After being on vacation 10 days, it’s taken me almost 2 days of intermittent poking around to catch up on the various goings on at TFL. This is one busy bunch of bakers! I especially enjoyed the JMonkey/TattooedTonka sourdough starter event and the reminiscing by others about how they got started with making bread.
Since we weren’t pressed for time, we decided to take a train from Kansas City to Chicago, and then from Chicago to Grand Rapids, Michigan, which is the end of the line for that Amtrak route. Our oldest daughter, her husband, and their son traveled with us. Our not-quite-5-year-old grandson, already a veteran air traveler, thought that riding the train was just about the coolest thing he has done so far. The generous seating arrangements definitely are more comfortable than most cars or aircraft for a similar duration trip, not to mention the ability to move around without banging into your fellow travelers. If they would make high-speed lines more widely available here in the U.S., I’d definitely use rail more often.
Most of our time in Michigan was spent visiting family but we did manage to play tourist for a couple of days. We visited Mackinac Island one day and did all of the usual sightseeing/fudge eating/T-shirt buying stuff. Hmm; guess that makes us “fudgies”. That’s a northern Michigan term for tourists, especially those from downstate, as well as a nod to the fudge shops that proliferate in most of the towns up there that draw tourists. Our grandson was thrilled by all of the horses that are used to transport goods and people by wagon or carriage, since cars and trucks are banned from the island. While one is less likely to be mowed down by oncoming traffic while crossing the street, it’s just as necessary to watch where you put your feet as it is to keep an eye out for carriages or bicycles. We also bought some pasties from a store in Mackinaw City and took them back for one evening’s dinner with my wife’s brother’s family. Yum! Sorry, Mini-Oven, we never did make it across the bridge into the U.P. Guess that will have to wait for another trip. The other touristy thing we did was to tour some of the wineries on Old Mission peninsula north of Traverse City on another day. There were only one or two in the region 30 years ago but the numbers have been growing in recent years and some of them are turning out some very drinkable wines.
No baking was attempted while we were away, so I’m definitely looking forward to firing up the oven this weekend. I was afraid that I might actually have to buy some bread at the supermarket when we got back into town, but was relieved to find some of my own in the freezer. (Help me! I’m turning into a bread snob!) We did get to enjoy some other folks’ baking, though. My mom made a batch of bismarks for the crew after a long day of cutting, splitting and stacking firewood for next winter. A friend brought both dilly buns and home-baked hamburger buns for a cookout on another evening. All were wonderful and none survived for very long.
Vacations are funny things. I never want them to end, but I’m always happy to get back to my own place and sleep in my own bed. Okay, so maybe I’m the funny thing. Anyway, I’m back home and happy with that and with the trip.