We are safely back in sunny Buttonwood Bay (ok it's a bit dark right now as it's gone 10pm but don't get picky with me; it's been a long day) and once again I can laugh at those unfortunates up north who are still having to wear thick socks, long pants and hooded jackets - even in bed.
We had 5 days of that nonsense and we're glad to be back in Florida.
Actually the Hampton Inn & Suites in Okemos was lovely and I can highly recommend it. Just try it in summer though. It'll be a lot more pleasant I can tell you.
Anyway I've got about 350 photos of the two little tykes to work my way through and prune down to a more sensible number over the next day or so. As a result, I may be AWOL for a while !!
I'm also a bit tired now ( "awwww bless him for even coming on to write this post" I hear you say and you'd be right) but I wanted to let those who care know that we got back safe and sound, despite flying with Spirit Airlines.
Now I'd read a lot of bad publicity about them before the trip and I have to say I was a tad concerned. If you Google their name, the 3rd search result is a web site started by one disgruntled customer and it's grown in that peculiarly unique internet way to be a huge moaning forum for anyone who has ever had a less than happy experience with them.
But fair do's and all that. We had totally uneventful flights to and from Michigan. Our flight going was a little late coming in from Puerto Rico but they did a rush job on the cleaning of the plane (I didn't think flushing the toilet would've been too much to ask though) and we made up time in the air and only landed a few minutes late. Hurrah.
The flight back didn't just pull back from the gate on time but actually lifted off on time ! How often does THAT happen ? As a result we landed 15 minutes early back in Orlando so all in all, a big thumbs up to Spirit.
So I'm going to chill out, surf a bit and then get off to bed. I'll just leave this post with 3 photos to sum up the weather part of the trip to Michigan as I'm sure everyone has seen enough baby photos.
This was the view out the rental car window at 10:24 this morning as we started the drive to the airport in Detroit.
We'd actually been very lucky with the weather considering how much snow the state had received a few days prior to our arrival.
The first 3 days were bitterly cold of course but at least we'd had cloudless blue skies and little wind and that made being outside a little less daunting.
The last 2 days were like in this photo, overcast with strong winds and light falls of snow. The main roads were mostly clear but we did experience a few side roads and subdivision streets that were still covered with snow and/or ice.
It could have been much worse.
As we were driving along, I decided it'd be cool (or very cold actually) to take a reminder of the temp as we made our way to the airport.
As you can hopefully see, it was 14F and it had even gone up a couple of degrees from the moment when we left the hotel.
This was taken at 10:31 and was probably the high for the day.
Thankfully we'd not had to go outside much over the 5 days apart from the hotel to the car and from the car to someone's house or a restaurant.
It was just a bit too chilly to consider long walks in the park or a boat ride down the river. A walk ON the river might have been a laugh as every river we saw was iced over.
Anyway that was then and this is now, as some famous person once remarked. Now we're back in Florida and this was the photo I took inside the truck as we left Orlando airport at 5:29pm this evening.
This isn't as impressive as I'd hoped it would be as central Florida has had a couple of days of temps in the low 70's. It's still a nice 54 degrees warmer that it was for us 7 hours earlier.
I've just looked at the forecast for the next 9 days here and 7 of them show temps in the 80's with it reaching 86F on Friday. Wooohooooo.
Michigan should be a cold and distant memory when I wake up in the morning and once again see all the oldies power walking around the park roads. I can wear my shorts and t-shirts again and banish the fleece and jeans to the closet until the end of March.
Pixie was overjoyed to see us and pee'd and pooped in her excitement. Bless.
In Buttonwood Bay this isn't so unusual and I'm not talking just about the animals now !! It's that sort of place, remember.
But it's 'home' and we're glad to be back. I've only got another 5 weeks here before flying back to England so I'm going to make the most of this weather as I've a feeling England in April might just be a bit like Michigan in February.
I won't care. If I've a decent tan by then I'm going out in my shorts even if it's snowing. What's the point of wintering in Florida if no one knows about it when you go home.
Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday snow. At least I think that's the song.