Jul. 29th, 2017

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Today I persuaded Darwin to go on a bike ride with me.  He's not a big fan of bike riding--his bike spends most of its time hanging from the garage ceiling--but I get around this by simply telling him I'm going on a ride and if he wants to spend time with me, he can come along.  Even when he knows that's what I'm doing, it works...

There's simply nowhere around our house to ride a bike decently, so we have to drive to a trail to ride with our bikes on the back of the car.  The section of trail we usual ride, however, has a long, long section with no shade on it, which is fine in the spring or fall, but miserable in summer.  I looked up a section of the trail a little farther down and we drove down there to start our ride.

This turned into a miniature Afternoon Outing.

We rode along a nice, shady biking trail, which eventually took us through the town of Orchard Lake.  I'd ridden around the downtown area years ago and knew Darwin likes exploring downtowns, so I suggested we leave the trail and go exploring. He liked this idea.

The first thing we saw off the trail was a sign for a real estate open house, and it pointed toward a huge 19th-century brick mansion.

"We should go look inside!" I said.

"Let's!" Darwin said.  He parked his bike and strode up to the door.

Darwin and I love old houses, so this was fun for us.  The real estate agent probably knew we weren't serious lookers, but he had literally nothing else to do, so no one minded.

The house was empty, and I think the owner was down-sizing.  It was built in 1860, and very well kept--and updated.  Everything was wood floors and crown moldings and grand fireplaces.  A staircase curled up the front hall, and I found a servants staircase going down the back.  The second floor had a master suite and a guest suite and servant's quarters (off the master suite).  The basement was room after room of fieldstone and ancient wooden doors, and included a small safe that looked to be original to the house.  But the place was updated to include a gas furnace and AC and a huge modern kitchen.  And it had several hundred feet of lakefront across the road.  Asking price?  $999,000.  Whew!

We left the house and biked into town, where we found a diner called the Early Bird Cafe for lunch.  Darwin adores diners.  I hate them--their menus are always exactly the same.  (I think that's why Darwin likes them.)  But he went on the ride with me, so I went into the diner with him.  This is marriage.  And we had a very nice lunch.

Afterward, we rode back through lovely Michigan summer weather.

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