Week 10: Michigan and The Great Lakes

Week 10: Michigan and The Great Lakes

My “Soul Status” is HIGH. These are the weeks that my heart explodes with gratitude.
The cover photo shows Hannah’s surprise birthday cake for Brian.


The BEAUTIFUL thing about living in a tiny house on wheels is that you can “move” when you
arrive to find your neighbor proudly sporting his confederate flag. I am not interested in a
conversation surrounding this (yet), but I can guarantee we won’t become life-long friends.

Lighter note…

Camping at Lake Superior and skipping rocks with the girls while sipping on red wine (just me,
not the girls) and watching THE MOST magnificent sunsets make this girls heart S-I-N-G. It felt
beautifully foreign to have time to skip rocks into the night without being in a hurry, for once.
“Home” is a measly 20-yards away.

Along this journey we have experienced several cities where we feel that we could successfully
relocate (someday, not soon). Petoskey, Michigan happens to be another one of said random cities.
Yes, the winters are cold. I am not afraid. I will go skiing. It had a great energy, unlike some
other mid-western cities that have seem to have a sense of prevailing sadness. Petoskey offered
pure bliss with its hip restaurants, music, nightlife and outdoor activities.

We also decided to do a touristy day that included pirate mini-golf and a tour of the Kilwin’s
chocolate factory, where we learned about all the rejected chocolate Easter bunnies…yes, it is
real and it is tragic. I left a piece of my heart after the most incredible run in the warm summer
pouring rain. In my opinion, there is not a better way to meditate (aka solve the world’s problems)
than a run in the warm rain! We also had time to collect Petoskey Stones (rocks composed of fossilized
coral, to me, they look like turtle shells).

We spent several days in the Keweenaw area of the Upper Peninsula (UP) of Michigan with all the
“yoopers” (locals). Drove all the way to Copper Harbor and learned all about the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
(yes, we made the girls listen to the song) and toured the beautiful peninsula. Ended the day with a quick
stop in Eagle Harbor to check out their cool lighthouse.

We could not have ended this week any better! We had the opportunity to reconnect and stay with one of
Brian’s oldest childhood friends! We spent the weekend with Jeff, his beautiful wife, Michelle, and their awesome
daughters Delaney and Laila (and Damian, Delaney’s adorable boyfriend). A fabulous family! Brian and Jeff have known
each other since they were about three years old and they were able to pick up right where they left off.
The Van Hoorelbeke family took us out to a lovely seafood dinner off the Saint Clair River, so close to Canada
we could swim there.

After watching Laila’s soccer team dominate, we went on an interesting drive through The Heidleberg Project.
A street located in a mostly vacated neighborhood in Detroit where a homeless man “decorated” the entire street with
trash that he has collected over the years. He has clearly put in a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this but
it is hard to explain the feeling here. We were trying to seek the beauty in his art, but the feeling of sadness
dominated the area.

The best part of the whole weekend was when we celebrated Brian’s 47th Birthday by going to Comerica Park to watch
the Dodgers beat the Tigers in a very close 3-0 game! It was a beautiful day for a game in a great ballpark! We
ended the night with a random stranger’s backyard tour (long story), a birthday cake, drinks and of course a dance-off
to the old song “September” by Earth Wind and Fire. So, Team Van Hoorelbeke, that tune is now the Haz-Van theme song!
Thanks for an amazing time! I can’t wait to return the favor someday, I can only hope to be half the gracious host you
all were this weekend!


Boondocks and Bliss