In the Middle of Beautiful

kateschannel -- in the middle of beautiful

Quiet lake tucked away from the hurried pace of now. My Aunt Kate picked this respite and often shares her treasured spot with family and friends.

What a way to spend a couple vacation days. She invited Tracy, Issa, Riff and I to join her in the middle of beautiful. Her break from the world on a small private lake named Lake Taho. Take note. I did not misspell. There is no “e” and it’s not located in Nevada or California. No plane ticket required. It’s located a couple hours north of my home, near Clare, Mich. where harmonious breezes mix with peace.

Loons, lily pads, tall trees, birds and insects co-exist. We kayaked, fished, played and enjoyed each others’ company as well as a connection with nature in its purest sense. A full moon lit the lake on the first night of our visit. Lightening and thunder woke us all early the next morning. But, breaking storms yielded to some blue and we took a quiet boat ride. We took a closer look of some loons swimming on the lake.

kateschannel -- kayaks provide fitness and fun

We have visited many other times when sunshine and warmer temps. made use of the lake more inviting. But, the weather is always secondary, really. The company — whether it be for an intimate re-connection with just my crew or raucous reunion parties with our big, extended family — my Aunt Kate’s place is always in the middle of beautiful morning, day or night; during rain or sun.

The Original Saturday Real-Life Escape

It began Saturday morning. I started the engine, set my music to the Black-Eyed Peas, and sped out of the driveway. Squealing my tires, I left my husband, children and dog for my sister and Hob Nob Pinot Noir. I escaped to the land of The Original Cottage Inn, Stucchi’s, the University of Michigan and flirty boutiques.

At The Original, my sister and I savored a child-free meal and traded strategies on how to avert meltdowns. Somehow food and drink tastes so much better without food strikes, projectile air launches, or requests for drink refills. Plus, nothing beats The Original. Just think about it. Does Ataris’ cover of Don Henley’s Boys of Summer measure up? Say what you want. It just doesn’t do it for me. The same goes for food. Mastery of artful, tasteful duplication is tough and not without peril.

Our escape route also included a trek through the campus at U-M, hunting for stylish spring accessories, and indulging at Stucchi’s. That scoop of cinnamon crumb cake was absolutely delicious; and worth every calorie and fat gram.

The original Saturday real-life escape was extra special with a visit to my sister’s home. There, I cuddled my nephew who is a bundle of six-month cuteness and discussed how challenging it was to catch leprechauns with my niece, Annalise. She even showed me the box she made for trapping them. Life is beautiful.