First 2012 trip to Lake Michigan.

Hello, old friend. 

That’s usually what I say when I catch my first glimpse of that beautiful body of water: Lake Michigan. 
Even when I’m distracted dragging what seems like everything but the kitchen sink through the hot sand, including one or two whiny kids wondering if we’re there yet… I hear those waves, and I feel I can handle anything. 

My worries & cares melt away. 
I am instantly relaxed. 
As soon as we set up our “day-camp” on the beach, and crack open whatever beer we happened to grab (yesterday’s selection was Arcadia’s Whitsun Ale — mainly because it came in a 6-pack of cans — but it was a yummy choice!!) and plop my butt into my folding chair… I feel at home. 
As I felt the cool breeze & warm sun on my face and placed my can of Whitsun into my Mt Lemmon foamie… I realized something. 
We totally pulled a Mt Lemmon.
What’s a Mt Lemmon? 
When the hubs & I lived in Tucson, we lived fairly close to Mt Lemmon — there’s a ski-resort at the top of this mountain… because it’s 30 degrees cooler than the city of Tucson at the top. On very hot days in Tucson, we would make the 45-min drive to the top of the mountain and enjoy smelling the pine-trees and feel like we were back in Northern Michigan for a few hours. There were times that we would stop on the way up the mountain to swim in a naturally formed swimming hole… but, let’s face it, a swimming hole in the mountains is cool, but it’s not Lake Michigan. 
Yesterday, we left the 90+ degree city of Grand Rapids, drove about 45-min and were greeted by practically perfect 70 degree weather on the shores of Lake Michigan. Aaahhhh. 
It’s no secret that I’m a big giant puss when the temps go above 85… ok, 80. My bitchiness directly correlates with the thermometer. If I can find a way to beat it, I’m all over it. 
We spent over 4 hours at the beach yesterday! 
My kids were happy & entertained, the hubs & I were happy & content. Sure, we all got a little sunburnt over random places (the kids much less than the hubs & I) mainly because we never reapplied. Lesson learned. 

We all braved the 55 degree Lake Michigan water… I don’t know if we became numb to it, or it got warmer as the day went on, but it was worth the swim. So clean & welcoming. How could you not want to dive in?! Both of my [still leery of swimming] kids even wanted to touch the “do not swim past this point” posts. My oldest can be a bit a rebel when the mood strikes and asked if we could swim past the pole. These posts need to be re-evaluated because they are posted at a sand-bar, and I was only in waist-deep water, so of course I allowed her to swim past it, with me. I was proud of my little rebel… and I think I made her day by “allowing her” to break a rule. Some rules are meant to be broken, don’t ya think? I did make sure to briefly tell her that those are for our safety & to never go past those posts without a swim-buddy. blah blah blah… 
Looking forward to many more trips to Lake Michigan this summer. I may even brave a mid-week trip out alone with the girls this summer. I personally find the beach to be more easier to tolerate than a pool. There are pros & cons to both, of course… but nothing can duplicate walking through a thick forest and hearing the sounds of fresh waves crashing on a shore steps away. 
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