Trout Lake 2 – Michigan

August 31, 2010

My nomadic and solitary life of salad eating came skidding to a stop. For the next 4 days, I was a sedentary and social eater of meats.

Eddie and Brenda, and their friends Joe and Patty, were fabulous hosts. Eddie’s prowess with a fire pit and grill was repeatedly on display. Following the pork tenderloins, we had fish, roast beef, sausages, and elk burgers. Plus a bunch of abalone that my brother John had “caughten” in California. To accompany the above meats, Brenda and Patty provided a steady stream of appetizers and salads.

This was only my second time to the Midwest. (The first time was for a Greek wedding in Cleveland, which was a total blast.)

One thing I knew about the Midwest was that they play a card game called Euchre. I knew this because Euchre was one of the first games we put on pogo.com. When I asked, “Why are we doing a game I’ve never heard of?” the answer was, “They play it a lot in the Midwest.”

I must have turned up my nose at that because I never did end up playing Euchre on pogo.

Brenda and Eddie’s house is in the upper peninsula of Northern Michigan … on a lake. So it’s impossible not to think of the currently popular Kid Rock song about summertime in Northern Michigan – the one where he’s “smoking funny things” and “making love out by the lake.”

I didn’t smoke funny things.

I didn’t make love out by the lake.

But I did play one heck of a lot of Euchre.

John and I were partners. Eddie and Mike were our opponents. Brenda and Sara were annoyed. (We played a bit too much.)

Other activities included boat rides, fishing with JoJo, bocci on the lawn, teaching JoJo how to shoot a pellet gun, beer pong, and the wearing of funny hats. There was also a tinge of drinking.

One day Sara spent the entire day taking pictures of Desaree for her high school senior picture. They did photo shoots on the grass, the beach, the hammock, and various other places throughout the yard. I know that they spent the whole day doing this because I could see them in the corner of my eye while I was playing Euchre.

Mr. K had a great time and was well-behaved.

Mr. K was Brenda’s name for Kettle.

Kettle was not the only dog. The Breddies have a German Shorthaired Pointer named Daisy who would spend roughly 8 hours a day tromping through the lake looking for fish. They also have a Shitzu named Gerdy who sits around and looks fancy. In fact they call her “Fancy” more than “Gerdy.”

Kettle didn’t search for fish – alas, he wouldn’t even go in the lake. And he never looked fancy – quite the opposite, he could usually be found lying in a hole he dug in the sand to keep cool. But he enjoyed being around people he knew, especially Mike, and the large sloping grass backyard made for a great play area.

Joe and Patty had just completed their home at the neighboring lake, after working on it for 4 years. Joe drove me over with his quad and gave me a tour of the house and the area.

Located just 40 miles south of Canada, this wooded area with several small lakes used to be a vacation spot for the car industry big wigs in Detroit. Joe and Patty’s house was impressive. It was built using SIP construction. That stands for Structural Insulated Panels. The walls are made with panels that are about a foot thick and filled with foam, so the house is super insulated. Half logs were then put on the outside so the house looks like a log cabin. Joe and Patty did all the finish work themselves.

Joe was so friendly and proud of his home that I had the warm fuzzies throughout the tour.

And the brunch that Patty served us all at their house the next morning took the warm fuzzy thing to a whole new level.

On the last day, Eddie and Brenda took us to Miner’s Castle for a picnic lunch. Miner’s Castle is a dramatic rock formation that juts into Lake Superior. After lunch the gang would be heading to the airport.

But Kettle and I aren’t using airplanes this trip. Just the Mini. So we said our goodbyes and hit road.

Going southeast.

Oh, and one more thing …

I love Euchre!

The Breddie's backyard

Run, Kettle, Run!

Patty-Joe-John-Desaree-Eddie (Brenda playing pool)

JoJo and Daisy

JoJo and Daisy

John preparing his abalone

Mike and Cap'n John in deep waters

Sara and Patty driving too fast

Eddie, the role model

Mike and Kettle at play.

Mike at work

JoJo's catch

The tour

Joe the tour guide

BroJoe-Mike-John-Eddie-Me. Guess what we're playing.

Haircut from Brenda

Sunset at the Breddies

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2 Responses to “Trout Lake 2 – Michigan”

  1. Patty Hyde Says:

    Alex – looks like you had as good a time as I did! It was great spending 4 days of your world trip with us. Happy travels.

  2. Alex Says:

    Thanks, Patty!

    I could have at least spelled your name right. (I fixed it.)

    You were a joy to spend time with. I’m lucky to have friends in great places.

    –Alex


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