Many times, Aaron and I have contemplated selling everything and sailing away – at least to a place where we can keep Clarity in the water year round. And while that’s still very much a consideration, when family comes to town and the weather stays favorable, summer in Chicago is magic.
This past Independence Day weekend, we had a full family crew on board Clarity. Aaron’s mother, Penny, and her husband Brian, were the first to arrive last Wednesday, driving in from Michigan. Then, on Friday, July 3, my brother, sister-in-law drove in from Indiana with my two nieces, and my mother also joined in the fun. We all convened at 31st Street, where we took a quick dip in the pool before casting lines.
Out on the lake, Aaron and I were able to show our families what we love so much about this life. We hoisted the sails and had our crew take turns at the helm. The girls snuggled up down below with toys and books, and the adults savored views of Buckingham Fountain, Navy Pier and the skyline that so few experience. After a few hours, we made it to the yacht club just in time to snag the last spot on the dock, then laid out a spread for dinner that deserved its own Zagat rating.
Aaron, Claire and I stayed on the boat at Columbia while our families got some rest to gear up for the 4th. A lazy morning on the dock led to bloody marys on the bow of the club ship with Penny and Brian, then the 10 of us came together again for a walk through Maggie Daley and Millennium parks. Before the fireworks crowds completely clogged the lakefront path, we made our way back to Clarity and shared wine and cheese while waiting for the sun to set. The club is the best place to watch the fireworks, which are set off from Navy Pier just north of the ship, and they did not disappoint.
Many thanks to Claire, the three of us slept in Sunday morning, then sailed the boat back to 31st Street for donuts on the dock with Penny and Brian. We spent a lovely day poolside – the fifth in a row with high temps and no rain! – before they, too, headed home to Michigan, and we were once again the three musketeers.
I forget sometimes how lucky we are to live in a place that allows us to indulge in our dream while still being close enough to share it with those we love. What a wonderful celebration of our freedom.