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On the Way to Wisconsin

Ironwood Michigan was very good to us! We thoroughly enjoyed staying at the Sandpiper Motel. We met the owner, Annette, and had a nice talk. I love meeting people who run a small business. I find this sort of person so interesting… I have taken risks to be myself, and they have also taken risks to be true to themselves.

Annette said that she had grown up in the U.P. in the motel business, but had gone to lower Michigan for 16 years. At that time she decided that she wanted to bring up her kids in the environment she felt was comfortable and nourishing to them, so she moved back up to the U.P. and has now been running the Sandpiper Motel for over 10 years. I love the sign for the motel, we talked about that a bit. I took pictures of the sign and the neon “Office” sign over the door… but noticed there was a large crate with a large, more modern sign, in the parking lot.

She says that unlike Mom and I, a lot of folks are attracted to the larger chains and she needs to compete. So she will be changing the name of the motel to Classic Motor Inn and they are putting up a sign that looks more like those of the larger chains. Mind you, the place is adorable and clean and well-kept. But it doesn’t look like the Comfort Inn, and a lot of folks would like consistency rather than quaintness. She had orange juice and a nice coffee cake and really good teas and coffee for breakfast, as you might get at a larger place. She didn’t have a swimming pool, but I never use a swimming pool anyway… and I don’t really want to pay for amenities that I won’t be using.

We talked about the new sign she got. She really wanted neon but she could not find any supplier who could/would do it for her. Most of the signs she found were rectangular, and she did not want that, either. So she found a sign in the shape of a shield (the shape of a highway sign). She also paid extra to have a grouping of stars at the top of the shield. She said she really wanted the stars to be neon, flashing, but that was impossible to find and she had to give in to reality and get what was available.

Annette took the picture of Mom and I in front of Sandpiper, soon to be Classic Motor Inn. The day was lovely as we drove the last 90 miles to the wedding.

We got to Hayward in time to go into town for a few minutes. I had forgotten a card for the couple, so we found a little art gallery called Art Beat of Hayward, and got a wonderful card. Then I found a good cup of tea at a coffeehouse (see photo of flowers in coffeecup planter, from outside the coffeehouse) and mom got a not-very-good ice cream cone at a place that had a wonderful old neon sign. It’s a very quaint and lovely town, with many places pedestrians can walk easily and happily. I enjoyed our short time there, but it was time to head to the hotel, as it was getting closer to the time for the wedding.

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