Eleven days

Vacation? What’s this “vacation” you speak of? It is unknown to me.

We made our annual trek back to the U.P. on Thursday, June 30. By some strange coincidence, so did someone else:

I shall be mostly Away From Keyboard from June 30 (that’s today) until July 10. It’s part of my grand and glorious plan to have Summer Vacation #1, wherein the Bobster and his clan decide that visiting family is not stressful, after all. And of course our journeys are taking us to the Land That Broadband Forgot. (Note: hijinks ensue.)

All of this is just in time for the weather to take a break and allow my house to drop below 80F/26C, too! A couple of nice lines of thunderstorms passed through in the last 3 hours, and it’s almost feeling like I can go to sleep now. The pity of it all…

I may check on my email from time to time but no guarantees. Assume I will be gone. You can commence talking behind my back on my mark.

mark.

Most affectionately and warmly yours,

Evil The Bobster, sans his Merry Band

(Because they really don’t care to be associated with him anyway. Yet, they swear by all they hold dear that bob really is nice in spite of their aversion. Eleven out of twelve dentists surveyed agree that bob is nice, and, well, if you can’t trust dentists, who -can- you trust?)

I don’t know about Mr. Bob. He
sounds like he was staying up too late, or something (as
usual).

Anyway.

We
actually had a pretty nice vacation. Things were pretty relaxed, as we tried not
to schedule too many things in a single day. It all built up to a flurry of
activity on Wednesday for Mercedes’ party. Since we were there earlier this year
we actually got to see 4th of July parades and fireworks, as well as a visit to
the International Food Fest that happens each year in Marquette, Michigan. Of course the fireworks
were canceled on the scheduled date of July 3, so we actually spent two evenings
down in Marquette’s Lower Harbor. It was
nice.

Tuesday we spent a lot of time
with Michelle’s grandparents. They love seeing the girls, and believe you me,
it’s mutual. Shaelin talks about it for days afterward, especially.

Wednesday, of course, Michelle made
cupcakes
and a
cake for the birthday party. Mercedes had a really good time and enjoyed seeing
much of her family. I’ve got some pictures and video, but so far haven’t managed
to process them and get them online yet. Mercedes turned 8 years old! I’m still
wrestling with the thought that my little girl isn’t so little
anymore.

By the way, that video came from a new Sony DCR-HC21 camcorder. The old TRV41 finally bit the dust. Completely. No workie. It’s amazing that I have a much, much better camcorder for 1/3 the price of the old one. I mean, yes, Moore’s law practically dictates this outcome, but come on… the thing has a touch screen that enables spot focus!

Thursday afternoon Michelle and
I dropped off the girls at my sister’s house. While they played with their
cousin for a couple of hours we explored some of the newer construction around
the area. There’s a particularly nice development, fairly new, that showed us a
few of Marquette that we had never seen before. It’s too bad that we’d have to
sell at least two children and several organs to even make a down payment on one
of these houses… but it’s sure nice to
dream.

After that we headed out to Big
Bay (well, really to Lake Independence) to do spend some time with my
dad. Michelle’s parents also came up and brought their kayaks, and together with
the canoe that my dad keeps up at camp, we went out on the water for a bit. It
was a little windy but not overly so, and we had a good time. I managed to not
turn the hamburgers into cinders for dinner, seeing as how it was an unfamiliar
grill and all, and the afternoon and early evening passed by entirely too
quickly. Soon it was time for Michelle to leave with her parents, and the girls,
dad, and I all spent the night up at the
lake.

Friday was a lazy day. We didn’t
even finish breakfast until nearly 11:00 a.m., and lollygagged up to the last moment before we
could leave to get back to Marquette for a quick bite. Amy wanted to take the
older girls out to see Herbie: Fully
Loaded
and we just barely made it in time.
Meanwhile I took my dad up to the houses we’d found the day before just to get
his opinion. He found all the same things that I didn’t like about the area
(close to a damp, swampy area sure to be a mosquito breeding ground), but
otherwise didn’t say too much. He may have been in shock over how much money had
been poured into the development. I was, at
first!

Saturday was the annual
celebration of Pioneer Days in Negaunee. Saturday is actually the climax of a
week of activities, reunions, and general all-around hooliganism, at least for
some of the folks that descend on the area. We generally avoid all of that.
However, we have made a point, especially with the girls, to go to the parade
and the fireworks. These are usually some of the better fireworks in the area.
Sadly we had a major breakdown in discipline with the older girls. It was
Michelle’s turn to go enjoy them with Shaelin while I took the other two “home”
to go to bed. I hear I missed a pretty good
display.

Vacation is never long enough.
I don’t know many people who will admit that they’re glad to be back to work.
However, as vacations go, this one was quite enjoyable. I felt like I was
actually away, for a change.

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