Friday, December 11, 2009

Up, Up And Away

You know how it is......seen one palm tree, you've seen 'em all.

Same with beaches. Hot weather ? Boring.

So next week we're taking a break from it all and Deb et moi are heading 'oop north' to see family and friends in Michigan, a state which has now been twinned with Siberia.

I was last in Michigan in February 2008 when we again left the warmth of Florida to go and be with Deb & Den's eldest son and daughter-in-law (Brian & Tara) a few days after the birth of their son, Mason. On that visit we never went further north to Deb & Den's home town of Houghton Lake as their house was shut up for the winter and so there was no point in visiting.

This time we WILL be going to Houghton Lake as Brian, Tara and Mason all live there now. I've not been for a few years and am looking forward to seeing the place again and seeing a few friends as well as the family.

Until yesterday, we had planned on driving there, even though it's a 2,800 mile round trip not counting any driving we do while there. It's a trip we've done many times before and involves driving up through Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and the better part of Michigan.
Few of the miles could be classed as scenic although when I-75 cuts through parts of Tennessee, it's not bad !

But 6 very full days in a rental car, several nights in unknown motels, eating on the road (not literally, although some roadkill beats what's served up by most fast food outlets) and having only 4 days in Michigan was not a prospect we were looking forward to.

So yesterday we decided to fly there and that has meant we can leave next Wednesday and still be in Houghton Lake a few hours earlier than if we'd set off driving early on Monday morning. We can also stay longer and still be back here on 23rd in time for Christmas. All this and we save about 30% by only needing to rent a car for a few days, not get any motels and not have to eat out as much. Win, win.

Well not quite. There are always a few drawbacks. We can't take as much luggage for a start and we did want to bring a few large items back. I could try shoving the gas bbq into the overhead compartment but I doubt it would fit and the flight attendants would not be happy with the attached gas canister. It would definitely have to go under the seat !

Then we have the flight times. We leave from Tampa airport at 8:25am and we live 2 hrs from the airport so do the math. Coming back is even worse. We fly from Flint airport at 5:18am and again it's a 2 hr drive to that airport. I just hope in both cases, the pilot gets more sleep than we will.

But hell we're young and fit and don't need sleep and it'll be a grand adventure. Yesterday it was sunny and 83F here and in Houghton Lake...tons of snow and 10F !!

We went shopping for some warm clothing yesterday but in mid Florida, that's like trying to find someone under 55. Rare as hen's teeth. (I've never understood that expression). Anyway, I got a checked red flannel shirt that came with a free copy of The Lumberjack Song and we're heading off to get some more items today. I do have some warm clothing in my wardrobe here as like I said at the start, we've been to Michigan from Florida a few times.

And never fear as I'll be taking lappy of course so expect posts from your northern correspondent with photos of a snow covered world with a dearth of palm trees and sun kissed beaches.

I plan on enjoying those on Christmas Day.


Milo said...

It's fairly mild here (just now) but I keep hearing about the US cold snap. Have also heard it's heading eastwards, i.e. to us. We don't even have a frost yet, not bad for December.

Enjoy the North (of the US), is nice to travel around.

Jennyta said...

Good! Delighted that you will be experiencing cold and snow and frost too! ;)(I'm just jealous.)

rhymeswithplague said...

You can have all the snow and ice and frost. You can take my portion for yourself as well. Doesn't have a thing to do with Christmas, you know. The original had deserts and palm trees and magi on camels as I recall.

Silverback said...

Wow Bob you really are that old ;-)

Yorkshire Pudding said...

To keep warm a layer of goose fat or Vaseline is advisable - as recommended by lady swimmers from Leeds. Unfortunately, although I have recently passed my NVQ course in "Greasing Lady Swimmers" I have not completed the advanced course in "Greasing Yorkshire Winter Escapees" so you'll have to ask Debs to do it.

jay said...

Oh, brrrrrrr!!! You'll need more than a lumberjack shirt, my old mate!

Wave hello to Tennessee Jenn for me as you pass through!

I know what you mean about those early starts and long drives, but why not stay over at an airport motel the night before you fly up? Can't help you with the 5am thing though. That's a real bummer.

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