When I set the alarm last night I didn’t think to check which ringtone the alarm was going to sound — so this morning when the alarm went off at 4:30 I was a bit confused and it took a couple minutes to wrap my head around the idea I was supposed to be getting up. After a lifetime of being an early riser it seems that recently my body has rebelling at the concept! Still, if we want to get through The Windy City before the worst of rush hour traffic we need to leave by 5 a.m.
As much as I don’t want it to be true the reality of life with Peter at this point in time is that our travels are far more about driving to places and enjoying the scenery and route than it is about getting out of the car and walking or hiking like it used to be. There simply are things I can’t do anymore as I would like. So, we’re making the best of the situation as it is and that means this trip around Lake Michigan is more about driving than exploring on foot. That means more miles in a day but more unplanned stops and greater spontaneity. Both of which are always fun.
We took time to check out the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore — near Porter Indiana. With a 5 a.m. departure from Milwaukee that meant that we showed up at the visitors center almost before the employees and volunteers but we have a lovely time and it was fun to see the difference between these dunes and the Oregon dunes. In both cases they involve a lot of sand. [ 😆 😆😆 ] Seriously though, the Indiana Dunes are significantly different than the Oregon Dunes. There were forests here, along the shore of Lake Michigan, so when sand blew onshore and started to cover up the existing vegetation the sand buried large objects like TREES. A few years ago a child was lost down a hole when a rotted out tree left a hollow in the sand and the child fell into the hole left behind. Fortunately the child was saved and is well, but the ranger staff is very much concerned about public safety in different ways than we experiencedduring our stay in Oregon.
One of my favorite moments was checking out the 5 homes that remain from the 1933 World Exhibition in Chicago. A number of the “model homes” that were displayed in the “Century of Progress” world exposition were transported by barge to the dunes area. Of those that made the trip only 5 remain, and one of those is undergoing restoration at this time. The idea of looking back at what people thought the future might look like was interesting to me.
Still, it was a beautiful day for a drive and we stopped in a few towns on the way to Muskegon, our intended stop for the night. Of them I guess my favorite was South Haven, with a lovely, walkable downtown area, a killer harbor for boating enthusiasts, and a lovely beach and pier. That featured photo at the top is just one of many picturesque home gardens we came across.
To be truthful, the impetus for this trip was the fact that we had enough accumulated 3 nights worth of frequent stay points and using our points for Choice Hotels meant that we didn’t have enough points to stop in one of the towns we might have preferred — but as it worked out the hotel we ended up at in Muskegon was just fine.
Not only that, but we also found a cute little Irish pub that did a wonderful job of filling the void in our tummy. Hennesey’s Pub & Restaurant might be a better choice for connisseurs of spirits as they have a notable collections of whiskey — not on the agenda for a couple who had to find their way by car back to their hotel!!!!
I have to confess, I’ve never had a “boxty” before — and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Us Polish descendants tend to be partial to potato pancakes and the Irish take on a stuffed potato pancake is a really scrumptious idea. In my case it was filled with a sliced tasty irish sausage and stout sauteed portabella mushrooms. Peg went for a shepherds pie and there was no way either of us were going to finish what we were served. [I can see myself making boxties at home though!]