Thursday, July 8, 2010

Saugatuck, Michigan

Roger here...   We escaped the constant packing of the "stuff" we are shipping to our new coach house in Texas for a few days and headed to Michigan.  We met up with friends (Chuck & Cindy and Pat & Audrey).  We are staying at the Dutch Treat RV Park in Zeeland, Michigan, which is located just outside of Holland.

Dianne here:  We're not usually this quick to update our blog while we're on vacation with friends, but this morning it is pouring down rain, so Roger took the opportunity (with help from Chaplin) to get us updated.

It has been sooooo hot and humid here the past three days that we have not felt like doing much, other than sitting in the shade, eating, sitting in the shade, eating, and occasionally jumping in the pool.  Yesterday was the first day that we ventured out to explore parts of the area.

Cindy and Pat left early to play nine holes of golf (I hate golf).  Chuck and I wanted to investigate the area bike paths that Holland is known to have.  By the time we returned from the office where we picked up a bike path map, Pat and Cindy had returned.  Pat and Audrey joined us on our investigative journey. 

 My main purpose for the trip was to see if the bike paths were something that Dianne would feel comfortable on.  (Remember her bike phobia?)  We only intended to be away for a few minutes, but.........

The map (worthless) was just accurate enough to get us into trouble.  Audrey did not want to take a long ride, so she headed back after a mile.  She probably knew that the Three Amigos (Chuck, Pat, and me) were destined to get lost.  Some of the roads were not labeled and some of the roads were labeled with different names than those on the map.  

We managed to go three or so miles into the city of Holland and to eventually figure out how to circle back to the campground, but it was not easy.  At one intersection, we missed the bike path, and traveled for quite a distance along a four-lane divided highway (going the wrong way).  I was pretty frustrated for a while.  

When we finally hooked back up with the bike path, the road taking us back to the campground was completely closed.  The bike path map was truly worthless at this point - not enough detail to help.  So, we had to figure out our way back based upon
a sense of direction and where we thought the campground was located.  Pat talked with a nice lady in front of an elementary school who was able to aim us in the right direction. 

 By the time we got back, it was lunchtime, the temperature was near 90 degrees, and we had ridden about eight miles.

After Cindy fed us a tasty lunch (pork loin sandwiches) it looked as if we might be vegging in the shade in front of a fan for yet another day.  No one seemed to be moving.  We talked about doing something, but could not decide what, so we sat.  We talked about a bike ride by Lake Michigan, but it was too hot, so we sat.  We talked about going to a local winery, but Thursday during a predicted rain would be a better day for that, so we sat and sat some more.  We looked at brochures and found several interesting options, but no one seemed to be able to decide for the whole group, so we sat.  

Cindy suggested that I assume my former administrative role (I was a school principal) and make a decision.  So I did.  I determined that we would put all the options (they all included a stop for ice cream)  on a piece of paper and draw one out of a hat.  I designated that Pat, who was absent at the time, would draw an option out of the hat.  When Pat returned and I read the options before the draw, Pat said, "Let's go to Saugatuck."  Decision finally made.

Did I tell you it was hot at the campground?  Well, it was also hot at Saugatuck, but what a pretty place.  The town is located on an inlet adjacent to Lake Michigan.  A walk along the boardwalk next to the water took us past hundreds of expensive boats and yachts.  What an interesting life living on a yacht would be. 

 The town is filled with shops, bars, restaurants, and more ice cream parlors than I have ever seen in one place.  We spent our time ducking into air conditioned shops and nosing around.  Dianne, a self-proclaimed non-shopper, was the only person who made a purchase.  A new t-shirt to wear during daily dog walks (now she has to throw one away), and some local cherry preserves.  Chuck and I found an air conditioning register on the floor of one of the stores where the cold air gushed straight up.  We spent some time standing on the register while pretending to look at nearby merchandise.

Dianne here:  Saugatuck is my kind of town:  an ice cream parlor on almost every corner!  Cindy and Chuck had been to Holland before, and Cindy was on the lookout for a Kilwin's outlet.  Wow, what a wonderland of fudge (of all types), carmel corn (of all types), and ice cream (of all flavors)!  Roger's choice was vanilla with chunks of Mackinac Island fudge in it, and mine was a concoction called "cinnamon crumb cake."  Yum!!  We were too busy slurping them down to get a photo (sorry).  We stayed inside in the air conditioning as long as we dared while eating our ice cream, but finally reluctantly went out front to finish them.  

I'm sure we'll come across another Kilwin's before we leave this area.  Next time I plan to try the "Traverse City Cherry" flavor -- boy, did it look good!!

Back at the campground the group engaged in some more sitting, while I (Roger) used our new blender to make a pitcher (well, two pitchers; OK, three pitchers) of frozen pina coladas.  Did I mention it is hot here?

The last statement above was meant to be end of this post, but when I looked out the window I saw a strange sight.  What is Chuck doing on the top of his fifth-wheel in the pouring rain?

1 comment:

Margie and Roger said...

Love the new t-shirt Diane! All of us dog walkers need one of those. Ice cream? What a true joy! I wanted to try Huckleberry when we were in Cody but didn't. Never had Huckleberry before, but it was very popular there - have you had it? Hey, you've given me a new goal...I must try a new flavor of ice cream in every state we travel!