ROMULUS — The universal rule of vacation is a simple one to follow-remember to relax and forget about work!
Well your old Uncle Mel boarded the cruise ship on a bright sunny southern Florida morning and he is heading for the glorious blue water of the Caribbean Sea and the port cities in the island nation of the Bahamas, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the United States territory the Virgin Islands and then back to the good old shore of the United States and the state of Florida.
A magnificent week in the warm sunshine and six nights under a Caribbean moon.
Meanwhile back home in Ypsilanti and the Huron River Valley the bitter cold and the snowy winter weather continues to pull some high-jinks just for laughs and to make sure that folks in the state of Michigan do not forget about winter.
Eastern Michigan University men’s basketball team bounced back after giving away a game at Bowling Green State University a 46-44, defeat to the Falcons to come back and win back-to-back at home against Central Michigan University and Miami University.
Last Wednesday night, after working toward a hard fought tie in the first half against Western Michigan University, the Eagles could not hold back the Broncos stampede and lost for the second time on the road.
Eastern Michigan University basketball coach Rob Murphy told Uncle Mel that winning on the road in the Mid-American Conference is hard and you feel fortunate if you get a win.
“It is hard to win on the road in this league,” Murphy said.
As the Norwegian Princess Cruise ship that welcomed Uncle Mel sailed into the horizon and heading for the sunrise, your old pal got found out by the cruise director Julie. As your old Uncle was setting at the shipboard computer listening to the velvet tones of the play-by-play from Eastern Michigan University’s radio announcer Chad Bush describe the 58-52, victory over the Chippewas. She also pulled up a chair and listen to the game from the Convocation Center.
After the game, the cruise director Julie took your old Uncle to the starboard side of the ship and scolded him for forgetting the golden rule of vacation and for getting her involved and hooked on Eastern Michigan University basketball.
Feeling good and rested, Uncle Mel left the ship for the excursion of the day-a jeep safari of the capital city of San Juan and the surrounding area which included a great cup of Puerto Rican coffee and a great view of the palm trees swaying in the breeze.
In a café setting all alone, a complementary desk top computer waiting to be used by a tourist and so Uncle Mel asked and he was given the instruction and from within the city limit of San Juan, Uncle Mel listen to the Eagles 65-58, defeat of the Red Hawks while enjoying a bowl of Puerto Rican stew.
Suddenly Uncle Mel noticed that he was not alone anymore while listening to the game, Uncle Mel had acquired new friends and we were all enjoying the best of Puerto Rican rum and a Puerto Rican desert of sweet-potato balls with coconut, cloves and a healthy dash of cinnamon and the sweet taste of an Eastern Michigan University victory.
Uncle Mel and his new friends celebrated the Eagle victory with food and drink but the festivities were made short because of Uncle Mel’s commitment to getting back on board the ship.
Cruise Director Julie found out about the celebration and she again found Uncle Mel and took a very serious tone in her voice along with the look and reviewed the purpose of a vacation.
The rum-soaked memory of San Juan, Puerto Rico and Uncle Mel’s new friends faded into the night just like the cruise ship sailing away into the night only to arrive at a new destination and just like the golden sun, the promise of an easy sunny day arrived.
The coast line of Florida came closer into view and Uncle Mel’s cruise vacation came closer to the end but just one more trip left on excursion this time through the swampland and a road title Alligator Alley, just to take a ride on a airboat through the Everglades so Uncle Mel can hear the voice of Osceola, feel the Seminole wind on his face and make acquiesce with many alligator.
The trip was great, the airboat ride is a great ride and as the expedition concluded and the rest of the travelers got back on the bus, for the 45 minute trip to the airport and with a sudden noise and smoke bellowing up from under the bus interrupted the trip back to the airport.
Unfortunate luck for the bus and the bus driver and for some of the folks that were going to miss their flights back home.
Fortunate the bus broke down just outside the Seminole nation’s number one attraction the Seminole Casino Immokalee.
The good folks of the casino heard about our plight and the management decided to help us out by allowing us to stay in the air-condition 75,600 square foot gaming area.
Uncle Mel found a quite and cool area and took out the old laptop and typed in the address and found the game between the Broncos and the Eagles.
Ordering a nice dinner from the 1st Street Deli a New York style eatery and a cold beverage Uncle Mel settled in and listen to the Broncos come back in the second half and score 39 points and defeat the Eagles 63-59, at University Arena on the campus of Western Michigan University in the city of Kalamazoo, Michigan.
After hearing the overhead page, Uncle Mel worked his way through the casino without losing any money in fact walking out toward the bus with new found winnings which made the unfortunate detour not too bad to endure, Uncle Mel and his stranded fellow travelers boarded the new bus.
The roar of the diesel engine and the white cloud of dust from the gravel in the parking lot signal the end of the vacation would soon be upon your old uncle and the flight back home to the cold and the snow would be greeting Uncle Mel.
The flight back to the airport that welcomes all who arrive to the city that serves as the Motor City capital of the world and is the gateway to home for Uncle Mel did not disappoint as the near zero temperature greeted you favorite uncle with a really cold hard slap in the face.
Back to work this Saturday afternoon January 26, 2013 from the friendliest basketball arena in the Mid-American Conference and the home of the Eastern Michigan University-the Convocation Center.
Uncle Mel will be sitting courtside watching the Eagles take on Northern Illinois University and knowing that somewhere sailing across the Caribbean Sea, a cruise director by the name of Julie or a few new friends in a Puerto Rican café will be drinking a fine rum and gathered around the computer listening to Bush describe the court side action from Ypsilanti.
Uncle Mel is hoping that the Eagles can set sail against the Huskies Saturday afternoon starting at 2 p.m. at the Convocation Center.
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation. I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.