Bumper Cars on the Chicago River to See Fireworks: Kayaking with Boat Flippers on the 4th

Our day actually started out with attending the ribfest in uptown. Very small festival by the way. If we had known maybe we would have opted out of breaking our necks to find a decent park just to only last there for maybe 20 minutes at most.

We went through security and had to pay a $5 donation.

But there were only 2 venues offering ribs – both advertising that they were the best. One was local and the other venue was from Texas.

We decided to wait in line at both venues separately to sample both dishes.

Not sure why our ribs didn’t come with BBQ sauce slathered on the meat. If we had known we both would have pumped a lot harder to add BBQ sauce to our meal from the pump dispenser.

It was hot and we could barely find a place to sit and eat but luckily we did.

We both agreed my ribs were pretty tasty and we got up and left.

A night of kayaking along the Chicago River was an amazing experience. The water is not the safest but 2 people managed to flip their kayak and themselves into the water….how gross. Getting sick from the water was enough motivation to keep me from flipping over.

It seemed like the entire city wanted to kayak that night, it was extremely busy and at times felt like bumping cars on the lake because people kept running into one another. Everyone is of a different skill level with kayaking in our group: first-timers, experienced and somewhat familiar.

Maybe if we had known this too we would have opted to do something different for the firework celebration.

Avoiding Near Death & Braving 38 Degree Temps: Camping Along Lake Superior in Michigan

I must say I was excited but a tad nervous because the year before we were surrounded by mosquitoes. But this year the manager of the cabins suggested visiting during the first week of June and we would be safe from the ordeal of fighting mosquitoes.

Well, here’s how our journey began for this trip.

We bought a 3 in 1 Kayak Carrier, it’s important to know because the box says setup will take minutes. Let’s try an hour. And it was especially hot that day. With all the excitement we had to use our tandem kayak for the first time was going out the window from all the screwing, instruction reading and the best part HOW WILL WE GET THIS ON THE ROOF.

I tell you whatever good muscles I built up over the years from high school and playing tennis they were non-existent. And the funniest part, there were on-lookers, you know our neighbors but no one volunteered to help. Which I guess makes sense because we can’t drag them on the trip to help us take it back down and put it back up again, ha.

Finally we got it up on the roof, threw all the gear inside the car and off we were headed! Sweet ride but nerve-wracking because we had never driven such a heavy item on top of the roof before, so monitoring the speed and checking every 5 seconds above the roof was a constant. And boy the amount of bugs collected was insane.

We arrived as the sun was setting and managed to setup the tent and squeeze in a campfire for a delicious hamburger and corn on the cob for dinner. The last evening we stayed we ran out of propane but luckily our campfire was blazing because we turned that into our cooker.

The temperatures were cold at night, in fact we believe that is they key as to why we saw no mosquitoes. Between us we seemed to do OK with our clothing but could have brought more layers, and a heater and some extra blankets. So if you are thinking of going I recommend those items or else you will need to sleep in your car. We almost did but I was so cold I pulled my hoodie over my head and stayed as warm as I could I didn’t hear the late night nudge to sleep in the car, lol. Luckily all the other days were a bit warmer.

The highlight of our trip was taking our kayak out onto the lake where apparently fishermen thought we would die and never to be seen again because of a horrible accident that happened the year before with two kayakers. This was their reason for sort of “water-gaiting” us….they stayed pretty close. And I admit it was pretty windy and we saw white caps so it was nice they gave us a heads up when we both docked our boats the same time.

There were a ton of little beaches and houses over looking the lake. We also saw off the path like trails and waterfalls. The 3rd day we were able to explore and dock our kayak along the small beaches. We kayaked very close to the shore in case anything were to happen.

We had a great time but was ready to return home. The cold weather and my instinct to sleep in a curled up position – we both had a few aches and ready to sleep in our own bed.

We might return there again at the end of June – hoping it will be warmer.