Friday, July 21, 2017

A Few Days Back in Michigan

We’d been wanting to plan a dinner with the family while Nicolas was in town, and my Mom had a little project she wanted help with, so as soon as Bryce had an afternoon scheduled off, we all headed over to my Mom’s house.

We had picked up the supplies we needed to seal the cracks in her driveway and reseal it, so the three of them got started on filling the cracks that afternoon, before we went to meet everybody for dinner at Inkys – a family favorite.

We had a big group for dinner – 20 of us – and it was delicious, as usual.  Jaxon was excited to see a couple of his favorite people!

Jaxon was having fun with Tom and Nick!


I had made an ice cream cake for Nicolas’ birthday, and everybody came back to my Mom’s for dessert.  Nick was glad to see everybody, especially since he doesn’t know how many opportunities he’ll get to come back to Michigan once he reports in Norfolk.

The next morning, the guys sealed the driveway,

Coating Grandma's driveway



while Grandma and Casey supervised!


Bryce had to work that afternoon, so after a couple hours he headed back to Sandusky by himself.  The rest of us were staying for another night.

Tom and Nick put the finishing touches on the driveway.

Finishing touches

Working hard

It looked pretty good when they were done!

After getting cleaned up and having some lunch, we headed up to the Milan Dragstrip for an evening of drag racing.

Drag Races

These guys were fast!

Tom’s brother, Dave, and our niece, Kathleen, joined us there, and we all enjoyed watching the races.  After a couple hours sitting on metal bleachers, Tom and I needed to stretch our legs, so we took a walk over to the “Pit” side of the track.  Walking around, we ran into our friend, Ed, from work.


He was there helping some friends of his who had a couple of cars in the action.  While we were talking, it was time for them to go to the starting line for their next run.  Tom and I hopped onto the back of the gold cart and rode up to the starting line with them.

This was my first time towing a race car!

Towing the race car

We watched from behind the starting line while they waited for their turn.

Next in line

It was quite a few from back there!

Watching from behind the starting line

Lots of smoke as the cars do the customary burn-out!


It had been a beautiful evening, but it looked like storm clouds were brewing! 

Tom and I went back to the spectator side to get something to eat with Nick, Dave and Kathleen, and then back up to the bleachers to watch the elimination rounds.  They didn’t get too far into them, though, before we suddenly found ourselves in a downpour!

We gathered under the bleachers in an attempt to stay dry while waiting out the rain,

Getting out of the rain

but it didn’t appear to be ending anytime soon, and we doubted if they’d get the track dried off to be able to continue the races.  We decided to make a run for the cars, and got completely drenched!  Just a few miles south at my Mom’s house, though . . . completely dry!  She was shocked to see us walk into the house looking like drowned rats!

On Saturday, we headed back to Sandusky for Nicolas’ last week of his leave.  It’s been cozy in the motorhome with 4 adults and a dog,


but I’ve loved having the boys both here with us!  Bryce had a couple more evenings off, and we managed to have dinner together a couple more times!


The signs of his impending departure were around me though, as I sewed his new patches on his uniforms and he got his sea bag packed up.



I’m going to be so sad when he leaves!  At least I’ve got Bryce here for a little longer!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

4th of July Festivities

My Sailor

Well, Bryce had to work on the 4th, and Nicolas didn’t really want to go to any parades or anything, so we hung out at home in the morning.  After lunch, we headed down to nearby Fremont, OH where I had heard there was going to be concert by Toledo Symphony Orchestra on the grounds of the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Home.

Entrance to the grounds

Hayes Home

There was apparently a parking issue due to a bigger crowd than they expected, but we easily found a spot on the street just a couple blocks away.  We walked to the grounds, and joined the crowd already assembled on the lawn, just in time for the concert to start.

Large crowd enjoying the concert on the lawn


The Orchestra was on the porch of the Hayes Home.

Toledo Symphony Orchestra

They played a selection of patriotic tunes, and during one medley of songs had a couple dressed as Rutherford and Lucy Hayes reading from the letters they wrote to each other while he was away fighting in the Civil War.

Rutherford B. Hayes

Lucy Hayes

Nicolas said it wasn’t exactly his type of music, but it was pretty good, and in the final number they had some Civil War Re-Enactors shooting off cannons.

Shooting cannons

That was exciting! and loud!

Civil War Cannons


Afterwards, we walked past to take a look at the cannons, and got to see one more firing up close!  They let the announcer fire the cannon (ok, it was just a blank – no actual cannons were fired),and I think he was shocked at how loud it was!

Getting ready for one more demo


After the concert, we went back to the camper to get Casey out for a while and give her dinner, then we headed into Port Clinton for the evening.  There were lots of activities planned, including a car show in a park in downtown.

Classic cars in the park

It was a small show, but there were several really nice old cars,



Hot Rod

and some interesting & unique ones, too!


Edsel grill

I think this one would look great behind the motorhome!


You could drive it to the beach and have your own diving board!

Literally a boat . . . complete with diving platform!

Nicolas had his own favorites!


Nicolas likes the Mustangs!

Another favorite!

After looking at all the cars, we enjoyed a complimentary dish of ice cream at the ice cream social, and then went in search of somewhere to eat dinner and a good spot to watch the various fireworks scheduled for that night.

We were told that if we went to the state park east of Port Clinton, we could see not only Part Clinton’s fireworks, but also Put-in-Bay’s and Cedar Point’s fireworks.

We found the state park, and sure enough, there was a group of people congregating along the shoreline with chairs, so we were in the right place.  We picked a good spot and set up our chairs.  For a hot day, it was quickly cooling off as a strong wind was blowing in off the water!


None of us had brought sweatshirts, so we had to get the quilt out of the Jeep and huddle together under it!



We watched the sun set as we waited for the fireworks and the crowd continued to grow.

Pretty sky

Beautiful sunset

A crowd has gathered

Despite the chilly breeze off the lake, it was a beautiful evening and we enjoyed watching the fireworks over Lake Erie!

Waiting for the fireworks