West Bay Kayaking, Hotlanta Hanging, and a Quiet Return

In the days leading up to the road trip home for a week of in-office work, we felt a final kayaking trip was needed as a see-you-soon goodbye to the mighty M.  We put in at a small, very new beachside park near the dock of the Tall Ship Manitou on West Bay in search of a shallow wreck that was very close to shore, but the setting of the sun prevented it from being seen, so we poked about inspecting a couple of tugboats.  I don’t know why tugboats are badass, but everyone knows that they are, and that truth is driven home upon closer inspection.

The journey to GA was thankfully uneventful, while the job/family visit itself was just the opposite: eventful and productive.  Being able to see my family members was and is good for the soul; watching Jackson and my nephew Evan playing while in the home of my loving parents remains a singular joy in my life (seeing my brothers and their significant others is okay too ;-).  A blissfully indulgent and savory potluck-style lunch welcomed us back in the office (also for b’day celebrators like John Moore – just an old bag o’ snacks, now, buddy \m/), followed thereafter by Chick-Fil-A minis/Krispy Kreme doughnut breakfasts.  But what would a Clifton visit be without a night of revelry? A Thursday night get-together at Cinco attended by friends made both inside and outside of the workplace proved full of abandon, helped along by pitchers and the musician’s renditions of personal (in this case non-metal) faves like Alabama and Hank Jr.

A safe 1000-mile highway ride bookended our little quest.  Making it home mid-day Sunday, we walked down to the Bay and felt the cooling breeze swaying the trees of the Marina whilst creating the whitecapped Lake Michigan waves.  A Harvest Moon Oatmeal Stout at the Mackinaw Brewing Company brought this last day of travel to a quiet close.

We awoke the next morning to a brisk and refreshing outside temperature that had made its way through our floor’s wooden planks, and I knew that if combined with coffee we’d welcome its arrival.  My sluggish steps down the stairwell to the kitchen awarded my ears with the sounds of church bells on the wind,  wistfully acknowledging the 8am hour, and the soothing, unassuming symphony of a small city stirring (mingled, of course, with the warm tones of Jackson’s laughter).

I am home.

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