Thursday, October 15, 2009

Comedy of Errors

If my vacation this year needed a title, that would be it.

The leaves barely changed, and we were there 10 days, arriving on the 4th and leaving on the 14th. It was still 80% green. I've never seen green trees in the UP that late in the year.

It snowed the last four days we were there.

On a particularly enthralling trail in the magical woods, I saw this and didn't immediately recognize what it was, given how out of place it was.
Women can be so gross sometimes. If you have to change a tampon in the woods, dispose of the applicator appropriately, please!

I got eaten by some of the only quicksand in the entire state of Michigan. Twice.

While walking on the beach, I met the scariest bug I'd ever seen. A giant water bug. It almost made me cry, I was so scared of it.

On the last night there, while whining about how few wildlife sightings we had, a coyote popped out of the side of the road and I almost hit it. NOT the kind of wildlife sightings I had in mind!

B.E. brought with his laptop so I could stay in touch with people and blog about our adventures while we were up there, but he happened to forget the power cord. We had to buy one from Walmart for $90 in order to stay connected while we were escaping reality. WTF?

I spent an entire day driving all over Munising and Marquette looking for specific granola, which was only to be found in a tiny little food co-op, because I was too stupid to bring mine from home, but I made sure to purchase two full boxes of my favorite Cheerios for $4/box at home to bring with, which happened to be on sale up there for half that price.

Though I packed an outfit (plus one) for every day we were there, I had only two pairs of pants that fit me. I spent 8 days out of 10 running around in droopy pants, constantly pulling them up, looking like a total ghetto loser in pants that hung off my ass. Lovely.

We were totally unprepared for the weather to be so cold so early in the fall, and not only did I suffer from terrible dry skin (too much exposure to the elements and too much dry heat in the car and motel room), I actually got windburned. I am now cracked and red and look much like I went to the South Pole for a weekend getaway.

Wisconsin is making such good use of their stimulus money to fix the roads that I actually got lost in fucking Oconto (where you cannot get lost -- it's far too small a town) on the way home because of all the ridiculous detours and construction.

And worst of all, I saved, as a treat for the last day full day we were there, the Pictured Rocks boat cruise out on Lake Superior, only to have the single worst experience of the trip.

First, I had to stand on the pier for 20 minutes in the bitter cold, being whipped by 40 mph winds off the lake, to ensure we'd be first in line to board the boat so I could get the best seat, which is the upper level, first row, far right seat. And I was first in line, but it began to rain while I was waiting and I nearly turned back.

As we boarded the boat and I made a bee-line for my preferred seat, it started to hail. Pea-sized hail. Billions of them. We hunkered down in our primo seats, open and exposed to the weather, and waited for the storm to pass, afraid to go below deck for cover and risk losing our seats. We were the only fools on the upper deck in the hailstorm. It hailed for 15 solid minutes. We were pelted with mini ice cubes for so long that I lost my goddamn mind and started to laugh maniacally at the absurdity of it all, and the harder I tried to stop laughing, the harder I laughed. Good thing we were alone up there. However, we were drenched, and then we were on our way out to sea, soaking wet, in winds that were 40 mph in the protection of the bay, likely much worse out in the open water. It would take 12 full hours of being indoors after the cruise for me to finally feel like I was warm again.

When the boat left the dock, we were forewarned that there were 5- to 8-foot waves, and if they were any more than 5 feet, we'd have to return because too many people would be throwing up on a 3-hour cruise in 5-footers. I laughed. Wimps. They better not ruin my cruise. With every wave in the bay I said "Wheee!" like a kid on a roller coaster. Guess who got violently seasick halfway through the cruise? Me. I was, literally, hanging over the side of the boat in case I got sick, which I didn't because I was clenching my throat closed so tight and fighting it. We cruised dramatically near to some of the most breathtaking natural sculptures in the world, waves pushing us dangerously closer still, and I was doubled over the railing on the opposite side of the boat, still in my primo seat, begging my guts not to empty. For over an hour. Days later I'm sitting still on dry land and I still feel nauseated when I think about it.

And then there was the last little issue. I wrote a post while in Munising in which I mentioned our room number in the motel. I thought nothing of it since I didn't mention where we were staying. However, if you read my travel blog, I guess it's fairly obvious, which is probably why I gave NONE OF MY FAMILY OR FRIENDS our room number or contact information, but the motel room phone rang multiple times with hang-ups when I answered it. When I asked at the office about the calls, the callers were dialing the room direct and not asking for me at the desk. Isn't that cute? Some stranger was calling me at my room while on vacation. AM I NOT ACCESSIBLE ENOUGH HERE, PEOPLE? You can leave me comments and email me. Is that not enough? Sheesh. I suppose it might not have been a silly blog reader. Maybe it was just some idiot misdialing. Or some kid in another room just hitting the 2 on their phone repeatedly until it rang in my room. Whatever. It was just another irritation at the end of a long line of irritations.

So, lessons learned are these: check the weather, respect the weather, and don't laugh in its face; try on your clothes before you pack them; bring clothes for EVERY possible scenario; bring the obscure foods you can't live without, and if space is a challenge, wait to buy the stuff that's available everywhere; Lake Superior is a force to be reckoned with -- reckon at your own risk; wildlife is seen most often squashed on the side of the road for a reason; it puts the lotion on its skin; turn off the ringer on the phone if no one who you know has your contact information.


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