The Lost Week

Map Credit: Mapquest/www.portaustinarea.com

I confess to being stuck in scenes from a three-day, mini-vacation my family and I took during the Memorial Day Weekend holiday. It all began …

Saturday, May 26

The beautiful shoreline of Lake Huron beckoned. My family and I loaded the car and escaped Shelby Township. Our destination: Port Austin.

Buddy, a happy companion. Photo credit: kateschannel

Located at the tip of Michigan’s thumb, Port Austin is one of my favorite destinations. It is quick two-hour drive, offers a number of scenic overnight accommodations, and interests for everyone — including our dog, Buddy. Plus, is holds a bit of nostalgia. Throughout childhood, my dad treated my sister, mom and I to multi-week sailing cruises on Lake Huron and Lake Michigan on his 32-foot Galaxy. A common port-of-call was Port Austin. There we would rest up from a day on the lake, eat Blue Moon ice cream, play on the beach, and run into friends from our neighborhood in Rochester, Mich.

Taking the edge off at The Bank 1884 in Port Austin. Photo Credit: kateschannel

Upon arrival on Saturday afternoon, we treated ourselves to a late lunch at The Bank 1884, which is a registered Michigan and national historic site.

When I woke …

Sunday, May 27

Despite stormy weather for a majority of this day, I was lucky to capture a number of early-morning shots while walking this peaceful beach town with Buddy.

Vacant, silent streets soon to be filled with escapees like myself. Photo credit: kateschannel

Most were still slumbering away in their motel rooms and cottages when Buddy and I set out. But, there were a few souls about.

An early beach morning with the goslings. Photo credit: kateschannel

I just couldn’t resist. After bringing Buddy back to our kitchenette for a snooze, I needed more. So, I took my steaming cup of hot coffee goodness and meandered along the shore. There, some geese and their goslings enjoyed a morning absent of people. Small-town streets remained vacant, but expectant of many future footprints, motorcycles, bikes and cars.

Later on that morning …

Stormy waters churn. Photo credit: kateschannel

Frothy, violent, majestic water churned as the clock ticked toward noon. Hours prior the peaceful, glass-like waters beckoned. So, suddenly it turns. A brilliant display of Mother Nature and what she decides to unleash on Michiganders — like us 3 hoping to frolic on the sand of the state’s 3,224 miles of shoreline.

Sunday evening …

As storms moved on, suburban escapees — like myself — took time to play and to take in the views.

Issa, Riff, Buddy and Tracy at play Sunday evening. Photo credit: kateschannel

Monday, May 28

We lucked out. Sunshine and 90-degree temperatures greeted us this morning. So, we spent the morning building sandcastles and hunting for freshwater mollusk shells.

Freshwater mollusk shell. Photo credit: Wikipedia

So, this is where my mind has been this week. Issa and Riff are done with school for the summer in just nine days. So, this brief getaway served as a preview for hot fun in the months ahead.

A Summer Preview: Coming to My Backyard in 13 Days

Buddy is the king.

Last night, we set the mood. Structured schedules were tossed to the recycle bin. Issa, Riff, Buddy (our Pekingese) and I played in the backyard until our tummies rumbled for burgers, fries and lemonade. Dinner wasn’t served until 7-something.

Riff is my music man. He sings and dances to just about anything.

School is out for a couple extra days to enable families to celebrate Memorial Day properly. But, it is also a preview for parents and caregivers of what is coming to our backyards, parks, beaches, malls, amusement parks, etc., etc, in a mere 13 days.

Issa was too busy to be photographed this afternoon. She was busy prepping and plotting  our garden. Our next-door neighbors were deciding on their veggie plant choices as well. Both of us are giving pumpkins ago.

Before I leave you for a weekend of lazy beach living, I wanted to direct you to some sites that might help with crafting some refreshing and/or savory treats for your long weekend  fiestas. These bloggers always leave my mouth watering. Some day, I’m going in my kitchen to try and replicate what they make so easy. In the meantime, why don’t you get an apron on and get busy?

Afternoon Popcorn Snack – her watermelon and fresh basil margarita, hill country salsa  and DJ’s spicy grilled red dirt chicken all have me drooling while I type.

Rantings of an Amateur Chef – check out his recipes for shrimp and tomato summer salad, grilled pork tenderloin, and grilled stuffed jalapenos)

Vivek’s Eipcurean Adventures – I need to spend more time at this guy’s site. Don’t you agree? My kids don’t complain about my grilled cheese sandwiches. But, this guy has me beat. His Mozzarella en Carozza has me making a list for my next trip to my local Italian grocer, Vince and Joe’s.

A Muse in My Kitchen – Her pictures say it all.

This Italian Family -I probably don’t need to admit this. Italian food is my absolute favorite. Could it be something to do with my DNA? Who knows? Her meatball bubble biscuits and little lasagnas look like ideal, kid-friendly finger foods. I also want to try the zesty steak salad.

Here’s to battles won to keep us free; and here’s to staying free.

A great beverage to consider on this glorious weekend of family, friends, relaxation and fun is Bell’s Oberon. The label on the bottle says it all: with the color and scent of a summer afternoon.