I awoke in seat 34-B of a Northwest Airlines flight next to a grizzled old man in a brightly colored Hawaiian shirt. He was furious. Our flight was going to be about a half hour late, and this fact infuriated my row-mate to no end. That’s how I knew it was going to be a good vacation; because anytime you have a fuming-mad 70-year-old in a tropical T-shirt, swearing about an extra half-hour’s worth of flight time, it’s going to be an entertaining trip. Period.
All waitings and delays aside, here is what I’ve been up to thus far on my holiday (from real?):
The Muskegon, Michigan airport is more of a glorified foyer than it is an airport terminal. When I rounded the corner from my prop-jet plane and crossed through the “security” barrier (an unmanned plastic gate that said “Be Careful” on it), I saw my host and friend waiting for me on the other side — literally the only human to make use of the waiting area since the Nixon administration. A decision to relax and catch up over a beer turned into us polishing off a case of Blue Moon while critiquing reality television and discussing our lovelives (how the dating scene is in California, how his girlfriend is doing in NYC, etc). In between flights and time changes and variations in when the sun sets, I’ve had literally no idea what time it is anywhere I go, but I gather that we called it a night after it was officially considered “late” in all timezones, and I retired to my now-standard area in the Caruso family basement (which has been redone again since my last visit). This is the best sleep I’ve had in months. Cheers.
I pull myself out of bed at what I guess is a reasonable time, with some delicious granola-cereal my treat for being up before lunch. A leisurely shower and a quick facebooking session later, I’m ready to head up to the Lake where Papa Caruso is working on redoing the family cabin. A social call to the cabin (which is clearly going to be an amazing property once completed) quickly turns into a couple of capable young lads flexing their youth and vigor by moving a dock from one property by the lake to another. This sounds easier than it was, but as I said, our combined powers proved more than a match for the soggy wooden dock, and within minutes we’d earned our Bear’s Burgers lunch (a local dining establishment, complete with frosty mugs of Bell’s Oberon). Next up was a quick jaunt to Mrs. C’s elementary school for another small dose of manual labor, followed by more family bonding (California relatives had just arrived in town), and a wonderful meal at an upscale Greek restaurant that served me an amazing, custom Italian meal. Post-dinner was a trip to visit a friend at Western Michigan University — drinks and good conversations were as abundant as the Bell’s Brewery beers served on tap.
And so there was evening, and there was morning, the first two days. I’ve yet to see the sun, and I was quickly reacquainted with some Midwest nuances that I’d forgotten about (i.e. humidity, cloud cover, mosquito bites, and paying less than $15 for a drink…all in all, not a bad trade).
More coverage comes tomorrow, in the meantime, I’m too busy enjoying myself and the company of my best friend and his family.