Raccoon River Campground in Panama City Beach

Raccoon River Campground in Panama City Beach

Sometimes the best laid plans get thrown out the window, and such was the case with an expected visit by Shawna and Alf to Richmond, VA. I was looking forward to seeing them for a quick one night stopover while they were enroute to a camping vacation on the Eastern Seaboard in North Carolina. They had their sights set on sandy beaches and nothing else mattered. Until Matthew. Hurricane Matthew roared up the Florida coast, dropped record rainfall, flooding North Carolina, causing road closures Continue reading

Fresh Squeezed Love

Fresh Squeezed Love

During my drive south, I passed a family on the side of the road. Their car was pulled over, doors wide open to a fallowed field where it's previous inhabitants were dancing, jumping, and waving their arms. Dad was looking on with a face that radiated happiness at the pure joy he was seeing through his children. At first I thought they must be city dwellers experiencing their first visit to the country... touching the land from which their food is grown. Then I realized, we had just passed Continue reading

60 Interesting Facts About Michigan

60 Interesting Facts About Michigan

This came to me via email from my wonderful Commerce neighbor, Karen. I had saved it as a draft but never published it. Since I'm heading to Michigan to see my boys today, I thought it was an appropriate piece to share. Detroit is known as the car capital of the world. Alpena is the home of the world's largest cement plant. Rogers City boasts the world's largest limestone quarry. Elsie is the home of the world's largest registered Holstein dairy herd. Michigan Continue reading

Kayaking in Alligator River National Refuge

Kayaking in Alligator River National Refuge

I love kayaking, gliding along in the water so close to the surface, without the noise of engines is so peaceful. I especially love how that allows me to come face-to-face with wildlife. Today, that wildlife could be alligators! When Coastal Kayak called early Thursday morning to confirm a tour to Alligator River that afternoon, I was ecstatic! They wouldn't take people for kayak tours amongst alligators if some of their tourists were eaten.... right? We met DJ, our guide in Kill Devil Continue reading

Pea Island

Pea Island

A short drive over a long bridge took us to Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge known for its abundance of waterfowl.  We took a short hike over to the beach area. The land had obviously been under water during the storm as the sand was still very wet and, in places, quicksand-like.  I'm glad I still have my flip flop and that James was there to pull me out! There were an abundance of shells.... more than I've ever seen on a beach in one place. It seemed to be a favorite fishing Continue reading

Bodie Island Light Station

Bodie Island Light Station

The Outer Banks were notorious for shipwrecks and pirates.  Turned out it was a great place to hide for those who knew how to travel the waters.  Several lighthouses were erected to help direct captains through or past the challenging shoals of the area. At the northern-most end of the Cape Hatteras Seashore is Bodie Island Lighthouse, well recognized with its black and white design. We paid our $8 fee for the privilege of being able to climb the 200 stairs to the top.  Tours are well Continue reading

Swirling in Sea Foam

Swirling in Sea Foam

What many guests will appreciate about staying at the Sea Foam Motel is the convenience of being able to walk to so many services! Restaurants, Tanger Outlet Mall, souvenirs, convenience store, recreational activities and Jennette's Pier which was a fabulous backdrop for our pictures. We hiked along the beach well past the pier, cameras in hand. I was particularly enamored with the sea foam! The motel name seemed even more fitting. I'd seen foamy water before but this foam was more Continue reading

OBX Escape

OBX Escape

What I love about living in Richmond Virginia is that in a short few hours you can entirely change your view. A couple of nights away from normalcy is often the best prescription for what ails you and a beach view is equivalent to vitamins by intravenous. We were specifically looking for something affordable that overlooked the beach. Something that rivaled everything we love about the Sea Vista Motel at Topsail Beach. But closer. Easier to escape for a couple of days when we needed it. We Continue reading

Red-Tailed Hawk Visit

Red-Tailed Hawk Visit

Had this beautiful juvenile Red Tailed Hawk hang out on my deck for a half an hour. He seemed he was drying his feathers. I say "he," but after some investigation, there doesn't seem to be a way to distinguish male from female when flying solo. He could very well be a she. Either way, our hawk seemed to enjoy being watched and did a little strutting for our benefit. As soon as we walked away from the window he flew away. Continue reading

Stephen Clark & Pirates on the Straits Lakes

Stephen Clark & Pirates on the Straits Lakes

Typically a homebody, lately my calendar has been chock full of social events! Saturday night I interviewed Stephen Clark of WXYZ Action News for an upcoming post on CyberCletch.com and he and his wife, Larenne, were kind enough to invite me to a party on one of the Straits Lakes. The water provides a completely different view of a neighborhood and its residents. One of the "pirates" told me there was "nothing like lake living," I'd have to agree. Stephen Clark wrote & performed "Pink Pirate Continue reading

