CHAPTER “13”….DAY 9…2016 FLORIDA TO MICHIGAN ROAD TRIP!!!

TUESDAY AUGUST 23, 2016…..DAY NINE!!   MILES TODAY: 12.2   TOTAL MILES: 1733.5

Today started out pretty doggone normal. On paper it was looking like I was for the most part going to be free. I had NO plans whatsoever until 5:30. That was going to give me lots of time to catch up on my computer work, correspondences, and most importantly MY NAPS. I left home over a week ago and I have only squeaked in a couple of cat naps…..what the heck kind of vacation is that??

Getting right into things I gave Lisa a call to make sure that she was out of bed and feeding the dog. That being handled I got down to the lobby and had my breakfast. I generally hang out in the breakfast area a while. I take my computer with me and I look all studious and busy while I am actually Googling “funny faces to make grandkids laugh”. Try it…..you’ll be the favorite grandparent in no time. AND at the same time you will look studious and busy in a hotel lobby.

Once I finished doing my highly intellectual research it was time to face my day of inactivity. My first act of not doing anything was to stop for gas. I filled up and started out. As I was pulling away I could hear my phone ring. A little trivia about me: I am totally useless at multi-tasking in general so to try and ride a motorcycle AND answer the phone…….that is NOT something that have tried or WILL EVER try. I was supposed to call our bank this morning and living up to my reputation I totally forgot. I assumed that it was our account manager calling me to ask me why I wasn’t calling him.   The task that was my immediate concern was retrieving my jacket. The need for success was being amplified as I was riding JACKET FREE on M-59 at 50 MPH. My goose pimples were getting so big it looked like my arms were covered with pickles.

I didn’t exactly know where I was going but I knew that I was close. She told me she was getting new windows installed so I went through the first complex looking for a window company truck. No luck. Rather than drive around all day wasting my FREE TIME DAY I stopped and sent her a text hoping that I would get a quick reply. At the same time I thought that I would listen to the voicemail from my banker and see what he had to say about my HIGH FINANCE……or lack thereof!! It was NOT from my banker. It was a good friend of mine who was at the Highland Grille to meet me for breakfast. I told him that was NOT today but it was scheduled for tomorrow. No issue…I said that I would be there in less than 15 minutes.

Right at that moment, seriously, I looked up and glanced across the little side street and there in that complex was a window replacement truck. Five minutes later I had my jacket on, the goose pimples were shrinking, and I was on my way to the Highland Grille. I walked in to see Bernie, a friend from WAY back. We grew up about a block apart on the same street and have known each other for 60 years. Our real history began after my return from Vietnam when we became much closer friends. I do see Bern most times I visit Michigan and occasionally when he treks down to Florida. With Bern were two of his grown daughters who I have not seen for over 35 years.   It is more of the Time Warp Shock when you remember them as 7 or 8 and 14 or 15…..and now see them as women.   It makes me wonder where my walker and oxygen tank are!!! wp-1472087886829.jpg

We ordered our breakfast and I proceeded to tell the girls as many stories that I could about their dad that they had never heard. You know, the stories you cannot tell them when they are 8 and 15. After spending a good hour ruining Bernie’s squeaky clean reputation (not sure Bern that it was a “good hour”) Bern said, “Hey, have you talked to Bill?”

Bill, another friend of ours from the OLDEN days, lived out of town a bit in Holly, MI. I said that I hadn’t seen or heard from Bill in maybe 12-15 years. Bern whipped out his phone, called Bill, and the next thing that I knew we were saying goodbye to the girls to go see Bill. Bern followed me to the hotel where I dropped the bike off…..I also ran my jacket up to the room so that I wasn’t traipsing all over the county looking for it tomorrow.  Then it was off to see Bill.

We got to Bill’s house in Holly and we went in. It was like the three of us had just seen each other last week as the conversation flowed effortlessly. There was no “Gosh Bill, what have you been doing over the years?” or anything like that. We just broke into talking like we see each other every three days. It was amazing and fun.

By the time that I got back to the hotel I had only about an hour and 15 minutes before meeting friends at the Pontiac Lake Inn at 5:30. I still had to catch up my blogging. I still had a couple emails to write. I still had to call the banker, and I had to make myself look presentable (a goal I set for myself 46 years ago and, by gosh, one of these days I WILL succeed!!). So I called Lisa because I knew that it would be too late for a Skype when I got home. The banker called ME and he assured me that I had enough money to live my current life style for 18 days (assuming that I stop eating!!!). I got a text from a friend, Becky, saying that she was early for the Pontiac Lake Inn and if it was ok she would stop at the hotel. Becky was from WAY back and lived in my neighborhood. As a teen she was a cashier and cute enough to have me buy all my cigarettes at Elizabeth Lake Pharmacy. She stopped by so we got to chit chat for about ten minutes before going to the P.L.I..

Becky left with a “see you there” wave and I headed over to the bike. The poor bike hasn’t gotten a lot of use the last three or four days and it is likely that the “miles drought” was going to continue for a few more days until I actually leave for Florida. I patted the tank saying that I still loved her and that it wasn’t anything she said and it was all me and there really weren’t any other bikes (“not yet” I thought with an evil grin!!).

Terry’s Pontiac Lake Inn is a favorite spot for a lot of people and they generally have a good crowd in there every night. They have one of the best burgers you can get. Friends started coming it and before we knew it we had to drag 4 or 5 tables together and steal more chairs. The gathering was really started by Maria who lived next door to my parents. Even though I had already moved out I was there constantly and knew Maria and her family as well as if I lived there. Maria’s mom would always make tamales and bring them over on Christmas Eve…..best things you ever ate. Maria makes sure I get a batch every year……yum!!  At this point I would love to name everyone that came in but I know doggone well that I would miss one or some……so it is better to not list. The neat part is……ok, there

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Terry’s Pontiac Lake Inn

 

are a gazillion neat parts about a group like this but I am going to zero in on just one “neat part”.   The neat part is that almost always there is one or two people that come in that you aren’t expecting and they are a total surprise and it will truly make the night more special. This year’s winner (cue the drum roll) is Lori. I have not seen Lori for almost 35 years. We went to church at the same place and we worked at the same place and we were, in my opinion, pretty darn good friends. What a great treat that was to see her AND to see all the others.

 

I got back to the hotel around 10:00…..exhausted but thrilled with the day. It started out to be a day with NO plans and turned out to be a day with NO nap!!! Maybe tomorrow!

I hope that you enjoy my trip as you read along with my traveling. Don’t forget that anytime you might feel it appropriate you may “Like” or “Share” this or any of the posts on social media which would, of course, give me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. You can also drop me a line or leave me a comment. You can write to me at donandlisabova@msn.com using “Your Blog” as the subject line. You can check me out on Facebook by going to www.facebook.com/don.bova also because I will generally have more pictures and comments over there. Also you can read the blog about my 2015 road trip from Florida to Michigan at www.donbovaroadtrips.wordpress.com.   Lastly, you can look at pictures of my past yearly road trips to Michigan dating back to 2009 at www.gotyourpic.com/Vacation.

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