Tag Archives: Michigan

Entering The Vortex


I’m three to five hours from entering THE VORTEX. The windows are down, the music is cranked, it’s hotter than heck, and I am dancing in my seat. I may not be entering the vortex at that moment, in fact, I’m driving in the opposite direction, but the Vortex knows I’ll be entering soon. Just to make sure I don’t change my mind, it calls to me like a sweet siren. It sings all my favorite party songs through the radio. One after another. I’m acting like a sixteen year old with a freshly minted license that promises a summer night of freedom and adventure. If the truck driver stuck behind me in the construction traffic could see me better, he’d classify me as a forty year old having a mid-life crises. But, I don’t care. He’s never been to Garezers. The music and the hot air whipping hair into my face promise a Garezers filled with late night music and adventure. A place you never want to leave once you enter. The vortex known as Garezers.

Since the first time I entered the Vortex, I knew, the entry is important. You don’t just drive into Garezers. After all, Garezers isn’t just a camp ground. It isn’t even just a Latvian cultural center. It is a VORTEX that calls people home from California to Latvia (even as far as Australia). When you enter Garezers, you make a pledge to dance. To sing. To keep people awake until 6 am! You don’t drive into the Vortex, you make an Entrance.

I’ve had some spectacular entrances into the vortex. Back in 1996, the news of my engagement to PK (he proposed a half hour earlier) spread from the entrance to the lake before we got the entire Blazer through the gate. ABBA piloted us into Dzintar after a 12 hour pilgrimages from Pennsylvania. Maybe a few not so loud entrances if we were lucky enough to have sleeping babies.

Now, this minute, I anxiously wait for my ride to Garezers. I anticipate my entrance into the vortex. There’s only one thing to do, act like we are in the Vortex. Let’s dance!

Tell me, how do you enter the vortex known as Garezers?

Check out this YouTube video. These people know what I’m talking about. It’s not my video so I can’t control the angles.

And, I can’t resist this face!


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Filed under Michigan

Look, No Shoes.

It’s time for vacation!

“We are stopping at the next rest area in 2 miles to use the bathroom. Get everyone ready to go in,” my husband informs me.

I looked down at the floor of the car and see nothing but clean grey carpet.

“Where are my shoes?” I wondered out loud.

Back up about a couple of hours…

When I got home from an excruciating half-day of work, I threw down my dress shoes (Merrell Serene Gloves), took the obligatory pee, and climbed into the car without recognizing I was shoeless.

Being barefoot wasn’t going to be much of a problem for me, if I was desperate, like needing to pee at the rest area, I’d borrow my son’s gigantic shoes. Most of the time we’d be at Gaŗezers Latvian camp. No shoes required.

If I hadn’t planned a spectacular day in Saugatuk to show off the spenders of Michigan to my kids, I would have just said forget it. But, I was wary of entering the Coral Gables restaurant without shoes. Fortunately, my sister loaned me a pair her of sandals.

Unfortunately, those sandals sucked! As in, every time I took a step I made a farting noise from the suction between the arch of my foot and the sole of the shoe. So much for sophisticated browsing through rich, quaint shops. I tried carrying the sandals except when inside of stores or restaurants but it was a 100+ deg F day. I only went five steps on the docks at the yacht club before feeling a burn blister form. I was stuck wearing the sucking shoes.

Ironically, a few days later, my husband and I went to watch a friend’s son’s band play at a bar near the camp. I wore the sucking shoes. 90% of the college kids in the bar with their sun-kissed noses and beach wear were shoeless. Well, when in Rome!

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Filed under Barefoot, family, Michigan, minimalist shoes, personality flaws

A Snowy Paradise

If there is no snow, you’ve got to go!
To the snow that is. Sunrise on Lake Superior.

When you have to go… You hope one of theses beauties shows up on the trail. Porta-potty intersection on Trail 452.

Everyone wants to go to the beach on vacation. So do we! Whitefish Point, Lake Superior, MI

These waves are so cool, four can hang ten at the same time.

I hope you weren’t looking for a place to park your car.

How far is it to home? Can I run that far? Probably not even in a whole year.

I spend all winter hoping and praying for snow. After a few days in Paradise, I’m satisfied. Bring on spring and all that barefoot weather!

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Filed under Michigan, snow