This weekend roadster_guy and I trekked out to my stepmother’s place south of Grand Rapids to visit for a couple days. We rolled into the vacation community of Sandy Pines on Friday evening and settled in to visit and learn how to play a card game called Hand & Foot, which is very fun! My sister Beth and I kicked ass the first game, but Barb and Aaron turned it around on us the second game. The rematch was scheduled for Saturday night.
Saturday we were all up pretty early and lit out for our respective activities. Barb and Beth went to the Muskegon Wastewater Treatment facility to do some birdwatching, while Aaron and I headed to Fennville for breakfast at the Blue Goose Inn, then on to the Fenn Valley Winery for some sampling and shopping. After buying too many bottles we headed to Saugatuck to see what was new. The crowds were fairly thick but not quite as bad as I remember them from last year. We wandered around for a bit just to get our bearings, and gazed lustfully at the huge yachts moored at the waterfront. Aaron wanted a Duck ride, so we went and got tickets for the 3pm departure. A Duck is an amphibious truck with open air seating for about 20 people or so. It does a tour of Saugatuck and Douglas by road, then rolls into the water for a harbor tour back to Saugatuck. It was a lot of fun, and the driver entertained everyone with true and not-so-true stories about the local area. Afterwards we made an appointment for 15 minute massages next to the Blue Rhino bookstore and got our various knots rubbed out. After a side trip to Kilwin’s for some chocolate we bellied up to the bar in the Tabor Hill wine store and did some more sampling. We walked out with another three bottles: a Kerner (which we’d never heard of before, but was very yummy), a Traminette, and a bottle of their new ice wine.
We were supposed to meet Beth and Barb at Coral Gables for dinner on the outside deck facing the water, but after tramping around the swamps of the waste treatment facility they were feeling a bit grungy and begged off. We had our meal then wandered around a bit more before heading back to the Pines and the Hand & Foot rematch. Beth and I emerged victorius, then we all headed to bed. The next morning Beth left early since she had a lot to do that day before going to the Allman Brothers concert so Aaron, Barb, and I went to breakfast at the Golden Onion, the restaurant in Sandy Pines. We left at about noon to head back to Troy, stopping to get Aaron’s car from his office parking lot. I took a nap for a couple hours then mrimp showed up with his cute friend Mike from Phoenix in tow, and the four of us went to Bastone in Royal Oak. When we arrived we hooked up with a gaming buddy of ours from City of Heroes, Drew aka Tug Thumper, who is in town for the week giving software training. After a good dinner we wandered RO a bit, stopping in at the homosexual supply store (Chosen Books) to peruse the cards, comics, and porn. We said goodnight to Drew and the four of us headed back to our place to split the bottle of ice wine that A2Andy had given us, and watch Mythbusters. After Eric and Mike left we slumped at the computer for about an hour then headed to bed.
I had a weird dream (big surprise) that I was with a small group of soldiers stationed in some abandoned coastal prison in some nameless country. A nuke had just gone off and even though we didn’t see it, we were close enough to all get lethal doses of radiation. For a couple minutes we were all down on the ground, barely able to move, then slowly got back to our feet. We debated what to do next. No one was coming to rescue us and our only future was a horrible death from radiation sickness. We decided to check out on our own terms and, one by one, each soldier stepped in front of the squad’s high-speed machine gun. It had such a high rate of fire that, instead of the usual machine gun sound, it made a loud buzz like a Phalanx missile defense turret. It was a painless instant death but, when it came to be my turn, I couldn’t do it. The squad leader understood and gave me a cyanide capsule so I could go that route. I debated it for a couple minutes, but put it in my pocket and started running through the building. What followed was a long sequence of running through a seemingly endless industrial corridor. Large bundles of pipes and conduits alternated with steel tanks, ventilation grilles and ducts, and sections of brick-lined alley. After what seemed like hours I finally reached the end: a blank brick wall with a wide open skylight above it. I stepped into the rectangle of light and jumped straight up, soaring through the roof of the building and seeing all of it spread out below me. Then the alarm went off.