Sunday, July 26, 2009


For those of you following the blog in chronological order, be sure to scroll down & read the other catch up ones first!

On Saturday morning, Jim, Pat, Bill & I took off for the Farmer's Market in downtown Midland. We were running a little late so we were hurrying to get our fresh fruits & vegetables bought before the market closed & before those darn black rain clouds let loose again. We made it. Got some delicious looking goodies. Oh yes, Bill had to buy bread & cookies. They not only looked good, they were good!!!!

It began to sprinkle, but decided to take in a few of the stores in downtown. This way if it rained hard, we could duck into a store. We purchased a few things here & there. Three of us enjoyed looking, poor Jim, the non-shopper, was very patient. He's an excellent chauffeur though. Thanks, Jim for putting up with us! After dodging the rain, we folded up the umbrellas & hit the pizza/sandwich shop. What a great place to eat! Darned if I can remember the name though! I could find it again, but couldn't name it.

Then we were off to the Fairgrounds for the Antique Festival. I said we would be safe here as we didn't need to buy any antiques, we already had them! I believe there was about 10 acres of vendors! Talk about aching back & legs!!! But it was so much fun. The sun came out & it was actually Hot. Again, Jim was very patient. Even though we weren't actually shopping, it was fun to look & reminisce. That shows your age! Never found my Pyrex bowls nor Roger's Whirley Industry mugs! We will keep looking Roger! When we get home in August, they have sale days. If we don't find them there, Bill has already checked with his nephew who works there about seeing if they have any. We might have to buy a case! How many hands do you need to fill with coffee mugs????

Well, we said we didn't NEED to buy anything. The word being need! But right at the last booth on the way out we found the man with the flags & poles. Well I had bought this cute "Happy Camper" flag in Frankenmuth & I needed a pole - one of those PVC pipe ones that twirl around. This guy had them. But Bill said, I want the other kind. Now I know what he was talking about, but I didn't think he was thinking about buy "that" kind. Well, we got such a good price, before we left we had a telescoping pole that goes under the tire of the rig including the flag, the PVC pipe pole & 2 free flags. Now all we had to do was figure out how to get them in Jim & Pat's little Chevy. No problem. We got it in & Pat & I just sat real cozy in the back seat! Now we can fly those big flags on special occasions & our regular flag everyday that it's nice! I love to see that red, white & blue flying in the breeze!

We came to the trailer first to drop off our purchases & goodies, then took one load of laundry to Pat's. Bless you dear! Thank you. Only 2 more small loads to go. Jim again cooked a delicious meal. Oh, not by himself though. He had help from Pat as she made the delicious pasta salad in the morning! Can't give the guys all the credit. Bill said he furnished the bread. Spent all day in the kitchen. Ya right! But that zucchini nut bread was out of this world. Seems like you get so hungry for it this time of year!

Today, Sunday, we met Pat & Jim for church at 9:30am in downtown Midland at their home church. It was a very meaningful sermon & several times throughout the day we would chuckle & remind each other just what the sermon was about. A half truth is still a lie! and... Ephesians 4:32 - Be ye kind, one unto another.....

When we told Pat we were coming to visit we asked if they would do us a favor & go with us to Lansing for a late lunch after church to meet our friends from Hastings, MI that live at Superstition Sun with us. They said sure. So we ventured to Lansing to meet with our friends Marquita & Ray. Originally we wanted to visit them in their hometown, but they are in the middle of getting ready for a huge garage/estate sale. We all know what that is like. Extra company at that time is not a welcome site! So we opted for a leisurely Sunday afternoon lunch. Ray picked the restaurant & it was delicious. Italian food, but I had Mexican. Yes, Tom M.......Taco Salad! It was huge. None of us had room for dessert either. Bill brought half his dinner home! He likes those left overs! The name of the restaurant was Guerrazzi's. This is the inside of the dining room. A replica of the Mackinac Bridge. See Francis, they have them everywhere!
Marquita, Bill, Ray, Jim & Pat
Marquita, Bill, Ray, Peg & Pat
All except Marquita
The Cousins - Jim & Pat, Bill & Peg
Outside the restaurant - Ray, Marquita, Peg & Bill
Okay, Jim, a close up! He was afraid you couldn't see what we looked like! Well we can see those clouds. I hope we make it home.
Fortunately we made it all the way home with no more than a few rain drops. It rained a light shower after we got inside then quit.

Bill & I got back to the trailer around 6:30 or so so that Jim & Pat could have a restful evening without company. We need to give them a break! Tomorrow is another day & will be our last day in Midland.

We have had a great time. Pat has been asking for us to visit for several years. She said Midland is on the way to nowhere. After all the running around, she may not want us back for awhile. Again, she might see us sooner than she thinks! LOL I won't say where until we know!

