DETROIT – Brandon Roux: It’s the end of the mid-winter break for students in Michigan and I couldn’t get any days off to do something fun with the family this week. That was my bad, waiting a bit too long to put in for vacation requests. Maybe this can be a reminder for some of you to finally put in for your spring break plans coming up. After work Friday, however, I am taking my two kids up to one of our favorite places on earth… TreeTops Resort in Gaylord.
We absolutely love it and it’s something we try to do at least once a year to do a little skiing, a little tubing, and a lot of hot tub relaxing!
I thought about maybe skipping this year coming off back surgery in 2019, plus not getting any extended time off from work to really relax and stretch out for a few days. But, then I put myself in my kids’ ski boots. As a young lad in the NW Chicago suburbs, my parents took us skiing on trips just like this. One year, and it may have been our first family trip skiing, we went to Cascade Mountain in Wisconsin. It’s where I got the guts to go on a chair lift for the first time, and ski some of that resort’s better runs. It was a trip I’ll never forget. But it wasn’t just the skiing. Here’s what else I remember from that family trip back in 1981: First of all, my dad went skiing in a ski coat and garden gloves when it was about 5°F outside, and he did nothing but bomb every hill he hit. By the end, he was scratched up, black and blue all over, but he was our fearless leader.
The Cascade Mountain Resort had its own movie theater back then (don’t know if they still do) and I saw my first ever R rated move there. It was Burt Reynolds in Sharky’s Machine. I loved it and Burt’s co-star, Rachel Ward, may have had something to do with that. The last memory I have is driving home with a station wagon loaded with 5 people, and tons of gear. My dad was arrested and taken to jail because Wisconsin cops tried to pull him over for speeding. Unbeknownst to them, dad couldn’t see much in any direction but forward due to our stuffed, wood paneled wagon. The police assumed he was trying to get away from them and booked him for resisting arrest or something like that. He’s an attorney and I don’t recall it being a big legal deal, but it was a bit traumatizing to an 8-year-old who idolized his garden glove wearing, bomb the ski hill til you’re black and blue… dad. What a trip!
So, I hope to create these kinds of memories with my children this weekend, but maybe for slightly different reasons. TreeTops is the perfect place for making memories and getting that taste of Pure Michigan Winter which has been mostly lacking this year down in Metro Detroit. I’ll let you know how it goes on Monday when you join us on Local 4 News Today.