South Haven certainly was a haven for us because of a generous and very welcome visit by my cousin and his wife. (And their fabulous poodle, Bailey.) Jeff and I hate to shop, but it is necessary — and hard, when you’re living on a boat. Leon and Sandy made it a lot easier. They had a car!
Leon is a 1st cousin on Dad’s side. (I have a lot of 1st cousins — 91, to be exact!) I’m the youngest of my generation on that side, meaning all of those cousins are older than me, and I feel a certain responsibility to carry the family legacy forward. Although I’m trying to keep the family tree, I certainly don’t know all of my cousins. But Leon, I know. He is so special to me, and his wife Sandy likewise. They remind me why family connections are so important….
We’ve been coordinating for a few weeks to arrange a meet-up. One Looper said it about right: “When someone wants to visit you, tell them they can choose the place or the time but not both.” Leon and Sandy were flexible, and determined. They drove across the state to meet us when we were ready, then drove us to stores, and then drove us and our purchases back to our boat.
All this during another hot-and-humid day. (You can see my sweaty hair plastered to my forehead. Cosmetic concerns certainly diminish when living on a boat!)
So … we didn’t get to see a lot of South Haven. Again, logistics and weather trumped sight-seeing. Once shopping was done, it was too hot to walk around much or take out the bikes. I did see enough to know that I would visit here again. The marina here is right in the midst of town, adjacent to a popular walking path, and it was nice to feel the energy of “the locals.” (In Saugatuck, everyone we met was a tourist!)
Michigan is a big state. There is so much of it I don’t know — and, to be honest, didn’t care to know. As a native of the gorgeous Upper Peninsula, I confess to a certain snobbishness about the Lower Peninsula … a snobbishness I didn’t even know I had. That unconscious bias has been corrected! (Travel can do that. 🙂 )
We listened to live music next to the marina for awhile — the third time we’ve done that on this trip. After sunset, I took a delicious dip in Lake Michigan. There’s something about dropping beneath the water surface in the dark, when the air and the water are warm, that is just … delicious!
Today’s run from Saugatuck was a short one — about 20 miles — and began with a gorgeous sunrise. (We anchored out last night in a protected cove just inside the harbor entrance, and were on the big lake in minutes.) The next leg will be short too. We considered going to New Buffalo, some 35 miles away, but decided on St. Joseph instead. We’ll decide when we get there how long to stay there.
PS: We continue to meet new Loopers and re-encounter ones we’ve already met. We stay in touch with some while under way, sharing tips and asking questions. This is one of the attractions of “doing The Loop”…the new and renewed social connections. I know they will strengthen with time.