4 July 2011 (American Independence Day)

  • Up early; chased my nephew around the yard.
  • Showered, packed up, and hit the road for home. The ride was pretty uneventful and mercifully we saw almost no traffic. There was one rain shower, which the windshield wipers handled without a hitch. We made it home in seven hours, including a stop for lunch, which was much faster than we expected.
  • Cooked up a frozen pizza for dinner and relaxed for the evening. Watched some local fireworks from the back deck.

3 July 2011

  • Up early. Must be that fresh country air.
  • Popped out to do some shopping. Picked up some new windshield wiper blades and had them professionally installed. Time will tell how they hold up.
  • Spent most of the day relaxing in various places outside while reading and trying to avoid direct sunlight. I had just received my copy of the 10th Anniversary edition of American Gods (one of my favorite books) and I tackled a huge chunk of it this afternoon.
  • Helped my 2 ½ year old nephew break in his new Cars-themed fishing pole. Caught four or five bluegill (or maybe the same one four or five times) right from the boat without even leaving the dock. Must be the bait — hot dog with mustard, including the bun. Bluegill are apparently suckers for the stuff.
  • We headed around the lake to a neighbor’s house for another barbecue. Ate a burger and chased aforementioned nephew around the yard before giving him a piggyback tour of the neighborhood.
  • Back to the cottage. Emily’s father built a nice bonfire and we cooked up some s’mores with huge marshmallows. As the fire was winding down some kids at the house two doors over were setting off some pretty large fireworks. Unfortunately they didn’t seem to have a clue what they were doing and had two misfires, one landing on the roof of the house next to us and the other right in the middle of a cluster of boats. Thankfully it seemed no permanent damage was done, but the revelers won’t be setting any off for a good while.

2 July 2011

  • Up early; Checked out.
  • Drove to downtown Ann Arbor to park and walk around before lunch. Got accosted by a local cop for making a left turn in front of her. In reality, we made the turn well before she got to the intersection but had to stop for a pesky pedestrian (which she probably couldn’t see) which kept us in the intersection long enough for her to catch up and get testy. She may or may not have ticketed the people behind us who made the same left turn.
  • Walked a few blocks in the oppressive heat and humidity before turning back and checking the car for tickets. Finding none, we went into the Arbor Brewing Company for lunch. I had an “Olde Number 22 German Alt” and the cask ale with my burger. The German Alt was pretty smooth but still a bit heavy for such a hot day. The cask ale really hit the spot though.
  • On the drive up to Emily’s family’s cottage we hit a few little rain storms. As the first one began, Emily flipped on the windshield wipers and the passenger side blade promptly flew off into the distance. She assured me that she was not the one who installed it. Thankfully I did not need to see the road so we pressed on.
  • We arrived at Houghton Lake shortly before dinner. We sat on the porch overlooking the lake and got caught up with Emily’s folks and her sister and brother-in-law then some family friends joined us for some delicious pulled pork sandwiches and a belated birthday cake for Amy.
  • A few of us piled into Emily’s parents’ boat and headed out on the lake for an amateur fireworks show. The fireworks were really impressive, especially since they were going off on all sides of us. These folks really spared no expense and actually seemed to know what they were doing.