Midwestern Margaritaville


We just happen to have a gem, practically in our backyard, that makes you think that you have left the Midwest and are on a Caribbean vacation. We do not use this gem nearly enough, pretty much just once a summer (…wee-aged children can be a lot of work at the beach…).

Because it was Labor Day weekend, and a birthday weekend and a long weekend with wonderful weather, and a great weekend to savor being outside, and because these types of weekends are ultimately nearing an end, we planned a beach day. Well, actually it was more like a plan for a couple of hours at the beach, but for us that is like putting in a full day.


The preparation starts the night before with me trying to pack up chairs, shovels, pails and sheets (they are so much easier to shake sand off of than towels when you want to sit down). Then in the morning I finish the rest of the food prep and packing.

The beauty of this fabulous Great Lakes beach that is only 5 minutes from our house is that it is only 5 minutes from our house and we can still make it home in time for naps. Naptime is not a time to be messed with. Oh sure, the kids can sleep in the car but then when are the grownups going to get the solitude that only comes from naptime and bedtime?

Yes, you see now.

This goldmine of a beach is a jewel in so many ways. It is close so that we can still be home for naps. It is huge so it never feels crowded. It is beautiful and there are days when the water is turquoise so that it truly looks like a Caribbean escape. There is a snack bar, nothing exciting about that, but there happened to be reggae music playing and it was soooo Caribbean. There are actually palm trees at this beach. Somehow in the Midwest with our crazy winters, they get palm trees to survive. Maybe they dig them up? I have never investigated. But I am thankful. It all feels so beachy, Caribbean beachy. You can go for a couple of hours and totally forget that you will be heading home to pay your bills and scoop the litter box. Fabulous!


A large amount of gear travels with us, so much more than a sandwich, beverage, book and chair from my previous life. But I have learned that it makes the actual beach day run so much more smoothly.

Somewhat smoothly.

Keeping an eye on 3 busy wee ones is not relaxing. And at lunch time we had to stand close guard to the kiddie table to constantly shoo away the “August Bees” – ya know, those wasp type bugs that show up in late summer and hang out at your picnics and near your soda can. And to shoo the occasional seagull since they have been known to snatch a cookie right out of your hand.


But…it is the beach, a beautiful beach, and if it is going to be “business as usual”, it may as well be at the beach!


While we were at the beach, the crystal clear day was suddenly replaced by a fog that seemed to come out of nowhere and take over the beach. It was amazing to watch it.


And the “Home in time for naps Margaritaville Beach day” ended with a birthday treat…what a great day!

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