Finding a Happy Place – or Two

The busiest Up North weekend of the year has passed, and we have survived with our sanity in tact. Or what passes for sanity. Cherry Festival, which was all of last week in Traverse City, brings huge crowds of vacationers who are mostly well-behaved, if oblivious to other people sharing sidewalks. Independence Day, though, brings a much less well-behaved crowd right to our backyard on the Torch Lake sandbar. And by much less well-behaved I mean very poorly behaved, but I’m over being negative so you’ll just have to take my word for it. 😉

Anyway, like I said, we survived. Heck, we even prospered. It was hot (high 80s/low 90s) over the weekend, and since it’s the busiest one of the year, we decided to stay off the water – but not out of it. This is our fourth summer up here, and we’re glad to have spent so much time exploring our playground. This year, it meant that on a sunny, hot Saturday, we were able to stretch out on a large expanse of beach all by ourselves.

Because it’s my favorite time of year (you know, because it’s a season, and they’re all my favorites 😉 ), I walked about 15 miles this weekend in daily laps around the “block” getting in outdoors time. Tony’s recovering from a summer cold – he really doesn’t feel great – but he did join me a couple of times, sharing his phone-camera for the pastoral shot, and taking the lovely one of me. (That one’s just for you, Mom. That’s the goatsbeard/salsify I told you about while we were “walking” together.)

Thanks to the superb location of our friends’ new house (three blocks from the water!), we spent even more time on the beach right in Traverse City. They’ve discovered a sandy spit that’s perfect to splash through even as the sun dips low on the horizon. Just ask this dog, who fetched incessantly for well over an hour.

Or these fledgling geese (and also the ducks), who were obviously not playing with the dog…(The two right-most small pics are worth looking at bigger-er)

Or don’t play in the water. Just watch the passing boats like I did.

We relaxed on that little sandbar Saturday evening – not quite alone, but amazingly close to it – until after 11pm. We’d have left sooner, but if you looked closely at that last boat photo, you might have noticed the barge laden with explosives 🙂

Traverse City awaiting fireworks in lovely light
Traverse City before the fireworks

Gallery of but a subset of pictures I took Saturday night. Click for the rest (which I put into a separate blog post) if you’re interested –> fireworks pictures

Traverse City (and the Cherry Festival Midway) in the smoky aftermath
Traverse City after

I hope you found your happy place – even if it was simply on your couch – this weekend. We surely did!