Sunday, May 22, 2011

Back in Michigan!

It's finally here. I'm back in Michigan!! Rachael and I flew in yesterday afternoon; we both met in Atlanta and had the same flight back to Grand Rapids. I'd missed Rachael. We spent a year living together before she moved to Florida in October of last year for her new assignment in the Navy.

Neither of us have been home in Michigan since last summer and it was time for a much needed vacation. I was really itching to get out of Georgia for a week! Oh how great it is that my "job" at the bar is easy to get vacation from. A co-worker took my happy hour shifts for the week, and I put my Etsy shop on vacation. I love being self-employed.

After a family get together at my mom's house all day today, Rachael and I took a quick trip down to Pere Marquette for some photos. I have to share with you all how beautiful my hometown is! I am so lucky to have grown up a mile away from Lake Michigan until the day I went away to college. It is so peaceful.

When I lived here and I was upset or depressed, I'd come and sit in the sand, bury my legs, listen to the waves. It was a great way to clear my head and solve whatever bothered me. People that live near large bodies of water have no reason to be upset! Seriously. I miss this lake like crazy!

This beach is about two miles from my mother's house. It is strange how the beach looks just a little different every time I come home. The water receded about 100 feet this year. Last year this beach was so much feet closer to the boardwalk and where I'm standing was covered in water. The water filtration plant for Norton Shores is nearby and the city of Muskegon gets their city water from the lake. Maybe that has something to do with it. I don't know.

Although it was a little overcast we still had our fun. It's chilly here compared to what I'm used to in Georgia. Rachael and I are both very spoiled living in such warm climates. I think I'm adjusting pretty well. But since it was in the 60s and breezy, Rach was freezing!

I love chasing seagulls! So much fun. I like to yell and squak at them. Good thing there weren't many people around or I probably would have gotten some funny looks. Hehe. Seagulls are strange and no one likes them (unless you count the thrill of chasing them). They're nice in pictures but horrible if you're trying to enjoy a day at the beach.

Toes in the sand! But ew, zebra muscles shells. Such a nasty pest in the Great Lakes. They were brought over here on the bottoms of freight ships, and they multiply like crazy since this isn't their natural habitat. They have been a nuisance in the Great Lakes for decades!

Sometimes I wish I still lived here. This (Lake Michigan) and family are the only highlights of this town. It's so sad coming home to a depressed Michigan. Jobs are non-existent! Unemployment is still around 20%. The recession hit this town really hard.

My brother told me yesterday he read a statistic that said 50% of people age 20-28 have moved out of Muskegon. I think it has to be more than that! We went to a local bar last night, a Saturday night, and there were less than 15 people there! Ten years ago it would have been packed. I think I spotted someone I knew from high school but otherwise everyone was in their 30s. Michigan is going to see a huge hole in it's work force in the next 10-15 years. I think this town will either shrink and have more problems, or start to have a resurgence and a lot more people will move back. Hopefully the latter.

I do know one thing, I can't move back here until something changes. So get your act together, Michigan, I MISS YOU!

For now I'll just enjoy my time in Michigan and try not to notice it's problems. I'm so happy to see my mother! Ohmigoodness I missed her! I burst into tears when she met us at the airport. I don't know how I've managed to stay sane without seeing her for the past 10 months. And I know she is happy to have us home, even if just for a little while.

Rachael, looking beautiful as ever. I bought this dress at Plato's closet a few weeks ago for $6! I am so good at finding bargains! It looks so much better on Rachael than it does on me, so it is now hers. Who am I kidding though, even if I had just let her wear the dress, I wasn't going to get it back. Sisterly "borrowing" means taking and now getting it back for months or years.

Boy that water was C-H-I-L-L-Y!!

Funniest thing on our flight to Grand Rapids. The gentleman sitting next to me and I had some great conversation, and Rachael was sitting in front of him. She turned around to ask to borrow my iPhone (she wanted to listen to Florence and the Machine, love them!) and he said, "BOY, you two realllly look alike!" She's a blonder (even though she identifies herself brunette) version of myself.

And look at the lengths she goes to for my blog. Such a great sister. She's freezing in her beautiful dress and getting sandy knees. We have a week full of exciting blogs entries planned! She'd be a great business partner if only I made good money and she wasn't in the Navy!

Tomorrow we were going to take a bike ride around Muskegon Lake and up into North Muskegon, an amazing 15 mile ride along the most beautiful boardwalks, but it's "going to be cold" so I think we'll go thrifting instead. I'm on a mission to find a little hat to go with my vintage yellow dress for the wedding we are attending this weekend. A little headband style hat to compliment the style of the 60s dress.

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  1. I hope you have a good time visiting your family!!! I have almost the EXACT same skirt as you!!! i bought it for $0.75.... it was a long, awkard length that i cut! i wore it for easter and got lots of compliments!!!i love it!! it'll be on my blog very shortly :D

  2. The brand of my skirt is "Idioms". Is that who made yours? I bought mine in Grand Haven, MIchigan last summer and my mom and sisters made fun of how "ugly" it was, but it's my favorite skirt! It's a little bit and makes my hips look bigger than they really are but the color is amazing, and I don't mind the illusion of curves ha.