Tuesday, September 30, 2008

'Patrick and Julie's Wedding Day!"

My oldest son, Patrick, and his new bride, Julie! I HAVE A DAUGHTER IN LAW!!!!! :) I have gone from saying girlfriend, to fiancee, and now daughter in law. :) I'm not quite used to it yet. I'm sure it is nothing compared to what they think/feel. LOL

Julie is wearing my mother in law's wedding dress. Cindy's parents were married in the mid 1940's (I'm not sure exactly which year). When I moved from the cabin, Patrick took many things for his new house, plus many things of significance from both sides of our families, including his mother's (Cindy) and his grandmother's (Busia Bert's) wedding dresses. Julie had planned on wearing a non-traditional dress for their wedding, but her grandmothers both had other ideas. :) Long story short, she tried on Busia Bert's and it fit perfectly! She looked beautiful!!!

This photo shows the end of the wedding, but certainly not the end of Don's photo journalism. LOL I still have many photos to post that are from the wedding and reception. :) (Don took approximately 600 photos, but of course, not all are going to be posted. Many are of the same pose, taken quickly in succession, to get the "BEST" one)

This is Saint Michael's Catholic Church, in Port Austin, MI. As you can see, the weather was perfect!

Here we have the inside of Saint Michael's.

My cousin Jill, and her husband Joe, with me in front of the church.

"Bubble blowing" as the newlyweds came out of the church.

More photos to follow........

Monday, September 29, 2008

"Rehearal Dinner....."

I seem to have a look similar to "a deer caught in a car's headlights". I don't know what that is all about. :)

A free moment with Patrick. He was a busy guy with making the rounds to everyone........

Claire and Sean. I think this photo really shows their "sibling similarities", with regards to looks.

"Animated" Kyle, Sandy, my sister, and me.

In the above photo from left to right: Claire's friend, Amando, Claire, Becky, and Sean. Below, Chris and son, Ryan, saying "goodnight".

Friday, September 26, 2008

"Wedding Rehearsal........(with a little history thrown in)....."

After exploring the Port Austin area, we then drove down to Ubly, MI, southeast of Bad Axe, where the reception was to be held. We thought we'd get the "lay of the land", so to speak. In that time, we saw and reported, a grass fire alongside the road. Not having a cell phone, we stopped at a "Gun and Conservation Club" to ask someone to make a call to the authorities. A couple of guys jumped into their truck and left to see what we'd seen, then report it if necessary. We COULD have been nutcases after all...... On our drive back to Bad Axe, we saw someone from the fire department hosing down the area. After that excitement, we arrived at the hotel, changed clothes, and drove back up to Port Austin for the wedding rehearsal.

Quick side note on a similar topic:
[**One interesting thing we learned that day when we talked with a woman at the Visitors Center, was that almost the entire Thumb area (including many towns/villages/farms) burned to the ground (it was a logging area) in a horrific fire in 1881, with hundreds of people losing their lives. Port Austin was spared because of a change in the wind, when the fire was 1/2 mile from the town.

On October 8, 1871, both Michigan (upper and lower peninsula) AND Wisconsin, were devastated by forest fires. These also burned uncontrolled, with much loss of life. Ironically, on the same date, "The Great Chicago Fire" also took place.]

Some sites to visit if these facts peak your interest:


Back to the rehearsal.......It was to begin at 5:00, but being "somewhat similar in some things", we, along with Patrick and Julie, arrived earlier. Her brother, John (lower left), arrived next.

Julie's sister, Rachel, and Kerry, bridesmaids, share a laugh at the antics of Kerry's daughter, Riley, who was the flower girl. Julie's father, Jim, takes it easy while he still could.....

Groomsmen Chris (left) and Kyle, both longtime friends of Patrick's, wait patiently, alongside Julie, for the rehearsal to begin.

We all were being very calm and patient. Patrick, me, Kyle, Chris, and Julie.

