We actually took off on time, which is highly unusual. We were all wound up because it looks as though Owen and Trinity may have found a house, then we remembered Leo had our EZ Pass thingy in his car so we had to run by his work to pick it up. It all felt somewhat hectic but eventually we were on the road. It ended up being somewhat of a wretched drive. When I’d looked at various options for the route it seemed as though the best bet was to just suck it up and go through the Chicago area. Wrong choice. We kept getting that little disembodied Google Maps voice saying, “Traffic is getting worse, your estimated arrival time is now….” We finally got off on US 30 and took that for awhile and then cut up but the drive was a good hour and a half longer than we had hoped. It wasn’t the longest drive in hours but it felt like it was. Eventually we arrived. We’d thought we might stop at the Anchor bar and get some pictures but it was packed with lots of people standing in front. We drove in circles for a bit until I found the recs someone on Facebook had kindly given me. I looked them over and realized we weren’t far from the Blue Dog Saloon which she had recommended. we went over, stopping for photos of the Clique Bowling Alley on the way, and breathed a deep sigh of relief when we sat down. The place was delightful. A nice old building and a beautiful tin bar back. We admired it and the bartender said it was originally from the Upper Peninsula. Of course I then inwardly mourned for the Upper Peninsula bar that had to give its life for us to be sitting in front of this in Grand Rapids, but we drank a toast and all was good.

We sat and relaxed and watched the busy Friday evening crowds ease a bit. We ordered food to go and trundled off toward our hotel. We stopped at the Clique again as the light was better. We went by the Anchor again too and the neon was glowing more brightly but again, lots of people and we were tired. We’ll get it tomorrow we told each other.

Our motel was a Hampton with a surprisingly tiny TV but don’t worry, we still managed to find Hallmark Christmas movies.

A good first day.