Along with seeing dear friends again, one of the things I was really looking forward to in Minneapolis was visiting all my favourite lakes.
I quickly realised, though, that my excitement hadn’t worn off on BB. “Not another lake,” he’d yawn, rolling his eyes at us and letting out a sigh as long as the Mississippi. “They’re bor-ing!”
“Get over it, BB!” we’d reply. “There are 10,000 lakes in this state and if you continue to complain, we’ll take you to EVERY.SINGLE.ONE!”
His little brother, meanwhile, revealed to us that he hadn’t quite grasped the concept of a scenic lake surrounded by nature with no belly-dancing fountains on it.
“Is it indoors or outdoors?” he’d enquire – seemingly satisfied with the answer at least.
As our holiday progressed, the boys did start to appreciate the natural beauty more, especially once they discovered they could kayak, ride pedalos and learn to fish – and they were definitely won over by my favourite lake of all: Lake Superior.
I love America’s Great Lakes. So much so that I couldn’t imagine a nicer place on Earth to celebrate my big birthday. Though to call Lake Superior a lake is surely the biggest under-statement there is. Like calling the Burj Khalifa a high-rise, or the Himalayas a series of hills.
I know I’m really very British – and grew up thinking the English Channel was to be feared – but isn’t a body of water that measures nearly 350 miles from tip to tip and has 350 shipwrecks, tempestuous storms and numerous lighthouses more of a sea than a lake?
The three quadrillion (3,000,000,000,000,000) gallons the lake contains would cover all of Canada, the US, Mexico and South America with one foot of water. Seriously impressive, don’t you think?
Having taken a little jaunt up the North Shore by car and train, what better way to experience the vastness of the lake than by boat. A ‘pizza boat’ to be precise.
Queuing up beside the vessel (bobbing about in surprisingly choppy water, and that was just the harbour), I was astonished to see women in floaty, chiffon dresses and heels with smartly dressed partners. They were led to the lower deck, however, for a more slap-up meal, while we – the pizza eaters (aka families with small children) – were herded to the busy, upper decks for a Pizza Hut-on-sea buffet.
Actually, I think it was Domino’s, as we saw the delivery van speeding off from the port, and the sunset cruise was unexpectedly wonderful. As it was my birthday mini-break, DH chased the boys up and down the decks and stopped them falling overboard, while I gazed out over the water and reflected on the fact that the sun had set on my 30s.
Very special – despite the soggy pizza and the fact I swear the boat lurched as fellow hungry passengers stampeded like elephants over to the buffet.
Dedicated to @Circles in the Sky (DH): Thank you for an amazing, eye-opening decade xx