Rehearsal begins......Patrick and I, the first of the "family" procession, follow Father Andy, the priest of St. Michael's Catholic Church, towards the alter. Sean will join us in the "real" procession, but was not able to make it to rehearsal. He, along with Julie's brothers, Mark, and John, were the ushers for the wedding. Patrick would take us to our pew and then stand alongside Father Andy, where he would wait for Julie and her parents to come up the aisle.

After we proceeded down the aisle, we were followed by Kerry and Kyle, then Matron of honor and best man, Rachel and Chris, with Riley, behind them, as flower girl, which signaled Julie, with her parents, Jim and Charlene's, entry.

In the photo from left to right: Kyle, Chris, Jim, Julie, Charlene, Patrick, with the tip of Rachel's head peeking over his shoulder, and Kerry.

Julie practicing her scripture reading for the ceremony. Father Andy seated behind her.

At our stations: Kyle, me, and Chris.

Cell phone photos.....The Three Musketeers! (or is that partners in crimes, not all of which their parents, yes, including me, know about) ;)

After the rehearsal, we all prepared to drive down to Cousins, in Bad Axe, where the rehearsal dinner was to be held.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

"Port Austin, MI....."

My "daughter in law", Julie, is originally from Port Austin, MI, which is located near the very "tip" of Michigan's "Thumb". The wedding was held there last Saturday.

Don and I left Madison early (6:30) last Thursday morning, planning on arriving in Port Austin 10 hours later. Unfortunately, it took 12 hours that day, due to I80/94 being flooded south of Chicago, IL/Gary, IN. The detour was a bumper to bumper scene from Hell! That was the main obstacle, but along with that, the many road construction sites, took their toll in time as well.

We stayed in Bad Axe, MI, which is about 17 miles south of Port Austin. The rehearsal dinner was held in Bad Axe and the reception was held south of Bad Axe.

On Friday morning, we drove up to Port Austin to find the church and also to have a look around the little resort town. It was very nice and the view of Lake Huron spectacular! If we'd have known how nice it was, I think we'd have stayed in Port Austin and just done more driving. :) It would have been wonderful to sit with our coffee in the morning and have that lake view........

We walked the boardwalk along the public beach and took a few photos.........this one faces the west shoreline.

And this towards the east.......

And this looks north, towards the breakwater.

The breakwater with the renovated lighthouse in the distance. It is actually 2 1/2 miles out from the shore. A number of years ago, the Port Austin Reef Lighthouse was to be torn down and replaced by a solar light on a pole, but a group of local volunteers were able to stop its being torn down, and they painstakingly renovated the lighthouse with local contributions, ferrying all of the construction materials out to the site on a pontoon boat. It was quite an accomplishment, to say the least!

Can't keep a kid from playing on an interesting piece of playground equipment. ;)

I'm not sure that it is easily seen (double click and enlarge for a better view), but all along the shoreline are rock formations (small islands), some of which have trees/vegetation growing on them.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"Farewell To Summer Dinner......"

Sean and Becky invited Julie, Patrick, Don, and me, to a "Farewell to Summer" dinner at their house. They live about 6 miles north of downtown Traverse City, in a house that sits along the shore of West Bay, but up, up, up, from the road/shore.

Sean and Becky at work on dinner. Sean is cutting watermelon that will be a part of the 1st course.

Becky with her hostess gift of cherry vinegar. Only an aspiring chef would be happy to receive something so bitter. :)

A view of West Bay out their front window. The living/dining area is an L shaped room and has windows facing east, from the living room, and south from the dining area. It is a huge room and the views are spectacular!

Cocktails before dinner. :) Me, Sean, Patrick, and Julie. Behind us, the wall of windows facing south.

Our dinner menu.........

Waiting for the 1st course. Julie, Don, and Patrick. Patrick must have been hungry, with his knife at the ready. ;)

Patrick, me, and Julie. Sean and Becky chose not to dine with us, but instead, give us the full effect of dining at a gourmet restaurant, serving each course at it's appropriate time. I really do not need to say this because I'm sure everyone would know this, BUT, I will anyway......the dinner was DELICIOUS!!!!! Not only delicious, but beautiful, too. A feast for our eyes as well as our taste buds.