Can you believe it?????? This is the last post & I am "Up To Date"!!!! Hope you enjoyed our travels as much as we did. Thanks for being a follower!

Until next time...............The Traveling Cardinal's

Our First Day in Midland, MI

We found our way to Cousin Pat & Jim's home in Midland, MI after getting the trailer set up at the Valley Plaza RV Park. We couldn't fit in the first assigned space as there were too many huge pine trees. We scraped the side of the trailer with one while driving the truck into the other. Finally had to ask them to put us in another spot. The second choice was much, much better. These people who work in the registration offices sometimes don't have a clue! Even with reservations for a 40 footer, they don't think. Oh well. They just have one less branch on one of their trees!

This is Pat & Jim's home. It is beautiful & in such a quiet, peaceful, wooded area.
This is their back yard. I could look at this out my window & off my patio every day couldn't you? EXCEPT in the winter!
Pat moving chairs so we could gather around the table & chat. Oh she looks like her mom!
Jim telling Bill the history of building the homestead.
The next day we spent walking around the beautiful Dow Gardens. The Gardens were initially developed by Herbert H. Dow, founder of Dow Chemical Co., on the estate he shared with his wife, Grace, & their family. The Dow family, through the Herbert H. & Grace A Dow Foundation, continues to nurture the Gardens which have grown to 110 acres & includes some of the finest horticultural displays in the Midwest.

Since Jim is a retired chemist of Dow Corp., he was familiar with many of the facilities that the Dow family & corporation have contributed to this community. It truly is a beautiful, small town atmosphere community with lots of activities.
This was on the wall of the Visitor's Center & Gift Shop. I believe it is a kite. I'd love one! Along the beach................
Looking down the pathway you find Jim, Bill & Pat. Notice the huge rocks/boulders. That is not native Michigan. Remember......Michigan is surrounded by lakes, thus sand. So any rocks you find in the gardens have been brought in from some where else. (Probably PA......we have plenty!!!)
Beautiful man-made waterfall
I could just throw out a blanket, get a good book & lay here all day!!! Isn't it peaceful looking?
I know I won't remember names of the flowers, so please forgive me. I didn't study horticulture & I can hardly remember the names of the flowers I used to have in my own old garden in PA. But this beautiful daisy type flowers had purple centers. They were gorgeous!
In the conservatory we encountered several of these beautiful little yellow birds in a cage.
Outside were varieties of sunflowers.
Here a young mom or day care worker was having a picnic with several little ones.
Pat, Jim & Bill tried their best to circle this humongous tree. It lacked on more set of arms to reach around it.
Can't you just picture a bride walking down this beautiful flowered pathway?
Interesting enough....these pretty flowers were called "Arizona Sun".
To each of you, I send a rose!
And another!
Okay, Dee, this is for you. I found the perfect project for your Day Care! These were just darling. Since this was in the Children's Garden, I'm sure they had a class that made all of these. There were about 30 of them. They probably brought old clothes from home (some were even Halloween costumes), painted faces on burlap, put on a cross stick form & stuffed with straw. The varieties were unbelievable, as were the faces! I guess I missed putting in the picture with the ballerina dress & the Cinderella with the beads!

We picked a beautiful day to be outside. Needless to say, my legs were aching along with my back by the time I crawled into bed.

Jim & Pat have been wonderful host/hostess to us by cooking our meals each evening. I can't decided if they make great friends or great relatives! Thank You!

Again, until next time.............The Traveling Cardinal's

Final Days "Up North" in Michigan

Our last night in Mio we had to get a little crazy! The lady on the right & another gal were camping in the tent in the background. I had been watching the other gal out our kitchen window & she could hula hoop forever!!! She didn't stop; just kept moving her hands to a different position. That evening before Bill, Sue, Bill & I went out for supper, they came over & wanted us to try. Now it's been MANY years since I did this. I don't have the same waist I had when I was 11 or 12 yrs. old nor am I as flexible. I did get a few in before it fell, but I think my back just went............out.........for........a.............couple...........of.............days! Dumb wasn't I????
Now Sue was a different story! I swear you have to be slim & trim to do this!!! The gal on the right is the one who can do it for 36 minutes. She's trying to beat another friend/relatives time of 1 hour. Good luck gal!
The best is yet to come!!!! You have got to watch this video! Make sure if you are a woman, you've gone to the bathroom first! LOL Grand've got to watch this!!!!!

This is my nephew Bill & wife Sue. We headed out to West Branch for a great supper. See that beautiful blue sky? It didn't last long. They have a saying in Michigan........"If you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes it will change". Oh how true!
These were the neatly painted buildings in West Branch. I wanted to take more pictures, but it was raining too hard. I just happened to get between the windshield wipers of Bill's truck. See how neat these stores are??? Warren, PA, what is your problem????????
This concluded our wonderful visit with Bill & Sue. The next day we headed out for Midland, MI.

