Last night there was some LATE night gathering around the campfire. The “campfire” consists of a pretty good sized fire pit constructed by Brett. It is quite a distance from the house and close to the shoreline of the lake. I will admit to you, without shame, that I was not a partaker of the late night/early morning hours of flame watching, joke sharing, and the mandatory gossip of those not present. I am very well versed in playing my part as a grandpa and I found my way into the bed shortly after 10:00. I have stories aplenty describing the post 10:00 activities of my younger years that I don’t have to try (key word now is “try”) to add to the stories or to relive them by telling them……besides they look at me now and don’t believe I did any of that stuff………..OR… today’s standards “that stuff” is boring!! Regardless, I was long asleep before the embers of that fire cooled.

When morning arrived I was again first up. In warehousing we call that FIFO….First In First Out. I got the coffee brewing and went to work pounding on the computer. I correctly guessed that I would have much more alone time due to the previous night’s fire pit attendance. Although the donuts were viciously attacked yesterday morning I concluded that I had damaged everyone’s health enough with the mountain of donuts I had already brought into the house the previous two mornings. My task was the computer that lay in front of me and I went at it with a vengeance.

My blogging dedication was quickly squashed as the younger generation was quickly crawling out from the woodwork and grumbling about the meager donut selection. I was not swayed by the whining or the “Please Grandpa” begging from the sad little (and big) faces. I held my ground long enough for Kristen and Monique to start the waffle iron. It did not take long for the remainder of the donuts to disappear and for the waffles to seemingly appear and disappear in the same moment.

After Lisa’s birthday “celebration” the day before we found ourselves in another birthday spotlight. Kristen’s son and my second oldest grand turned 15 just hours before. Now that he was here we sang Happy Birthday to him (the quality did not improve at all from yesterday’s attempt…..may have even gotten worse) which he didn’t care about, we gave him a card that he really didn’t care about, and inside the card was $40 which he DID care about.

To continue the celebration of Isaac’s birthday we rounded up everyone to go out to Zap Zone in Waterford, MI. Zap Zone has laser tag, bumper cars, a trampoline area, gobs of arcade games that spit out tickets if you “win”. Angela was the smart one of the group and stayed at home with Maverick. The rest of us……7 adults & 7 kids…..piled into three cars received_10157350943385514.jpegand made our way over to Zap Zone. I will warn you that it looks really harmless when you walk in HOWEVER there’s a huge invisible vacuum that you can’t see or hear that sucks the money right out of your pocket. For starters it was $20 for 100 tokens….so when 7 adults (who all like the games) walk up there with 7 kids (who all LOVE the games) you can only imagine how many twenty dollar bills hit the counter. Then all but 2 played laser tag and some played twice….and laser tag was extra. EVERYONE rode the bumper cars and some twice….and bumper cars were extra. Half of us jumped on the trampolines….and the trampolines were extra. A few played received_10157350943455514.jpegGlow Golf….and Glow Golf was extra. I’m not even going to mention the sodas, waters, snacks, and pizza we bought. However if I were to mention those thing I would tell you that we paid arcade prices for them. After we all put second mortgages on our homes we proceeded to have a REALLY great time. For the finally the kids were able to take the thousands of tickets they “won” that cost hundreds of dollars to “win” them over to the prize counter and get prizes worth 50 cents to a dollar. Hmmm, I wonder if they buy their stuff from Oriental Trading also!!??!

The kids gathered their treasures and we headed for the cars. Our next stop was back up in Ortonville to the Cook Farm Dairy where we loaded up on some of the best ice cream that you will get. Not only was the ice cream devilishly delicious it also helped to fill the void left by me not buying donuts in the morning. We had ice cream cones or cups, sundaes, and shakes. At Cook’s they milk their cows and make much of what they sell. That VERY fresh flavor is something that is difficult to describe and in fact NOT being able to describe it actually describes it best. They also let customers roam around a couple of their barns and pet calves, cows, and pigs. After delighting ourselves at Cooks we got our full, sticky, and happy selves back into the cars (I was ok with it because we had a rental) and back to the house we went.

Although I am sure that Angela enjoyed the QUIET for the few hours we were gone she wasn’t sitting around doing nothing. The girl had whipped up a dinner that made us forget all about Cooks ice cream. She had lasagna and a bacon/bean dish that was fantastic. I’ll tell you this much……There would be no leaving Brett and Angela’s house lighter than we were when we arrived.

So we went into the evening with a wonderful dinner. We watched the kids swim and kayak. A semi-friendly euchre game was started and David, the oldest grandchild of the received_1753513538236016.jpeggroup and quickly approaching the age of 18, got a slight initiation into adulthood sitting at the table and having witty jabs coming at him from three sides faster than he (or anyone else for that matter) could respond. The night was full of fun and laughter. Even with each of us knowing that in the morning we would all be packing and heading out the night was a special time of cousins, children, grandchildren, AND Grammy and Grandpa!!

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 using “Your Blog” as the subject line. You can check me out on Facebook by going to 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   Lastly, you can look at pictures of my past yearly road trips to Michigan dating back to 2009 at


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