Way back before school let out, Emily made herself a summer bucket list. At the top - "Go to the beach at Lake Michigan".
Because of our tight budget this year, we could not go all out for a long vacation. Truthfully, we could not even go for a very short vacation. So, we did the only thing we could do - take a day trip. Lake Michigan is about 3 hours west of where we live. Not exactly a short drive - but it's better than staying at home and not going at all, right?
So, we left somewhat early in the morning. We had stayed up late watching the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics, so getting up at 6am was not happening. And because it was just a day trip, packing was pretty easy. Just food, sand toys, bathing suits, towels and of course, the camera. Easy. This day trip thing is kind of awesome.
When we got to the beach, it wasn't all that crowded. And it took all of one second for the girls to run and fling themselves into the water. Of course, they had to be called back to have the requisite sunscreen applied. And then they were off again.
I think I have said this before - I LOVE LAKE MICHIGAN. I know the ocean is great, and I still love the ocean - but Lake Michigan is my hands down favorite. It's like going to the ocean, with much smaller waves. Smaller waves equals a lot less worrying about your kids getting knocked over. Sharks? Nope, not in Lake Michigan. That sticky feeling you get from swimming in the ocean...nope, not in the lake. You can swim, swim, swim, get out, towel off, and the sand that is on your wet feet, falls off after you are dry. And the sand - so white, so fine. The water - so clear. The ridiculous amount of sand bars....I LOVE IT. If you look in the picture below - you can see Emily and Eric out on a sand bar WAY out there. They are in the middle right. Can you see them?
This one - she said later in the day that she didn't have any fun, but I swear she did. At many points during the day, she was DANCING on the sand, playing and splashing in the water, making sand angels and begging me to take her out to the far sand bar. If that is no fun in her book, I am good with that.
After a couple hours, it did get a bit more crowded. At one point we counted 13 people para-sailing. (see first picture) That was fun to watch. We stood out on the sand bar and watched them take off. Some of them flew about 8 feet above the water. That was pretty cool.
Eric was there too. He forgot to rub in the spray sunscreen - so he had quite the interesting sunburn the next day.....
I am so glad that we decided to not let the fact that we could not take a proper vacation to the west side stop us from going to the beach - even if it was just for the day, it was still fun.