America 2017: Day Three (29 July)

She’s got Brazilian leather boots on the pedal of her German car
Listen to the Beatles singing back in the USSR
Yeah she’s goin around the world tonight
But she ain’t leavin here
She’s just going to meet her boyfriend down at the street fair

It’s a French kiss, Italian ice
Spanish moss in the moonlight
Just another American Saturday night

                                                         – Brad Paisley

Saturday July 29
Suttons Bay, Michigan

So, I left off my last entry fairly abruptly. We were drinking beers around the fire-pit until 1:30am.


Actually, some of us continued well after that. There’s nothing worse than being woken up at 5:00am by an unnamed guy coming into your room, asking if you wanted to see the “unbelievable sunrise”. Needless to say, I politely declined and went back to sleep. I don’t care how unbelievable it is.

Yeah, and we weren’t the only room that the unnamed guy checked in with, but he got the same answer – with varying degrees of anger and swear words included – everywhere he went. I’m not going to out the offender, but suffice to say, at the time it wasn’t a happy house, but in hindsight, it’s one of a handful of stories that weren’t particularly amusing at the time, but that we’ll look back on and laugh at.

This was taken at 11:00am.

I actually woke up pretty well, considering the amount of beer I drank last night, and we headed into Traverse City with Mike and Jane to drop the car off to the garage – we left with our fingers crossed that they could get the air-conditioning going again. We ate breakfast at an amazing omelette place, where the coffee was just what we needed after an interrupted sleep. The food was also good. I ate a giant country skillet that really hit the spot. Best news of all? Mike got a call to say that the air-conditioning would be operational to get us at least back to Chicago. Best news of the weekend! (Other than Kevin and Ashley getting married, of course!)


Downtown Traverse City is really beautiful. It’s a summer town reminiscent of one Hollywood might put together for a movie. You know the type, with a lot of restaurants, gift shops, bars and beautiful beaches. It felt like I’d walked onto the set of American Pie 2 or something like that. We walked along the waterfront for a while, soaking in the wonderful sun. Tanned complexion here I come!


Back at the house, Kevin’s groomsmen came over for lunch, and we got to watch the guys get themselves ready for the big event. We ate, got dressed ourselves, and headed up the road to Black Star Farms – an incredibly beautiful winery with distant views of the lake. The ceremony was held in a really pretty spot amongst the vineyards up on a hill, and although it started to get really hot up there in the direct sunlight, Kevin and Ashley couldn’t have chosen a better place.


After a short ceremony (which was a good thing, considering the weather) we caught a shuttle bus back down the hill to the cocktail hour venue, and enjoyed cold beer and/or mixed drinks for an hour, during which time I took a great selfie with the newly-married Kevin Donahue, and met a bunch of really nice people. In particular one of Kevin’s oldest friends, Sagar, and his wife, who were at our table later on at the reception – held in a barn (not a real one – this is Michigan, not Georgia, people!) across from the cocktail hour venue.


Cocktail hour venue.
Reception venue.

Honestly, what a party. Well worth the twenty-four hour commute from Sydney, Australia to Suttons Bay, Michigan. Everything went off without a drama, and everyone was having a good time. As Jane remarked, the music makes the wedding, and the DJ’s playlist was on point: everything from Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ to Florida Georgia Line’s ‘Cruise’ and R Kelly’s ‘Ignition’. Nice selection there.

The best company.
“Indiana” Mike.
With the bride and groom – congrats guys!

Yeah, I got a little drunk tonight. Yeah, I danced a little – less awkwardly than normal, thanks to the many cans of Bud Light I enjoyed. Talked a bit, laughed a lot. Had an amazing time. The Donahue and Holt families sure can throw a party to remember.

Kevin with ALL the moves.

There was some drama in the house later, when Jane realised she’d lost her shoes but a few calls later, they were returned, and despite Mike’s somewhat-drunken assertion that Nathan was giving him ‘attitude’, we all went to sleep very content…if a little wary, concerned that our unnamed housemate from last night would again disturb our slumber.

Nathan’s double-fisting here. Bud and Miller. So American!
I think this was during “Cruise”.
My most obnoxious moment of the night.



Time will tell.

(Above: video evidence of our big night. Press PLAY)

EPIC night.

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