Thanksgiving Travels to Michigan

We've known since Harry was excepted into Americorp he'd be off for four days at Thanksgiving we just just didn't know, until a couple of weeks ago, where he'd be. It turned out to be a YMCA camp in Augusta, MI (between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek). This puts Harry about two hours drive time to Noel's boyhood home. So, the trip was on so we could enjoy Thanksgiving with Harry and we could all enjoy some of the things Noel liked about mid-Michigan.

Tuesday November 24 Diana off at 2p, we make a mad dash as far east as we could make it by 8p. Tonight was the FINAL episode of Dancing with the Stars and we HAD to get to our hotel in time to watch! That turned out to be a Motel 6 in Kearney, NE.

Wednesday November 25 Drive, drive, drive . . . that was it until Chicago. Steady rain and rush hour traffic resulted in two hours of 20mph or less driving. Diana was closing her eyes most of he time. Noel wanted to . . . We arrived at the YMCA camp about 1 hours later than estimated. Pickup up Harry after 9p and got him a bite to eat and checked into a cheap and lousy motel and crashed quickly. We had planned to spend three nights at the Battle Creek Days Inn. We cancelled the next two nights , , ,

Harry turning in for the night . . .

Thursday November 26 Thanksgiving and the first stop is Turkeyville! (Marshall, MI) we planned to get Squished Pennies, not a meal, but arrived an hour before opening. Later . . . Next is the Potter Zoo in Lansing. Harry thought we'd experience a squad car for B&E as we so no one at all as we wondered through the zoo. We just walked in. No workers. No visitors. We knew there was a Squished Penny machine in the gift shop and the lions' den. The gift shop was near the front but closed. We found a map and headed for the lions. Here we did find a Squished machine and another family visiting the zoo, too. Harry was relieved.

The sign at Turkeyville

Diana and Harry walking in the zoo

Two Squished Penny machines as seen through the locked door of the gift shop

Harry as a monkey . . .

Lots of Lemurs

Diana at Squished machine with habitat behind

This machines offering


This guy doesn't agree with the sign

Harry at the eagle's habitiat

His good side . . .

Note left eye - or lack of

On to Flint and a culinary taste treat that has to be experienced. OK if you grew up with it you love it, if not you don't quite like it, usually. Harry and Noel love it! We did take Diana on a tour of downtown Flint on the way through, include the store Noel managed that is now a parking lot. Next is Noel's drive through memory lane visiting Otisville and his boyhood homes. We then wound our way to Huckleberry Railroad (closed) and then the Baymont Inn. We settled in, took Harry to his grandmother's house for dinner and then back to the hotel for hot tubbing and indoor pool,

What's left of the Fisher Body (for Buicks) plant in Flint. The sight of the first UAW sit-down strike. Noel put 4 of the 7 screws in the left rear wheel moldings of 1978 and 79 Electras and LeSabres here . . .

Saginaw street downtown Flint as seen from the south. Note brick streets

Vernors painting on side of old bottling plant

Another angle of the painting

Kewpies downtown Flint. "7 days without a Halo Burger makes 1 week"

Angelo's Coney Island - the maker's of our Coney Island hot dogs - they squeak when ya bite 'em.

LakeVille High School - Otisville, MI

Noel's Crawford road home starting about 1971

Noel's home 1955-1971

Our "hot tub and pool" hotel

Friday November 27 Bronner's is the grandest, hugest, coolest Christmas display store in the known universe so since we were only half an hour away we went. Pretty cool and so is Frankenmuth, the town it's in. We then wound our way back to Flint, another classic restaurant and then toward the YMCA camp. We stopped by Turkeyville again. Open this time and then to the camp Harry gave us a great tour of his living and workspace. After a tearful goodbye (well, Noel cried) Diana and Noel went to the Kalamazoo Motel 6 for a good night's sleep.

"Clock" outside Bronner's

Display near the entry

More marvelous diplays

Harry looking at some Christmas stuff

Diana at Squished Penny machine in Bronner's

Diana Squishing . . .

Another look inside Bronner's

Diana examining some of the paper money on display. It says they have one from every country.

A pretty ornament

Ain't it the truth!

Another display

Another Squished Penny machines offerings

More cool displays

. . . another look

Signs near the entrance/exit of Bronner's

Directions to . . .

Diana at Jellystone Park Squished Penny machine

This machines offering

Outside Jellystone Park in Frankenmuth

The Bavarian Inn Lodge (their Squished machine was OOO)

Barn next to the Inn

Outside the Cheese Haus downtown

Harry looking at teas and Diana Squishing

The single die offered

Diana and Harry entering another Squished Machine location

Diana Squishing again

The Bavarian Inn restaurant (line was too line for us to wait)

Zehnder's (across from Bavarian Inn)

A maypole statue downtown

The leather shop

Covered bridge we drove through

Diana Squishing Pennies in the Leather Shop

The Squished Penny machine (left) and cover bridge outside

Closer view

Two of the dozen or so carriags in town

Back in Flint, the Colonial restaurant

Now at the Turkeyville Squished Penny machine

It's die design

Noel driving to the YMCA

Harry riding to the YMCA

Diana and Harry walking to the cabin he lives in.

Diana inside the front room

Other side of the front room

A shelter on the grounds of the camp

The "rock throwing" range (really)

A game of some sort

A long slide. See the white hole at the end?

Archery range

The YMCA creed

The workout room in the YMCA main building

The indoor pool (there's a climbing wall too - inside)

The entry to the main building

Saturday November 28 Drive, drive, drive again. A nice room at our new favorite motel chain, America's Best Value Inns. This one was in York, NE.

Sunday November 29 Short trip (relatively - six hours) and home, sweet home. Always nice to travel, always nice to be home . . .