My Last US Roadtrip

It’s been a long week of things not worth writing about. So I’d like to take a step back. Almost 2 months back to a time when I still lived in the US and it was winter. I had one week before my departure and was getting things together for storage and moving. My parents, about to enter the blissful world of retirement (or rather semi-retirement), were in the process of putting the finishing touches on what is now their home in Michigan (which they share with my Aunt Judy and Uncles Mark and Marvin — a jolly little sitcom could be made). As of St Patrick’s Day, the place was very near completion. The guy doing the work was a machine and had managed to go from complete demolition to a livable house in less than 6 months. Here I was moving to England just as my parents were about to finally be geographically close to me for the first time in 12 years. Well, I’d grown up visiting the old house that stood where the new house was and I really wanted check it out before I left. That, and I needed to store some things there 🙂

So Carolyn and I prepared for a road trip. I rented a mini-van and did a massive push to get all my computer crap and a bunch of boxes together and off we went! But not before a little side trip. While I had lived in Chicago for 5 years, I had yet to experience the wonders of the green Chicago River on St Patrick’s day. And the day of our road trip was in fact that very Irish of holidays. Here is what the Chicago River looks like in a bright shade of green:


This is in comparison to when it’s usually a murkier shade of green.

Anyway, the drive up to Michigan was nice and smooth. I believe it was the last time I’ve driven. My aunt and uncle were already there which meant I had a chance to wish them farewell before my trip. We got to the house and were thoroughly impressed. My family had managed to capture the essence of the old house, but enlarged it to house a lot more people and taken a crumbling place and made it suitable for many people to live in. There are some great colors on the walls and I love the big ass porch. This is what it looks like from the exterior (keep in mind they had literally just finished a lot of the big stuff so it was still a work in progress):


We spent a little time unpacking the mini-van as well as taking in all the nice rooms (ranging from the gi-normous downstairs rec room to the cute little office). However, since the plumbing wasn’t quite ready, we made our way to a hotel, the Bay Point Inn, a nice new-ish hotel on nearby Gun Lake which was the inspiration for many of the cool color schemes in the new house. After a dinner of Guiness and fish and chips, we retired for the night. We went back to the house to explore it some more and take some nice photos:


I miss Carolyn 🙁


Yep the Schroeder genes make us tall!

Although it was a short trip, I was happy to have made it. Hopefully, I’ll have a chance to see the finished, completely furnished product in July. We said our goodbyes and Carolyn and I hopped back in the car for the return trip. But, before returning to Chicago, we decided to make a little detour. A fine gentleman by the name of Tony used to be in a running group with us in Chicago. He had finished his PhD and had moved to the far far outskirts of Kalamazoo for his Post-Doc. We decided to drop by and check out his life in Michigan. He surprised us with a very short hair cut (the previous week we’d seen him and he had long hair) and gave us a tour of his life in the rural Midwest. One of the Kelloggs had bequeathed a lot of land to MSU and it was now a great place to study ecology, which Tony studies. It was a very cool layout and he was living in an old farmhouse near campus. After a little tour and walk, we went into Kalamazoo to check out the Bell’s brew-pub. It had a cool hippie-vibe, which I hadn’t expected. Anyway, here’s Tony having I believe a Bell’s Porter:


After a quick beer, we hit the road. Since then, I’ve moved far away, the house is now completely furnished, Carolyn ran a marathon, my cats have moved from CT to Michigan and now get along with my parents cat and my parents are living a nice life in the cozy confines of their new house. A whole lot of change in 8 short weeks!

Hope you enjoyed a little trip in my time machine. I’d meant to add this a long ways back, but it’s been a little hectic. This weekend will be quiet and it looks like the London rain has arrived, so it might be a little uneventful. So chew on these pictures and this story for a bit.

One Response to “My Last US Roadtrip”

  1. Mom Says:

    Matt Badanes is a wonderful son….thank you for my flowers!!!