When I first got my cousins invitation to her sons high school graduation, the first thing I did was to go on Google maps and see how far away it was.  The first route told me it was six hours and 42 minutes from my Mom’s house and knowing that I couldn’t take any additional days off of work, knew that this was going to be a leave early Saturday morning drive and arrive late Sunday night.  Only a couple things though – with stops to eat, getting gas, bad weather, and traffic – those just under 7 hour times turned out to be more like 9 hours each way.

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Still, totally worth it. It was so great to see all my cousins at the same place so that in and of itself was worth the 18 hour drive in two days!  I had to laugh at Hannah though – seems whenever it was her turn to drive, it would start to rain.  My Mom and I?  We drove through puffy white clouds and blue skies!

PicMonkey Collage - clouds

We got there just as they were starting to eat dinner so it was perfect time.  Their house is right on Lake Huron and absolutely gorgeous – sandy beach (well, not much beach but sandy!) and not very deep at all.  You could walk about 200 feet out and it would still only be at your chest.

I was trying to remember when the last time we had all gotten together and it’s probably been 20+ years.  Once my Uncle died when I was a freshman in high school and then my Dad died, we just became a “Christmas Card” catch up type of family.  My cousin Patti found my blog a couple years ago – I remember mentioning to Tony at the time that someone had read 300 of my posts in one day and turns out it was her!  I definitely need to make a better effort of staying in touch, and with social media, there is no excuse not to.

We sat outside on the deck talking until about 11:00 that night – it was so nice catching up and the moon rise was incredible – my iPhone doesn’t do it any justice at all.

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We ended up staying at the Days Inn in Alpena, MI.  For a $79 dollar rate, it was super clean and had a really good continental breakfast.  I thought Jacob was going with us when I made the hotel reservations so I booked two rooms – one for Hannah and Jacob and one for me and my Mom.  Since I did non-refundable to get the lower rate, I got the king bed all to myself!

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I ended up having three mini breakfasts the next morning – first up: coffee, yogurt and a hard boiled egg.

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Second breakfast? A small powdered donut when I met up Mom and Hannah 30 minutes after I had gotten breakfast.  And then I had a piece of coffee cake at my Aunt’s house.

Open-mouthed smile

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The weather was perfect – overcast, about 70 degrees and just an awesome breeze.  I wished I could have hung out on that deck all day.  But then the stormy weather started moving in.

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And it got so bad at one point that we actually had to pull off the side of the road – so windy and just waves and waves of rain.

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Luckily about two hours into our drive home, the weather got all sunny again.  I did finally drive that second day and I was glad I switched with Hannah because coming back into Chicago was totally backed up – I think it took us over two hours to drive 70 miles.  Other than that I didn’t mind the drive at all – I watched movies on Netflix!

So those of you who are following along remember how I fired my first contractor I ever hired in my life.   I gave him three chances to come over with receipts, etc. and he blew me off every single time.  Last night was the third and final attempt to have him come over and I then called him and told him that my gloves were coming off.  I am nice to a point but you really don’t like to see me mad.  I told him I was going to put his business card on Facebook so that no one else could be cheated by him.  In the voicemail message I left for him, I stated “you have no idea what shit storm is coming your way.”  I will continue to share that post in the days to and weeks to come – recommending that people share it.  I will also notify the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, Angie’s List, and will post his business card to Craigslist, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

In my final comment on my Facebook message I said “I hope you set a better example for your four year old daughter.”  Yep, my gloves are officially off and I am ready to beat the shit out him on social media.

Here is his business card:

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On a lighter note, I am off again!  I borrowed my office laptop so I hope to continue to blog while I am away.  You can always follow along on Instagram – my bizzy kitchen.

Question of the Day:  Have you ever been ripped off by a contractor?

Make it a great day!