Sunday, August 31, 2008
A Little R & R... Michigan Style!
Thursday was a day off, running errands and tying down a couple of loose ends, before we left town for a few days. Thursday night was dinner out with my wife, son and his new girlfriend (1st picture) It's a local brew/restaurant, and they do a great job! They overheard the birthday talk, and brought over a big piece of chocolate cake, and one of their beer glasses as a present!
Friday, we packed what we needed and headed for our first stop- The Shelby Gem Factory! Have you ever gone past a billboard (many times!) advertising what sounds like a neat tour but never went? Well, we decided we would find this place and see what they do. A couple of wrong turns later, we found it! It was a non-descript looking industrial building, founded in 1970 (2nd picture) and we were having second thoughts... What the heck! In we went, to a rather interesting lobby, showing the gems they produce in various stages of processing, and a description (3rd picture) of the process. We found out because of the proprietary nature of producing synthetic gems, there was no tour, but a short video you could watch that was quite informative. Then on to the show room where you could buy emeralds, rubies, diamonds, sapphires, set in genuine solid 14 karat gold. Nothing fake here! The stones actually have the hardness and brilliance of real gem stones, but with no flaws! I was impressed enough to buy my wife an early birthday present(4th picture)! Yes, everyone, I let her pick the one she wanted! On to Little River Casino, where we gambled, with little success! We caught dinner in Cadillac, at a place I think was named The Dawg House... looked new, and the food was good! It was casual, as it was right next to the State campground! We headed for our place west of Tustin, did a quick stop to take a scenic view of the kind of landscape this part of Michigan has(5th pict). We arrived at the lodge ( 6th photo- Yes, we really named it that! 10 guys own it counting me!)and started to settle in to relax.
Saturday, we wanted to head for the new Turtle Creek Casino early, as the crowds would be bad later.. The 7th picture is of the outdoor fountain/waterfall as you enter the casino- you should see the three story one in the casino! We then headed for a little casino up on the Leelanau penninsula, just north of Suttons Bay. Traffic by now was bad! Labor day week-end and all... We made some money there, enough to buy supplies for a BB-Q at the cabin with friends coming up for the evening! Just before we found a super market, I took a picture of the bay (8th and 9th pic) and a sloop called the Welcome- a reproduction of a ship that sailed the great Lakes in days gone by.. Our friends arrived on time, bringing appetizers! We had NY strips, charcoaled, cob corn, potato salad, rolls, then carrot cake- enough!
Played cards, relaxed, They headed home, we went to bed!
This morning, we decided to head home- our dog missed us! Did all the usual schlepping when packing, then unpacking...Farwell to The Big Beaver Hunt Club, 'til next time! The weather was beautiful, and it actually was fun and relaxing!