In a normal summer up north, I will take day trips to some of the towns in the north that make for a great day trip but are pretty much always overcrowded with tourists. Fun places to visit but I wouldn't want to deal with the traffic all the time. Last year, of course, no one went anywhere. I stayed happily put at my happy place. This year I wanted to visit a few of those spots, like Petoskey or Charlevoix -- both set on Lake Michigan or Little Traverse Bay.
Be careful what you ask for. You might get it.
First, I want to thank all of you for the wonderful wishes to Rick for his kidney stone issue and for each and every one he is really grateful. I filled in those of you I could reach directly with the end game but here is a brief recap -- along with a little fun!
You may remember that in June I wrote about Rick's visit to the ER on the day of our Cork Poppers Wine Tasting party. The result was probably diverticulitis, maybe a kidney stone (the latter of which was, after the visit, the guess by our family doc). And in the last post, I confirmed that with his urgent care/ER visits. With gobs of pain meds pumped into him, he went home with an appointment to see a specialist the next day (Thursday) -- in Petoskey!
Well, that day he was feeling great. We liked the doc and he could do surgery the following Monday in Charlevoix. So, with Rick feeling both relieved and OK, we left the appointment and did the town.
We wandered through the Crooked Lake Art Gallery, which is housed in a converted church. Along with the regular lighting one would expect in a gallery, there are lovely stained glass windows that add to the beauty of it all.
We saw a wonderful exhibit of pastels, which you see here by an artist named Heidi Marshall.
I'll need to write more on her work later -- it deserves being seen and for those reading in the northern Michigan area, pop by. Her work just jumps off the page.
Then we browsed in store windows and even ventured into more than a few. I really loved this window display.
It was Rick who suggested going into this antique store, which was packed to the gills.
It did have a few fun things in it -- if you could find them. It made me appreciate shops like Rita's (of Panoply) all the more with their logical, neat organization!
Rick surprised me by taking me to eat at the City Park Grill. Built in 1875, it is one of the city's oldest buildings.
It has had several names but when it was called "The Annex," it became a haunt of Ernest Hemingway, who made this are a of northern Michigan his home in the summer months.
The restaurant's website says that "Hemingway would sit in the second seat form the end of the bar and write his ideas for short stories and books. The short story "Gentleman of the World" makes mention of the Annex."
So, we sat at the bar (not in the Hemingway seat!) before moving to a table and enjoying a delicious fish and chips and heading home to watch some video. We both got what we asked for -- a quick appointment and resolution for Rick and a road trip for me.
Like I said.... be careful what you ask for!
About 2:30 the next morning I woke up to the sound of moaning and the pain was far worse than it has been and it has been bad. It sounded like what you'd hear in a medieval torture chamber. Two hours later we left for the Charlevoix ER hoping for early surgery or at least relief.
Let me tell you -- it was hell. The road to Charlevoix is a series of S-curves and tight ones at that. Try it at 5 am in the fog, worrying about deer. But we arrive, he got seen immediately and they were able to reach his doc. A few hours later he was getting his super-sized stone pulverized and after time in the recovery area, we were on our way back to the lake.
I have high praise for his doc and for the fabulous staff at the Charlavoix hospital who not only took good care of Rick but of me, too. (They put me in a room with the most calming view of Lake Michigan through a wide bank of windows -- it was the Zen that I needed, just watching waves and boats.) After catching up on sleep for both of us, life is looking a lot brighter.
But I don't think I want another road trip to Charlevoix this summer.
(I'm way behind in reading your posts. Please bear with me!)