If you aren't from the northern Midwest or haven't travelled here, you might not know much about Lake Michigan, other than it's one of the Great Lakes. I'm originally from Washington, and that's all I used to know about it. We had some nice lakes in WA. I thought we had some big lakes, even. I had no clue what Lake Michigan was like until we moved to Chicago. (Truth be told, I didn't even know Chicago was ON Lake Michigan.)
So basically, Lake Michigan is huge. I mean, you can tell that from looking at the map, but really, it's HUGE. It looks like the ocean. Not sort of. Exactly. On certain days when the winds are blowing just right, it even has waves that rival ocean waves. The beaches are soft sandy beaches like Southern California. The only major differences for the average beachgoer are the fishy/saltwater smell and the sharks. The ocean has both; Lake Michigan has neither.
So our place in South Haven is easy walking distance to the beach on this massive body of water. The big difference between here and Chicagoland (besides the 4000 vs. 4,000,000 people thing) is that South Haven is on the east side of Lake Michigan, while Chicago's on the west. So in Chicago you see the sun rise over the water. In South Haven, we see it set. Just like we're on the Pacific again. :)
You know what I love about sunsets? Every one is different. Same sun, same sky, different sunsets. Every day. It blows me away every time.
Know what else I love about sunsets? The light. I really should get the kids out to take more photos of them at sunset. BoyWonder was with me on a walk one evening, which resulted in this fun little collage:
That red spot between his eyes? That's where his sister whacked him with the iPad a few weeks ago. It was an accident. (She was making a video, swirled around quickly just as BoyWonder was walking by, and clipped him with the corner of it.) But boy, those head wounds can bleed. She felt horrible.
So, back to South Haven. Being a summer tourist town, it's a little sleepy in September. Not dead, just not as hopping as I imagine it would be in the summer. The neighborhood we're in is filled with lovely, tree-lined streets and old, well-kept homes. I've been surprised to see how many of them are vacation rentals. Vacation rentals in the off-season are an awesome deal, by the way.
We really haven't done much in the way of adventure since we got here, though. Since our routine fell apart so gruesomely at the end of our Western stint, I was determined to get into one once we got here. So we've been spending most of our days doing schoolwork, working, taking leisurely walks, playing at the park and the beach, grocery shopping, going to the library book sale (LOVE!), and doing all of those normal life things.
I'm trying to decide how I feel about that. I was really enjoying our exciting explorations out west, and here there just doesn't seem to be as much to easily explore. We could drive an hour and see all kinds of things, but then we'd, you know, have to drive an hour and see all kinds of things. It's kind of nice to just breathe for a bit.
It helps that our house here is much more spacious than our "homes" the past four months. So spacious, in fact, that we are able to have people visit us and stay the night. Last weekend, we had some friends from Chicago come stay with us.
We went to the beach. It was a bit chilly in the water, but the kids still had fun. One kid did lose an arm, though.
Another lost his ankles and feet.
And the third lost everything but his head.
Havarti is a Baggo savant. Seriously. He kicked some major cornhole booty.
So that's what we're up to in South Haven. We have other friends and family visiting this weekend, and still more the next two weekends. Then we're back to Chicago for two weeks, then Cape Cod for a few months.
What a funky, funky life we're living. :)