Monday, July 5, 2010


We had a tranquil hike on Saturday…

… and a busy Independence Day on Sunday!

Water lillies Colorful boats

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.

Excellent people watching while we awaited the beginning of the air show. 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. 

Blue angels tight 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!


  1. We are not big on crowds but people watching is extremely interesting!! I would love to see the Blue Angels again. It has been many years but I remember how awesome they were.
    Odel since you flew a fighter jet then I think it is only fitting for us to say a big "thank you" for your service on this 4th of July!!
    You all take care and travel safely!

    Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

  2. Odel, I didn't know you were in the service of our country!!! And a fighter pilot even!! I'm with Mike and Gerri...a big THANK YOU for fighting for our freedoms!! Great shot of the Blue Angels, too! We gotta get back too Michigan!

  3. We are in Holland, Michigan for a week (leaving on Monday). If you happen to be in the area, we would love to meet the two of you. We seem to have a lot in common. Roger and Dianne

  4. Between the heat and the crowds, we would not have lasted long. Glad to hear that you both had a safe 4th. Odel, A big thank you from David and myself for serving our country. That truly is a selfless act that we feel is woefully under-recognized.

    Safe travels!

  5. I saw the Blue Angels once and it was spectacular. I really like your pictures from the day. Very nice. Laurie, thanks for coming by last week and leaving comments on my blog. I appreciate it. I lost 3.5 pounds the first week after giving up desserts three times a day and pancakes and bacon every day. So I intend to stick with it and keep on dropping (hopefully). Old WW strategies. I hope you and Odell are well. Take care...The Camp Host Housewife

  6. I love the Air Shows! Being from Spokane with Fairchild Air Force Base we always watched the Thunderbirds. Have a son who just joined the Air Force and myself did 8 yrs. Navy Reservist. Bless our Military! Thank you for your service too!

    People watching is the best! LOL! Glad your 4th was safe and fun!

    Cheers! Merri