Saturday, July 04, 2015

45th Anniversary

Our favorite things to do on vacation is to have a nice room with a great view in a town that has good food and fun things to do.  For our 45th anniversary our first choice might have been Las Vegas, since we do enjoy playing penny slot machines and the luxury hotels are so reasonable.  Due to Georg's illness that wasn't an option for us right now.  I searched for places within driving distance of us that offered the same amenities.  I had read about Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo and decided to stay at the Marina Grand Resort.

We lucked out on so many levels; our hotel suite had a water/marina view, we had access to Lake Michigan, the casino was 10 minutes away and we discovered a fantastic restaurant five minutes from the resort.  We knew there was a special blessing on our time together when we entered out suite and looked out the window.  The first thing we saw was a docked fishing boat named "Fisher of Men" in large letters on the back.  Being that I have worked at Fisherman's Net Church for 40 years (our logo includes Matthew 4:19,  "Come follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.") this was a good omen that the Lord was with us and looking out for us.

We explored the surrounding area and discovered two delightful places nearby. One was Jackie's Cafe, which we had read about online.  It was reputed to be a great place for breakfast.  Jackie Chen had been a renowned chef in Chicago, became disenchanted with the big city and opened a nondescript cafe in New Buffalo, with a population of less than 2000 people.  Little did we know that we had stumbled upon an amazing treasure.  Jackie herself seated us and explained that all of the food was locally sourced and house-made, including the pork sausage.  On each table was a jar of her own homemade lemon curd (which she explained took hours to cook) and a bottle of real maple syrup.  We had read about her famous blueberry french toast and it certainly did not disappoint.  The best french toast ever!

Directly across the street was an amazing olive oil, balsamic vinegar and wine tasting shop called Promeny.  We were alone with the owner, Martin, which was fortunate because he was able to tell us his story.  He had emigrated from the former Czech Republic, which he escaped while it was still under Soviet rule.  This was particularly interesting to me because my father was Czech as well. The shop had a section that was clearly Christian based and I asked him about it.  He said he had been a lifelong atheist, but one night he felt that Jesus Christ revealed himself to him and he became a believer, all by himself in that room.  He found his way to the States, met his future wife at church and they founded several ministries, one in India helping oppressed women and one in the States ministering to people with cancer.  I told him Georg had cancer and he asked if we could pray together.  All this time we had the shop to ourselves.  What a blessing it was!  I shall remember Martin for a very long time to come for his kindness to us.