It's hard to pass up an opportunity when you're put at an ultimatum to either stay in the city, or drive an hour away for only a few hours before work. This is what I've faced not too long ago when sitting in my boyfriend's living room on a hot Milwaukee summer day, alongside the events that were soon to follow.
It was a Saturday morning, and we had stirred from our slumber much later than usual. Stretching, rolling, and yawning ourselves awake, we were then driven head first into the day by the sound of a paletero man’s cart bells. It was music to our ears after learning to tune out the scrapes and drills from the auto shop across the street, which seem to start way too early for our taste.
After chasing the popsicle man, already half a block away, Eric returned with a watermelon and
pineapple paleta and we melt with joy in the humid living room. We were accompanied by his roommates Chris and Brian, whom were also indulging in popsicles of their own. The sentence, “We should go to my grandpa’s lake…” fell out of Eric’s mouth like thought vomit. We sat in silence for only a split second before Brian exclaimed, “I have to work at 5. But yes, let’s do it.”
The time is now noon.
I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I didn’t even know where Turtle Lake was, let alone that it existed. But, there was no need to turn back. It was 85 degrees and the perfect time to fit in an adventure in 4 hours.
We quickly retreated to our separate rooms to shuffle out of our civilian clothes and into bathing suits, loose shirts, and towels. We dragged the dog, Betty, along (who was in her usual slumber) and piled into the car with nothing but a pursuit for fun and a case of beer.
By the time we left Grandpa Dick’s pontoon boat and on to dry land, we had already made plans for the 4th of July which was several weeks away.
Those weeks came and went, and, truth be told, it was a perfect time spent despite the drought Wisconsin had suffered. (No fireworks were allowed!) Friends from all over; including Berlin, Ottawa, Kentucky, and Seattle, made way before the North American Hardcourt Bicycle Polo Championships (NAHBPC) to relax their minds and bodies before the three day event of blood, sweat, and tears.
As for after the tournament? We headed to Bradford Beach the following morning to celebrate Milwaukee’s home team The Beaver Boys (Eric Kremin, Brian Dillman, and Joe Burge) winning the title of North American Champions! Hoorah!
Many people were amazed by Lake Michigan because, well, it’s really freakin’ big. They refused to call it the lake, but rather the ocean. A really stinky ocean. (Around this time of year, Lake Michigan holds a pretty strong fishy aroma, but if you’re around it enough, you won’t notice a thing!)
Not enough sunscreen and a few too many beers later, we gathered our towels and bikes and rode off towards the sunset to take the party elsewhere.
Milwaukee in the Summer.