Family and Botanas and Tigers, Oh My!


Our daughter Leslie had been having a lot of stomach pain. It became so severe that she checked herself into the ER where she works. That was last Saturday. Six days later, she’s still in the hospital and no one has a clue what’s going on.

Friday morning we leave Frankenmuth to make the run down state to see Leslie and her family. About one hour into the trip, Leslie calls. Tests reveal she has a stone in her appendix and she’s scheduled to have her appendix removed within the hour. We ask our son-in-law Jeff to give us updates as we continue making our way there.

Jeff calls soon after we arrive at Sterling State Park in Monroe, Michigan to tell us that Leslie’s surgery went well but she doesn’t want us to come to the hospital to visit. She’s feeling groggy and is very uncomfortable. We thank him for the update and say we’ll see them tomorrow then, but we’ll call first.

That evening a hellacious thunderstorm rolls into the area with warnings of hail and sixty mile per hour winds. We are fortunate, we get plenty of rain and some lightening but the brunt of the storm edged by us.


Our site at Sterling State Park.

Our site at Sterling State Park.



We hear from Leslie. Her white cell count is improving and the hospital is releasing her today, however, she’s extremely uncomfortable and asks to delay our visit one more day. I decide it would be a good time to do my grocery shopping then and head into town. Much to my surprise, I find that Monroe was harder hit by the storm than we were at the park. Streetlights are out, storefronts are dark, gas stations are closed BUT, Walmart has generators. Good deal! I get my shopping done.

The remainder of the day we spend exploring some of the park’s 1300 acres. Sterling is one of the nicest state parks we’ve stayed in. Certainly one of Michigan’s best. We also have a nice view of Lake Erie from our full hookup site. Can’t beat that.

IMG_4717 The view from our back windows. Lake Erie



Leslie is up for a visit. Not wanting to overtax her as it’s obvious she’s still very sore, we keep our stay short. Two year old Ava is more excited to see Tucker again than grandpa and nana. Good thing we don’t have fragile egos.

Back at camp, Don is preparing to grill when a couple on a tandem bike stops to talk. They are looking to buy a Mobile Suite and want to know our thoughts on owning one. We enjoy a pleasant conversation with Bill and Mary Ann. We discuss RV’s and the full time lifestyle. They are just beginning to plan their future escape into fulltiming. Bill and Mary Ann presently have a house with a garden just outside the park, they invite us to stop by and get some fresh veggies. We tell them, we just may take them up on their offer.

Later, as Don and I are cleaning up after dinner, we get a knock at the door. It is Bill and he comes bearing gifts….fresh produce. We have kale, tomatoes, beets and green beans. We sure do appreciate the goodies. Thanks Bill and Mary Ann.

I make kale and white bean soup for the following day. I see a tomato pie with a side of green beans in the very near future.



We made plans to attend the Detroit Tiger game with my cousin Karla and her “never met a stranger” husband, Larry. Karla suggests we drive to their house, park our beast and ride with them since they have a parking pass. A good idea as we soon discover that the going rate to park near the ballfield is a costly $40. Pretty pricey if you ask me. Karla also suggests we eat at Hockeytown prior to the game. Don has wanted to eat there for a few years but for one reason or another, we’ve never done so. It sounded good to us but we expressed concern about leaving Tucker inside the Suite Pea for so long without a potty break. Karla soon has that worked out for us too. Kirsten, Larry and Karla’s daughter. works at a pet resort near their home. Kirsten says she’ll keep Tucker with her at work, then bring him back to the house later when she gets off. What a deal, eh?

Comerica Ballpark

Comerica Ballpark

Nice view of downtown Detroit in the background.

Nice view of downtown Detroit in the background.


Hockeytown is a pretty cool place if you’re a Redwing, Lion or Tiger fan. Lots of sports memorabilia on the walls and tv’s broadcasting games. The food was good and ample. A short hike across the street and we find ourselves in front of Comerica Park. Karla scored us some great seats too. We have club seating behind home base. Great vantage point for watching the entire ballgame. This is an important series for the Tigers and their fans. The Kansas City Royals are in town. They are giving us a run for the money in the Central Division. Winning this series could put us two games up on the Royals who are also contenders to win the Central Division title.

Verlander on the mound.

Verlander on the mound.

Larry, Karla, me and Don

Larry, Karla, me and Don


As it turns out, Justin Verlander is right on point tonight and Joe Nathan is on his game too. Tigers get their 9,000th franchise history win, beating the Royals 9 to 5 in the first of three. Bless you boys!

Tucker and Kirsten. By the look on his face, I'd say he had a good time. (Thanks again Kirsten!)

Tucker and Kirsten. By the look on his face, I’d say he had a good time. (Thanks again Kirsten!)


Don and I are up early. I carry his coffee cup and my camera, he has our chairs. We’re off to the beach to watch the sunrise over the water. It’s been too long since we last did this. The only thing missing here are palm trees, but that too shall come again soon enough.



Next, we walk the Lagoon Trail. We have no idea how long the actual hike is as we have no trail map and the trail head isn’t marked. We estimate it to be approximately ten miles around the entire lagoon. We walk only three of those miles this morning. It’s a beautiful morning. Bountiful sunshine, a gentle breeze and a hint of Fall already in the air. We see only one other person upon the trail.

You know it's going to be a great morning stroll when the first thing you spot at the trail head is this.

You know it’s going to be a great morning stroll when the first thing you spot at the trail head is this.









Back at camp, we shower then drive to Leslie’s house where we pick up her and Ava to lunch at my favorite restaurant in all of America, The Matador. I practically grew up in this restaurant. No need for a menu here, we order a Botana, of course. And chicken tacos on the side. A trip back home just isn’t complete without a visit to The Matador.

Ava and Leslie

Ava and Leslie

This is a Botana. Manna from heaven as far as I'm concerned.

This is a Botana. Manna from heaven as far as I’m concerned.

Soon, we say our goodbyes and arrive back at the Suite Pea. Tomorrow is moving day again.

Here’s lookin’ at you kid…………………




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