We went south, to the "other" Great Lake yesterday. Usually Lake Huron is where we go for a beach day, mostly because of habit, but Lake Erie has a lot going for it, too, and we went there yesterday afternoon.
I love the beach, and we are incredbily lucky to have two enormous lakes with dozens of fabulous beaches within an hour's drive of us. We have beaches with sand dunes, beaches with towns, quiet beaches, gravelly beaches and shallow beaches and deep beaches. There are beaches with really good waves, beaches that get nary a ripple, beaches that can drive on and beaches that can only be gotten to by precarious staircases down daunting cliffs. A beach for everyone.
You really do see that God in His Great Wisdom has a wicked sense of humor....there is every size, shape and configuration of human body on this earth, and you get to see most of them at the beach. And for the most part? everyone looks like they are hungover and have been shot out of a cannon at the beach. For the past few years there have been hair products on the market designed to give you "beach hair", which baffles me utterly....to me, beach hair usually looks like it's been styled with vaseline and leaf blower. That shower when you get home from the beach is purely delicious.
The beach we went to yesterday has a big restaurant right on the beach, where we went for dinner. Somehow, eating our fries outside by the lake, shooing the gulls away while watching the sun get lower and lower in the sky makes everything taste so much better. Any other time of the year, a dinner of french fries and ice cream would seem slovenly and gross, but on a breezy, warm summer evening by the lake, it seems perfectly acceptable.
I love watching dogs at the beach. Some dogs can't get enough of the water, and exhaust themselves in endless games of fetch, and some dogs are perfectly content to sit on the sand and pant. The Mister once was at the beach with a bunch of friends and one of them had a dog. The guys all stood in the lake, throwing a frisbee around in a circle, and the dog gamely swam around and around trying to get it. After a while, the dog was getting tired and sinking lower and lower into the water, and they all stopped the game and got out of the lake, increasingly afraid that the dog would drown in her single-minded attempt to catch the frisbee. If the van smells a bit rank with 4 or 5 damp, sweaty children in the car after a day at the beach, I can only imagine how it smells with a lake-wet dog in there.
My summer is infinitely improved by being able to go to the beach easily and often, and we are lucky to have so many clean, safe, beautiful beaches within easy distance. And the french fries and ice cream don't hurt, either.