New Math

I love teachers who integrate alternate methods of teaching - and styles of learning - into the regular classroom work. My son's math teacher gave Cayce and two of his friends a video assignment for her class. My son worked on this every day last week and we all had a great time watching him create the scenes and observe how he weaved them together. This kid has a vision before it gets filmed. Perhaps this will be part of his future? Can't see the video? Click here. I'm a little Continue reading

What Band Kids Do With Their Spare Time

What Band Kids Do With Their Spare Time

I've covered a lot of Walled Lake Schools music on my blog over the past few years because my children were so heavily involved in band. This will be the last year I cover school concerts since my eldest is in college and my youngest has chosen bypass orchestra next year in order to pursue other courses that will help with his career of choice. He would have participated in the Walled Lake Marching Band but he's not able to because it's mandatory that he also be taking a music course (in most Continue reading

Dog-gone Spell Reversal

Dog-gone Spell Reversal

During the divorce negotiations, the dog went to my ex. He's since reconsidered and I was notified today I'll be keeping the dog from now on. I had chosen to shut out how much I missed having Caesar in my life on a daily basis. I'm beyond excited to have him home full-time; he's putting up with the hugs and the costume because that's the kind of dog he is. Woman's best friend. Continue reading

Walled Lake Northern Marching Knights

Walled Lake Northern Marching Knights

Can't see the video? Click here. I meant to get this online a couple of weeks ago, but life got busy. This is the WLN Marching Band's 2011 pre-show and show. The video was taken October 6th during the visit by Clifford Smart, Sarah Banks and James Geisler Middle School Bands. The football game was against Lakeland High School. The pre-game music includes the Northern FanFare, the Northern Fight Song, the Cupid Shuffle, the Northern Alma Mater and the National Anthem. The show theme Continue reading

Visiting in the Rain

Visiting in the Rain

This was today's visitor, they often hang out at the end of my lawn where there is some flooding or fish in the shallow water beside the dock. This is the first one I've seen actually ON the dock. Wish I had a lens that let me get closer. This was taken through my rain soaked family room window because if I had opened the sliding door the Great Blue Heron would be gone. It is a Great Blue, isn't it? Continue reading

Traverse City

Traverse City

Traverse City is a beautiful city wrapped around the base of Grand Traverse Bay. We checked into the first hotel we saw because it had an amazing view of the bay and sunset. The hot tub in the room was a bonus. We headed out to the Apache Trout Grill for dinner. The wait was appreciated because it allowed us to sit by the water with a drink and enjoy the view. The food was delicious, particularly my taste of the crab and lobster bisque. I kept my meal simple with Grilled Ahi Tuna Continue reading

Old Mission Peninsula

Old Mission Peninsula

Old Mission Peninsula is a long jut of land that divides Grand Traverse Bay in half, giving it the shape - with creative license - of a molar and its roots. It was an easy 17 mile drive to the Old Mission Point Lighthouse, at end of the road. While there I discovered I was near the 45th parallel, halfway between the equator and the North Pole. I knew I had to record the momentous occasion. Instead of building a cairn, I checked in on Foursquare. It was while checking in I discovered Continue reading

Let Sleeping Bears Lie

Let Sleeping Bears Lie

Legend tells of a mother bear and her two cubs taking to the water to escape a raging fire in what is now, Wisconsin. They swam for miles and after tiring the cubs lagged behind. When the mother bear reached the opposite shore, she climbed atop a hill to watch for her babies, but the cubs drowned and became what is now the two Manitou Islands. "Sleeping Bear" is the single dune near the point that marks the spot where mother bear waited. It is slowly eroding and changing with water, wind and Continue reading

Roadside Views – Summer Roadtrip

Roadside Views – Summer Roadtrip

We headed north from Ludington after the hike, counted our blessings when we discovered The Bungalow Inn still serving dinner at 10 pm. After checking several Manistee hotels late into the night, we finally found one that was not booked full with fishermen hoping to win the local derby. I awoke to another beautiful blue sky, fluffy cloud day and began the drive towards Sleeping Bear Dunes. The first awe inspiring roadside stop was the Arcadia Scenic Lookout which is also aptly named Continue reading

Ludington State Park

Ludington State Park

Two years ago traveled to Shanty Creek and did a drive by tour through Charlevois & Petoskey on my way to Mackinac Island. I liked what I saw and wanted to tour the little finger portion of the Michigan mitten. The first Lake Michigan view was supposed to happen around Saugatuck, but a missed sign resulted in a tour of Holland instead. I hit the highway and didn't stop again until I reached Ludington. We drove out to the Ludington State Park to have a look around. After investigating the Continue reading