Friday, August 24, 2012

After three long years . . .

After about 7 weeks on the market, and just a few showings, we were starting to think we were going to spend another winter in Michigan.  Then, out of the blue, we had a showing . . . quickly followed by an offer!
After some negotiating back & forth, we arrived at an agreement, and established a closing date at the end of August – just 3 weeks from the day of the original offer!!  We had said we could move quickly, but WOW!  We’re going to be really busy!
First step was to get all of Patrick and Jim’s furniture, artwork, and “decorations” taken out and back to their rightful owners – that took a full day all by itself, not to mention a couple of really full trucks! 
Soon our house was looking pretty bare . . .
with all the greenery gone, and nothing on the walls!
Next step was to figure out what we wanted to take with us in the RV, and then to sort the rest between “estate sale”, “donate”, “recycling” and “trash”.
Bryce may look like he’s moving out, but he’s really just getting ready for the estate sale! 
We made great use of craigslist, and little by little, our furniture was moving on to new homes.
There goes our kitchen table, and the boys’ futon, and some end tables and a rug . . .
the sectional and recliner and cedar bench found a new home, too . . .
even my desk moved out . . . where will I work now??!!
Getting ready for the estate sale meant several days of emptying cabinets and closets . . .
I thought I was doing pretty well until the boys brought back everything that we had stuck in the barn just to get it out of the way when we were “redecorating”!
The estate sale went pretty well, and we made a good dent in all the “stuff” . . . after that long & exhausting couple of days, we had a little celebration with our realtors . . .
and resorted to eating in the garage because there was no furniture left in the house!! LOL
This week was all about donating, and we made trips to Kiwanis and the Salvation Army . . . and gave stuff to pretty much anybody who stopped by our house!  In the midst of all that, we were working on the short list of items that the buyer wanted fixed based on the inspection . . . nothing major, but it did eat into our time somewhat!
Yesterday, while Bryce was at baseball practice, I visited Haas Lake Campground, where we plan to stay for a few weeks while we settle into the RV.  I wanted to drive around to check out the sites and their wifi, and while I was there I ran into some old friends.  We had met Roger & Joyce at Thunder Bay at the informal RV Dreams gathering, and now we’ll be spending a month parked next to them at Haas Lake!
There are just a few pieces of furniture left to sell, and it sounds like several of them will be gone by the weekend!  We decided that we all needed a break, and headed to Cedar Point for a couple days of rest, relaxation and roller coasters!  When we get home on Friday, we’ll have just one week until our closing, so that will be crunch time . . . but at least we’ll be re-energized!
The internet at Cedar Point left a bit to be desired, so I was never able to get this posted, but we’re home now, and it was nice to only have to take the laundry out of the RV!  Over the next few days we’ll be moving the rest of our stuff into the RV, and emptying the house . . . and by noon next Friday we’ll be homeless!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Leelanau Peninsula & Cathead Bay

We’ve been home for over a week already, and I’m just getting around to posting our last day’s adventures . . . oh well!

A family from the boys’ old school had arrived up north on Saturday, and we had hoped to be able to get together with them before we went home on Tuesday.  On Monday morning, they gave us a call, and we decided to take a drive up to the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula where they rent a cottage on Cathead Bay.


We drove through Glen Arbor, around Good Harbor Bay, and on up to Leland (aka “Fishtown”).


We’ve never been to Leland before, so we found a place to park the truck and walked around town checking out the little shops.  They had the typical touristy stuff – clothes, toys, ice cream and coffee shops.  We found a nice little local cherry foods shop (can’t remember the name of it!) and picked up a jar of cherry jalapeno salsa to bring to our friends.

From there, we wandered down to the Historic District and the harbor.


Tom talked to a couple of the charter boat captains and got the scoop on the charter fishing trips that they offer.  Typical morning trips yield about 100 lbs. of salmon . . . what the heck am I going to do with all that fish!!??!!  No time left during this trip, but maybe another year . . .


We saw lots of people walking around with big backpacks – serious backpacks! – and were a little confused, until we remembered that the ferry to the Manitou Islands leaves from right here in Leland.


We were all getting a little hungry, so we got hot dogs from the street vendor before getting back in the truck and continuing our trek northward.


