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Monday, June 4, 2012

Weekend Wedding Getaway to the U.P. of Michigan

After our whirlwind Friday of getting our accepted offer on the sale of our home, we tossed the dogs and our clothes into the motorhome. I had pre-cooked up three ice cream buckets full of calico beans, and three ice cream buckets of tuna pasta salad to help with the buffet.  Plus a nesco roaster to heat the beans up in the next morning.

We had an Up Nort Wedding to get to!

We giggled and dreamed and marveled and planned as we drove along in our motorhome... soon it will be OUR only home!  We will be FULL-TIMERS!  WOWZER!!!  We have been planning this for 15 years, and now it's all come about!   Steve can't retire just yet, but we are going to enjoy having the home sold, and being able to free up our budget for more travel as soon as he retires at age 55.  We can't realistically keep the house and travel at the same time. We will be moving the rig to park it near a friend's cottage on the bay, close to Steve's work till he can retire the first week of May 2013.  But we may sneak off to parts south for a number of weeks to burn up some vacation and escape the worst of the winter temps too.

Back to the weekend..... About 120 miles away, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, our friends Joann and Mark had a daughter getting married.  Their kids and our kids are very close, and consider themselves cousins.  They all call me Auntie Karen and we spent many years camping together during the summers.  Sleepover visits for weeks at a time at each others homes.  They are our Up Nort Family!

We drove up to the Iron County Fairgrounds in Iron River, Michigan and set up the rig in it's appointed space near the side doors.  They had rented the fairgrounds rotunda, a lovely building from 1931--- what a great place for a wedding!

Once we were set up, we unhooked the Tracker and zoomed out to Sunset Lake before it got too dark.  My parents were up for the summer, from where they winter in Florida.  They parked their RV out on some land that my sister and brotherinlaw own.  We had a nice visit, as we have not seen them since last summer!

It sure what a whirlwind of a day!  By 10 pm we fell into bed exhausted, and still laughing and giggling about our own future coming to fruition, now with the house under contract.

Saturday morning, we met up with my siblings and parents at the Knotty Pine Cafe in Gaastra, MI for a family breakfast.  It was so good to see everyone again! The waitress snapped this shot for us.

We then headed back to the fairgrounds to greet our own grown kids and grandkids coming up for the wedding.  Dan and his wife were unable to attend because he was standing up in another wedding!  But we had Erin and Mark, Heather and Jesse, and all three grandkids: Jameson, Chelsea and Clayton.  The kids all checked into a nearby hotel, and the plan was for the grandkids to sleep in our motorhome after they danced their little feetsies off----

The wedding took place on Saturday afternoon in the outdoor pavilion area to the side of the rotunda... the little kids stole the show of course!   Family members bribed them with treats to make it all the way down the aisle!  LOL

During the vows, Cheryl managed to drop the grooms ring!   
So flustered, she ended up putting it on Bill's right hand instead of the left!  
Oh well, at least they are MARRIED!   

"And you may kiss the bride" 

At weddings that take place up north, it's somewhat traditional to have all the aunts, neighbors and friends who like to cook to bring the food!  There are not any caterers or banquet halls in this small Upper Michigan town, so homemade food is the buffet fare!   (it always tastes better anyhow!)   Any woman worth her salt owns a nesco roaster and helps out at a wedding!  --- some men too!

Their cake was ADORABLE!!!  It was made by Cheryl's best friend Amanda.  The whole cake was a variety of different flavored cupcakes!!!  And if you look close at the topper, you will see it fits the bride and groom's personality perfectly!  They are both hunters, so the bride Cheryl stomping along with a shotgun under her arm, dragging along poor Bill by his collar is just the perfect wedding cake topper!

I snuck upstairs to get a shot of the rotunda from the level above... 

The bride and groom go through the buffet line first, and then the rest of the head table, followed by the rest of the guests.  (note the lineup of nesco roasters and tangle of power cords!)

Oh my... I heard a screech and a call for "Auntie Karen! Auntie Karen!"  ... and the bride frantically needed a quick stitch job on her bustle!    She knew I would have needle and thread in my motorhome!  From many years of sewing on her buttons, fixing a pair of jeans, or patching up a camping sleeping bag for Cheryl made her think of me FIRST to fix her wedding dress... awwwwww  I was so honored!

The cake topper was cut, they fed each other, and the dessert was served.  
(see the missing cupcakes on the back side? kids were snitching them before the cake was cut)

Three of our grandkids were along for the party!   
Chelsea and Jameson LOVED the cupcakes.  I think they had a few each.  
But they waited for the right time to get them, AFTER the bride and groom cut the cake topper.
Clayton was watching from his stroller, only 2 months old--- no cupcakes for him!

 The lights were dimmed. 
The music began.
The fairgrounds rotunda was transformed into a ball room 
for the fairy tale Princess who found her Prince Charming.  
They danced the night away..... 


(so did the Kissing Cousins: Jameson and Chelsea)

Please take note to my RVing blog readers... my next blog will be a detailed post with photos on a Pac Brake (exhaust brake) repair on our Cat engine in the diesel motorhome.  I promise!


  1. Looks like a beautiful event!

  2. Karen, I loved it!!! Yes it brought tears to my eyes!!! It is a wonderful feeling to have friends like you and Steve, or I should say Family!!! Thank You for sharing Cheryl and Bills' Wedding Day with us, and all the help too!!! Love You Guys!!! JoAnn

  3. Great post and how nice to be able to park your home right next door.


  4. I love this post..has to be my fav!!!! Love you Auntie. ~Cheryl

  5. Love it!!!! Thank you auntie. You are the best!!!!

  6. I love this post..has to be my fav!!!! Love you Auntie. ~Cheryl

  7. I love this post..has to be my fav!!!! Love you Auntie. ~Cheryl

  8. It looks like it was a great wedding! I loved all the roasters lined up. I like the idea of family and friends bringing food.
    I could just hear the excitement in your words as if I were listening to you talk about the sale of your house, your future travels and the wonderful friends and family that you joined this weekend.
    Good times had by all!

  9. What an enjoyable weekend you must have had, especially with you and Steve already arriving on cloud nine from the home sale.m Thanks for sharing your joy.

  10. wow you are one busy bee of a woman...I can read the excitement in your words...yeahhhhhhh-gorgeous wedding..and adorable grandtots..

  11. Those are the best type of weddings - where everyone pitches in and brings food. I'm originally from north central WI and have attended many weddings where the family supplied the food and it was held in a community building. Looks like everyone had a great time.

  12. Congratulations on the sale of your home. We knew it would go fast with all the work that you had put into it.

    Looks like you had a great time at the wedding this past weekend. Those kinds of weddings are our kind of wedding.

    Kevin and Ruth

  13. I'm an RVing reader but pac brakes hold no interest for me. I'd rather hear about the wedding. :)

  14. Howdy Karen,
    This was a wonderful family affair and the bride & groom weren't uptight!!!
    Did she have heels on or is she that tall?? CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL!!!

  15. Howdy Karen,


  16. What a wonderful blog post! Thanks for sharing the wedding with us... we enjoyed it so much! Mazel tov to all!

    Wildgoose RVers


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