Heard it was a bit chilly around here last weekend.
I wouldn’t know, as wife Deb and I were in Detroit for the wedding of my goddaughter niece, and to experience Michigan the weekend before Thanksgiving.
The weather was cold and gray. Cold. Like — not exaggerating — 30-below. Or in that neighborhood. We’ll return to that in a moment.
I don’t have postcards of vacation, but here are a few snapshots:
— This was the plan: We’d drive to Michigan, then take our time driving back.
Figured Citrus County could survive (rejoice) without me for a few days, even if that meant missing Tuesday’s swearing in of new commissioners and Ruthie Davis Schlabach taking over as chairman.
Driving to Detroit the weekend before Thanksgiving seemed like asking for trouble, but so was trusting the airlines.
Faced with that choice, driving seemed like a no-brainer. More relaxing, adventurous and, besides, I could watch the county commission meeting online on my phone somewhere in Georgia (not Scott Carnahan’s house).
The biggest reason for driving is the trunk. We could pack to our heart’s delight and still have plenty of room to return with a bulk delivery of Better Made barbecue chips, a Michigan delicacy available to me in Florida only through the magic of Amazon.
But, in the end, I decided to fly so that I wouldn’t miss Tuesday’s board meeting. I’m dedicated in that way.
— So that meant airplane packing. I cannot stand airplane packing. I wake up each morning and wear the same basic clothes, but somehow it becomes a panic choosing first-team apparel for a four-day journey.
Making it worse was the trip’s purpose: a wedding. That meant nice, grown-up clothes, and that’s a whole other packing universe. Luckily Deb had a trunk-size suitcase, like the one Professor Harold Hill brought to River City, and she expertly packed all our belongings into it and still kept the weight under 4,000 pounds.
(Bonus: Without me leaving a single stitch of clothing in Michigan, Deb managed to pack three bags of Better Made bbq chips into the suitcase and they didn’t arrive in Tampa crunched up.)
— Airport/flying experience much better than anticipated. I took “airplane mode” notes:
—So, I may have mentioned, but in case I didn’t or it got lost in the prose, it was cold in Detroit. Cold like the cold I remembered all those years ago when I decided this was no way to live.
Despite packing for extreme winter, we were not prepared. Deb and I are both from the North — me, Michigan, Deb, Long Island — but we’ve been Floridadized. Meaning, if it’s in the 50s, bundle up. Real actual cold? No thanks.
We stayed in a nice casino hotel in downtown Detroit, just a few blocks from Ford Field, Comerica Park, and other very cool landmarks. We had some time before the wedding, so I decided to take a stroll.
I walked outside, turned the corner and was met with an icy “I don’t think so” wind that sent me shivering into the casino, where I promptly lost 20 bucks playing a computerized slot machine I didn’t understand.
— On Saturday, we drove two hours to Mount Pleasant, home of Central Michigan University, which inexplicably awarded me a diploma 41 years ago because it didn’t know any better. It snowed while we were there, big wet flakes that I found rather pretty but Deb didn’t appreciate at all under seven layers of clothing.
Did I mention the cold?
We don’t have enough blog space to review my college years, but I was smiling inside during that visit.
Great vacation! Awesome time with family. Beautiful wedding. And the successful transport of Better Made bbq chips.
Now I’ll put on my T-shirt/shorts, and enjoy this Florida November day.
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Mike Wright has written about Citrus County government and politics for 36 years.