The Big Trip Home, Day 5 – Not Enough Hours In The Day

Ah, the restorative powers of sleep.  I love sleep.  I wish I could marry sleep.  I often tell people I should have been a cat because I enjoy eating, sleeping, and occasionally like to play with a ball of yarn.  I digress…

Monday began with a visit from Kim, a long time friend from my days at Meijer.  She’s one of those people whom I didn’t see enough when I was still in Kalamazoo, so now that I’m a thousand miles away I miss her even more.  I can honestly say I did not enjoy my time in the retail industry, but one good thing came out of it: some very good friendships.  Kim is one of them.  In fact, Kim was happy to help out recently by checking in on my parents for me since I was unable to be there in person.  Thanks again, Kim…Love you lots ‘n’ lots!

The common theme for this trip is: there’s not enough hours in the day.  Today was a prime example.  My time with Kim quickly came to an end, and I was out the door on my way to my “lunch date.”  But first, I had to pop in to the Harold Zeigler auto dealership to say a quick hello to Christy.  If you don’t know Christy, she has one of those faces that just lights up the room, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen her in a bad mood.  She’s always so positive and upbeat…it’s really quite nauseating.  Just kidding, Christy.  Miss you!

Back on the road, I swung by Amerifirst Home Mortgage to pick up my buddy, Dan, then the two of us made our way to Battle Creek to meet up with his wife, Sonya.  Dan and Sonya are one of those couples you just know are going to be celebrating their 60th anniversary one day.  They’re awesome individuals, and are even better together.  We had lunch at Arcadia Brewing Company in downtown Battle Creek.  If you’ve never been, I suggest you go.  Not just for the beer they make there, but they’ve also got a pretty decent menu as well.

Once again, time passed too quickly, and Sonya had to get back to work (as did Dan for that matter) so we said our goodbyes.  After taking Dan back to Amerifirst, it was now time for me to interrupt my vacation with a little work…

About a month ago, I was at a function in OKC and the topic was the development of the Oklahoma River area.  There are already two boathouses, and the area is home to both the US Olympic and Paralympic teams, but a lot more is planed for the near future.  Including a zip-line and ropes course.  Through talking to a few people involved, I learned the company who will be doing the ropes course is none other than Ropes Courses Inc, in Allegan, MI.  Since I was in the area, I decided to drop in and introduce myself and offer my hotel services the next time they came to OKC for their project.  That’s me: always looking for leads.

On my way back from my sales call, I passed through Otsego.  I’d have been remiss if I hadn’t stopped to see Jim Deerwester.  Jim is another friendship from my Meijer days.  Anyone who knows Jim will tell you God broke the old after he made Jim.  There are those who will tell you the mold was already cracked before He made him, but that’s a different story. 🙂  Jim hasn’t changed after all these years, and it was great to see him again.

I didn’t dare make a trip back home and not see my friend, Wendy, at Parchment City Hall.  Though we’ve kept in touch via email, it was good to see her in person and get to share a laugh or two.  In the 16 or so years I lived in Parchment, Wendy had helped me many times, and I miss getting to see her on a (semi)regular basis.

Keeping with the Meijer theme of the day, I tried to surprise Becky Bil, but failed. (hopefully I will get to see her next time around)  I was, however, able to surprise “Sandy O.”  When she came to her door and saw me standing there, she was just slightly less shocked than my mom was.  After taking a second to absorb the fact that I was really there, she let me in.  Shortly after that, Jason came home from work, and the three of us were able to catch up on a lot of time that had passed since we last saw one another.

Speaking of time passing, it was once again getting away from me.  Sadly, I had to leave O & J-Man, and head across town to my “dinner date.”

Nichole is one of several high school friends with whom I was lucky enough to reconnect at our reunion a few years ago. (has it been that long already?)  Like Kim whom I mentioned earlier, Nichole also helped my parents in my absence recently.  She and I met for dinner at a restaurant I’d never been before, and unfortunately I can’t remember the name.  The food was good, but the company was better.  They say “laughter is the best medicine.”  If that be true, then I should be healthy for a good long time.

Coley-Cole and I said good night and parted ways.  The night was slipping away fast, and I had one more stop to make…

My best friend, Jack Frost, had done me a solid, as they say.  You see, when I moved last year I found out (after the fact) that the moving company was not permitted to transport alcohol.  At all.  Whatsoever.  I also learned it is a felony to ship alcohol to Oklahoma. (side note: this also means I can’t go online and order wine from ANYWHERE, and have it sent to me in OKC)  This meant all my wine and liquor had to stay in Kalamazoo.  Not only did Jack agree to hold it for me, but he also agreed to not drink it all.  That, dear readers, is true friendship.

So at long last I was back in Kzoo, and able to reclaim that which was mine.  I did not, however, remember having so much alcohol.  A partial list included:

  • 8 bottles of White Zinfandel
  • 3 bottles of Rosenblum Sirah
  • 1 bottle of St Julian Port
  • 1 bottle of Malbec
  • 1 bottle of Tempo Vino Back Currant Wine
  • 1 bottle of Tempo Vino dessert wine
  • 1 bottle of Willamette Pinot Noir
  • 5 bottle of Heineken Dark beer (I don’t remember buying that, but whatever…)
  • 3 bottles of Mackinac beer
  • 3 bottles of Founders Centennial IPA (score!)
  • 2 bottles of Bell’s Winter White (score again!)
  • 2 bottles of Smirnoff
  • 1 bottle of Absolut
  • 2 bottles of Jack Daniels
  • 1 bottle of Johnny Walker Black
  • 3 various types of Bacardi
  • 1 bottle of Amaretto
  • 1 bottle of Jose Cuervo 1800

Last but not least, the two prizes for which I was longing: my bottle of Chateau Beaulon – Pineau Des Charentes, and my bottle of Dumonte Verde Noce.  The former I bought in Traverse City while visiting my friend, Angella.  The latter, I bought to win a bet…which is a whole other story.

Jack and I were able to chat for a bit, but not nearly long enough.  Either I needed more hours in the day, or more days of vacation…or both. 

I headed back to my hotel with all my regained hooch and went to bed, knowing the next morning meant I’d be leaving Kalamazoo again.  It had been a fun visit, but far too short.  I saw some people I had sorely missed, but didn’t get to see many many more.  Hopefully I will get to come back again soon.

I love OKC, but I miss my birthplace.  Lest there be any doubt: Yes, there really is a Kalamazoo.

2 thoughts on “The Big Trip Home, Day 5 – Not Enough Hours In The Day

  1. I wish it had worked out to meet up with you Enrique. I felt bad about cancelling. However, I would have felt worse if I had given you Katie’s stomach flu. 3 days with the runs would not have made for a pleasant trip home, XD. Sounds like you had a great trip home.

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