One of my favorite childhood memories was taking family trips to the beach on the weekends. When we lived in Chicago, my dad bought a run-down 1920’s cottage in Michigan City, Indiana. The area was beautiful (and still is today) and was a walk away from sweeping sand dunes and a Lake Michigan beach that ran unobstructed for miles. I remember my parents packing our wood-paneled station wagon with suitcases, toys, kids, dogs, friends, and whatever else they could jam in there.

The ride was always eventful and unpredictable and two hours later, we would arrive to the little cottage by the beach; our slice of paradise. My dad would fire up the grill and we were in business! We had relatives or friends up nearly every weekend and enjoyed hiking in the dunes, swimming in the lake, and building bonfires on the beach at night. The little cottage by the beach set the stage for so many incredible experiences with our friends and family. It was a small price to pay for a lifetime of memories.

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