On Day 98 of the Nowhere To Be Project I found myself unexpectedly jetting back to Florida from Detroit due to a family situation that requires my immediate attention. I was bummed to have to leave my husband, the pup and the RV ( the Tiny Dancer, Too). Alas, they’ll forge on without me and I’ll rejoin them as soon as I am able.
I found a nonstop flight from Detroit to Orlando on Delta Airlines. It was decently priced at just over $200 considering I was flying on such short notice. The seat was in their Comfort+ section. This is a slightly upgraded economy fare offering the option to change the flight at no charge, pre-boarding, a larger seat, designated overhead storage bins and free entertainment, snacks and alcoholic beverages. I reserved an aisle seat online, but for some reason ended up by the window in seat 10A, one row behind the First Class section of the airplane. Other than that hiccup, the experience was pleasant. The seat was large with a lot of legroom, the overhead bin was wide open and a flight attendant retrieved my bag from me with a smile and placed it in my assigned bin. Once we reached cruising altitude, I was offered an assortment of snacks (Oreos, bananas, crackers and pretzels) which I declined and a glass of wine which I accepted. Passengers in First Class were offered the exact same options. The two and half hour flight flew by with the help of Jason Bateman’s recent movie “Game Night”. The entertainment was available only to passengers seated in First Class or Comfort+. All in all, I was really impressed with the Comfort+ option. It offered nearly identical benefits to a First Class fare at about half the price. Who knows, Delta Airlines might just become my preferred airline now that I’ve given up on United? Check them out the next time you fly and let me know how it goes!
On Day 97 of the Nowhere To Be Project we left Tiki RV Park in St. Ignace, Michigan after a restful night. This despite the fact that the park was constructed on an old Indian burial ground. Tiki is in a great location with easy access (on foot or by car) to dining, shopping and ferries to Mackinac Island. Several lots have limited views of the lake (ours included). It is a small establishment with friendly people. So friendly, in fact, that they reached out to me by phone when the power went out. They wanted to make sure my dog was okay and I REALLY APPRECIATED THAT!!! Even though it was only 67 degrees when it happened, the inside of a RV can get hot quickly, so we were quick to return to check on him after receiving the call. The park itself isn’t glamorous with no paved spots at all. However, it offers full hookups, a bathhouse, limited cable and a laundry facility for just over $30 per night.
While St. Ignace is a nice small town, if we were to do it all over again we would have parked our RV at Shepler’s Ferry and stayed on Mackinac Island instead. Shepler’s charges $5 per night for overnight parking and dogs are permitted on the ferry. This makes overnighting it in a hotel on the island a wonderful option. As much as we love RVing, the lure of a night in a fancy hotel is literally unstoppable!
On Day 96 of the Nowhere To Be Project I made my way to Mackinac Island, Michigan. It is a picturesque island in the upper peninsula of the state. There are no cars on the island, but bicycles and horses provide transportation around its quaint streets. While I’d never visited the island prior to today, it lived in my memory from the stories my mom told me about her visits here as a child. She and her family would drive up in the summer for a day or two for their “vacation”. Both of my parents came from meager means and according to their shared memories, Mackinac Island was a retreat for the wealthy. I remember my mom describing The Grand Hotel, an historic hotel on the island, as a palace. She recalled peeking in the windows as a little girl, awed by the grandeur of the elegantly dressed guests. Of course, The Grand Hotel was my goal today and I enjoyed lunch there in honor of my mom. The stately building is teeming with people and history. The sprawling front porch is a great place to rock away the hours to the sound of the surrounding water and the perfect spot for remembering those we’ve lost. The only thing missing today was my mom and I certainly felt her spirit with me. To that end, I’m pretty sure she forced me into her favorite fudge before boarding the ferry back to St. Ignace, haha.