Watermelon Amuse (sliced watermelon, with a layer of goat cheese between, fresh basil, balsamic vinegar/olive oil)

Sweet Corn and Arugula Salad with Heirloom and Romano Tomatoes

Bacon Wrapped Chicken, served with broccoli puree and summer squash, over mashed potato-parsnips.

Leland Fruit Pound Cake, with Vanilla, Blueberries, and Apricot Chantilly (and a generous dollop of whipped cream, too!)

Our proud chefs, Sean and Becky!

Again, our dinner was delicious and we had a wonderful time, especially since we had been able to see/spend time with the kids quite a bit during our visit to TC. This was the GRAND FINALE!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"More From VTC and West Bay......"

One last photo of a yet to be renovated building at The Village of Traverse Commons. Several of the "out buildings" have been renovated and now house a cheesecake factory, a wood fired bakery, Left Foot Charley Wines, and a coffee roaster/shop.

This is the front building of the cheesecake shop. Another renovated building behind it is the main production facility. Julie's comment about the cheesecake was (I hope that I have this correct), it is "slap your Momma good!" This is an expression I had not heard before, but at the time it was said, it fit and made sense. :)

Each Friday afternoon, a farmers market is held on the grounds, too. It was small, but held a good number of vendors. We bought Becky a bottle of "Cherry Vinegar", from a vendor who had many flavored vinegars. For those of you not familiar with Traverse City, the area is known for their tart cherries.

Another vendor who had a small, but colorful display.

Don and I also drove up into the hills that climbed west of the downtown area. These next 2 photos show West Bay and a little of downtown Traverse City. As "Molly Bee" would say...."biggify" the photos to get a better concept of what we saw. :)

Tomorrow......our last night of vacation, with dinner at Sean and Becky's.

Monday, September 22, 2008

"All Photos of The Village at Traverse Commons....."

First off, I want to tell those of you who may not know why I didn't post anything last Friday. Don and I were in Michigan for Patrick's (my oldest son) wedding. Don took close to, if not more than, 600 photos, so those will take a bit of time for him to process, before I will be able to begin posting about the wedding. I have to say though, that it was the most beautiful wedding that I have ever attended (mine and Cindy's being #1, of course), and speaking for our immediate family, numerous tears were shed.

More on the wedding soon.......

Perhaps it is fate that I have time before the wedding photos, because there are still parts of our Traverse City trip that have not been written about. This is DEFINITELY the largest post I have ever entered! 20 Photos!!!!! They all are of The Village at Traverse Commons, the multi-use renovation that I had written about earlier. Some are photos are of the completed "wings", while other sections of the building are being worked on as these photos were taken. There are also some photos that show parts of the building that have yet to be touched, other than (I think I mentioned this in an earlier post), the entire building was re-roofed prior to any renovations, so that the parts of the building not yet worked on, would not deteriorate further because of weather.

This is the cupola (correct term?) that Don was able to climb up into. The cupola's that above individual condos, actually have access through those condos. The one Don climbed up into was accessed through a condo that was not quite completed. There was no hesitation on his part to do so.....I stayed far down below. ;)

The small condo we enjoyed is the one with the circular window, which was part of the living area. The 2 windows to the left of it were the kitchen/dining area, and the 2 windows to the right of it were in the bedroom. Although only 850 square feet (or so), it had plenty of room and storage. I'd move in a heart beat. :)

This photo shows a large part of the southern end of Building 50, beginning with the midpoint of the entire building, which is the newer section on the right. Not all of the lower half shows because it continues to wrap around with another "wing" at the far left. The condo we liked so well is seen next to the trees........

These balconies are seen to the left from the condo we liked. Some of the balconies are private, while others are "common areas" for the residents.

Don walked completely around Building 50 and took numerous photos. This one begins showing areas not yet under renovation, but as the photos progress, they return to the finished portion of the building.

This is again in the finished area. That little figure is me. Have I ever before used the word "little" to describe myself??? NEVER!!!! :)

More of TC tomorrow........