We drove around Lake Leelanau, and past cherry orchards and wineries, and eventually came to Northport, the last town on the peninsula.  I was amazed to see that, all the way up here, miles from civilization, there was a high school.  That means people live here year-round . . . crazy!

Passing through town, we continued even further north!  We knew where we needed to turn (the last possible left turn on the peninsula), and yet we managed to drive right past it!  Straight ahead took us into Leelanau State Park, so we figured we’d drive through and take a look at the campsites.  There was just a single loop through the woods and along the beach in this rustic campground . . . definitely not big rig friendly (barely big truck friendly!), but would be a really nice place to camp in a tent or small trailer.

As long as we were there, we stopped to check out the lighthouse.


We didn’t go in the actual lighthouse,


but did check out the exhibits in the Fog Signal Building.


Can you see any ships out there, Bryce?!


There were several of these planters made from rocks throughout the park . . . I thought they were pretty cool!


Leaving the State Park, we made the turn onto Cathead Bay Rd., followed it through the woods, and out onto the sand, as a row of cottages came into view.


It’s really pretty out here, with a beautiful private beach . . .


. . .  total seclusion – no cell phone, no wifi . . . definitely a place to “get away from it all!”

Once we arrived at our friends’ cottage and said hello, the boys made a beeline for the chilly water,


as the adults took a walk along the lonely stretch of beach.  We eventually decided that the water looked too good to pass up, so we joined the kids for a swim . . . we didn’t last too long, though – it was chillier up here!


Hey, there’s that ship you were looking for, Bryce!

Back at the cottage, and in dry clothes, we caught up on what’s been happening in everybody’s lives as we snacked on chips and salsa.  While we sat visiting, the sun began to disappear as dark clouds rolled in over the lake . . . it looked like we were going to get a storm!

We packed up the towels and bathing suits and decided to head into Northport for some dinner.  After some debate, we decided to get pizza at the North End Grill, only to find it closing when we got there!  The backup plan was the Garage Bar, which turned out to be a pretty good choice . . . Tom had a whitefish sandwich and the boys and I all had pulled pork . . . YUM!

The rain started while we ate, and continued for our entire drive back home to the RV Park.  We had a really nice day, though, and the boys were glad to be able to spend some time with their friends!


Friday, August 3, 2012

August already???



We got a late start to our summer, and now it’s already time to start thinking about back-to-school, fall baseball, and planning our final camping trips of the year.  I can’t believe it’s almost here!

The boys are pretty much all set for school . . .



I just have to finalize Bryce’s foreign language, and help Nicolas find an elective.  We’re considering a course at Washtenaw Community College, but need to decide pretty quickly, and if he does take it, that locks us into staying local through December . . . even if (when!) the house sells . . . so that’s an additional factor to consider.  They both start their English classes before Labor Day, and Nicolas wants to get started early on Physics (since he didn’t finish Chemistry until July 1st this past year!), but other than that, we’ll probably wait until after the holiday weekend.

We’re still trying to decide where to go for the holiday weekend . . . should we go back to Silver Lake, or somewhere new . . . and trying to fit in another trip somewhere else, too.  The kids still want to go to Cedar Point again, but we’re not sure . . . now that I signed Bryce up for fall baseball (which starts the week after next), I need to see his schedule before I make any camping plans.


Tom called Newmar this week to schedule a service appointment, and the earliest we could get in the 2nd week of October.  Our convection microwave gave us the dreaded, mysterious F-5 error while we were baking cookies on our 1st trip this year.  We were able to clear it by turning off the circuit breaker for a few minutes, but got it again on this last trip and it wouldn’t reset.  I can’t even set the clock on the microwave anymore!  We also have a leak in our shower grey tank (when it gets full), which has already been replaced once before, so we need to have that looked at, too.  I guess we’ll see how the extended warranty works out.

We’ll probably plan on spending the whole week in Indiana, and hopefully get to spend a day or two in Shipshewana after our service work is complete.  Then . . . maybe I’ll even get to go on a quilt shop bus tour with my sisters!!


Of course, if Patrick finds a buyer for our house, all our plans could change . . . and I wouldn’t mind one bit!!  July has been pretty much a dud, but hopefully things will pick up now in August.


Waiting for a new family to move in!!