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In a week forecast to be plagued with day after day of thunderstorms, standing within arms length of this 175-lb French Mastiff was about as close as I got to being rained on during my recent trip to Michigan. I spent the last week there, with a 24-hour jaunt to northern Ohio, in order to attend and shoot the wedding of Erinn’s sister and now brother-in-law, Heidi and Seth, who were married in Silver Lake, Mich., on the 26th. Since I was heading out, I decided to take advantage of the trip and spend a couple days visiting my beloved and too-seldom-visited sisters Tammy and Kim, and family, who all live in the area. First visit after flying into Detroit Rock City was with Tammy and Henry, who live on beautiful Lake Orion, an hour north of DTW. Although the forecast called for a day of thunderstorms, only one storm cloud rolled through in the late morning, making a quick exit after 30 minutes and leaving us with nothing but sunshine for the rest of the day. And take advantage of it we did, taking several spins in the lake to go waterskiing, tubing and jetskiing. In the afternoon some friends and extended family came over and joined us. We finished the day with grilled chicken and burgers and ample quantities of beer before I collapsed, exhausted, around midnight. I had taken the redeye in the night before and was running on empty after only 2 hours of sleep.
The next morning I arose at 6:30 and headed south to the home of my oldest sister Kim, who lives in the quaint town of Arlington, Ohio, which is outside of Findlay, which is outside of Toledo, with her husband Dave and 2 of her 3 children, Taylor and PJ. The eldest, Zac, is now living full-time at Bowling Green University and has recently moved off campus and into his first apartment. There I had a great time whooping up on the kids at Wii (at least that’s how I remember it) and catching up on all that’s been going on in their lives.
The last photos are from the end of the trip, skipping over the beautiful wedding that brought me there. There’s a lot to sort through, but I hope to post the photos within the next week or two.
That’s Erinn holding onto her new nephew Myles, who was born to her older sister six weeks ago and, other than the bride, was the center of the family’s attention during the week. I have much more endearing photos of him, of course, but like the humor in this one. The final image was from a visit to Muskegon, where Heidi and Seth live, the day after the wedding. It actually did rain quite a bit that day, but we were fortunate to get a break midday and took advantage by walking out to the beach, where we saw some lighthouses and enjoyed the post-rain humidity that so defines summer in the midwest.
The next morning we slowly made our way back to Detroit for an evening flight home. Along the way we stopped in the capitol city of Lansing and then took a quick drive through the Michigan State campus in East Lansing before stopping for lunch and a brew just east of there at the Michigan Brewing Company. Since we’ve been home brewing, anytime we’re out and about we try to find a local brew pub. It’s a great way to try a variety of great beers and there’s usually great food as well. From there we made it back to DTW and departed. Everything had gone pretty smoothly…
Until we got home. When we got there our friend came to pick us up and had the misfortune of breaking down in the LAX arrivals roundabout. It was just after 10 p.m., which is like rush hour there. So, not the best place to come to a halt. Lucky for him, he was still in the inner lanes at the time and was able to pull out of the way. AAA came to the rescue and after 2 hours we made it back to a garage about a mile away from our friend’s place. From there we walked back to his place and grabbed his roommate’s car and finally made it home. And then we couldn’t find our keys. After 5 minutes of looking Erinn finally found hers and we made it in the house. But not before I picked up my suitcase without having zipped it up, spilling my clothes all over the alley behind the apartment. “A perfect end to the night,” our friend said. You’d think so, but upon opening our apartment door we were greeted with the strong scent of natural gas. It was leaking from a hose on our water heater to the point that you could hear it hiss when you put your ear to it. No getting around this one, we opened the windows, called the gas company and waited an hour for a guy to come shut it off. Then, finally, at 2 a.m., 5 a.m. EST, we managed to end the night. This has me thinking about how there are no free rides, which is something I’ll perhaps elaborate on when I post the wedding photos.