We had a tranquil hike on Saturday…
… and a busy Independence Day on Sunday!
Traverse City was packed over the weekend! The annual Cherry Festival started on the 3rd, a weeklong celebration of the region’s most prolific crop: vendors, booths selling all things “cherry”, a carnival, wine tasting… all of this is set up along the beachfront parks and walkway that stretch along Grand Traverse Bay.
Add to that the weekend long Independence Day celebration, which included an air show both Saturday and Sunday from 1 pm until 3 pm, and you’ve got a LOT of people, a LOT of traffic, and a LOT of boats!
The highlight of the air show was a performance by the Blue Angels. I’ve never seen the Blue Angels (or any air show at all), so thought it would be interesting to head into town to check it out.
Okay – been there, done that! We arrived lakeside a bit before 11 am, set up our chairs in a shady spot, and took off for a walk alongside the beach for an hour – then settled into our seats to watch dozens, then hundreds, then thousands of others stake their claim on a small patch of turf. By the time the show started, every patch of grass was covered with chairs and blankets, and the lake was full of anchored boats.
The show began with an hour of fly-bys and acrobatics, one small plane at a time. I guess there are only so many things you can do in a plane: fly fast, fly upside down, do a loop, fly straight up into a stall, recover, waggle your wings… I have no doubt all these tricks take a high level of skill, and are fabulously fun and exciting for the pilot, but I lost interest by the third pass through the repertoire. Back to the people watching (and dogs, and bikes, and strollers, and vendor pushcarts).
I did enjoy the Blue Angels performance, no doubt very effective in achieving their stated mission of enhancing Navy and Marine Corps recruiting efforts. Their high speed and close, synchronized formations upped the excitement level in a hurry. Odel looked over at me and said “I can’t believe I ever did that (flew a fighter jet)!” Thirty minutes and it was all over.
It was a hot (upper 80’s) and windy afternoon. Since we were sitting on lawn chairs in deep shade with a good view of the crowds passing by, we stayed put for another 45 minutes until the crowds thinned. Fireworks were planned for the same spot when darkness fell – 10:30 pm! Not for us, we’d had enough excitement for the day!