On Day 94 of the Nowhere To Be Project we ran out of gas. I’m not speaking figuratively! We actually ran out of gas. Well, not so much me, but my husband (on his scooter). Luckily, we were just about a mile shy of our RV, so the push, pull and drag of his empty scooter wasn’t too treacherous. Even though he knew he needed gas, he decided to wait because we had groceries on board. On a tiny scooter, the gas tank is housed within the storage area. He was fearful that a fill up at the gas station might have spilled onto the food. That’s RV life, I guess. We’re living in a tiny, tiny space. Once parked, our only means of transportation are even tinier scooters.
For instance, we spent the day at a cute lakeside town in Michigan called Glen Arbor and I did a bit of shopping. When all was said and done, I had two small shopping bags of goodies that I WANTED and two grocery sacks of food that I actually NEEDED. Living tiny forces me to second-guess every single purchase because there is not an inch of extra space. If it isn’t absolutely necessary, I just can’t buy it (tell that that to the t-shirt and dress I bought today🙄). Prioritizing needs over wants is good because I’m learning just how little we actually need to live comfortably. It also requires me to be more creative by reworking the same garments into different looks and basic pantry staples into satisfying meals. The whole experience of living with less highlights the importance of treasuring life’s moments over possessions. Like right now, I’m sitting lakeside at our RV Park watching a mommy duck teach her brand-new ducklings how to swim. This moment is enriching my spirit in ways that the silly t-shirt I bought could never. Moments take up no space at all, yet satisfy the soul in ways that trinkets and doodads simply cannot.
Day 93 of the Nowhere To Be Project marks the third day we’ve been on Lake Leelanau…and I mean on. Our RV is parked inches from the water and all local roads literally wind around the lake. I’ve kayaked each morning, scootered to and from the bustling shoreside towns and grilled by the beach each evening. It is a lovely time of year in this part of the world with one exception, Mayflies.
When we initially pulled in to the RV Park late on Wednesday evening, we noticed the clouds of flying pests. It was then that the park attendant educated us on the little beasts. They hatch at dusk on the lake. They do not bite (thank everything that is holy), but do attach themselves to anything light and bright. Their lifespan is a brief 24 hours and the annual hatching period runs for about a week. What timing, huh? I have never seen swarms of insects like this in my life. Each cloud must have tens of thousands of Mayflies!!! Thankfully, they are mostly gone by morning.
The Mayflies got me thinking about life. The average human lives about 75 years, I think. Most of us get plenty of time to try, to fail and to figure out what’s important to us. What if we had just 24 hours. The Mayfly’s sole purpose is to mate and lay eggs, but they have to figure all of that out in just one day! Talk about pressure! Perhaps we should all try to live as the Mayflies do, as if this very day was our only chance to fulfill our dreams and our purpose??? I’m guessing that an attitude like that would make it much easier to focus only on the things that really matter.
Day 92 of the Nowhere To Be Project was spent in Leland, an historic fishing village in the upper peninsula of Michigan. It is a quaint bevy of boutiques and restaurants. We popped into The Cove restaurant for lunch after admiring the sweet 1963 Corvette Stingray sitting out front. As we were enjoying a glass of local wine and contemplating the menu, a gentleman approached us and asked if we’d be willing to comment on our meals for a television program he’s producing called Seaside Snacks & Shacks. I’ve not seen the program, but was told that it airs on Food Network and the Cooking Channel. It just so happens that I skipped the shower, hairbrush and makeup this morning, so I was hesitant. I did brush my teeth, so that was a plus! Against my better judgement, my husband convinced me to do it (he’s always getting me into trouble:). It was all very quick and simple…some lights, microphones, a large camera and about ten minutes of questions. I guess we’ll see if my unintended grunge look makes the cut in July when the show airs.
Today made me think of all the uberbloggers I follow who always look like supermodels! Do they travel with stylists and lighting experts, or what? I am so busy enjoying the adventures of each day that I don’t have a lot of time left for primping. It wouldn’t be that practical for me either. I rode my scooter ten miles from the RV Park today to reach Leland, leaving my hair authentically wind blown! For some reason, I feel like something would be lost in the experiences if I was worrying about my appearance each day. What do you think? Should bloggers strive for magazine cover perfection, or should they just be real?