Tag Archives: Lake Michigan

What’s at the End of Lake Ave?

When I stepped outside this morning to get the newspaper from my driveway, I felt a cool lake breeze. I was suddenly taken by the desire to walk on the shoreline and to hear the waves. My plans for the day included finishing laundry and scrubbing out burnt on crud in my crock pot, but I decided to be spontaneous. What if…

We live right off of Lake Avenue, which goes directly to Lake Michigan. I’ve never driven all the way to the lake; when I have driven those eleven miles, I’ve turned south to go into the city. What if the girls and I drove all the way to the beach?

Lake Ave

If you know me, you know I can’t be THAT spontaneous. I began to look at online maps for free parking! I was hopeful that since it was a cool week day, there would be plenty of parking spaces available. The girls and I packed a couple of snacks and beach towels, but we weren’t planning on swimming. It was definitely too cool to swim in Lake Michigan. Plus, the swimming beach charges about $10 for non-residents of that lake-front suburb.

With a plan in mind, we hopped into the car and…had to stop for gas before our adventure could begin!

Back on Lake Avenue, we drove over the Des Plaines River and under I294. Lake Ave. also goes by Hackney’s, where I had one of my very first dates when I was 16 years old. We drove past Wagner Farm in the middle of Glenview, where I’ve taken preschool students on numerous field trips, and over the Chicago River.

I was worried that the free parking would be full and we’d have to punt, but there were plenty of spaces. As we found our way to the water, we discovered that there was no swimming allowed because of the rip tides. But that was okay. We only wanted to dip our feet in the water and dig our toes into the sand for a little while, and then we would be on our way back home.

feet in sand

We had discovered a little bit of heaven just 11 miles from our house. It only took me about 13 years to explore that beach, to tear myself away from the laundry and the dishes and the sameness of being a mom.

running in the water

When’s the last time you were spontaneous? Do you find it hard to be spontaneous like I do, or is it easier for you? Tell me in the comments below!


Three Months of Summer

As my bike bounced down the gravel road with beach cottages on each side, I felt like the ultimate tourist. With my huge sun hat on my head and a bag over my shoulder filled with a beach towel and a book, I had everything I needed. Well, almost everything. A basket in front of my bike filled with baguettes and cheese would have been nice. I parked my bike at the top of the stairway and made my way down the bluff to meet my family on the beach for another beautiful day full of sunshine and swimming.

Sunflower summer vacation

As school begins and fall approaches, I always feel as though summer flew by and it wasn’t nearly long enough. But when I look back at all the fun things we did, I realize that we packed a lot of activity into those three short months. In June, we celebrated Ed’s 50th birthday party with a big bash in our back yard. Swim team started for both Lily and Emmy. I helped lead Vacation Bible School at our church and taught one of the preschool groups. And we drove up to Madison, Wisconsin to see my sister’s painting and drawing exhibition in the student union at the University of Wisconsin.

Heather's exhibit

In July, Lily had her own artwork on display though a community outreach program in our school district. Several local businesses displayed various student artwork this summer, and Lily’s painting was on the wall at Dunkin’ Donuts. July is when we had our week at the beach, and we also celebrated Emmy’s 8th birthday!

Lily's artAugust was not quite as busy, and the girls and I took advantage of our lazy summer days by going to the pool, visiting Brookfield Zoo and Wagner Farm in Glenview. It was also the month of preparing for school. Both Lily and Emmy cleaned their rooms (which were disasters!) and I ordered each of them a small writing desk. They now have their own private space to do their homework!

How did you spend your summer vacation? Link up your summer posts here and be sure to visit all our Spinners!

NEXT WEEK: This prompt may be a stretch, but next week on Thursday is National Eat an Apple Day and Apple Dumpling Day. Saturday is Johnny Appleseed Day. So your prompt is APPLES. Share a recipe or a time you went apple picking. Perhaps your kids made an apple craft in school. Share it with us! Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away? Share some ways you try to stay healthy. Or make up your own way to write about this prompt!

Spin Cycle at Second Blooming
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