2012-04 – Michigan, mostly …

April took us north into Michigan again. We were here last year in September. This visit the weather was how I always remembered it from our trucking years …. cold, gray and rainy – mostly.  We did enjoy a nice meal in Owosso at the Wrought Iron Grill which is located in the old Woodard Patio Furniture factory building. Wrought iron patio table & chair sets have always reminded me of steamy summer nights enjoying my homes in Florida, so it was fun to see the factory where many of these sets were built.

  The building is beautifully restored and repurposed

Then, we ran over to Holland from our Grand Rapids location to see the tulips in bloom at Dutch Village.  Being in this area manifested another one of my bucket list items. They had not completely opened all shops yet as their annual Grand Opening day is closer to May 1st, but the weather was beautiful when we were there so we stopped at the Holland State Park first – just to see the beach on Lake Michigan.  Here is a link to ALL the pictures I took in Holland, Mi.  

On a Saturday while we were in Grand Rapids (GR to the locals) we visited the Meijer Gardens butterfly display.  Meijer is a wonderful grocery/department store chain in the 5 state area around here. IMHO Meijer is MUCH better than Wal-Mart because they offer organic and locally grown/made products and they contribute back to their communities.  They also have VERY happy employees, which means that the positive attitude starts at the top and filters down.  If we lived here, Meijer would be our #1 choice for MOST provisions.  They also offer some really cool products I have never seen anywhere else – at very reasonable prices.  Check out this retro micro I ALMOST bought …not that I need one at the moment, but boy, was I TEMPTED!

Next we returned to our 2nd favorite locale in our Heartland regional work territory …. The Amish Country of Northern Indiana – where 9 out of 10 RVs are made ….we were in THE RV capital of the world!  Goshen was our hub for this week-long stay even tho our 2-day project was 15 miles north at Dometic in Elkhart. One of the benefits of using the Law of Attraction is that WHEN something you have been focusing on “suddenly” manifests, you know EXACTLY where it came from … there are no coincidences and no 2nd thoughts!

Purchasing a truck & fifth-wheel is our primary focus for this year, so we bought a 2007 F-350 diesel dually 4WD King Ranch  from a local Goshen dealer and spent a long weekend enjoying our new ride thru the Amish countryside.

We also visited Heartland RV’s #1 dealer in Elkhart and walked thru a 2012 CrossRoads model to check out the front living room floor plan.  Front living room fifth-wheels were really popular in the 1908’s and they are coming back again so we wanted to get a feel for them in person. Redwood and Open Range both also makes a front LR floor plan we like.  Isn’t this beautiful ? 

We took an Amish buggy ride in Shipshewana

 after doing some shopping at Yoders Hardware and seeing the restored 1906 Carousel at Davis Mercantile.  Driving the back country roads in this area is such a pleasure when the weather is nice, which it was for our full day riding and walking around.

Mid April found us back in Michigan – first near Kalamazoo, then Lansing, then Detroit and Auburn Hills.   So far in 2012, we have been to the following states working as mobile OSHA hearing technicians.

We ended April with Terry in a local Detroit hospital.  With a prior history of a heart attack, when his symptoms developed beyond what we thought was just the flu, we headed for the ER.  That meant TK had to cancel our last 2 jobs scheduled in Michigan at the last-minute.  The upside for us is we had already checked into a kitchenette suite and had purchased groceries for a week, so we were set for a longer than usual stay.  All worked out OK, heart is fine, he just needs to get over the flu and will be back on his feet shortly.

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3 thoughts on “2012-04 – Michigan, mostly …

  1. I love the zest that you have for life and you can see it in your descriptions. Sorry about Terry’s bout with the flu. Glad it wasn’t his heart. So…how did you like the living room in front vs back? The Grand Question: When are you all going to come down to Texas?

  2. So sorry to hear about Terry’s bout with the flu. And, I love the poster on how your story should end. Did you like the living room in the front after getting a feel for it or do you prefer it in the back? Loved this blog and the zest you have for life. Now…when do you get down here into Texas?

    • Thanks Vickie 😀 I prefer the LR in the front VS. back for a couple of reasons. (1) I like the idea of the kitchen, office area and bathroom being on 1 level vs. up/down steps. Our daily lifestyle is mostly me at the PC, up & down preparing a meal or doing office work at the desk, maybe doing a load of clothes in between.

      With a properly laid out front LR plan, Terry can have a space separate from where I am constantly moving about, but yet we can still communicate easily. Terry loves to watch TV, but me-not so much. Having the floor plan all jammed together in the rear as many 5ers do now means the only separated area is the bedroom and we don’t keep a TV in there.

      (2) Many of the RVP & CPG are noisiest on the front of the trailer (street), where other guests are walking their dogs, chatting as they walk past or driving their vehicles around. Having a bedroom on the BACK side (unless you are parked back-to-back) provides more quiet for sleeping/napping with windows open when the climate is nice enough to do so. In many state parks and more natural settings, which is what we prefer, often you will BACK into your smallish-size site along the river or scenic area where it’s quiet & peaceful. If you LIKE people-watching, the front LR windows give you a great vantage point to check out the activity without having the nose of trailer blocking your view. Remember, fifth-wheels are different than motorhomes, in that you do not have a huge windshield up front!

      (3) Front LR allows the most-used areas (for us anyway) to be centrally located in the home with the less-used areas on the outside of that central space, a good Feng Shui design concept.

      I’ve used and believed in Feng Shui for many years now, so applying that to RV living can be challenging at times. But, the compass directions will always BE, no matter how/where you are located or parked. If we can park the RV in an East-West direction, then the head of our bed would be in the NW corner of the home, which is exactly where it should be for us — just perfect!

      The NE corner of the space (the TV/entertainment center and maybe 1 extra chair) is where either our information will be entering our home, the best direction for our knowledge corner. Our entertainment center would have not only the TV, but our Bose system and other resources in the cabinets. Since we like to sit across from the TV our recliners will be on the opposite side of the RV from where the TV is located.

      Ahhhh… when we will be back in the GREAT state of Texas? That is a great question….with our work load concentrated in the heartland, and only getting 2 times off per year, that would most likely be around Christmas. BUT, it all depends on many things, such as WHERE is our new-to-us RV located?

      At this moment, our plan is to return to Sierra Vista, AZ at Christmas to down-size our storage unit. Last year at Christmas, we rented a car and drove from Oklahoma City to AZ for 10 days and then drove back to work in January. Once we have the RV we may not need to return to AZ for Christmas and might just come on down your way …

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