Monday, March 28, 2011

the journey

how many times have you heard the cliche "life is the journey, not the destination"? at times that statements brings great sentiment, other times, it describes our trip to great wolf lodge last week. for so long, we had been anticipating this one night adventure in traverse city. family time, uninterrupted by work and other commitments, is so precious. in addition, our amazing friends the habers were joining us to compound the good times and add some more girls to the mix. brad arranged for an added bonus, a night at the wenke's cabin in cadillac. perfect. break up the trip, an additional evening of fun, and memories galore to be made at the cabin. the plan was to depart wed afternoon, immediately following brad's chiro appt. wed brought tons of winter weather to the north, so we played it safe and checked several avenues to ensure the veen would arrive safely in Cadillac. i even called the sands resort in cadillac and asked the front desk lady's opinion on a road trip. all responses were very encouraging. so i kicked out my dear friend melissa who was visiting from nashville and we loaded up the veen and hit the road. by the time we reached the south side of holland, i already had to make a walgreens run for an important item i had forgotten: diapers. duh. three kids unbuckled, herded into the store, two pees, and one pack of diapers later, i reloaded the children and picked brad up from his appointment. here we go. the roads were smooth and clear. until about ten miles south of cadillac. then things got tricky. snow blanketed the grass surrounding the highway and was coming down hard and fast. the road had some accumulation and super slick spots. once we finally rolled into cadillac, we arrived to a snow hurricane. blizzard conditions. we traveled as far as henderson way, the street the wenke's cabin is situated on at the very end. here our journey ended. a car was stuck, and abandoned, directly in the middle of this road. the snow was continuing to fall fast and furiously. the children were restless. the mama was starving. the dad was perplexed. brad surveyed the situation, walking in probably 10 inches of snow all the way around the car and to neighbors homes to try to find the owner of the abandoned blockade of a car. no luck. there was nowhere to ditch the veen and walk as the main road was getting treacherous and no driveways were plowed. we were faced with one option: go to culvers. we drove by the meiste's cottage, conveniently located nearby, only to find the snow 3 feet deep all around it and on the deck. impossible. after a hearty meal of butter burgers and fries, brother brian provided us with hotel info and we made it to cadillac's pride of a hotel, days inn. brad sauntered into that place determined to get a steal of a deal. he did talk them down $20 and we made sure to eat our money's worth at breakfast. what a man! a fighter, a provider, and as was obvious at the pool later that night, damn sexy. thats right. days inn has a pool! as soon as our stuff was loaded into the room, the fam was off to the pool where we were sure we would be alone as no one else should be out of their homes in such awful conditions. wrong again. another family was there, one i can only assume were a brother and sister who had kids. i dont mean to judge, but really. i tried hard not to stare as ayla and i watched the boys frolic in the water, jumping into brads arms. but it was impossible to avert my eyes from the family of four totalling three teeth among them all and weighing between 300-400 each. also, no one was wearing a bathing suit. only shorts and shirts with holes all over. even the front desk lady, who was gracious enough to repeatedly give me extra towels, told me her grandkids called her grandma toad. and i could see why. i know this seems judgemental, but really, i have to share this experience with someone. after a swim, a long tub, and some tv, the kids fell asleep and i savored the wall to wall family with which i have been so blessed. morning arrived, with a continental breakfast and another visit to the pool. from there, the journey continued....

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