Monday, January 21, 2008
The last few days the bitter cold temperature and cut through the bone wind chill prompted me to post these photos taken last August on a sunny, warm summer day in Grand Haven, Michigan. We walked along the pier and watched the people fishing while a few young men jumping off the pier into the cool water. Like many of the towns along the lakes, Grand Haven has its famous red lighthouse and well known as one of the summer destinations. There are campgrounds nearby that provide affordable vacation for families on limited budget. Plenty of summer cottages and luxury condos are also available to tourists with deep pockets. After a swim in the lake or a walk on the beach, a light lunch at Pronto Pups, then a banana boat ice cream would make a perfect summer day.
The menu, a Pronto Pup and a small soda, is the same as in 1947 when Mr. Chuck Nelson started the business. The 7 by 9 foot stand was an inspiration from a similar hot dog stand Mr. Nelson saw in Florida. The hot dog on a stick in deep-fried dough was only 15 cents in 1947 and a small drink was 5 cents. As shown in the above photo, in 2007 it is $1.50 for the corn dog and 50 cents or a dollar for the drink. The stand is open for business during the summer, usually from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends. Our typical order would be two pups for each of us, mine with a little of ketchup on both sides while my husband loves heavy mustard on his.
My husband mentioned that as a child he had a toy of exact model as the above boat. We saw the boat while walking along the boardwalk. We did not realize that the owner was on the boat until we got a little too close to look inside. We apologized and complimented how nice his boat was. The owner smiled and began a lengthy conversation with my husband about the boat while I stood by, pretended to listen but could not understand any of the technical terms in their conversation.
My husband and I have another tradition that whenever we visited Grand Haven, we would listen to the Phantom of Opera music while driving along Lakeshore Drive (photo below) to Holland, Michigan. (Holland is famous for its Tulip Time Festival.) Matured trees line the roads, providing romantic atmosphere during the fall when the leaves change to bright bursting orange and red colors. The homes are on wooded lot and there are many summer cottages, some with rustic looks tucking in between McMansions owned by wealthy corporate executives from Chicago.
My sister, CH and I dipped our toes in the inviting cool water after a walk around the Dunn's River Park in Jamaica. It was one of the ports on our 7-day Western Caribbean cruise in 2006. We connected in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, after CH's flight from NYC and mine from St. Louis. Thank God for the technology of cell phones, otherwise we would have a hard time finding each other as our flights arriving at two different terminals. The next day, we sailed to Key West, Cozumel, then to Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios, Jamaica and back to Ft. Lauderdale. We are planning our Annual Just the Sisters trip. Not sure where it would be, just to get away and spend quality time between the sisters. The photo below was me in Grand Cayman showing my snow white arms and legs.