July 22, 2012

Happy Anniversary Weekend!


Today, Eric and I celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary. We like to plan our summer vacations around July 22 to make our anniversary extra special. Since our honeymoon in Hawaii in 2005, we have spent our anniversary in Key West, Newport, Mystic Seaport, New York, Toronto, Montreal, Québec, and Niagara-on-the-Lake. This year, due to a new job, we aren't able to take vacation until later this summer. Yet, we had a lovely anniversary weekend, right here in Milwaukee.


Friday evening we had a sunset picnic on our boat and watched the Festa Italiana fireworks. Saturday, we finally went sailing! With a 10-15 knot breeze from the west, it was absolutely beautiful on the lake. Dotting the horizon were sailboats of every shape and size, including the 3-masted Great Lakes schooner, Denis Sullivan and a fleet of boats competing in the 104th annual, 333-mile race from Chicago to Mackinac Island. I have followed the the Chicago-Mac race since I was a little girl, enjoying my dad's stories and photos of when he participated in the 1940's and 1950's.


This morning, we had a lovely Champagne brunch at Bartolotta's Lake Park Bistro, my favorite French restaurant in Milwaukee. Our table was beside the windows, overlooking the bluff and Lake Michigan. The views and the food were extraordinary! After brunch, we visited the art museum for the Posters of Paris exhibit. As much as we would have liked to travel for our anniversary, being on the water always feels like a vacation, and the food and art almost made me feel like I was in Paris!

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Our "staycation" was a feast for the senses:

Sight: The soft hues of the blue sky fading into a golden pink sunset; the brilliant colors of the fireworks reflected on the water; vibrant text and images of 19th Century Paris posters...

Sound: The whoosh of the waves against our hull; the crisp snapping of the wind in our sails; the booming fireworks echoing across the lake; the screeching of the seagulls; the iconic songs of Edith Piaf, Yves Montand, and Charles Trenet...

Smell: The familiar, if sometimes unpleasant, scents that indicate the direction of the wind; the lingering sulphuric fumes of the fireworks; that distinctly summer smell of sunscreen; the delicious aromas of freshly brewed coffee...

Taste: A lime in my boat drink; a galette with sautéed mushrooms, savory ham, and creamy Gruyère; a velvety mousse au chocolat; and of course, sparkling Champagne (can't you taste the bubbles?)...

Touch: The warmth of the sun on my shoulders; the cool breeze blowing through my hair; the wet lines tugging at my hands; the cleat that "bit" my shin; the pinch of my 4" Kate Spade peep-toes (my feet are in summer mode - Sperrys & Repettos!); and most of all, my husband's warm, strong hand holding mine...It was a happy anniversary :)

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