Monday, July 27, 2015

Less Beach? No problem ...

THE PEPPER SPRAY express just got back from the annual whirlwind Lake Michigan vacation.


For the third straight year, Frank Haxel, Adam Yates and myself jumped on pilot Tim Smith's single-engine plane and flew to Holland, Michigan, where my aunt and uncle live. We left an hour or so earlier than planned Saturday morning to beat a massive storm system, and we had perfect weather on the beach.

I gave I-84/90 a big middle finger as we zipped over the highway near Michigan City. For as many agonizing and harrowing hours as that road has given me, I thought it was deserved. It took us two hours to fly to Holland. Two hours .... driving, we'd be just leaving Springfield.

On the beach, there is no such thing as time. Great conversation, great weather, great company, great jam session on the deck Saturday night with cousins Roland and Michael. The beach itself changes every year, and there's a lot less of it right now - but still more than enough.

Sunset from the deck near Holland, Michigan.
Of particular interest were the discussions between my Uncle Peter, who is into conflict resolution, and Sgt. Adam Yates of the Quincy Police Department.

Tim and Frank slept on chairs right by the water. Tim woke Frank up at 2 a.m. so they could see the space station streak across the sky. Adam and I collapsed in a tent gracious provided by cousins Roland and Amy Hart. There is something to be said about falling asleep to the waves just feet away.

On the way back, Tim dodged more thunderstorms and the view in the clouds was amazing.

As we left, Peter said, "We'll do it again next year."

We already can't wait!

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