Saturday, August 9, 2008

Back on line with a new Computer

Our lack of a new blog for the last month is not because of a lack of interest, but a lack of internet. Our computer finally gave up the ghost. As we have previously complained about, we had a Best Buy warranty on it and had to deal with the Geek Squad to get anything done with it. True to form the Geek Squad could not do anything and it had to be sent back for repair. It was finally deemed to be non repairable and we were to get a new computer comparable to our old one. Our old one was a desk top replacement that cost $2000 three years ago. The comparable unit is a $599 special. It also came with the dreaded Vista operating system rather than the Windows XP that we are familiar with. It has taken a little time, but we finally have the new machine up and running and most of the data and programs transferred over. All and all, the new computer seems to be doing a very good job.

Now back to our trip. We left the Straits on July 15th with perfect weather and flat calm seas. It seems like summer has finally arrived. We headed to Charlevoix and were joined by Floyd and Maggi Lewis on their boat Bonnie Banks. That evening Larry and Larraine Coplin stopped on their way back from their family reunion. We all had a fantastic dinner at the Gray Gables Inn. This is one of the finest restaurants in the area and we would highly recommend it to anyone visiting the Charlevoix area.

Floyd & Maggi Lewis

Steve and Paula Atkinson joined us Thursday for a week of cruising. We first headed to Boyne City where Steve had a friend that worked for the police department and Paula had a friend that had a condo there. They were able to visit with both and we were able to see our friend, John D’Amour. We were also able to hook up again with Larry and Larraine before they started their journey back to Arizona. We would like to go into more details, but we made a pack, what happens in Boyne City, stays in Boyne City. We will say that things really got interesting one night when a bachelorette party of about 15 women showed up. Most of them were bigger than Mike and nine were still dancing on the bar when we left and that was about 15 minutes after the band stopped. From there we headed across Traverse Bay to Northport and then back to Charlevoix. The computer had crapped out at this point so Steve drove Mike to the Best Buy store in Traverse City about an hour away. Linda and Paula spent the rest of the afternoon shopping. The day after Steve and Paula left, we headed over to Beaver Island.

Paula & Steve Atkinson

When we tell most people that we are going over to Beaver Island they ask why go there, there is nothing to do; precisely why we go. It is our favorite place to do nothing. Do nothing is a bit of an exaggeration. We ride our bikes a little, Linda walks the dog and every night we go out to dinner. There are a few places to eat out on Beaver Island, but the best is Nina’s at the Beaver Island Lodge. It has the finest view over looking Lake Michigan the surrounding islands and fantastic food. We think that it is the finest restaurant in the Great Lakes given the quality of the food and the atmosphere. Another good place is Stony Acres. They have a Bar-B-Q on Thursday nights that has perhaps the finest ribs that Mike has ever eaten (Linda doesn’t eat meat, but loves the Bar-B-Q chicken and shrimp). They also have a wonderful perch dinner on Friday nights.

Coleen and John

John D’Amour and Coleen from Boyne City flew over to Beaver and joined us for a couple of days. One day we rented a car. As we were picking it up the young lady asked if we had a map with all the highlights. Mike told her we did and were going to see them both. She instantly replied, “There’re two?” Beaver Island is 13 miles long and has about 1 mile of paved roads. We did the whole tour from one end to the other. A few of the dirt roads got down to what we would classify as two tracks, so it was an interesting adventure.

Rev Jim and his wife Carol

While there we met up again with the Rev Jim and his wife, Carol. They were sailing with some friends and were trying to get to Escanaba. The weather was against them and they had to abandon their plan. The problem was his car was in Escanaba waiting for him. He solved that problem by catching a ride with the local air service. Before he left we all had another wonderful dinner at the Beaver Island Lodge.

Another fine dinner at the Beaver Island Lodge

Rev Jim, Carol, Dave & Julie

Floyd and Maggi Lewis stopped at Beaver with their boat Bonnie Banks on their way to Wisconsin. That meant another great meal that the BI Lodge. Do you get the impression that we like this place? Floyd and Maggi liked it so much, they stayed an extra day just to try the Thursday night Bar-B-Q. They were not disappointed.

It was now August and we had company coming and we had to get back to the mainland to pick him up. Best Buy called and said that our computer was toast and we could come in the store and pick up a new one. We tried to go to Traverse City where the Best Buy is, but they were full due to a big film festival weekend they were having. Instead we went to Boyne City and borrowed a car from our friend John and drove to Traverse City about an hour away to pick up the new computer.

Mike & Dr. Ed move the boat around to Harbor Springs

Our company, Ed Gordon or Dr. Ed as we affectionately refer to him, met us in Boyne City. We all linked up with John and Coleen again and had a great few days. When it was time to move, Mike and Dr. Ed took the boat around to Harbor Springs and Linda drove Ed’s car. It took the boys four hours to get around and Linda about a half hour, so of course she had to kill the extra time shopping in Petoskey. Dr. Ed left this Thursday and we moved the boat down to Traverse City to meet Ed and Debbie Moore, our neighbors from Big Torch Key. They are flying in today.

The weather today is cool and windy. That didn’t deter Linda from insisting that the boat be washed. Of course, she isn’t the one that would be washing it. Mike set the bikes off the boat and onto the docks, so that he could wash the decks. When he was done, he asked Linda what happened to the other bike? She said that she didn’t know and hadn’t moved it. You guessed it, the bike blew off the dock. Mike has been trying to get rid of his bike for a long time and Linda accused him of throwing it off. Mike dug out a grapple anchor from the dinghy and was able to hook the bike on the first try and retrieve it. Linda had said earlier that she wanted to wash the bikes, we guess that didn’t include a good soaking.

Well for those few that are still with us, that pretty much sums up the last month. We are over the half way mark for this summer’s boating. The boat is running good, the weather has been wonderful and we are all feeling great. We hope that your summer is going as well as ours.

Take care, Love,

Linda, Jake and the Fat Man