Sunday, January 25, 2015

Road Trip

I woke up on Saturday morning at 6:30 a.m. I made a cup of coffee, posted the Blog entry and then shaved, showered and got dressed. I left at 8:40 a.m. for my first appointment: a massage at Margaret's house.

She has one of the bedrooms fixed up like her old office room. My massage was more painful than relaxing. She said I was a mess. Didn’t surprise me as it was early December when I got my last one. And, I wrestled with that computer desk since then.

She showed me the barn door she made for her father’s closet. It was more modern than I expected, but it was a fine piece of carpentry. I loved the iron track with the big rollers!

Sidebar: It was funny, she did the same thing I always do. While I was busy admiring it, she was busy showing me all the little places she messed up! Why do we do that?

Next, I went and got my hair cut. I totally messed up and forgot to tell her to leave my beard longer and just trim it. So, I got my summer cut, rather than the winter one.

From there I went and filled up the gas tank on the truck. I pulled into Kroger’s and, finding the parking lot full, pulled back out. There wasn’t nothing I needed that bad!

Back home, I did a few housekeeping chores, and then I made lunch. I made a fried egg (fried in butter, not olive oil, thank you) sandwich on toast, with mayo and American cheese. It tasted so good I was tempted to make another. But, since I got another scale, I have learned I’ve put on five pounds over the holidays and don’t want to push it!

Sidebar: I always gain weight in the winter. I’m not gardening, not cutting the front lawn, not doing much except watching TV or reading. So, I’m not surprised, just cautious. Weight gain messes with almost all of my ailments.

In spite of that very moral decision, I started reading a book on the bed. I set the alarm for 3:30 p.m. and then took a nap. That should burn off the calories!

When I woke up, I shaved (again) and showered (again). I debated long and hard about cologne. I still have some, but haven’t used it since I was still dating. It smelled good then (at least that’s what women told me) but I decided it’s probably turned into vinegar (or whatever old cologne turns into). So, I skipped it.

I dug out my blue sports coat, a white shirt and tie and then hemmed and hawed about pants color. Tan would work, but so would gray. In the end, I went with gray after realizing I threw away my brown dress shoes a while back.

I grabbed my London Fog trench coat and headed out to Jim and Amy’s wedding.

Sidebar for Melissa (she always gets these things confused): Jim is my great nephew. He is the son of Jim Junior (Jim and Deanna) and the grandson of my brother Jim (Jim and Coletta). I can’t give you Amy’s pedigree, but she’s a lovely young woman.

I missed the wedding, but here's a photo.


The reception was in the Addison Oaks Buhl Estate in Leonard, Michigan (west of Romeo). Which is apparently just outside of BFE.

I printed off my Yahoo map directions (I always do for back-up) and then programmed my phone. My route took me on I-96 to the Davison exit.

Sidebar: The Davison is NOT the area they show on TV when they talk about the “revitalization” of Detroit. Far from it. But, it was light out, so I took it.

From there I got onto I-75 and took that north 11 miles to Rochester Road. I took Rochester Road forever!

I was still on track to make the 5:30 p.m. reception time until I got to Rochester. I’m not sure what the hell was going on, but all the buildings were lit up in color, you sat through each light three times, people (large numbers of people) were walking everywhere and traffic was snarled by horse drawn carriages!

Note: my niece, Mary, said she thought they were having some kind of Winter Fest this weekend.

Sidebar to my niece Carolyn: See, she got in the Blog, without me mentioning she sat next to me!

Also note: I took these photos on the way back (I was too busy trying not to run over people or horses on the way through) so you could see what I mean. The crowds had thinned by then, but you get the idea.

Then I drove north forever…

I turned left onto W. Romeo Road (32 mile) and found the place. It was in a park and lovely. The entrance was all paver blocks (this comes into play much later). I came in and found the john (it had been a long trip). Then I walked into the hall. Unfortunately, it was just at the time the best man (Jim’s brother) was giving his toast.

I tried to be incognito. I found my table assignment and dropped my card into the basket. Then I snuck to table #10. At table #10 were Jim and Coletta, Brother Carl, Jean and Mary.

