Let me just tell you. There isn’t much that is more opposite of living in Los Angeles than packing everything up and heading to our favorite lake house in Burdett, New York.
One of my favorite parts about heading to the part of the country where Brad grew up is when I tell people I’m going on vacation to New York. You see them immediately think of sky scrapers and shopping and Broadway and subways and crowds of people. They ask where I’m staying and what I’m doing. They expect days of crazy plans and lots of hustle and bustle.
No, no, no.
Here’s how the lake works.
We hop onto this big jet plane, typically sometime just before midnight, and we do our very best to get a few hours of sleep before landing minutes after sunrise somewhere on the east coast. This time, it happened to be Newark.
We rub our eyes, we reset our watches, and we scramble down the terminal to a much smaller gate where we are shuffled with about twenty other travelers onto a plane that I like to pretend is my very own private jet.
The propellers spin and whir. Brad falls back asleep. I – the “expert” traveler – am the one who never gets comfortable in those tiny planes. We are only up in the air for about an hour.
The airport we land at has one baggage terminal. It has maybe two gates. The air feels heavier than Los Angeles. The people seem calmer. The trees are infinitely more green.
We drive down to the house where we are staying. The road is definitely not paved. It is lined with grapevines and a dog or a chicken or two putting around.
We pull up to the house and Brad is down on the dock before you can blink. He grew up here. He feels the most at peace next to this lake. Not that I can blame him. All of the stress and noise of big city living fades away here. All you can hear is the heavy trickle of a creek draining rainwater down off of the hills. The sky is the bluest blue I can imagine. Clouds hardly look real, floating in the sky like they were placed just where they were meant to be. Water gently laps past the dock. Sun beats down, and I remember how long it’s been since I’ve had a tan.Brad finds a handful of old fishing rods and it is vacation time in full swing.
While he untangles the lines and fiddles with lures, it’s my opportunity for a day-after-red-eye nap in the loft – the only room in the place with any type of air conditioning.Later, we head down to the Marina in search of dinner and a little sight-seeing.
We explore the new fancy hotel restaurant in town. We have a wonderful dinner, discover a new type of clams (Tiger Clams) and I get about a zillion mosquito bites. Just before the sun sets, we decide to head back to the lake house for the evening.
Brad tries his hand once more at catching a perch. Or a salmon, because apparently his uncle has caught one in the lake before…
Really, he tries to catch anything other than seaweed. But nothing is nibbling.
Meanwhile, I sit by my fisherman husband on the dock with a glass of rosé. I watch as the sun sinks behind the trees and turns the sky wild pastels of pink, orange and blue. I breathe in the humidity and let it frizz my hair into a wavy mess. I enjoy the quiet. I forget all about traffic. I laugh and tell stories with family. I try my hand – and fail – at fishing.
The sun is gone for the day. We see a million stars that you could never see in Los Angeles. We watch the fireflies and sit close to the citronella candles. And just before 11pm, we can’t keep our eyes open any longer. We head to bed and dream until we can do almost the same thing tomorrow.
There’s really nothing like the lake in the summer.