A trip to the lake

Michelle and I had Thursday pretty much all to ourselves, and while I wasn’t feeling well, it was hard not to take advantage of the time alone.

Our two eldest girls had left on Monday to visit grandparents in the U.P. for the week. It sure was hard to see them go, but at the same time it was nice to have some time alone, both with Shaelin and without her.

Whereas Tuesday we had a chance to go out on a date, and Wednesday we had a babysitter for a little while so we could catch a movie (Spider-Man 2 – go see it), Thursday was our day almost entirely to ourselves. We dropped Shaelin off at a friend’s house at 10 a.m. and headed out for a quick bite and a run to pay some bills at the bank. Next we headed off to Target to stock up on various OTC meds; it really isn’t pleasant when you run out of cough syrup or decongestants in the middle of the night.

On our way out of the parking lot, I asked Michelle if she wanted her big surprise. I had been planning something like this for several weeks, but lacked on details. It became very clear within minutes what we needed to do, though. We had a warm, sunny day and nothing at all to do save be back to pick up Shaelin at 4:30 p.m. What better day than to take a drive to Lake Michigan? And so we set off towards Manitowoc, heading east on highway 10 (and 310) to Two Rivers, then down scenic highway 42 along the lake shore.

Sadly my memory failed me and the park I was thinking of was actually in Sheboygan. Like I said, though, we had nowhere to go. I used my intuition and took county LS south (“Lake Shore”, I reasoned). It turned out to be a nice little drive that ultimately took us right past the Whistling Pines golf course that the PGA had just been played at the week before. There wasn’t much to see from the road, naturally, but hey, I got to see the gates, parking lots, and even a pretty big tent (which I assumed was still there from the PGA event). But enough about that, because other than a brief mention of it, I was totally focused on getting Michelle to see the lake.

We collaborated on the navigation and in a little while we were parked down at the beach in Sheboygan. We took a nice, long, leisurely walk on the beach. We amused ourselves by walking on the freshly-raked beach sand (quite the contraption to do that) and watched the micro-earthquakes collapse the furrows. Michelle collected shells, and I trash talked gulls and geese. I bet Michelle was really impressed with my bravado… and along the way we saw some young mallards taking a nap. Anyway, we had a really nice conversation and spent an hour and a half down there doing essentially nothing.

On the way back I had one more surprise. Michelle has long been a fan of A&W restaurants, and along highway 10 in Reedsville we have one that seems to do fairly well. It’s attached to a gas station, which probably helps. So anyway, we’ve stopped there a number of times to get a frosty mug of root beer or a snack. This time I splurged on an all-out, sit down, take your time meal.

We wrapped up our lazy day with a trip to Blockbuster, more of our new (but short-lived) ritual of watching the Olympic Games, and then stayed up way too late to watch The Bourne Identity, a movie we had long wished to see but never found the time. It was a pretty nifty plot, and we’re looking forward to seeing the sequel when it arrives on DVD.

There was nothing particularly amusing or strange that crossed my mind, at least nothing I’d care to relate here. Michelle and I have been around each other for more than 13 years, though, and there were plenty of “in-jokes” to share. It was nice to be able to spend a day like that with Michelle. I’d like to do it again, as soon as we can realistically arrange it.

Oh, and by the way, I again left the camera, but I suspect it would have gotten in the way of our special day. This time, I don’t regret the omission.

UPDATE: Fixed typo; no content changes.

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