As they raised their glasses for the toasts, I used the water goblet in front of me.

I asked Brother Jim about Carolyn. He said she was sitting at the next table. I was curious if she wore flip-flops, but she had apparently caved into peer pressure and was in heels.

Brother Carl said, “Your Christmas miracle is two tables over.” And, sure enough, I saw Jamie sitting there. I could only see David’s arm, though. That led to trouble, later on…

So, later on, I went to the restroom again.

Sidebar: I learned later on this was NOT the real restroom. The real restroom was in another place (I visited it, several times, once I learned) and was huge. This one was small.

So, I came out and came upon a guy who looked a lot like David. He had a hat on (like those Irish caps Jake likes) but whatever.

Now, I had I said, “Hi, David,” this would not have been a problem (unless, of course, his name was David).

But, Instead, I bellowed, “It’s a Christmas miracle” and shook his hand. I babbled on about how good it was to see him, how long it took me to get here, etc. Then he walked out the door and I walked into the hall.

That’s when I saw David, sitting next to Jamie. Oh, crap…


Sidebar: It was not long afterwards that the two of them mysteriously showed up on either side of me (well, they are ninjas, after all). They seemed to enjoy my story about the other David and Jamie asked me if I’d pose for a selfie with them before I went home.

Then we started getting served dinner.

(BTW, since I was late, I missed the cocktails and hors d’oeuvres they served at 5:30 p.m., so I have no idea what that consisted of.)

But, I can tell you what we ate (I stole the menu so I wouldn’t have to remember). I should have taken pictures, but I was hungry and didn't think of it!

First was a “Michigan” salad, with dried cranberries and candied walnuts, served with a raspberry vinaigrette dressing. Outstanding!

Then came the Entrée, consisting of green beans with wild mushrooms and leeks, Princess Potatoes (mashed potatoes with stuff I couldn’t figure out – shallots? Fine diced onions? Lots of parsley, I know. It doesn’t matter, they were delicious) a filet mignon (perfectly cooked with an incredible pan sauce) and a small breast of chicken with a béarnaise sauce.

Dessert was a Lemon raspberry Torte that was also outstanding!

All of it was serious good eats!

Sidebar: for late night snacks, they also offered Pizza and a Coney station. I wasn’t there that long to see it, so I can’t comment on the taste.

I kept asking for more coffee and more water and the waitress was glad to oblige. Seriously, the wait staff was excellent.

But then they cleared the tables and the band started up. They were good (seriously good) but loud! At one point, Carl was trying to ask me something and had to give up. He borrowed a pen and wrote his question down, passed it to Mary, who passed it to me.

I was thirsty, so I got a glass of white wine from the bar. Sadly, chardonnay was the driest they had on hand.

I finally gave up yelling, grabbed a chair and squeezed in next to Carl.

It was close to 9:00 p.m. when I decided I’d had enough. So, I started making my goodbyes (there were lots of them) and posed for my picture with Jamie and David.

As I was leaving the place, I almost fell on my butt! It was lightly snowing and that had turned the lovely pavers into treacherous footing. I got to the truck and, not wanted to risk the walk back inside, sent my Brother Carl a text to warn him. Then I realized he’d never hear it, so I called him. Sure enough, no answer. I left a message and headed home.

Rochester was a little less hectic at that point.

I changed my route slightly. I took I-75 to I-696 to the Southfield and then I-96 to home. I did not want to drive the Davison at that time of night.

Carl called me back while I was on I-96. He was almost home by then as well and did have problems on the slick pavers.

I got home about 10:15 p.m. The coffee had me wired, so I started filling in the Blog post and fooling around with Facebook. It was midnight or later when I finally got to sleep.


  1. Sounds like a beard-, Christmas miracle- and fun-filled day!

  2. It was truly a Christmas Miracle...he picked the RIGHT Dave to pose with.
    It was good seeing you, and thanks to Nick (Carolyn's son) I did make it to my car with out falling. Great Food, Great Time and Great Company

  3. @ Jake: Yeah, fooled by a beard. I should know better!
    @GPF: Glad you had somebody to lean on. I didn't!!! It was great food and a great time.