Tuesday, July 12, 2016

For the ‘rents

I originally started this blog to keep family in the South updated on our adventures up north. The blog has morphed a bit into other topics over the years, but sometimes you gotta get back to your roots. With that in mind, I bring you, “What We Did Over the Weekend with Amy!”

The CMU Summer Theatre tour made its way to Beaver Island, a quaint place off the west coast of the Mitten. At the last minute, Sean got Friday off, so we quickly planned an overnight to see Amy and the rest of the company. In addition to getting a surprise day off, Sean got a surprise car to drive for the weekend, and even bought me a hat to go with it:
I have never in all my life worn a baseball hat. But it served the purpose and I must say, I enjoyed not having to worry about my hair!

There are only two ways to access Beaver Island: ferry or plane. The ferry takes 2 ½ hours. The plane? Fifteen minutes. I will make any excuse to fly any day, so we opted for Island Airways. I booked our tickets via email and had to give our weight… that almost pushed me to the ferry, but I was assured it was a secure connection and the information wouldn’t be published anywhere so we forged ahead with the plane.

Now, the only other time I had to give my weight to fly was in Africa, so I knew this wasn’t some jumbo jet we’d be taking. I didn’t however, expect to sit quite so close to the pilot: 
After a successful and incredibly short flight, we landed on Beaver Island and hailed a taxi. To be clear, we hailed the ONLY taxi on Beaver Island. She drove us to the Beaver Island Lodge, our home away from home for the night. Can’t recommend the Lodge highly enough. It is right on Lake Michigan. We listened to the waves all night long! The décor is stuck in the 80’s but we weren’t there for the décor - we were there to see the girl. We were a four-block walk from the theater, so we set out to find it and her.

Since we were a little early to meet her (shocking, I know), we stopped to rent two bikes. There wasn’t a lot of time we could spend with Amy so we thought we’d ride around the island and see what we could see in-between her breaks. The first thing we saw was rain. Rain on us, rain on our bikes, rain, rain, rain. But as quickly as it came it passed over and we saw sunshine and blue skies the rest of our stay.

We got to the theater which also serves as the hangout place for the island. They have free Wi-Fi and a computer for public use. They also have the island’s radio station, WVBI, and I thought if I ever wanted to resurrect my radio career this might be the place I could start.
Two giant banners hung in the windows of the community center: Welcome Birders! If only we had Rebecca, our bird-lover with us! Apparently Beaver Island is a hotbed of bird activity. People head to the community center to log bird sightings:
We finally found the girl, took her for a quick dinner, then she was off to work again. We had an hour to kill before the show, so we rode around the island. Got back in time to see the show in the most adorable 100-seat theater. Which made for a lively conversation that continues to this day: How can we build a theater?!
Anyway, the show was great, we got to hug Amy’s neck quickly after, then she went back to work and we went back to our room.
Saturday she wasn't available until lunchtime so we took to our bikes again. There are so many bike paths – all you outdoorsy people would love it. We met up with Amy at lunch, took her to Daddy Franks, which is just as adorable as it sounds, and she was off again.
We couldn’t stay to see Saturday’s show because we had to get back for Sunday morning's church service since Sean was scheduled to play piano. Those who go to church with us will feel our pain, because as soon as we landed on the mainland we got word that church was cancelled due to downed trees and power lines… We tried to get back but we’d missed the last flight and the ferry wouldn’t get us there in time. So we headed home in the Camaro.

At my friend Carissa’s suggestion, we made one last stop on the way home: Cops & Doughnuts. Good thing that place isn’t around the corner – those doughnuts were insane.
I’m so glad we decided to go see her! Great to catch up, even for a bit. And we love seeing her work, on and off stage.

Those considering a trip to Beaver Island should definitely go – it’s a charming little place. It’s rustic and perfectly suited for those who love water sports and biking and being outdoors. And, of course, for those who love theater!

The view from our seat on the way back.

Here's a view of our takeoff. As we were still in the air, I sent this to my Dad, a former Delta pilot, and his first reaction was, "That's real flying! I didn't know they could take passengers with only one pilot." I didn't even think about that! But for the rest of the flight I was trying to figure out if I could land that sucker...