CHAPTER “15”….DAY 11…2016 FLORIDA TO MICHIGAN ROAD TRIP!!!

THURSDAY AUGUST 25, 2016…..DAY ELEVEN!!   MILES TODAY: 24.3    TOTAL MILES: 1781.7

Up until now you might be thinking that I am having a great vacation and having more fun and meeting with more friends than anyone should be allowed. You would, of course, be totally correct. You have read of my ride north, meeting & greeting with old friends for lunch or dinner, three separate wonderful reunion events…albeit with OLD people, and more. I have seen dear friends that I have not seen in 35 years or more. I have met with dear old (really OLD) friends that are actually a part of me. I have seen and talked to old (again…really OLD) flames and the high school crushes that never knew they were a crush (sigh!!). This trip has been the best………..AND YET………..THE BEST WAS STILL TO COME!!!

I started my morning with the Quality Inn breakfast. While I ate I did a little typing and “kind of” listened to the TV hanging from the wall. The weather person (who we all know from experience is ALWAYS right of course) was talking about two separate storms rolling through Southeast Michigan.   Not one but TWO storms. One would make its appearance in the morning and another in the afternoon. My plan was to mill around town until about 5:30 or 6:00 and then head out to my nephew’s house in Ortonville for the beginning of my GREAT weekend. However because of the TWO storms that were certainly going to mess with our lives………BECAUSE THE TV WEATHER PERSON PREDICTED IT…..I was starting to adjust my thinking and sent a message to my nephew’s wife if it was ok if I rolled in around noon.

Due to the TV’s prophecy of DOOM the breakfast gal came over and said that maybe I should move my bike under the hotel’s main door canopy. I told her that I was checking out after 7 nights for a weekend in Ortonville before heading back to Florida. She draped her arm over my shoulders, wished me well, told me to be safe, and how wonderful it was to have me at her breakfast every morning.   I thought to myself that if I was WONDERFUL….how pathetic the rest of the people must be. Still, I was touched and I did thank her very much.

There was another older gentleman who turned and asked “did you say that you rode up from Florida? Where are you going from here?”   He was a mine inspector and has spent lots of time in Beckley, WV…

where I am going. He has a brother in Simpsonville, SC…where I am going. He lives up I-85 from Atlanta near Commerce….where I am going. I guess that is one of those proverbial Small World things.

I went back up to the room and finished up my packing. You would think that with being gone as long as I have things would have gotten a lot lighter but for some reason it seemed heavier. I grabbed one of the hotel’s luggage carts and carted my bags and helmets and jacket and whatever else was mine down to the bike. There was a guy standing near the bike having a cigarette and I gave him as cheerful a “Good Morning” as I could. That is generally all most people need to have their engine started and he was no exception. He was from Tennessee and rode bikes until he broke his wrist falling down some stairs. He still wants to but can’t do it.

I hit the button and fired up the Yamaha and headed out of the hotel parking lot completely loaded. My first stop was at my old barber’s place. Mike bought the shop in 1966 and I went to him a few times before I was drafted into the Army. I left the Army in late 1969 and the hair styles of the day pretty much ended my stops at a barber shop for

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Mike’s Barber Shop Waterford, MI

 

several years.   When I started to trim up again I went back to Mike’s. Until last year I had not been to Mike’s since 1984. It was great seeing him and made part of my plan to stop and see him. He was on vacation so I had to wait until my LAST day because that was his FIRST day back. I pulled in and it was a lucky time because there was no one else there and Mike and I chit chatted for a good hour or so. I snapped a couple of pictures and he gave me some fresh jalapenos (YUM!!!) and I got ready to head out.

 

Then it was time to start the next segment of the trip. I took a run north from Waterford up M-15 to Ortonville. It was about 12:30 when I got to the house of my Nephew, son of my younger sister. Brett has a beautiful house on the banks of Lake Louise in Ortonville with his wife, Angela, and sons Trent and Maverick. Both Brett and Angela work from home and for those of you who think that working from home is all about watching TV and eating bon-bons…..that is NOT the case. They stay good and busy.

When Brett finished his latest conference call and counted down the seconds to the time when he could log off we headed out and attached his fifth wheel hitch to the pick-up so that he could move the fifth wheel nearer the house. The unit was going to be used by one of my daughters and her family when they got here.

We no sooner finished up with that when my wife pulled up. Lisa had flown up from Daytona to Flint, MI and was spending the weekend with me and the kids. After a week and a half she was a sight for sore eyes.   The reunion was warm and sweet.   We all retired back into the house for a great dinner that Angela had prepared for us. I love the road and I love traveling around staying in hotels where I can lounge and make man noises while not upsetting anyone. I love going in restaurants of all kinds and having servers of all shapes, sizes, sex, and personalities bring me exactly (most of the time) what I asked for. Yep, I love all of that but there is still nothing like sitting at the table with family and eating a home cooked meal.

We sat around chit chatting and “touring” their house.   It was the first time I had been to this house. There was a bit more lounging and talking before Lisa said that after her day of traveling she had to get to bed. We were waiting for the arrival of one of my daughters and her family. They were driving down from Levering, MI roughly 3 hours north.

Around 11:30 they pulled in. There is NOTHING in my life more special than seeing my kids. It has been that way since it all began in 1979 and will continue to follow that pattern throughout the remainder of my term of breathing.   My daughter, Monique, came in with her husband, Dylan, and their heavy eyed kids Ivan and Nan who somehow stayed awake long enough to greet before going back to sleep.

There are not many things that will keep this OLD guy up past midnight but this was one. ….but even a reunion with an offspring will eventually lose out to the bed. And so ends my 11th day on the road……

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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