Last fall when Carol and I found out that there would be an addition to our combined family I promised her that she would hold the baby before he / she would be 30 days old. Based on the best information of due dates, we planned on leaving Rhode Island for Michigan on May 31st. It was iffy there for a while if the new grandson ( we now knew it would be a boy) would arrive in time by June 1st. Aiden Michael arrived on May 26Th in all his glory. The above picture was taken on June 1st in his beaming Grandma's arms.
On this road trip we would eventually drive 5,150 miles through 18 states. We decided to drive the U. S. route rather than entering Canada in Niagara Falls to Port Huron, MI. It would have been the shortest route, but we had already done that the year before. So we headed out the Mass. Pike through upstate New York and our first night was spent in Erie, Pennsylvania.
While here we took the opportunity to visit two lights. Pictured here is the Erie Pierhead Light.
From the same location we were able to view the Erie Land Light. Both lights are easily viewed from a small park and playground. We were the only ones there and it was a very peaceful location.
Our second day took us through Ohio. They are very serious about enforcing the speed limits. No, I did not get a ticket in Ohio or anyplace else. I did not take the bypass around Cleveland. I wanted Carol to see the "Jake" which is the nick name of Jacobs Field where the Cleveland Indians play baseball. The stadium looms over the highway. We arrived in Birch Run, Michigan mid afternoon in the 1st. We were in a pet friendly hotel. The pet friendly designated rooms were OK. Small but clean. We were staying in a different area this trip. I wanted to go to Darlene's to make sure we could be on time in the morning. We were going to take Darlene and Aiden to his first appointment with the pediatrician.
Naturally, we both wanted to see Aiden and the rest of the family as soon as possibe. So even though we had been in the car a good part of the day we went. Elsie, Michigan brings a whole new meaning to the middle of no-where. Don't get me wrong, this is a beautiful spot in America. Beautifully groomed farms with the new crops beginning another cycle. It's just way out there.
The next morning we were on time. I had a bad night and did not sleep well. While they went into the examing room, I had good intentions of taking a walk. Apprently, I fell asleep. I must have slept for about 40 minutes and when I opened my eyes and looked around, I asked the nurse if the Doctor was there. She assured me she was and that Grandpa could go back to sleep. I am glad that no one else was in the waiting room.
While we were Birch Run, Carol and I visited Frankenmuth and Bonner's. Bonner's may be the largest Christmas store in the world. More some other time. We walked around Frankenmuth one morning. One evening we drove up to Midland and visited Carol's grandaughter and great grandaughter.
It was here that we had the worse meal of the trip in Tony's Restaurant in Birch Run. Apparently it is a very popular place. The quanity was overwhelming, but the quality was definitely lacking.
We did have the opportunity to have dinner with my cousin from Utica. He drove up and met us at the hotel. I must admit that the Local Applebee's impressed me.
We were originally going to drop down through Ohio into Kentucky. Darlene suggested going down into Indiana. It was a good choice. We stayed in a Drury Inn, a pet friendly hotel that does not charge extra for the dog. This Drury Inn was located in Bowling Green, Kentucky
We arrived the next day at our Florida home in Panama City Beach. It was 88 degrees. From then on the highs were in the 90's everyday. We were originally going to stay for about a week, leaving after another grandaughters birthday. The weather in Rhode Island was cool (cold to Carol) and rainy. Todd agreed to cut my grass and we stayed for another week.
On our journey North we stayed two night with one of my oldest and dearest friend and his wife in Pembroke, Georgia. We were Navy buddies working the night shift on the flight deck of the U S S Saratoga. We stopped one more night on the road and were back in Rhode Island.
During that trip we saw three of Carol's children, 10 grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. We were gone 25 days.