Friday July 30, 2010
Although my parents had both been born and raised in West Michigan, they have been doing a lot of traveling the past few years for my dad’s work. Back in 2005 they were moved to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam where he was in charge of a new factory his company just built. It was on a visit to see them in 2007 that Matt and I had fallen in love with world traveling and a different way of living that probably led up to our decision to take this trip. Later that year my dad finished work with that company and was moved to North Carolina for a new job. Then after a few months and a bad economy that branch was closed and he was moved through the same company to their current location of Mesa, AZ. Even though Matt and I try to see my parents wherever they may be living at least once a year it’s always a treat when my parents come back to Michigan for one week in the summer. We were able to take them sailing on the Hunter in ’08 and ’09 and were very excited for them to see the new boat we graduated up to. Their first night in town last week we told them of our plans to take a few years off work and sail up and down the coast. That’s not normally a conversation saved for the phone and I’d been waiting months to see them in person and tell them of our news. (Which when you’re my age starts with ‘We have some big news to tell you……but it’s not a baby….) I wasn’t sure how they’d react to us just up and leaving our lives, but the reply was “Well you’re still young, do it while you can”. That was a very big releif for me.
Since my parents were crashing at my place while they were in town we all piled into their rental car and made our way to Muskegon while my brother Joe was supposed to meet us out there in his own car. Upon arriving at the marina and finding he was nowhere near us yet we made our way out to the boat to lounge in class instead of in a parking lot. I got busy stocking the fridge and cupboard with the food and drinks my mom brought as she must have thought we’d be out for a whole weekend instead of a few hours. Always be prepared, she says. We also picked up Subway for lunch but held off on enjoying those until my brother could join us. This was not easy for me, I was ready to eat!!
While we were out there we could see all the young kids that were getting sailing lessons on lasers out in the lake. Matt liked to tell me about them since he sees them practicing almost every Friday while he’s working on the boat. They ranged in age from what looked like four to twelve, usually two or three of them placed in each dinghy. While we were settling into the cockpit with cold beers in our hands we watched a few of the older cockier kids that would race inbetween the boats in the mooring field, coming within just a few inches of the hulls and then shifting their weight to turn away. It was pretty amusing to watch until one boy decided we needed a show and wanted to use our boat like an orange cone in a slolem course. He’d set a course straight for our bow and then lean back at the last second narrowly missing us by inches and then turn himself around and steer right back at us again. If he wasn’t called away by his instuctor I probably would have given him two more minutes before yelling at him to get off my front yard. Kids these days…… : )
After an hour Joe still hadn’t shown up so we took turns blowing up his cell phone. He finally answered for Matt and stated that he’d been driving around for awhile but must have gotten lost because he was not getting any closer to water. The phone was passed to me to give proper directions to the marina. Only problem was that even with being given street names by Joe of his current location I had no idea where he was. In all our years coming out here I’d only paid attention to the names of the streets we traveled on, and even some of those were a little shoddy. My directions to friends were normally along the lines of ‘take the expressway til it ends, follow it to this street and take a left, keep on that street until you’re at the marina’. Guessing at places he might be I gave him the best directions I could and told him I’d hope to see him in a little bit. Turns out it wasn’t good enough because he had to call back 15 minutes later, but at least this time we were prepared with an address for him to plug into his GPS.
An hour and a half after the four of us initially arrived Matt was running out in the dinghy to get Joe and I was preparing the boat to leave as soon as they got back. My parents only had three hours before they needed to start heading back for dinner plans, but we really wanted to get out to the big lake since we’d mostly stayed on Muskegon Lake in previous years with them. When the boys got back we dropped the lines and headed out. We were hoping for a little bit of wind this year as the last time I had my family out the water was almost glass and it was hard to let them get the feel of what sailing was actually about. What had started out as a sunny and hot day was slowly becoming more and more overcast and I was reaching for my fleece yet again. Winds on the big lake weren’t too strong, but enough to get both the sails up and a little speed under us. It wasn’t a lot but I think it was perfect for my mom who isn’t into thrilling high paced rides. For awhile we sat around talking and catching up since it’s usually only a one time a year event that we can get the five of us together at one time.
When initially planning this outing we had promised Joe swimming so we put the sails down and let ourselves glide to a stop. By this time there was no sign of the sun anymore and it felt like the temperature had taken a ten degree dip since we’d left. This was not going to be enough to stop us and we all jumped in to the refreshing chill of the water which I swear has gotten colder in just five days. The waves weren’t very big at 1-2 feet, but it did remind us ‘kids’ of being in the wave pool of Michigan’s Adventure when we were younger. There weren’t any tubes to rent for $5, but after being submerged in the water I was realizing it was much better being under it than the cool breeze above. The guys took turns diving and flipping of the side of the boat while I was treading water and trying to stay warm. By the time my lips started turning blue it was time to head back and get my parents home.
As we cruised back in to call it a day I wondered why the beautiful Michigan summers I’d grown up with were eluding us this year. I always had such great memories with my parents and my brother at the lakeshore in the summer of laying in the hot sand with the sun blazing and a fresh breeze coming off the water. I wanted to be able to give them the same great time at the lake they had given me. Either way though were were all just happy to spend time together and I was happy to share with them a little bit of the lifestyle Matt and I would be living in a year. Maybe I can get them out to see us for some ocean cruising? Hmmm…….we’ll see.
Think it’s big enough to spend 2 years on?
My wonderful parents