International Lampoon's Vacation
OK... I lied... But the last 24 hours has been so weird that I couldn't resist putting them down on virtual paper.
After clearing up 5 weeks of our debris from the parsonage, we packed our bags and headed north, in the midst of a thunderstorm, to Geoff and Pam Hayes house on Towline Lake.
Now they had left detailed instructions on how to get there, but totally reliant as we now are on Maggie, our GPS, we followed her instructions... However, this house is so far of the beaten track that Maggie was directing us up non-existant roads, and telling us that we were careering across fields when we were travelling along what passed for roads in the area. The further that we got from the main road, the more I expected to hear duelling banjoes. Seriously... this was "Deliverance" country!
We got to the house eventually (though poor Maggie nearly had a nervous breakdown in the process), but then we had to venture out again in search of food... That took us to nearby Lakeview, which didn't so much bring to mind "Deliverance" as the much more benign "Doc Hollywood." We ate in the wonderfully "Oirish" eating establishment of McKinney's Family Grill...
But by the time we got out of McKinneys, night had fallen with a clunk and if it was difficult to find the lakehouse earlier, it was nigh on impossible now... May even more disconcerting by the thousands of frogs happily bouncing across the road, right under my wheels, and the biggest bat I have ever seen flying along directly in front of us.
After all that excitement we were all looking forward to a good night's sleep... But only Owain (who could sleep through a nuclear holocaust)... For Sally and I the heat and humidity in the absence of aircon was almost unbearable, and poor Ciaran, who had wanted to be a big brave boy and sleep in the basement room on his own, became terrified by the thought of all the beasties down there (of which there were quite a few) crawling over him during the night. So we decided to pack up today and come back to Grand Rapids, aircon and convenient grocery stores and restaurants. We're getting too soft.
But before we left the lakehouse we decided we would at least spend the day at the lake itself, and so we headed round to the local United Methodist Campsite where we were able to hire a peddaloe. We were going to hire a canoe, but decided that given my gippy shoulder and the ability to dive off the back of the peddaloe into the water, that it was the best option.
However, 10 minutes into our boat trip, we realised that we weren't in either of the two aforementioned movies, but rather a Northern Irish version of Nation Lampoon's Family Vacation, because right in the middle of the lake the chain came off the peddaloe. After about 10 minutes trying to fix it I gave up and Owain swam to shore to get help. 10 minutes later a camp assistant swam out with 2 paddles, and we paddled ashore where it was fixed in a matter of minutes allowing us to spend another few hours on the water.
So, here we are back in Grand Rapids, but tomorrow we are heading north west to Muskegon to go to Michigan's Adventure. Let's hope there are no more disasters!