Sunday, July 12, 2015

Rags to Riches: South Haven Michigan

Roger here...  We escaped Fort Wayne and avoided having an accident in the chaotic traffic.  The escape was actually uneventful since the campground was only a short distance from our escape route (Interstate 69).  On to some luxury time in South Haven, Michigan...

Nostalgic (and delicious) Road Stop

When planning the route, I noticed that Marshall, Michigan could be a simple stop along the way.  I am typically one of those (only stop for gasoline, food and restrooms) guys.  I really need to know that there is RV parking at every stop.  However, there was a real temptation to stop in Marshall.  Win Schuler's -- now called just "Schuler's" -- first opened in 1909.

Win Schuler's was the first nice restaurant where I remember having a meal.  It was before my brother was born, so I had to be less than six years old.  I remember my parents going on and on about how good the food was.  I remember picking bones out of the white fish that they ordered for me.  I remember eating a shrimp cocktail.  I remember Dad ordering me a Shirley Temple.  I thought that there should have been a more manly kiddie cocktail, but it was what it was.

Dianne had toasted cheese with creamy tomato basil soup
Dad worked for General Motors in Anderson, Indiana.  He frequently made overnight business trips to Detroit.  He often took us along.  Win Schuler's became a required stop along the way.  We ate there many, many times.  A couple of times we drove for two hours from Indy Just to eat at Schuler's.  I have a wonderful memory of eating there to celebrate my high school graduation, as well as my cousin Beth's graduation.  We were in the same high school class.

Amazing nachos for me.  We actually shared our food with each other.

We had a few anxious moments looking for a spot to park the motor home.  Thankfully, summer vacation enabled us to park in the lot of a nearby middle school.  The anxious moments were worth it.  The restaurant was crowded on a Tuesday during lunch time.  The food was still amazing.

Sunny Brook RV Resort

Our four-night stay in South Haven brought us to a luxury campground.  I have been referring to it as Retama North.  What a nice, but pricey, place!

The well-landscaped RV lots sit next to a five-acre lake with a sand beach.  The cool weather was ideal for walks along the water.

Many of the lots (that are for sale) included small (Retama-like) coach houses, screened gazebos, and pergolas.  

The public area included a very large pool (smaller than Retama's, but not by much), pickle ball court, shuffle board, horse shoes...

... and a beautiful clubhouse.

The dogs LOVED it here.  One side of the five-acre lake consisted of a bright green gigantic lawn.  Dogs (under owner's control) were allowed to romp there.  Our dogs romped there twice a day.  They were completely under control due to the ever-present treat bag.  Tequila does like her treats.

South Haven

South Haven is an upscale resort town on the shores of Lake Michigan.  We spent a few hours strolling up and down the streets, enjoying the atmosphere.  

Dianne did buy a t-shirt and some capri pants in one of the stores, but her favorite store was the Decadent Dog (big surprise) where she found an Australian Cattle Dog picture frame.

We accidentally stumbled into the Farmer's Market which only takes place two times per week.  It was filled with baked goods and freshly-picked Michigan fruit.  In addition to a couple of food purchases, we bought coffee to sip as we wandered around town.

The Black River flows through the town and into Lake Michigan.  It is filled with watercraft of all kinds.

We intended to eat lunch at Clementine's, but the wait was too long.  Lucky for us, because our ambling led us to a low-key outdoor place with great food right on the Black River.  During our meal we watched a "tall ship" disembark just across the river from our table.

The mural on the side of the building below was a precursor for fun that we would have later in the week.

The Best Day EVER --- A walk along the Kal Haven Trail

Tequila here...  I don't get many opportunities to use dad's computer, but I just had to tell you about the best day I ever had.

It all started when mom and dad forced me to get out of bed so that me 'n Bandido could chase each other for a while on the far side of the lake.  They insisted that we also -- ahem -- do our business, because we had a big day ahead.

We then hopped in the back of the car.  I worried a little.  Sometimes that means we are going to have a blast.  Sometimes that means we are going to the vet.  I am quiet by nature --- internalizing my expectations.  Bandido, on the other hand, is very verbal --- so much drama with that dog!  He cried all during the ride until we stopped at this place called the Kal Haven Trail.

