And I'm Not Leavin'

10:12 PM

   I love a road trip. What I love even more is a road trip in which I don't have to drive. I love sitting next to someone while they worry about the road. I like to read and sing along with the radio and let my dog climb into my lap. I like to put the windows down and let my hair spin crazily around my face. I like to talk while my boyfriend drives, and I don't  even mind that he gives perfunctury "uh huhs" and "yeahs" because he does it at just the right moment. I like to get ice cream and eat it lazily, letting it drip down my chin and make my fingers sticky. I like bubblegum ice cream best and I love eating it while riding on the passenger side while Johnny Cash croons from my speakers and fresh air rushes through my window.

Friday night was carefully planned, but I was pleasantly surprised to meet my boyfriend already parked in the driveway when I got home from work. I run a classic nine-to-fiver while the entreneurial boyfriend kicks more unusual hours, but there he was, still sitting on his motorcycle when I pulled in. I forgot about my plans to sweep the kitchen and make the bed before we left. I just grabbed my duffel bag and roller blades and threw the mess into my trunk. I loaded the puppies and after a quick double check on the locks, we were off.

Usually the next part of the story would begin with "three hours later," but you know, too many cool things happened to skim over the trip that it's almost disrespectful to move on so quickly.

For one hot minute it rained. A second later, the sun reminded the clouds that there place is anywhere but here.
Rain immediately followed by sun? Yeah, that's a perfect recipe for....

An hour later and we're cruisin' sixty, singing "Ring of Fire" together in perfect cacophony.
You'll be John and I'll be June. Any day of the week.
I gave up on getting any reading done. Instead I let my smallest puppy park himself in my lap while Ryan and I laughed and talked and sang.

We saw a deer. No big thing. Then we saw....what. the. heck? Is that a...? It is!

We saw a bear. Actually, we saw two. One made it safely across the road while the other turned back. Ryan pulled the car over without a second thought and with a draw that would put John Wayne to shame, I whipped out the camera and started clicking away. It was a pure novelty. I'd never seen a bear outside of a zoo and it was incredible.

My German Shepherd about lost his head barking at the poor bear. I like to talk rationally to my dogs, assuming that they speak perfect Engish. I reminded him that the bear would whup his hind if it really came down to it. I'm still not convinced that it was for any lack of understanding that he ignored me. We were only an hour away at this point and the final moments were filled with too much anticipation to do anything but count down the miles.

Finally, we made it. Frankfort, our very own up north. It was barely 8:30PM. Plenty of time to hit the beach and eat an ice cream. I put Jack on his leash and off we went.

When there is not difference between the sky and the water, all is right with the world. I'd like to think that Heaven is momentarily extending itself to it's source.

Oh right, I almost forgot: because I enjoy cheesy things.

Then I forgot about the existance of my camera. I do this all the time. I get so wrapped up in just enjoying that I forget to document my life because I'm too busy living it. There is no regret it that, however there are not photographs to record our trip to Traverse City. No permanence to the delish-eeee breakfast for late lunch we had at the Omelette Shop. There is no way to show you the incredible TC Bay or the artisenal craft show in the middle of the street. I was too blissed to do anything but breathe it all in.

Sunday evening rolled along all too quickly, as it always does. This time the packing was slow and the leaving was more than making sure the doors were locked. Even the dogs were down. They slept the whole way home. There were no bears or rainbows. Instead there was Harry Potter and The Killers--distractions from the real life that was waiting for us on the other side of midnight.

You know the weird thing though? As much as I hate to leave, there really is no place like home. I walked into the kitchen and smelled the scent of us. The humid hot breeze of air that was locked in all weekend was saturated with the smell of the way we live. It smelled like a tiny two person family with a few dogs. It smelled like two people who love each other and don't mind a little dust. Within ten minutes were were all crowded on the best, seconds from crashing. We were home.

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