So, until the next "Catch Up"...............The Traveling Cardinal's

Our Visit to Area Around Mio & Alpena, Michigan

On July 21st Bill & I took a little tour around Mio & the surrounding area. We went out for lunch in Fairview to a little family restaurant & then rode out to an Amish Furniture Store. Not that we wanted anything, just wanted to ride & look. After leaving the store, we took a little back road to the main road & saw this beautiful log home. How would you like to sit in this little addition & look out over your pond?? you still want that log home???? Scenery looks pretty good here in Michigan.......Lots of fishing, hunting, etc., etc.We stopped at the Mio Dam & saw these two men canoeing. They have canoe races in Grayling this time each year. Very busy place. AuSable River Festival - the AuSable River International Canoe MarathonThere were a couple of ladies & a couple guys fishing from this newly constructed handicapped pier.
Peaceful river. Look at those clouds.
On our way out we had to stop for this family of turkey. There were 12 little ones. After they crossed another momma & 2 babies came out & crossed.
Bill is picking up pine cones to help start his camp fire.
On Thursday the 22nd, Sue, my Bill & I headed for Alpena. Bill wanted to pay a surprise visit to his poker playing friend from AZ that lives in Alpena. At the intersection we had to wait for this gentleman to cross our path.
We arrived at Francis & Doris' home in Alpena shortly before noon. He certainly was surprised. He had just come home from riding his bike (they do a lot of that - his wife rides 3 miles to work every day.) He was out working in his garden. This was a picture Bill snapped of Doris' garden.
Francis and my niece Sue
After Doris came home from work, they took us on a tour of Alpena. Since he was a former postman, we knew he wouldn't get us lost! I can't remember the name of this place, but it had something to do with metal. This eagle was constructed of metal & was beautiful.
Downtown Alpena
This is a huge mound of salt that is mined under the city of Detroit & transported to Alpena to use on the roadways in the winter.
We took a tour of this museum. NOAA showing all about the shipwrecks in Lake Huron. If I remember right, there were 17 of them. Very interesting.
After our tour & museum visit, we went to a unique Saloon called John A. Lau Saloon. The food was fantastic. We ate outside in the garden area that was set up like you were eating on a street with old buildings surrounding you. Inside the Saloon the decor depicted the way the original bar/saloon looked. I hope the next person who gets there takes some pictures for me! My batteries (both sets!!!) died! It was really fascinating but I was bummed because I couldn't get pictures!
This concluded our day in Alpena. We had a fun time & it was great surprising friends & spending the afternoon with them! We will all be back in AZ before you know it!

Again, until the next "Catch Up".............The Traveling Cardinal's

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Another Catch Up Day

Tuesday, July 14th we are ready to cross from Canada into Michigan at Port Sanilac. I think we chose the right lane. It took us about 40 minutes to get through customs on the other side of the bridge. It was a beautiful day- look at that sky. I mean really look....we aren't going to see too many more pictures with that in it!Oh, Denise, a lighthouse for you! I was thinking of you when I snapped this one!
Beautiful view of Lake Huron
Wednesday evening after my nail appointment, my niece, Debbie, showed me this neat little park called Diamond Trail Park. It has a nice 1 mile paved trail around through the field & woods to walk, bike, scooter, in-line skate, whatever. With us talking, it took no time at all to walk that mile! Oh Toni, I long for those days!!!!
On Friday, the 17th, Deb surprised me by taking the day off & we went to Frankenmuth, MI. I hadn't been there in years. This was outside the Silent Night Memorial Chapel at Bronner's Christmas Shops.
Silent Night Memorial Chapel
Deb in front of the North Pole Farm Float
Outside the south end of Bronner's Christmas Shops
At South Entrance
Carriage rides throughout the town.
Deb & I had a delicious lunch at the Bavarian Inn. Had entertainment & the waiters & waitress were dressed in native costume. Deb thought Aaron would look good in his Alpine Shorts as a waiter. Ya, right! Don't think that tractor boy would do that!
Another carriage
The flowers throughout the town were beautiful!
This is the little boy & girl on one side of the Inn. On the other side there is a clock that strikes on the hour & they come out & kiss there. We went out & watched & was going to take a picture, but they only come out on certain hours of the day & we missed it. We were there at 1pm & they came out at 3pm. When we went back in our soup was on the table, so we were already to eat!
Downtown Frankenmuth, MI
Couldn't resist the close ups

