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When Plan A disappears - go for Plan B
Aunt Alice's in the Elk Capital of Wisconsin was not to be this year.

Last February our plans for vacation seemed set in stone. We would join my two law school classmates and their spouses for a lovely relaxing getaway in upper Wisconsin at a place picturesquely named Aunt Alice's Cabin. Set in a national park, the cabin was perfectly isolated (with internet access) with fireplace, a canoe for going out on the nearby lake and loons to serenade us as we drifted off into restorative sleep.

August rolled around. Preparations were going apace. A babysitter for the cats. A babysitter for the law office. Map obtained (Ivan is a paper geographer). Route chosen with care to avoid major cities during rush hour. Oil changed in car. While he prepped for our trip, our mechanic, Kevin, who has looked after our vehicles since we moved to West Kentucky was adamant. We must not embark on a long trip without new tires.

No worries. We called the local tire shop and were assured to just come in. All would be done in a matter of hours.

Whatever could go wrong?

Beginning the Tuesday after Labor Day, just about everything.

The door bending collision to our parked car (no one hurt but the pride of the participants and our poor Mazda), then another fender bender (not ours) that put the repair shop behind schedule and ending with tires that failed to be ordered in time for us to leave (no one mentioned a need for special ordering three weeks ago), the week got steadily more stressful.

My back seized up. Ivan developed gout in both feet and could barely walk. Stress related? Nahh...not hardly

We reached the painful decision that a vacation in Wisconsin was out for this year. We gave our friends the unhappy news. They vowed to think of us as they eat real Wisconsin cheese and enjoy the wild rice the area is famous for.

Not wanting to give up our week off, I suggested that we go someplace close by. We have never vacationed within an hour's drive of home - but new things are what vacations are all about. Right?

The question became - where to go?

Kim Kraemer, Executive Director of Grand Rivers Tourism Commission, came to our rescue and we found ourselves on Monday at Turtle Bay Resort, checking into a condo that looks out over the marina. One of the several pool located on the site is outside our door. There's a beach a short walk away. I can see the spa and health club from our deck. Then of course, there's Patti's.

Ivan says this place compares to our last resort stay in Charleston, South Carolina.

Watching the harvest moon rise leaving a shiny road through Lake Barkley, I let out the breath I've been holding since the Tuesday after Labor Day, and all I can say is Ahhhhhh.

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