This past weekend we embarked on a time-honored family tradition of visiting Beaver Island, Michigan in the summer. My husband’s grandma, grandpa, and mother were born on the island, so our history there is significant and worth exploring. Because the ferry departs so early in the morning and we live 3+ hours from the docks, we decided to drive up the night before and sleep overnight in Charlevoix. I have to thank “K”, my sister-in-law, for arranging our stay; however sarcastic this post may become [and I make no promises], she delivered what she promised: a safe, cheap room that would have us close to the docks for The Emerald Isle’s 8:30 am departure.
We drove into town off M66 and the road came to an abrupt T, leaving us to guess which way we should turn to find the now infamous 1415 Bridge Street [are you sensing a pattern of directionally-challenged adults in our home?…ahem] Let me tell you–I think we got too used to having a GPS machine during our trip West. Now we feel helpless without “Rita’s” calming voice telling us to “turn right, and then right.” And if we make a wrong turn, she’s not there to “recalculate.” [If you don’t have a GPS you won’t understand. Sorry.] Navigating new terrain, however exciting, is akin to me trying to use chop sticks. With wet nails. Blindfolded. Eating soup. I just can’t quite grasp it! God love me, I try! But I just can’t quite get there.
At my prodding, Brandon decided to call his brother who was already waiting for us at the one-and-only Villa Moderne. That’s right, folks: Villa Moderne–a little piece of France tucked away right in Northern Michigan. “T” answered the phone and told us to turn around, keep driving, and just “Look for the pink.”
Sure enough, we turned the bend and could see the rosy glow emanating from the 1970’s facade of the “modern hotel.” As we drove closer, Brandon and I alternated with:
“Is that it?”
“That can’t be it.”
“He said, ‘Follow the pink.'”
“Seriously? It looks like a Vegas strip club!”
Pink neon tubing traced the edges of the roof and framed the porch in the kind of true class that only neon lighting can provide. The vacancy light buzzed and cars whizzed by just feet from the parking lot [and hence, the main floor rooms].
Now, it’s not that I’m a brat or that I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I don’t need the finer things in life…all the time…but I’ve got kids to think about! I don’t want them to get bedbugs or fleas or…scabies.
The fact that there was a community microwave and refrigerator in the hallway was no big deal. I trust that the guy who was sitting–alone–in front of room 4…on a bench, smoking–would not add drugs to our milk or poison our breakfast food. I’m sure he barely noticed us pulling up to The Villa and dragging our five bags up the flight of stairs by the office. Certainly there would be no need to worry about safety with the hollow fake wood doors that opened with the turn of a five-cent hardware store key. Deadbolts are overrated.
But just to be sure we did jam a chair [taken from The Brady Bunch set in 1979] under the doorknob. Just to be safe. Not that I was scared.
So here’s what $60 gets you in Northern Michigan:
Matching sheets and linens. Who says that red gingham and coral don’t go with an aqua floral print?!
Furniture that is not only useful, but that shines with the kind of glow that can only come from decades of love. [The green chair’s front leg bent off when I was sitting on it to tie my daughter’s shoe in the morning. Not sure if that means that I added too much love to the decades… or if my hiney is just too big for a dainty collector’s item like this].
Thick, lush, coordinated bathroom towels that wrap you in luxury and leave you wanting to contact the hotel decorator. After all, it takes a special touch like authentic bleach stains to make a bathroom feel like home. Nate Berkus wouldn’t have thought of that.
We slept like babies on our beds–the sirens and low-flying aircraft barely kept us up! We ignored the small eyebrow-raising features of the constantly running toilet and the red smear on the ceiling [I’m sure someone just killed a bug]. The bench smoker never bothered us, nobody poisoned our milk, and we didn’t get scabies.
What more can you ask for, really? Safe, cheap, no bedbugs.
So, K, thank you for saving us a boatload of cash. It was worth it just for the laughs and pictures! We looked for pink and saved some green, all in the same night 🙂