Two Birds With One Stone (Great Lake and Paddleboarding)

There are random bouts of time in my life when I feel extra adventurous. It can last anywhere from several hours to a weekend (it’s never been longer than a weekend, not even a long weekend really). These are my favorite weekends to look back on and ponder. They are the weekends I really should strive to recreate. And as much as I would like to take all the credit for these awesome weekends, they are usually heavily reliant on another human being. Really one of two kinds of human beings. I either have to be with someone whose fear of doing anything disgusts me so much that I feel a need to separate myself from them in every way possible thus becoming adventurous. As an aside here, I feel I must clarify that I only feel this sense of disgust because I see myself in them, otherwise I doubt this would bother me one bit. The second kind, and the kind I enjoy much more, are those people that are so adventurous and fun that it’s literally contagious.

This story is a wonderful sample of the latter. One lovely summer weekend my good friends who were marrying each other decided to celebrate their singledom one last time. I was, of course, invited to the bachelorette party which consisted of several parts my favorite of which was day 2: go to the beach on Lake Michigan. The bride is lucky enough to have a good, and incredibly kind, family friend who owns a house on the lake. By a house what I should really say is probably one of the most beautiful lake houses in existence. Because I was in too much awe upon walking into this creation to take a picture, I will use the next paragraph to paint you a mental image. Feel free to skip this part, I haven’t taken creative writing since high school and I’m sure my skills are shoddy at best.

Really it’s not going to take a whole paragraph. This house looked pretty unassuming when we first arrived. We had to take a narrow stone stairway down to the front door. When we knocked we were told to come in and a cocker poo (looking very much like my own cocker poo) greeted us excitedly at the door. This ensured that none of us looked up when we walked into the house, which really made the whole effect much more dramatic. When we all got over the exciting presence of the dog, we looked up to see that the entire wall facing the lake was made of glass. And it was incredible and breathtaking and everything I would ever want in such a property. In fact I think I actually told the owner several times to let me know if they ever put the house on the market. I don’t know why they ever would. On a clear day, she kept telling us, you could see the Chicago skyline from that window. Upon further exploration I found that next to an outdoor shower outside the lower level of the house, there were also swings hanging from the porch that faced the lake. I love swings. They are one of my favorite things about being an aunt, because having nieces and nephews means that I can go to playgrounds again without being a creep (thanks brother and sisters!).

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So this was my first visit to a Great Lake (upon typing this, I just realized that having gone to Put-In Bay last year I actually already visited Lake Erie, but I’m just leaving this as is for the dramatic effect at this point). We made our way down to the beach, set out some chairs, and proceeded to start consuming some beverages when I decided to explore a little. The dear family friend spotted me as I was checking out what I thought was a paddleboard (though I really didn’t know because as my list implies, I have never been on one) and asked if I wanted to learn. I think the lack of sleep from the previous night led to extra adrenaline in my system which led to extra adventurousness (have I mentioned I like making up words?). Really though, a lot of it had to do with this family friend. She was just so positive and excited to see someone show interest in this board that when she asked I couldn’t very well say no. She was also an excellent instructor. Really if I felt like I had any control whatsoever over this board I think I would have stayed on it all day, but when it started turning back towards the shore I figured I should take advantage of the tide and paddle like my life depended on it. I really would like to go SUPing again. And adventure to look forward to for next summer I suppose.

Until then, winter adventures (and more updates on summer ones) await!

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