There's something about fall that calls for a road trip. And even though it wasn't what I call "full fall" (in fact, it had only just begun), our road trip to Toledo was still filled with loads of fun and yes, a little bit of color!
But before we could hit the road we had very important fun to attend to! My friend Tom Taylor and his wife Mindy were in town for Michigan State's homecoming festivities and we got together for brunch before we left for the trip.
Tom and I met when we were in grad school statistics class and believe me when I say I never would have passed that class without Tom who could explain things infinitely better than either of the two instructors who taught it. We had a little study group that somehow helped us get through it together!
After graduation, Tom returned to Syracuse, where he met Mindy and gave up broadcasting for law. We've kept in touch and saw each other most recently when he was in Michigan as an election worker during the 2020 election. I'd only met Mindy once before (another homecoming trip!) so it was wonderful to see them both and get caught up once again.
Then it was off to Toledo and Rick's 50th high school reunion. We decided to take back roads and the old state highway and it made for a beautiful drive, through little towns and loads of farmland.
Before we went to the first event, we drove through his old neighborhood. This is the house where Rick grew up. As we cruised the streets, he pointed out houses of people I would soon meet!
The first night was held at a restaurant and Rick was absolutely giddy, seeing people he had known for decades, some since grade school. It felt like the place was packed -- and indeed, it was almost impossible to get a good group photo (especially because the light was terrible and no one stood still!) But there would be other opportunities to come.
Rick was so excited he hardly slept at all. We were staying with his Aunt Carol and after he finally emerged and we had breakfast, we hit the road for some local sightseeing and a walk down memory lane.
Our first stop was Camp Miakonda, the Boy Scout camp that Rick attended. It used to hold world's longest swimming pool!
We happened on it during an open day so families could check it out and enjoyed a short walk around part of it. I think we all would have enjoyed staying longer but we had places to go!
We drove around University of Toledo and then past Rick's grandparents' house, where he spent a good deal of time as a kid.
Another destination? The house where his mother grew up.
And finally, to his cousin's house. Below are Matt and Renee standing in front of an enormous chalk piece that our Greg did for him. Designed to hang by a sport bar with a mirror opposite, you can see the backwards writing of University of Michigan's "Hail to the Victors Valiant" along with symbols relevant to U of M, the Big Ten and Matt's dental career!
Then it was time for the reunion dinner. One of Rick's classmates has a beautiful farm and all were invited there. The weather was perfect, a huge tent was decorated with the typical reunion things -- school colors, memory boards, that kind of thing (and, I might add, all beautifully done.) The weather made for a much better class photo than the one I took the night before. Rick is in the front row, between the left and and center!
After Carol's wonderful breakfast the next morning we headed for home, going the back roads and highways again. Of course we had to stop at a pumpkin stand!
You couldn't have asked for a better travel day -- blue skies, corn fields, and lots of farms.
And, we passed through a town with the cutest old movie theatre.
You can't beat a good weekend like this! Old friends and new friends. Family and sunshine. It's all good.
One other thing -- blogger is not sending me notifications and I know I have missed replying to some comments. Apologies for that. Hopefully it's fixed up now.
A Special Note: Several people asked about the over-the-air antenna I bought so I could drop my cable. I got it from Amazon and it's the Direct ClearStream FLEX Amplified Indoor Antenna. I paid about $47 for it. It's flat and I have it clipped on the side of the bookcase by my front window. It's very unobtrusive and so far, so good!