Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Phil and I made the decision several months ago to travel to Michigan for the July 4th weekend...and that's just what we did. Phil had arrived home just a few hours earlier from San Francisco (about 2:00 AM, to be exact!), but we left our Illinois home located northwest of Chicago Friday morning, July 3rd, about 10:30.

We made our way through the upper portion of Illinois, then Indiana, and on into Michigan, arriving in Muskegon, located on the eastern shoreline of Lake Michigan about 4:30 PM (eastern time). We hadn't been on a "road trip" in a long time, so we really enjoyed the time and the ride.

(Reminder: click on any photo to enlarge for better viewing, then click the "Back" arrow in the upper left of your screen to get back to blog.)

As always, I had my camera nearby and "ready" for anything interesting I might want to capture digitally. Somewhere in Indiana, I spotted the above flag and decided to take a picture. I then figured that since it was July 4th weekend, I would capture shots of American flags whenever possible.

Traffic was a bit heavy (as we had anticipated) when entering Michigan...but we were just part of the crowd headed to the beautiful north country. :-)

Another Old Glory, this one in Michigan, "painting the breeze."
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Another flag...

....and another at a Michigan blueberry farm.

This flag was located in the yard of a Michigan home....

....and here's one on a large boat but temporarily with no breeze to make it float on air.
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We spent Friday night, 7/3, at Maranatha Bible Conference. We slept in on Saturday morning, enjoying the chance to relax and do nothing. (Had we been home, Phil would probably have been working, and I would have been at his elbow & at my computer.)

We got out of our room in time to go to an Arby's and get one of their awesome sandwiches for lunch, and then drove to the Muskegon shoreline where we sat in the car, enjoying each other's presence while we devoured the sandwiches, curly fries, and iced tea. Happiness! :-)

Above: Lake Michigan and Muskegon sandy beach with only a chunk of asphalt to add color and interest.

When we left the beach area, we drove to and parked by a waterway that is traveled by boats going to and from Lake Michigan. In the above photo, seagulls and a swan family: Mama, Daddy, and two babies. Immediately after I clicked the shutter and took this sweet, tranquil picture, a large sailboat came 'bustin' " into the little family, killing one of the babies...right in front of our eyes!

We drove to another area where I was intrigued by what appeared to be two swans "guarding" a portion of beach. Just look at all those seagulls NOT crossing that "invisible line" in the sand! ha
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After riding about Muskegon enjoying the water and beach sights, we stopped at Frosty Oasis, a marvelous ice cream drivethru. We both got waffle cones filled with delicious ice cream (Myrna: Mackinac Island Fudge and Mint Chocolate Chip; Phil: Dark Cherry and Strawberry Cheesecake). Look at the beautiful lawn and relaxation area above!! How could we NOT get out of the car and sit in this tranquil spot while licking away at that delicious ice cream?? :-)

My beloved PJ holding his Dark Cherry (on the bottom, of course) and Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream Waffle Cone from Frosty Oasis, Muskegon.

Our wonderful Spring Edition Sedan DeVille (Caddy), sitting alone under an oak tree while we ate our ice cream cones. We purchased the car brand new in July 1993 just before our "annual" vacation trip to Florida. It's an AWESOME car, and has given us the most comfortable ride imaginable for the past 16 years! Only has 150,000+ miles on it. We plan to drive it until it breaks into pieces on the road while we're driving it! ha

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Since Maranatha is located right on Lake Michigan, we walked down to the beach area late afternoon. I just LOVED the sight in the above photo: the tiny female (I would assume) owner of those hot pink Crocs had abandoned them in order to go barefoot in the sand! They were no more than about 4 - 5 inches long. :-)

Late afternoon, Lake Michigan shoreline, Maranatha Bible Conference,

Muskegon, MI

One of our main reasons for driving to Maranatha was to attend the July 4th concert presented by the B-BOP....Big Band of Praise! It was GREAT, with the first half being all patriotic music! The director (standing at left of photo): Jonathan DeCou of Grand Rapids, MI.
An additional and very special treat was being able to see our good friends, Tim and Eileen Ostrander, whom we've known for many years. Tim, formerly a vice president at Moody Bible Institute, is now serving as president of Maranatha Bible Conference. It was wonderful to spend time with those very special people and to see their adult son and daughter, whom we hadn't seen since they were youngsters!
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We left immediately after the concert was over in order to drive home. We had originally planned to spend Saturday night and drive home Sunday AM, but figured that we could easily be back home in Illinois before midnight Saturday. We actually drove into the garage at 11:45 PM...and were VERY happy to spend the night at home (which we "visit" only every two weeks! ha), and have a full day Sunday there before leaving for San Francisco the very next day (yesterday, July 6th).

Above and below: sunset shots in Michigan on Route 31 as we rode homeward, all of which were taken within about an hour.

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What an enjoyable ride from Michigan back to Illinois! There was very little traffic, so our trip was a full hour shorter than our drive TO Michigan on Friday; we were treated to fireworks basically the entire trip; and we watched all those fireworks while listening to the Phillips, Craig and Dean Christmas CD!! :-)

And here I go playin' with my camera again! ha Above: an advertisement sign

Tail lights of the car in front of us....

Same tail lights....same car

A sign advertising fireworks (obviously in Indiana where it's legal to sell them)
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