Today was a beautiful sunny day. We started off by having breakfast at Brian’s Family Restaurant where they have, without a doubt, the friendliest wait staff ever. I didn’t catch her name but the waitress kept us fed and coffeed and called me honey – can you ask for more? Warren had a classic breakfast of eggs, bacon, ham, sausage, homefries and coffee – I was glad when our waitress got the food to our table – I thought he was going to eat my arm. I had a skillet full of scrambled eggs and homefries with sausage gravy – my new favourite food.
With full tummies we filled up the truck, went to Tim Horton’s Cafe & Bakery (lol) and grabbed coffees and were on our way to Flint Michigan. Warren asked me before we left what I was expecting to see when we got there – I figured a dirty downtrodden city, but I wasn’t prepared for what I did see. There were whole city blocks that had been knocked down because the abandoned houses was going to ruin. Graffiti, abandoned and boarded up buildings – it was horrible. Some of these houses were still occupied, some of them were still kept up but next door to a house that was half falling down, windows knocked out. It made us wonder what it would be like to live in a place for a long time and be proud of your house, but then have the economy change and watch the buildings around you fall like soldiers in a war you didn’t even know was coming. What was even more difficult to comprehend was that right across the street from one neighbourhood that was slowly decaying, was a brand new subdivision – how did they deal with the cognitive dissonance that these two different situations must have evoked?
After a quick stop for a coffee, we headed towards Kalamazoo. The drive down the highway from Flint took us through several small towns where, much to my confusion, I saw my first Fifth Third Bank. After staring at the sign for a few moments and not being able to really make sense of this name, I asked Warren what he thought the name of the Fifth Third Bank might be all about. He had no idea either – the bank wasn’t situated on the corner of 5th and 3rd so that ruled that out. With a bit of a head scratch, we shrugged and moved on. We wandered through the countryside admiring the different houses – so many different types of architecture out there – nothing ‘cookie cutter’ about it. Pride in their nation was also evident from all the American Flags we saw.
We eventually made our way through Nashville – a tiny town west of Flint – and through Springfield which was just outside of Kalamazoo. Just for the record, we did not see any of the Simpson’s there, but we did see another Fifth Third Bank. I said to Warren ‘Is that the second Fifth Third Bank we’ve seen today?’ and we laughed… it wasn’t until about 9 pm that night that we passed the fourth Fifth Third Bank for the third time – so the seventh Fifth Third Bank – that it became hilarious. I hope there are no more Fifth Third Banks… if anyone knows where this name came from? Please leave an explanation in the comments.
We eventually decided on the Best Western Plus (why Plus? I don’t know… maybe it’s the Fifth Third Plus?) and then headed out for supper. We had seafood at a seafood restaurant (that’s for you Linda!) – Blackened Salmon with roasted parmesan asparagus for Warren and Schrod In Parchment with roasted asparagus with parmesan for Sandy. I ordered the Schrod in Parchment just for the novelty of the name, but it was delicious! a delicate fish in a white wine sauce with scallops and shrimp. The only problem was that the portions were small and appetites were big so we went on a snack hunt and to scout out a likely breakfast place for the morning. It’s amazing how lost you can get in a city really… but once we got ourselves back to the hotel we googled and realized we thought we were heading north but we were really heading east… this was why nothing made sense 🙂
So we are holed up for the night, tucked in and watching movies – and tomorrow we head to Indianapolis. We’re hoping to see some of the speedway stuff but we will decide as we go – we are fully embracing the Vagabond Life at this stage.
Categories: short story