Last Saturday, my oldest brother invited us out on his boat to watch the Air Show on Lake Michigan with him and his family. We were excited to get out on the water, but were a little worried how the girls would handle the loud fighter jets buzzing the air right above their heads.
That morning we slept in a little–which means 8am if you have kids like us–ate a quick breakfast, then headed to the farmer’s market. We’ve been pretty obsessed with some locally roasted coffee, and it’s primarily sold at the farmer’s market. The coffee is fair trade, organic, and absolutely delicious; it doesn’t need cream whatsoever. So V and I dropped off some overdue books at the library then walked over to the market. We swung by the cheese stand first. The cheesemonger brings it in fresh from Wisconsin every Saturday morning, and the curds are so fresh they squeak. (Side note: I never knew that was important until one of my college friends, who grew up in WI, explained that squeakiness is a sign off freshness. Now you know!)
The line was long, and we ran into my brother and his wife, who were also waiting for cheese. We grabbed the last bag of garlic dill cheese curds and some smoked mozzarella sticks. After a final stop at the coffee stand, we left with some freshly ground coffee and our cheese.
Once at the marina, we headed out on the water pretty quickly. To get out on Lake Michigan we had to travel down a long channel and around a breakwall to enter open water. V was a little apprehensive and clung to her aunt as the boat picked up speed. It was a short drive out to the area of the show, and there were a large number of boats already parked out in the water. We had fun looking at all the different varieties: motor boats, yachts, fishing boats, catamarans, and even jet skis. As the water gently slapped against the boat, and I relaxed in the shade of the canopy, I daydreamed about sunset picnics on our own catamaran. Ahhhh, wouldn’t that be amazing?
The air show was slow going, so we hung out and snacked. Kirk took our nephews for a swim in the lake, and they had fun jumping off the back of the boat. It was fairly hot out and slightly overcast, and if I wasn’t holding our little one, I would have jumped in the water too!
Once the larger planes started doing their shows, we put noise cancelling headphones on the girls. They worked so well they couldn’t hear anything! After awhile, C started getting sleepy and fell asleep in my arms. The rocking of the boat was making me feel sluggish as well. Being on the water seems to clear my brain of stress and worries, and I find myself completely in the moment. Water has always had that affect on me, and I find I am most at peace when I am near or on the lake. Years of living away from the water have made me so appreciative of what a gift it is to live so close to Lake Michigan now. I hope I never take it for granted.
We decided to head back to the marina despite not seeing the F16 planes do their show. As we made the final turn into the marina, 5 of the jets flew overhead in a diamond formation, with their wings nearly touching.
Afterward we headed home, showered, then went out to dinner for my nephew’s 12th birthday, followed by cake and ice cream at my parent’s house. It was a long day, but days like these are the reason we left the city for life on the lake. Instead of revolving our weekend around maintaining an aging house and feeling disconnected from nature, we spend our weekends enjoying the simple pleasures of time spent outdoors and connecting with family and friends.