Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Across Lake Michigan in Two and a Half Hours
Yesterday we arrived home from a ten day vaca in west Michigan. Wanting to avoid the soul-sucking experience of stop and go traffic heading west through Indiana and hoping to give the girls an adventure, I booked space on the car ferry from Muskegon to Milwaukee. The trip turned out to be a blast.
Muskegon has seen better days -- we passed abandoned factories with broken windows and chased tumbleweeds through an empty downtown at rush hour Monday night and 9:00 on Tuesday morning. But the sunset over the inland lake adjacent to downtown was gorgeous, we found a decent hotel (Corporate-Victorian, if you can imagine that) with a nice restaurant next door (Thai sweet potato chowder) and our ferry passed a gorgeous beach state park on the way out of the harbor. From the sundeck we waved to fishermen and kids on the shore. A little tension when a fishing boat took its sweet time getting out of our way and another Bozo decided to cross our bow.
"This is heaven!" said my excited six year old when we climbed from the car deck to the passenger lounge with its big windows, comfy seats, snack bar, movie screens and decorative silk flowers. The girls played with a fashion design game I'd saved until the last day and narrated to me the plot points of Rango playing silently over our heads. We jumped up from time to time to check out the maps on the wall (Lake Michigan has depths over 900 feet!) and brave the wind on the sun deck. Thirty-four knots is forty miles per hour but feels faster. "Open your jacket and the wind will pick you up like a sail," I told the girls and half believed myself.
Amazing wake. Serene blue wavelets as far as we could see. In what felt like moments, a dreamy Milwaukee appeared in a pastel haze under a cloudbank.
Chicago has gots to get one of these things! It's the only way to fly!
Nora lost her second front tooth the day before.