Next we went across the street to the Fudge Kitchen. I love to watch them make this. Young guys working, but I was watching them make the fudge! The guy on the right was cutting a batch of butter pecan. He looked like Russ W. from back home! The guy in the middle had just taken these 4 metal sides from a another marble slab where vanilla fudge was cooling. They just keep cleaning & moving these from marble table to marble table.
He then keeps stirring/shoveling around the edges until the right temperature/consistency is reached.
You can see it becoming thicker & thicker. It looks like it is going to run off the sides. He said he has done it for about 3-1/2 yrs. & he's had a few run over the edge.
Getting closer

Pretty fancy designs just by flipping the spatula over all the way down the roll. Just about ready to cut. He took some off the end & gave us all a sample. Ummmmm Good!
Pouring a another batch on the middle slab.
This is how they add the peanut butter. Then they mix it in as it cools after he has removed the form.
This was a neat thing outside of one of the shops. You looked through the end (like a telescope) & spun the pot of flowers & it was a kaleidoscope. Beautiful! How would you like that in your garden?
I promised myself I was going to have an "all girl" day with Debbie today & wouldn't you know, every shop we went into they had "John Deere" items. This store had a yellow Christmas tree with John Deere ornaments. I guess I didn't meet my goal for this day. She is surrounded by a loving husband & son..........all John Deere & trucks!!!!
The covered bridge
When we went to come back across, we had to wait for this camper.
Typical building in the town
Friday evening after we got back from Frankenmuth, Aaron went to a tractor pull & Deb, Gary, Bill & I went to Port Sanilac for supper. Had a great meal. After we went for a ride along Lake Huron & this is one of the pictures I took that shows some very dark clouds & a wee bit of pink setting sun that we saw very little of that day.
So serene. These were taken from Forester County Park
Just for you LaVon
On Saturday we tried to contact all of my oldest sister's boys & husband. No one was home so I left them all messages. Judy (in middle of picture) called me to say Bob & Larry were at the mini tractor pull in Marlette. Bill & I decided to make a trip into town to see them all in one place. Larry is on the left & you can only see the top of Bob's white hat beyond Bill.
This is Chanity & Candice (Larry's granddaughter & daughter) getting ready for the 50/50 drawing.
This is Larry's grandson, Ashtyn who pulls in the garden tractor division.
See that dimple in his chin? I think he's related to the Wiltsie's!
Ashtyns' dad William, pulls in the bigger league. Yow, the noise was worse than a jet engine! I thought Oceana Naval Air Station was bad!
The back of Chanity's shirt shows the name of the group of pullers for the mini tractors. She has a tractor that she pulls with too; it's pink, but she was having some problems with it so she didn't pull on this day.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end! We had to leave our beautifully groomed Morden Campground to head north to Mio, MI for our next visit. Here Deb, Gary & Aaron pose for a farewell from their home/campground. We appreciated all they did for us while we were there. Even though we had our own "home", they let us use their facilities when we needed, including laundry facilities! That was a blessing! We made some more memories to add to our traveling lifestyle.
As we are heading north on Interstate 75 we saw many, many trailers & lots of traffic heading south. Going back after a "weekend up North". This was a real "All American Trailer"! Love to see that Eagle & Flag!!!
More traffic
Here we are at Mio Pine Acres in Mio, Michigan. This is the first campground that we've ever stayed in that you "pay when you leave". The older gentleman that checked us in has been here almost 20 years. He had us fill out a little square 2x2" yellow sticky pad paper with our name, address, phone number & told us to pick out a site from the ones he gave us. When I got ready to pay & told him we were Good Sam members, he said catch us on the way out. Now that is trust!

Bill and Sue came out on Sunday night after we got set up. Bill got some firewood & we sat around and caught up on the last 3 years since we'd seen each other. The last time we were here was when my sister passed away in August 2006. When we drove through Rose City I had a very hard time. That is where she was in the Nursing Home prior to her death. I told Bill, I wish we were coming to see her. I really miss seeing her when we are in this area. It just doesn't seem the same. We have a lot of happy memories of "coming up North" to see her.

Here my nephew Bill is trying to help Bill pull the cork from a bottle of wine. Now that's leverage!! He got it out!!! Linda, this was one of those bottle from Illinois! They really had them stuck in there!
Bill's wife, Sue, says I'll drink my water. I think we did end up having some though. It was good, but one glass is enough. We had to sit around the fire as it was starting to cool off quite a bit. Bill said next time, don't buy the wood, he has a lot that we can use.
So, until I get the next batch up pictures downloaded, I've got you almost caught up to date! I would have downloaded the pictures, but my batteries went dead yesterday while in Alpena. Even the spares were dead. Darn! I missed some good pictures too!

We will be leaving here on Thurs. to head back south to Midland, MI.

So, until next time..................The Traveling Cardinal's