porch

The air here is so clean it amazes me. When it's not clouded up, the night sky is so spectacular it makes you never want to turn on an outside light again. Maybe we'll get lucky and get to see the Northern Lights this trip.

We've spent a great deal of time at the beach. The sand part of the beach has shrunk a lot; Dad says it's been declared a wetlands so there's nothing to be done about it. Pity, as it wasn't a wetland a couple of years ago and it probably won't be a wetland in a couple of years. But it's still beautiful and relatively few people use it. There's a sand bar not far off shore, which makes it a very safe stretch for the kiddies. The water is nice -- not cold enough to give you a heart attack, but nice and brisk. And clean.

I think Stanley's been dreaming about doing this again:

don't make me think. or even move.

Ben and Ginger love the beach. Ginger runs to the door if we even say the word "beach."

Ginger and Ben out there

dog and boy running

I'm not sure, but I think Ben was pretending to be, um, flotsam.

Ben pretending he's flotsam

Ginger kept her eye on Ben all the time, except when she was chasing her new football. She loved jumping around with him.

Ginger watching Ben

Ben had to fly back to Massachusetts today, alas. It's so quiet without him here, and Ginger is moping because her boy is gone. We miss him too. Now we just have to remember to bring his smoke bombs home with us -- the ones he got at the Dam Store without realizing that he couldn't even put them in his checked luggage!

Off to Bingo -- maybe I'll win tonight.
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