I’m A Travelin’ Man

For the last 34 years, Linda and I have made it a point to celebrate our anniversary in June by taking a road trip somewhere. They’ve all been fun but some more memorable than others.
For example, in 1987, we managed to talk our bosses into letting us have three whole weeks off at once so we could jump in the car and head south.
Soon we were meandering through Dixie..taking the time to stop and see what life was really like in this part of the country.

After years of watching news reports of all the racial hatred and violence in places like Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana, I admit to having some apprehensions about going there. I had visions of being pulled over by one of those stereotypical gum-chewing southern cops, like Rod Steiger in “In the heat of the night” who don’t take kindly to strangers of any color.
“Ta hell you think your doin’ boy..don’t they have speed limits upair in South Dakota?”
“Yes, sir but I wasn’t speeding.”
“Y’all callin’ me a liar boy? We’ll now, we don’t cotton to you northern folks comin’ down here with your Yankee smart ass attitudes. A couple nights in the slammer just might  fix up that sassy mouth ah yours real good.”
But it turns out that the people we encountered in the south are actually more like Sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry than Bull Connor of Birmingham.
People were friendly and outgoing everywhere we went and I really got used to waitresses referring to me as honeychil’ or sugar.  “Y’all have a wonderful day now, sweetie pie.”
Linda didn’t mind it either when men called her ma’am and darlin’.

Another memorable road trip was the first time we headed up to Mackinac (Pronounced Mack-in-aw) Island in Northern Michigan. We had just gotten our Camaro convertible. The weather was perfect for leaving the top down for the enjoyable drive through Wisconsin…then, after a three hour ferryboat ride across Lake Michigan we headed up the eastern shore to Mackinac City.mackanac ferry From there we climbed aboard a people ferry over to the Island where no motorized vehicles are allowed. It’s all buggies and wagons that are powered by real horses.

Main Street, Mackinac Island, Michigan.

Main Street, Mackinac Island, Michigan.

Because of those animals, there is a distinct, but not entirely unpleasant aroma about the place..especially when mixed with the smells of chocolate fudge and other  treats from the many shops and restaurants along main street. mackanac lilacsThen there is the intoxicating odor of the lilacs. Lilac bushes and trees are everywhere and so are millions of gorgeous flowers. I wouldn’t be surprised if the reason they’re so abundant and healthy had something to do with all of that horse poop collected from the streets and stables.mackanac horses
The island’s Grand Hotel truly is grand!  This huge wooden structure has somehow survived over a century without having a fire. mackanac hotel It’s a magnificent place that still features all the amenities that have attracted aristocrats, celebrities, presidents and royalty since the late 19th century.
Linda and I spent a memorable afternoon sipping gimlets in the cupola bar on the very top of the Grand Hotel that offered an amazing panoramic view of the island and the Straights of Mackinac.
We loved it so much we’ve been back twice.

And, even though we have a nearly new vehicle (Big Red 2) we still plan to take the rag top on a few road trips during the Summer; just maybe not as far from home as we used to.

So, if you spot a heavy-set grey-haired guy and his too pretty for him wife driving slowly through your town in a 25 year old red Camaro convertible with the top down..wave us on over and maybe show us around. Afterward, perhaps we can sit in the shade, have a couple vodka gimlets together and watch the sunset. Do’ne that soun’  like fun sweet pea?

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3 Comments

  1. THAT is how retired life should be!!! I really enjoy hearing about and seeing pictures of places I have never been. Too much negative news and stories these days….shining a lot on what is good and enjoyable in this world is so very refreshing!!
    Btw……..Big Red 1 is happy staying home with me ♡

  2. That was one place on my “bucket” list. I did make it there a few years ago. It is truly amazing. Sat on the porch with the drink special of the day. Then I went to the afternoon high tea. What fun. You got 2 plates of treats. One sweets and the other sandwiches. And you got champagne. The day I was there it was Murder Mystery weekend. Got to talk to the lady in charge of the Murder Mystery. She was a lot of fun. The fudge is really good there too. (Took some home). I would go back any time.

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