Saturday, July 6, 2013

Lakeside 4th of July.

I've been a working professional for two years, and I know one thing for certain: paid holidays rock. The 4th of July is one of 'em, and nothing beats a weekday off from work. 

With perfect weather outside and only an afternoon BBQ on my agenda, I packed up my new Matt & Nat cork tote and headed to Tenney Beach. Less than 2 miles from my condo, this seemed like the perfect lakeside lounging spot.

Note: In Wisconsin, the word "beach" means a lakeside place to lounge with a small amount of sand and a large amount of grass. There are no waves, no seashells, and building a sand castle would be a challenge. 

I set up my towel lakeside and pulled out the latest issue of Vogue: pure bliss.
The ducks kept me company.
When I got through my magazine, that perfect lake was calling me, so I went for a swim. I went to summer camp for 9 years, so I'm used to lake swimming, but I probably hadn't been in a lake since 2003. And hell, I hadn't been swimming in the state of Wisconsin yet, so I figured I was due.
After my first swim in Lake Mendota. Wet hair and Ray-Bans.
Swimming: check. Now, back to lounging in my Havaianas.
My solo lake trip was fabulous but I was getting hungry, and in true 4th of July fashion, it was time for a BBQ. I headed off to Jennifer and John's house for a pretty amazing spread:

Chick pea salad, chips, olives, a veggie dog, and a veggie skewer: Yum!
After hanging at the BBQ for a while, my friend Michal invited me to join her at BB Clarke Beach on Lake Monona (yup, that would be another "beach" full of grass). I was pretty full and couldn't pass up more lakeside lounging:

Took those Havaianas to lake #2.
And then, it happened: I revealed the horrible fact that after living in Madison for over two years, I had never been to Memorial Union Terrace (arguably the best place for summer hangouts and swimming in Lake Mendota). We packed up our bags, headed over to the Union, and claimed our spot on the dock:

Michal and me enjoying the sun.
We had a beautiful lakeside view...
and jumped in! 
My second swim for the day: quite relaxing.
After hours by the lake (which included meeting Alejandro, a friendly Puerto Rican who will be Michal's new salsa dance partner), it was time to grab a table and get some food (we opted for Mediterranean wraps).

The signature Union chair: these are all over the terrace in orange, green, and yellow.
Really brightens up the place!
Two lakes, two swimming trips, and a delicious BBQ: a fabulous 4th of July.

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