Dear Crabby, Why is there no Holiday in August?

Dear Crabby, I want to take a long weekend next month and looking at the calendar I noticed August is free of any holidays, why? Sincerely, Augustus Looking   Mr. Looking, You don’t say. I’ve never noticed. In fact, I thought you had to be pulling my leg. With all the religious holidays, national holidays and made-up Hallmark Holidays, I figured every month was covered in them. Looking at my trusty “Puppies in Baskets” calendar one of my grandkids bought me for Christmas last … [Read more...]

Dear Crabby, Should We Retire Out of State?

Dear Crabby, I'm so tired of the cold weather, should we retire out of state and leave Michigan? Sincerely, Chilly Willy Dear Chilly Willy, I understand your frustration with our Michigan winters. So far this year it seems to be a repeat of last year, but without the snowfall. Warmer climates can be intoxicating when you’re wearing everything you own and you look like that kid from A Christmas Story. More than half the country will have freezing temperatures this week, so I’m sure … [Read more...]

Dear Crabby, What do you think about time-shares?

Dear Crabby, My wife and I really want to go on vacation and I found one of these time-share companies that will fly us to Florida and pay for our hotel if we simply listen to their sales pitch. Is this a good deal? Sincerely, Jim Nuttinfree Dear Mr Nuttinfree, If I have learned anything in life, I have learned that nothing is free. Of course nothing is guaranteed either, except for death and taxes! Mrs. Crabby and I usually stay away from these types of things, but we did fall prey … [Read more...]

Dear Crabby, Have you ever been to Mackinac Island, MI?

Dear Crabby, We were looking for a fun new experience in Northern Michigan when we came across Mackinac Island. I was wondering if you had vacationed there, and if you could give us any idea if it is worth taking the kids up there? Sincerely, Michigan Mom Dear Michigan Mom, Yes, I have a long history with Mackinac Island and all the wonderful things they have to offer. Back in the 1970's, I was very big into CB radios and was taking one of my first trips up to the island. I made … [Read more...]

Before Your Winter Vacation

Getting the House Ready Part of planning winter vacations is making sure your home here in Michigan is ready for winter. While most families will be gone only one or two weeks this winter, many retired persons will go for a month or longer. By now residents of Michigan will know if their heat works. If your home uses a forced air furnace, clean or replace the air filter and make sure the air vents are not blocked and air can flow freely. When leaving for vacation, heat should be “on” but … [Read more...]

Dear Crabby, What’s the Best Adventure Getaway Idea?

Dear Crabby, I have some really adventurous friends that want to go somewhere to experience a thrill.  Have you or your kids ever done anything crazy? Where can we go? Sincerely, Eva Kenevil Dear Ms. Kenevil, Well, I may seem like an old geezer now, but I did know how to have fun in my day. I did a handful of crazy excursions with buddies, from motorcycle racing to sail boating in the islands. One of my craziest memories happens to have been on a sail boat that I rented while on … [Read more...]

Should You Pay a Cover Charge?

Why Pay a Cover Charge? I hate paying cover charges. I never understood why people would wait in a line, in all kinds of weather, to pay $5, $10, or even $20 for the privilege to walk through the door. And then, to only have to wait your turn at the bar for the honor to purchase overpriced drinks. This scenario happens all over the planet. However, when it takes place right here in Southeast Michigan is when it bothers me the most. It is usually the trendy bars – the hip new places in town … [Read more...]

Dear Crabby, Why is leaving for vacation so stressful?

Dear Crabby, My husband and I get into a huge argument every time we go on a vacation. Is this normal? And is there a way to avoid that? Sincerely, Justine Wanagetalong Dear Ms. Wanagetalong, It's quite an honor to have someone ask me if something is normal! I'm not sure I have ever had that pleasure before. As far as fighting before a vacation, I'm not sure if it's normal, but it is certainly typical around my house. Every time we get ready to leave, Mrs. Crabby begins going through … [Read more...]

The Budget Way to Travel to Warm and Friendly Chicago

Good customer service and friendly people are around every corner of the Windy City. Chicago is a busy town with lots of people – whether it is a cab driver, a front desk person, or a restaurant server – everyone is packed full of smiles and helpful attitudes.  Stay at the International Hostel One of the warmest and welcoming places in Chicago is the HI hostel. It is located in “The Loop” on Congress Parkway at Wabash Avenue and is within easy walking distance to many attractions. Per … [Read more...]

Dear Crabby, How do I Prepare for Vacation?

Dear Crabby, We are going on a vacation next week and I need to figure out how to pack. Do you have any suggestions for me? Sincerely, Ned Newtravel Dear Mr. Newtravel, Traveling has never really been my strong suit. I have no problem with the actual traveling part, but the preparation has always been difficult. I remember one of the first trips Mrs. Crabby and I took together when we were first married. She started fretting and stressing over getting ready for the trip weeks in … [Read more...]