So we took a couple of days off work and pulled Henna out of school in order to take one Hennacornoelious fall trip. We were going to check out Great Smoky Mountain National Park but the stupid Republicans shut down the government. Don’t feel too bad for us, we’ve been to the park before. But think of all those tourists coming in from overseas (and all that money they were going to spend at local hotels, diners, etc). Will they and their wallets come back to the U.S?
We decided instead to go up the coast then down the spine of Michigan in a sort of irregular, 960 mile circle (think a thought bubble with Northwest Indiana the stem). Saw and learned a lot over the four nights we were gone beginning with the fact that people in Michigan are lazy when it comes to naming streets. “7 Mile Road,” “4 Mile Road,” “10 Mile Road,” and, wait for it, “14 Mile Road” are just not clever street names. Do you remember the Eminem movie “8 Mile Road (which refers to a road in Detroit)?” Maybe that began some sort of weird street naming trend in Michigan?
Where we began was in a candy shop in Grand Haven. My friend Audra let it slip out that her husband’s family owns a candy and liquor store in their hometown of Grand Haven. I imagined a little strip mall shop that tasted Michigan wines. I was wrong on both counts as the shop, Fortinos, appeared almost as the center piece to what is really a cute little harbor town (they also don’t sell Michigan wines). Fortinos has been in business (and a part of the Fortino family) since 1907 (or since about the last time the Cubs won the World Series). As candy shops go this one is pretty awesome with rows and rows of sugar options offered behind glass. Checking out took a while as Corey and Henna kept adding to the bounty. Sugared up we then moved further north to Ludington and summited our first dune of the trip. Noel October 15, 2013