Still with the difficulty posting on schedule, evidently. I’ll get there! When I arrived home from Michigan, the long long 7.5 hour drive mentioned in my last post, my parents were in town. So I haven’t quite had any downtime yet…in fact, waiting at the local Mazda dealership for my oil change right now is probably the closest thing to relaxing I’ve done in 2 weeks!
It’s all good though, and all worth it. Two weeks ago today I spoke of leaving for Mt Pleasant, MI, on a sentimental journey. One week ago, Mt Pleasant gained yet another reason to be a favourite groupie destination. And coincidentally, next Thursday marks the 11 year anniversary of it making its mark in my life in the first place.
Our triumphant return last Saturday was incredibly important to me. I have a thing about returning to places that have had an influence on my life, and I knew that even though I was exhausted after the only-slightly-stressful drive down (we only got lost twice!), eventually it would hit me like a ton of bricks.
We have become partial to Marriotts, and stayed at a lovely Fairfield Inn and Suites. We knew it was a good place when we pulled into the parking lot and were greeted by bunnies playing in the field beside it! We ordered pizza for dinner and sat outside, waiting in vain for the bunnies to return.
As you can see, they didn’t, but it was still a nice spot.
Then we went upstairs to get ready. Just to add to the experience, I brought along the exact same shirt I wore there all those years ago. Last few times I’ve tried to wear it it, um, must have shrunk or something… So I was pleasantly surprised to find it fit quite well! The hotel had a shuttle to the casino so thankfully, I could let my car rest for the evening.
When we first arrived I felt it had changed so dramatically I couldn’t recognize it. We went inside and I tried to find my bearings, hoping I would find something left from all those years ago. We turned right and headed to the gift shop first, hoping to retrace my steps as that was stop #1 in 2006 as well. I was on a mission: I needed to replace that dang shot glass! I looked all around, and had basically given up on finding it when my husband pointed out some glass beer mugs. I shrugged and headed over to get one of those, when suddenly, I saw it.
THE PRODIGAL SHOTGLASS RETURNS!
I grabbed it up and the wave of emotion I’d been expecting finally hit me. It was still under $5, still had the same logo, and I was finally reunited with my lost souvenir of my first true groupie adventure. I started crying and could. not. stop! I walked around the gift shop a few times to compose myself, then bought my priceless glass along with a couple of postcards; one for me, and one for the friend who I went with the first time.
Continuing the pilgrimage, we walked again across the top of the gaming floor, heading to the left this time which turned out to be the indoor entertainment centre. They have an outdoor concert area now too (more on that another time), but this was the scene of everything. This was where it all went down. The hall was the same. The entrances were the same.
Of course, I cried.
I was completely overcome by this point. It’s not just the fact that a flood of incredible memories were coming back to me, or the fact that I had always said I would go back there someday.
The artist I saw, and met that night, was Glenn Frey of the Eagles, who is no longer with us. He passed away last year, and to be honest I’m still not over it. So I was also feeling the loss of one of my favourites, one of my heroes, very keenly. I’ll never be there again to see him, and that kind of breaks my little groupie heart.
However, it was still overall a very happy night. Full of tears, sure, but 99% of them were happy tears!
Plus, the luck of Glenn returned. Every time I saw him at a casino, I won big too. This night was no exception.
That right there is a win of first $40, then another $50!!!
Thanks Glenn, my patron saint of luck!
Finally running out of steam, we called our shuttle guy and headed back to the hotel. As we were leaving, through the pouring rain, I spotted the huge sign over the driveway that I remember heading out under in 2006. A few more tears may have happened.
I didn’t know it then, but I would be back sooner than I thought.