Thursday, July 22, 2010

July 20 - My Date with Wendy


Day Two of Beulah started with a trip to the Phoenix Café to meet up with Ken’s friends for coffee. It was a beautiful day, so we all sat outside. I had an iced coffee and chatted with Gary and his sons, Jeff and Dan. I also visited with Gary’s sister – Jane, and my two new kid friends Harris and Nina. Harris was very happy to hold me up so I could get my picture taken with the café sign!
It was so exciting! There was a group of motorcycle riders at the café! They were really very friendly and not at all like Marlon Brando in The Wild One (I love black and white movies and method actors!). The Smith Family Robinson, a.k.a. “The Outlaws,” are from Kalamazoo and were actually lovely humans. They let me sit on one of the Harleys! I think I want to be a biker monkey and get me a cool helmet and some goggles to keep the wind out of my eyes!

When I got back to the table, the announcement was made that we were going to Lake Michigan! WOOO HOOO! I was very excited to go see the big lake! Wendy said she wasn’t going to go, as she had things to do, and she asked me if I wanted to go with her for hot dogs. I’m always hungry and ever since Ken had that coney dog at Leo’s the other day, I have had a hankering for a frankfurter. So I said good-bye to the group and hello to Wendy and off we went.

Boy, was I disappointed. Wendy took me to the town of FRANKFORT, not to get a frankfurter. Wendy was very sorry to see me pouting again, after all the problems we had yesterday. As it turned out, she really wanted to make the day be just about ME! I felt a lot better when she told me that, and off we went on our Frankfort Adventure!

It was SO exciting! I DID get to see the big lake after all! In fact, Wendy pushed me high up on a kiddie-swing to get a better view of it and the lighthouse. There are lots of lighthouses in Michigan, and this was the first one I ever saw up close and personal! As I was swinging and having a grand old time, a daddy and his two sons came up to the swing set. Daddy Carlson (I think he said Carlson) put the little baby in the swing right next to me! It was SO COOL! The baby could not take his eyes off me, and I could not take my eyes off of him! It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a real baby. I think Jesse was the last one, come to think about it. The baby in the swing was waving “hi” and I was saying “hi” and he was laughing, and I was laughing! And Wendy and the daddy were laughing, and all was right with the world!
Then it got even better! Wendy took me to a little sand dune! I was able to hide among the green plants and scamper around, playing hide and seek with Wendy. After that, she took me to a bigger dune. I decided to do what I saw the big kids doing – I’d run down the sand! Unfortunately, I started sliding right away, so that didn’t turn out like I planned it. It was hard to keep my balance, and the sand was hot, but it was still very fun and I felt like Indiana Jones, doing something very exciting!
Right in the middle of this little yard on the way back into town, there is a cannon! Not a working cannon, I don’t think. Maybe it’s a lawn ornament. Wendy couldn’t find out any information about why there was a cannon in the middle of town, and I was wondering if they kept candy in it, so I hopped up and tried to scoot inside it. It was very very dark in there, and I got a little bit scared, so I asked Wendy if she could help me get out. I was glad to get out of there, but I really do think it was a great hiding place for candy – and maybe I just didn’t go in far enough!
We found this guy riding a bike, and he gave me a little ride. At first I thought he was family, because he said his name was Uncle Sam. I had a lot of fun – but all we did was spin a circle on a stick. He didn’t say a lot, but he seemed happy with that nice smile.
Right on the main street, there is a book store called “The Book Store.” I had thought when Frannie named me Monkey it was kind of an obvious choice, but this store name really showed a very straightforward approach to marketing. A big brown bear let me sit on his lap in the children’s section. I asked him to read me my favorite Michigan book – M is for Mitten. I love that book! I had a great time, and he was very very snuggly. After the book, we took a walk around the children’s department. I was looking for Curious George, but instead I found a really friendly monkey puppet! What a great smile HE had! And a really nice turtle puppet moseyed over to let me sit on him while me and Monkey Puppet told some jokes. I totally LOVED the bookstore!
I saw a lot of people walking around with ice cream cones. That made me think about the hot dog I wanted, and since Frankfort didn’t seem to have any hot dog stands, I ran up to an ice cream shop window. Wendy did have a point when she said it was really too hot for a sock monkey to eat ice cream and that it would probably melt and get me pretty messy. So I just watched them make ice cream cones for people, who are easier to clean than are sock monkeys. Humans really do have that logic thing working pretty well for them…

There was a toy store across the street, so we moved in that direction. It was amazing! Remember Uncle Sam? Well, his good friend Bike Monkey was just outside of the store! He asked me if I wanted a little ride, and I said, “Why of course!” It was very much like the other bike ride, spinning around and all. Bike Monkey and I had a conversation about how we had a lot in common. We are both monkeys, we both like bananas, and I want to be a Biker Monkey and he IS a Bike Monkey!

The toy store was okay, but I didn’t see anything I wanted. Wendy looked at her watch and realized we had to get going back to Beulah. As we passed a store named “Momentum,” a very cute young lady came out and said, “I love your sock monkey!” That’s all we needed to here! This is the store where we’d find a souvenir T-shirt for me! Marissa was very helpful and held a shirt up to see if it would be the right size for me. Unfortunately it was too big. But she was a cutie-pie, and I liked it when she was holding me!

The last stop was in Elberta, at a store called Trick Dog. Wendy’s sister-in-law Peggy told her to check it out, so she did! Very cool shop, but nothing for little sock monkeys. And there were many breakable things there, so we cut that visit short. Out in the back, however, there were these wood sculptures along a fence. All sorts of very cool people and animals… and a set of picture frames – with one empty one on the bottom! I looked at Wendy, she looked and me, we both said, “YESSSSSSS!”  and I scampered into a frame... and I became ART!

The ride back to Beulah was extra special because Wendy let me not only sit in the front seat, but she let me be the Co-pilot and the Navigator, too! Since Ken had shown me how to read maps, I did a much better job of it this time!
At the end of this very fun day, Wendy and I had a snack. Mmmmmmm – how I love chocolate chip cookies with a side of banana! It was the perfect ending to a really great day. Before I fell asleep, I was thinking about all the people I met, and I was hoping that the Smith Family Robinson bikers had as nice a ride as I had a day with Wendy! I think we are back to being good buddies again...


  1. Ernie, love the blog! Ken's co-workers really like to read your posts, and think a book would be amazing!

    - Leeann

  2. Thanks, Leeann - I've been thinking about that myself! I have lots of adventures left in me! Can't wait to take in the Seattle scene!