This little trip was somewhat unplanned. Teri and Brian had planned a trip to Beaver Island, but the folks that were going to go with them couldn't swing it, so a spot for us was open. We hemmed and hawed and then delightedly accepted. Our friend and former neighbor, Becca, has been tempting us with her stunning photos of her new home for three years now. I can't believe it's been three years since they left..I would have pegged it as two. It's a long drive, and then a ferry, to the island, We left around 4 am, figuring we'd get to the ferry about an hour and a half early. We figured that would give us enough leeway for any stops or slowdowns.
It's partially my fault as I am the official navigator and I dozed off. We sometimes mindlessly follow Google maps directions, and most of the time, it's okay. They were directing us onto 80, so we didn't question it. However, the sun was coming up, and it made it hard to see the road signs. I woke up to the sound of Ernie cursing because he had just missed the I-80 turnoff. I looked at the map and said that's ok, I-94 makes more sense. Well…the reason Google was directing us to I-80 was because of the monstrous accident on 94. Sigh. An hour and a half, we sat stuck in traffic. And yes, that was our cushion time wise for the ferry. We alternated between ranting and swearing and saying, "we can't do anything about it; it's ok; there's another ferry." An overnight accident between a couple of semis had spilled cocoa powder and batteries and closed the road for hours. Ugh. Finally got off the highway, detoured, and back on. The timing was just so that we kept thinking MAYBE we could make it. As we got further north, it began to pour, and I mean POUR, and we finally accepted we were going to miss the afternoon ferry.
We only stopped to take a picture or two because of the rain. Of course, there are a couple I wish I had stopped for. Damn it…if you think about taking a picture of something, you should DO it…because you're never sorry you did it, but you can damn well be sorry you didn't. Next time.
We did stop at this tree, because, well, how could you not?
And we stopped for one other sign…not a great picture because of the pouring rain, but…
We got to Charlevoix, figured out where the ferry was and scuttled through the rain to a nearby restaurant. It ended up being delightful (Bridge Street Taproom). We had a drink, watched it rain, and nibbled some lunch. We made our way to the ferry and settled in. We'd brought some wine to sip on the ride per Becca's suggestion, and I was looking forward to the trip. Not so much. It was the smaller of the two ferries, and the water was really rough. I set my wine aside and tried to focus on the horizon. "Horizon, horizon, horizon," I said to myself. Anytime I turned and looked behind I would see the view from the windows changing from water to sky, water to sky. I've never been seasick before, but I was on my way there. Fortunately, after the first hour, it smoothed out and was fine after that. We got off the ferry only to find not only Teri and Brian but our beloved Becca and Bryan there to greet us. And not just greet us….greet us wearing a beaver head and a banner with waving pool floaties. That is just NOT something one forgets.
After lots of laughter and hugs, Teri and Brian scooped us up (we left our car on the mainland) and took us back to the house where they had snacks and drinks waiting for us. It could not have been more perfect. The house has Becca's design touches…completely comfortable, welcoming, but with an extra dash of style as well. She has a fabulous eye, as you can tell by her Instagram feed. We drank more wine than we probably should have, laughed, talked, and tumbled off to bed. Day One had its ups and downs, but it was pretty wonderful.
More to come.