The past week was spent on a family trip to Michigan. The primary reason was to bury my father’s ashes on the family plot at Crystal Springs Cemetery in Benton Harbor, Michigan. I thought that I would be ready to speak about him, but the words just don’t come yet so he gets put off for another day.
This was not a normal trip, but none of them ever are. I prep for everything and this was no different, just to a lesser degree. My mom came with us so many of the things I do to save money were out the window. Of course I found a few.
We *rented a car instead of taking our Jeep. We used Priceline.com to rent the car. I have an Avis membership, but Priceline beat even those prices. We made the reservation about 3 months prior to the trip and set aside the money to pay for the rental. I continued to search every website known to man to get a better price on a full sized vehicle with unlimited miles. There just wasn’t a better deal to be found.
We chose not to pack a huge cooler for drinks and a smaller one for food. I just did not know how much room we would have in the rental car. We didn’t even schedule hotels prior to the trip. If you know me that is a no no.
I packed our suitcase. Yes I got everything for Chris and myself packed into a mid sized suit case. All the traveling we have done is good for something.
We borrowed a smaller cooler from Mom for Chris’ soda and my water. I struggle with food and drink for myself on these trips. I normally drink loads of tea and some water when I am home, but on the road trips I end up drinking diet soda. I found a product by Dasani. It is a flavored sparkling water. There are other companies who sell the same thing, but this was an apple flavored water. It was awesome! I had no desire for soda except for a 2 liter of Verner’s ginger ale. I ended up throwing that away as it was way to syrupy for me.
The week prior to leaving life was as per usual. I worked on Monday, babysat Tuesday through Thursday, and worked on Friday. I stopped at the grocery store for water and some last minute stuff. Oh, and some Pringles. Yes Pringles. It just isn’t a road trip for Chris without the Pringles. I was able to get the house cleaned, dishes done, and laundry completed prior to leaving on Saturday. Oh and I picked up the rental car at the Melbourne International Airport. We ended up with a Nisson Altima.
I call these trips whirlwind trips because that is exactly what they are. We left at 3 am Saturday morning. We drove from Florida to Georgia, then South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Ohio that day. We stayed with my wonderful Aunt Norma. Sunday we parted ways with mom for a bit. Aunt Norma wanted to travel with Mom to Berrien County for the ashes being buried and to see family. We drove on to Troy, Michigan to see Chris’ sister.
We spent a few hours in Troy and headed towards Berrien County. We decided to call it a night around Kalamazoo, Michigan. I used the **Priceline hotel app on my phone to search for a room. We found a ****Microtel Hotel with an 8 user rating and a price of $75, This was pretty good considering anything priced less was rated 5 or lower by users. The hotel was clean and comfortable. The hotel staff very friendly. I have stayed at Microtel’s before, but Chris hadn’t. He was very happy with them.
Monday we stopped for breakfast at Mcdonalds. Oatmeal for me!!!! I decided we needed to stop at ***St. Julian’s Winery on I94 in Paw Paw, Michigan. I had bought a bottle earlier and we really enjoyed it. I decided we may as well buy some to take home. We bought 5 bottles, including one bottle of cooking sherry.
We had a bit of time left before meeting with mom and Aunt Norma. We had even more time left before we dealt with dad so we went to Lemon Creek Winery. My dad was raised and lived in a house on Gray road in Baroda which is just down the road from Lemon Creek Winery. I finally found the house after looking for it my whole life. We got a couple of long distance pictures of the house. They are not very good, but we got them just the same.
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