Every year mid-August means one thing: annual friends weekend on the lake. Despite busy schedules, vacations and life, a group of fifteen friends have gathered for a long weekend. This year marked the tenth anniversary and like every year before the weekend delivered in a way that no other does. Three full days away from all distractions (yes, we all survive without kids, tv or phones) is nothing short of a beautiful miracle.
Everyone made the four plus hour drive north Thursday afternoon and arrived in the final hours of the day. We dropped Mitch at my parents for the weekend and with my sister and her family in town, the pictures and Snaps I received proved that he wasn’t missing us for a second.
After a good night’s rest, we woke up Friday morning and dug into blueberry oatmeal bake before heading into town.
The weather was overcast and cool, but perfect for an afternoon of wandering in and out of shops. The guys headed to a brewery and the girls grabbed lunch and shopped through downtown Leland.
Our tradition of lunch at Sisons was spoiled when they closed early. So, we opted for The Cheese Shop and all happily dug into pretzel bin sandwiches stuffed with fresh veggies and organic meats.
As the afternoon wore on, our determination to enjoy the beach drive us back home and down to the shore. Our good friend Chad recently purchased a stand up skidoo and the excitement was killing the guys.
Despite several good efforts, the waves were relentless and couldn’t be matched.
We all warmed up inside before digging into a homemade dinner of chicken, pork belly, baked beans, coleslaw and cheesy potatoes.
Everyone snuggled into the couches in the living room chatting and laughing for hours. Before long, I was off to bed. The lure of late nights is always met by the dream of an extended nights sleep. And with the little one on the way, I’m enjoying my sleep now.
Saturday started with an early morning coffee and breakfast sandwich date with Phil and Chad.
There is nothing like a fresh pour over coffee and breakfast from scratch.
The guys headed off for the morning while I drove to Glenn Arbor. About 20 miles from Leland sits Glenn Arbor, the home to the Sandunes and the Homestead (named the most gorgeous place in America by Good Morning America). The town was still sleepy when I arrived, so I spent a little time putzing around shops.
By late morning, I was back at the house and ready to enjoy the sunshine. Everyone jumped in their suits and set up for a day on the water.
The day was a blur of water games, snacks, cornhole and naps.
To our dismay, the sun started to set and we all headed inside to get ready for a bonfire.
It is safe to say, no Leland weekend is complete without time around the fire.
I outlasted most of the group as we spent hours star gazing. The shooting stars were out in droves thanks to the meteor shower.
When the clock hit one, my best friend and I called it a night and headed inside to bed.
Sunday morning we packed and then cleaned the house before dozens of hugs.
Phil and I drove back to Traverse City for Mitch and were greeted by an enormous hug from our little guy. It felt so good to see him again. The weather was perfect and so we took all of the kids to the beach before packing the car for the trip home.
It was a long weekend packed with amazing, longstanding friendships that were further reinforced. Friendships are so good for the soul. Disconnecting is good for your head. And three days without a care in the world is a gift that we all treasure.
How was your weekend? Do you have traditions with your friends or family?