Monday, July 30, 2018

2018 Summer RV Trip – Days 6&7 – Muskegon Area

On our first full day in the Muskegon area, we drove north to check out the Silver Lake Dunes, a couple of wineries, and have lunch.  Silver Dunes State Park, which is popular with off-roaders and tourists taking mutli- passenger dune tours, lies between Silver Lake and Lake Michigan.  

Saturday, July 28, 2018

2018 Summer RV Trip – Day 5 – Muskegon

The guys showed up at 8am to look at our coach water leak and couldn’t find anything obvious but fixed several possibilities so I’m hopeful all is good.  After they finished we headed north on IN-13, US-131, MI-89, MI-40, and US-31 and while none of the roads were great none were really bad either.  Most were paved-over concrete roads with joint cracks in the asphalt that were readily felt by the high pressure RV tires.  Traffic was moderate until we got on US-31 which is obviously a main artery along Michigan’s west coast.

We pulled into Duck Creek RV Resort mid afternoon, got set up, relaxed and decided to order pizza delivery for supper.  Based upon Bev’s research, she chose Bernie O’s in north Muskegon and we ordered a 10” Twist and a 16” Mack the Stack.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

2018 Summer RV Trip – Days 3 & 4 – Shipshewana, IN

I was prepared for 90+ degree weather here but a cold front moved through and the highs were around 80F, which I much preferred.  Since this stop was primarily for my girls to hit the shopping trail, we began the day with them heading for a few places within walking distance.

It is obvious that all of the RV factories and large Amish community bring in lots of tourists, like us, and there are many places to drop your cash and so we went to one for lunch – the Blue Gate Restaurant and Bakery  In addition to the restaurant, there is a bakery, a theater, and buggy rides from this location.  The restaurant offers three dining options – buffet, family style, and order from the menu and we chose buffet.  As they are the primary place to eat in town, they are pretty busy most of the time but this day wasn’t too bad.

Monday, July 23, 2018

2018 Summer RV Trip – Days 1 & 2 – Roads and Campgrounds

We’re finally back on the road with a plan of getting somewhere to beat the summer heat at home so we headed north to the coastal areas of Michigan and Wisconsin with other stops along the way.

We started out on Sunday morning, leaving Cindy in charge of the home place and drove north on I-75 to our first night’s stop near Cincinnati, OH.  During previous travels, I’ve often commented about the good roads in Tennessee but I couldn’t say this about the stretch of road north of Knoxville.  Once we got into Kentucky, the road surface improved quite a bit and stayed that way until north of Lexington where it was mostly good with a few rough patches.  We also experienced very heavy traffic (lots of semis) between Clinton, TN and the top of Jellico Mountain and we ran for many miles at about 30 mph.

We pulled into Indian Springs Campground near I-275 west of Cincinnati about 3:30 and were assigned site 12 which was a pull thru that was long enough to leave the car attached.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

A Food Trip To Germany Without Leaving Home

Before coming to our place for her summer visit, Kathy paid a visit to her brother’s house in Napierville, IL which is about 20 minutes from our new favorite sausage maker – The Wurst Kitchen in Aurora, Il, so she and Wende, who drove up to get her, graciously agreed to bring me a small order to tide us over until we got up that way in August.

Their white brats (fine ground veal) are pre-cooked and require only a warm up and crust (for us) from the grill.  To go with them, we nuked to just warm some real deal homemade kraut from the nearby Mennonite farmers market.

A couple of things to note about this kraut are the ingredients of only salt and cabbage and that it is not swimming in liquid – the maker knows what they are doing.  They lightly canned it but it tasted more like right from the crock than cooked but you can also buy it raw.

After grilling the brats, they were topped with the kraut and sided with some Inglehoffer Stone Ground Mustard.

I considered having another side dish and glad I passed so I could fill up on this.  In addition to being huge, the brats were moist, creamy, and lightly seasoned and the kraut was the best I’ve had in a long time, like grandma made and like I ate in Germany.  All I was missing to believe I was at a Bavarian Biergarten was a good German beer to wash it all down. 

Bev ate hers a little more traditionally by adding the brat to a bun before topping with mustard and kraut plus a piece of hot pepper cheese and she also thought it was delicious.  She recently had her ancestry checked and she has a little German heritage and it may be driving her desire to have sausages (usually with peppers and onions) about once a week.  If she suddenly decides she likes beer, I’ll know the German is coming through stronger.

Several packages of the white brats will be on the list for our August stop in Aurora and we picked up six more quarts of kraut which should last us through the winter and if not we'll get even more next year.

Follow up on previous post - This just shows how food habits may follow us through life.  Three folks commented that they have never had a grilled cheese with mayo on it, while I don't believe I've ever had one without it - come to think of it most of my sandwiches include mayo, just as mom made them - Hellmann's most of my life but now Duke's.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them and the blue words are links.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


7/11/18 Meal Date

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Not Your Mama’s Grilled Cheese

I’ve never met a grilled cheese sandwich that I didn’t enjoy, even the most basic made with just a slice of American cheese and some mayo and I guess it’s because bread fried in butter taste pretty darned good by itself.   I’ve also had the other direction with a hamburger between two grilled cheeses...

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Kids Annual Summer Visit – Part 3

Following are some shots of our visitors, beginning with the Roden’s who got the tall gene from their dad’s family.  L-R it's 17 year old Jennafer, 15 year old Lauren, 47 year old Kathy, and almost 19 year old Katelyn.

The other half of our visitor group L-R was 18 year old granddaughter Reece, friend Trinity, friend Grace, and 16 year old granddaughter Riley.

The Roden’s again just before they hit the road for the drive to the Atlanta airport.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

The Kids Annual Summer Visit – Part 2

Continuing with our visit by family, daughter Wende came down from Oak Ridge a couple of times and brought along the newest grandkid, seven month old Eliza and of course she was a hit with her older cousins.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Kids Annual Summer Visit - Part 1

Daughter, Kathy, and her three girls (Katelyn, Jennafer, and Lauren) came in from San Antonio, TX for their annual visit to the lake.  Joining them were Reece and Riley Walker (Rhett’s daughters) and two of their friends for a total of eight visitors and adding in Beverly, that is nine females and me – Cindy and Pat were traveling or it would have been 11 to 1 – as my Dad would say “sounds about even according to players.” J

Other than visiting, their primary purpose for coming to Almost Heaven South was to play on the lake, especially pulling a tube with the jet ski, and Bev and my main function was to provide food for the throng.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Independence Day

I plan to take a moment from our 4th of July activities to remember the real meaning of this day and thank those brave souls who sacrificed everything so that we could live free and celebrate this Independence Day.