Summer, Beaches, and Babies

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Author:  Pete
Location:  Michigan and Wisconsin

I’m trying hard to make sure errantries does not become solely a baby-picture dispersion platform.  That’s what Facebook is for, right?  That being said, the trip back to the Midwest for summer was all about showing off Leonora to family and friends.  Consequently, the aforementioned initiative has been voided for this post and its unabashed infant imagery.

Flying back to the Midwest went without a hitch.  Leonie slept almost the entire time as we trained to Zürich then flew to Chicago and Appleton.  We spent the next weeks seeing family and friends around Green Bay and dipping the baby in the lake at the Pashouwer’s cottage.

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Leonora was sad to leave Wisconsin, but did really well on the six hour drive over the top of Lake Michigan.  She seemed to like her first trip over the Mighty Mac.  Back in Charlevoix we spent another couple of well-fed weeks making the rounds of our favorite beaches and spending time with our favorite people.

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We made it down to Traverse City to see the McGurn clan, and spent a lot of time with Mikey and his son Hank when they weren’t busy at Stiggs Brewery in Boyne City.  Pretty amazing to me that we’ve been buddies since seventh grade and managed to have offspring within the same couple of months.  Good planning on our part!  In all the excitement Miranda and I even manage to weasel in a date night!  How amazing is that?

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About the time we were to head back to Switzerland I found myself overlooking Lake Michigan as a squall rolled through.  Two things occurred to me:  The first of which is that I felt relieved to be ashore as the rain and wind washed by, to be able to enjoy the beauty of the commotion without concern over the safety of my vessel and crew.  The second was how distinct the lines were between the stormy and blue skies.  The duality reminded me of how variable our compartmentalized lives feel sometimes these days. Things switch so quickly from work to play, from home to abroad, and from squally cries to sunny smiles that it’s been hard to catch up with my own thoughts.  Maybe one day with a more focused mind I’ll be able to better articulate them.  Maybe.

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Summer in Michigan 2014

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Author: Pete

Location: Charlevoix, MI

 

A guy can become pretty darn antsy waiting to get a significant sailing trip under way. Hurricane season in the Caribbean has been mild tempered this year, apparently. However, we’re still sticking to our plan and waiting to go down to Florida to start up the boat search until mid-September just to be safe. Until then we’ve been entertaining ourselves in the Midwest seeing family and friends.

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Eventually had some time at home with family and friends. Met up with our friends Gordie and Em, and their two ridiculously adorable munchkins. Made a bonfire in the back yard and enjoyed the summer night just like when we were that age.

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Then I was another year older, if none the wiser. Charlevoix holds a weeklong celebration of my birthday each year, regardless of if I’m actually home or not, called the Venetian Festival. I don’t know why it isn’t called the Pete Festival… it’s always my birthday week. We celebrated by having a barbecue with friends, going downtown to see some music, and having birthday celebrations.

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Unbeknownst to me, it was decided that for surviving three decades I should be thrown out of a perfectly good airplane. What a birthday present! I couldn’t decide if I was flattered or freaked out. An old friend from high school, Ryan, was my tandem instructor. We strapped in and took off facing backwards in the tiny Cessna.

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Prompted, I think, by the possibility of the jump not going well, Miranda decided that we should make our marriage legal. Since a marriage license cost $20 in Michigan and $100 in Wisconsin, we went by our checkbooks.

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Our American Sailing Association certifications came in from our course in June! We’re documented sailors!

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Kept our sea legs up to snuff with some windsurfing, waterskiing, and kayaking.   I have a million wetsuits, but I’m gravitating to the 1980’s vintage shortie with ridiculous colors and almost no stretch.  Life on the water in the summer is one of Charlevoix’s many beauties.

 

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Spent some time with Hal and Taylor, who were up scoping wedding venues. Went out a few times to the Tap Room for beers and over to Hal’s for some killer salmon.

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The summer flew by with assorted fun bits that deserve a good review.  Here’s a few more…DSC_1291

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Finally, the day before Miranda and I were to head to Wisconsin our shipment came in from Chile. It should’ve arrived much sooner, but there was a dockworker strike in Chile. When longshoremen finally went back to work they picked pretty much the last day possible for us. Worked out great. It was sort of like Christmas opening the nineteen bags and boxes that filled the crate. All of the superfluous crap that we accumulated over four years in Chile had been sold or given away and all that was left was the good stuff. Favorite gear, artwork, clothes, that we had forgotten about in the exciting rush of summer.

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And then we were off! Loaded up the 1994 Plymouth Voyager and headed north around the lake. Seemed like an odd direction when our destination was Florida!

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