I usually avoid joining the mass exodus from southeastern Michigan that heads "Up North" on holiday weekends, but an invitation to stay at a friend's summer getaway was too good to pass up. Get out the cut-off shorts and tacky shirts- it's time to become a fudge-buying, poor-tipping, highway-clogging Tourist!
After living in five states and traversing through another thirty over the years, I can confidently say northern Michigan is as beautiful as any place in North America. Opal blue waters gently tickle the pebbled beaches. Virgin beech forests cover wooded knolls. Panoramic views fill the wide-open expanse on every horizon.
It's a world where people are friendly by choice and missing from the local headlines are stories of murder, freeway wrecks, and urban decline. Over breakfast at the nearby mom and pop kettle, the locals talk about cutting firewood before the weather turns and recent sign of buck rubs on the maple saplings. Seasonal tourons like myself are loved and hated in the same breath for our economic benefits and lack of manners and decorum.
With the help of a MegaMillions jackpot, I'll be giving up my evil tourist ways and joining the choir at the Church of Our Lady of the Lakefront Rich and Wealthy. I'm not a materialistic guy, but if ever get a few nickels in my pocket, I'll add this sunset-view hacienda to my other homes in Sedona and Jackson Hole. The guy who occasionally stays at this little "cottage" owns a chain of tire stores. Every time you buy a new set of treads for your hooptee, you help pay his winter heating bill.
But until the day my lucky numbers hit, I'll have to be satis-fied with million dollar views from the nearby public access instead. The wait will be worth it. And when I hit the big one, y'all will be on the invite list for the biggest party ever held on the Lake Michigan shore.