Are we there yet?  I think we're there!
Dad says that the Kal Haven Trail used to be a railroad track.  You know, those places with the long monsters that make those loud whistling noises.  But it is now a place for people on bikes and for people with dogs, like me 'n Bandido.  Dad says it is 37 miles long and goes all the way to Kalamazoo (funny name :-).  That sounds like a long way to walk.  I like to walk, but sometimes I get tired and just stop and roll on my back.  Mom and dad would have to drag me if we walked the whole thing.

Before we started, Mom made what Dad calls a pre-emptive stop at the bathroom.  (They have to go in these little smelly buildings.  Why don't they just pee on the ground like me?)

OK.  Finally started.  This looks promising.  Lots of shade.  Temperature in the low 70s.  Flat.  (Mom and I don't like it if it is not flat.)

These must be the boats that Mom and Dad were telling me about.  Wish I could go on one, but I would not want to get wet.  I don't like getting wet, especially my feet.

Oh goody!  A bridge!  This one has a top.  Bridges are fun, but Bandido is afraid of them.  Such a baby.  He had to stay right next to Dad or he would not have made it.

Lots of pretty things to look at, smell and eat.  No lizards though.  I miss trying to catch lizards.  Dad says that I will have to wait until we get back to Texas.

Uh Oh!  Another pre-emptive stop for Mom.  This is a good thing though, cause I get to lay down and rest for a while.

I was starting to get a little tired, but then we passed some people crawling around in a field.  Mom said they were picking blueberries.  I do like blueberries, but I don't know if I would want to work that hard.  Dad said, "Hola!" to two of the men who were taking a break.  They smiled real big.  I liked them, but then I like all people and all dogs and even cats --- everything except lizards.

We kept walking.  We walked for a long, long time.  I was getting tired, but even after a few water stops, we kept walking.  I told Dad it was time to turn around, 'cause the walk back would be just as long as the walk so far, and I was already tired.  I told Dad he might have to carry me and I weigh almost 60 pounds.  That got his attention!  He looked at this thing he carries around in his pocket and said that we had walked three miles so we should probably head back.  All righty then!

On the way back we took a side trail next to the river.  The trail was covered with these boards.  Mom and Dad really liked it.  Me too.  There were these things called minnows in the water that kinda looked like lizards swimming around.

Mom and Dad thought this might be a good place for lunch if we could find a bench.  OH BOY. LUNCH.  Maybe there are benches under that thing that Mom called a gazebo?  We followed the board trail over there, but there was already someone in it.  It did not bother me.  I did not care if the guy watched us eat, but Mom and Dad thought we should find another place.

The boardwalk, as Dad called it, went on past the gazebo, AND THERE WERE BENCHES.  They were right next to the water, too!  Oh boy. Oh boy. Oh boy.  LUNCH!

Mom said that she did not bring any food for me 'n Bandido, but there would be a special treat later.  I did not care about later.  I was pretty sure that if we stared at Dad while he ate, that Bandido 'n me would get the last bite.  


Had to keep an eye on those swimming birds.  They wanted Dad's food, too.
When we finally got back to the car, Dad said that we had walked more than six miles.  That is a long hike for me.  It is a good thing that I got a tiny bit of nourishment after Dad ate.  

Mom had to make another pre-emptive stop before she got in the car.  I think that was her third pre-emptive stop!

I was talking about nourishment a minute ago.  Hey Mom, what is this thing about a special treat? Usually, that means a dog biscuit or, even better, a pupperoni.  But I have been sniffing Dad's pocket (that is where he keeps them), and I don't smell anything except a wallet and car keys.  Mom said we are going to stop at a place called Sherman's Dairy Bar.  OK.  What does that mean, and what are those blue cows doing on the roof?  Weird.

Mom and Dad got ice cream,  and me 'n Bandido got special dog treats --- great big dog biscuits slathered with vanilla ice cream that you can only get at this place called Sherman's.

This really has been the BEST DAY EVER.

Dad told me to tell you that the next post will be about one of Mom's best days ever.


Nancy and Bill said...

Great walk and Lucky, Lucky Puppies:o)))

Anonymous said...

Love the pictures, espescially the pups begging expressions.