I don’t need pictures to remember…

5 07 2010

…just how much fun I have with you.    

My mom has captured almost every significant moment of my life with photos – she’s captured quite a few insignificant events too.  It’s always fun the look through the bookshelves of photo albums and remember championship basketball games, birthday parties and graduations.  I finally bought my own camera last December before Kara and I went to the Bahamas.  While I enjoy taking photos, I’ve found that it’s more important to me to actually make a memory than capture one.    

This past weekend was the Fourth of July holiday weekend, which meant it was time for John and I’s second annual day trip to the Silver Lake  Sand Dunes.  After waking up at 4:30 a.m. and running 12 miles with the team, I came home for a quick shower and then headed for Michigan’s west coast with John.    

The weather was perfect – warm and sunny – and as you may have heard, road trips with John are always an adventure.  Early in the trip, he was already in rare form – dancing a variation of the robot to the Usher song, OMG.  As I’ve mentioned before, road trips are a great opportunity to learn more about your significant other.  For example, I learned John’s stance on cyclists who ride in the middle of the road: “Are they even allowed to be in the road?  You’re not Lance Armstrong.  This is not the Tour de France.  That’s a fake jersey!”  Once we arrived at Silver Lake several hours later, our first stop was the watercraft rental on North Shore Drive.    

Last year, we both rented kayaks and paddled all the way across the lake to the sand dunes.  This year, while John opted for the tried-and-true kayak and a securely-fastened life vest, I decided to take on the challenge of stand up paddle boarding.  This involved balancing on a surfboard and paddling from a standing position.  I was doing pretty well until the gentlest of waves rocked my board and tossed me flailing into the lake.  I’m sure John probably wished he had a few of my down-goes-Frazier-aquatic-style moments on film, but my camera isn’t waterproof.  I eventually got the hang of it and elicited stares from every passing motorist and pedestrian as I paddled along the shore near the road.  You don’t see someone standing on water, casually paddling down the beach every day.    

Some guy stand up paddle boarding in an exotic location like Hawaii where they have waves that are more than foot-high ripples made from jet skis and speed boats.


Instead of waiting on line to get a parking spot for Lake Michigan, we opted to go on the Mac Dunes ride, complete with a trip to the neighboring Whippy Dip to pass the short wait.  Just three words on the Whippy Dip: Chocolate.  Marshmallow.  Malt.  Along with a stellar uneven sun tan on my shoulders, we also had an up close bald eagle sighting over the wildlife area of the dunes which was special considering John’s plans of world domination as a bald eagle.    

After the ride, some of the lake traffic had cleared, so I decided to catch a few rays on the beach while John took a quick nap in the car.  The wind had picked up and all I got was earfuls of sand, so I walked down to the Little Point Sable lighthouse (the tallest working lighthouse in Michigan) and then headed back to the car.  John was asleep with the windows open so I leaned in and in my deepest, manliest voice growled “hey there, dark chocolate!”  He bolted straight up with an absolutely priceless look of surprise and horror on his face until he realized it was just me.  Win.    

We headed to what looked like the only full service restaurant in town for a perch dinner before finishing off the day with some go-karting.  It was during this time that John realized he is now officially too big for go-karting.  Not too old, too big.    

On the drive home we compared old school to modern hip hop with a little help from channel 50 on Sirius radio and John performed a rendition of Big Daddy Kane’s I Get the Job Done.  He also falsely accused me of “letting one rip” and rolled down the windows to let in fresh air, only to be slapped in the face with a gust of the same skunky farm smell that he had accused me of creating.  Sadly, nobody won that war.    

Another highlight of the trip home occurred when we took a wrong turn, causing John to unleash an impromptu reenactment of the scene from the horror movie Wrong Turn where the guy is driving along with his girlfriend and she is just talking to him and then out of nowhere an arrow “splits his wig” (John’s words) and kills him.  It was truly a cinematic little treat.    

All in all, our trip was awesome and even though I don’t have a single photo to show for it, I have a day packed with hilarious memories from what I consider two of the most beautiful places in the world: Silver Lake Sand Dunes and right next to John.    

Like any good Americans, we grilled out on the Fourth.  Not to brag, but I made the most delicious butter burgers, which John grilled to perfection along with kosher dogs, corn on the cob, kettle chips and the crown jewel of any good barbeque: strawberry jello dessert with a butter-pretzel crust.  If you have not tasted this, please request the recipe. You will not be disappointed.  We capped off the evening with sparklers and a fireworks show set off by John in the field behind my apartment.  Nothing like celebrating the birth of our nation with good old fashioned Chinese pyrotechnics.  The lack of photos during this part of the weekend is largely due to our desire to not create photos that may later be used as evidence by law enforcement agencies.    

Squirrel comes home today, John just strolled through the living room singing Bob Marley’s No Woman, No Cry and the Clawson fireworks are tonight, which means the good times will continue to roll.  Happy Fourth of July and God Bless America.  How did you celebrate?




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