Lights on the Water

Following an excitement filled morning at the University of Notre Dame where we were given a front row seat to all the school pregame festivities, my parents and I decided to slow things down a bit and set out for a quiet afternoon in Michigan City. The Michigan City Lighthouse was recommended to me by a coworker as a Northern Indiana must-see. He strongly suggested we try to catch the lighthouse at sunset, scheduled to occur at precisely 6:12pm on the evening of our visit.  

We arrived several hours before the sun was due to perform its dazzling light show so we entertained ourselves at the Michigan City mall, Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets. My mom and I had a fantastic time touring the shops and bringing my wardrobe a step closer to perfection although my dad was less enthusiastic. He contented himself to wait on a bench by the door and google the scores of the CSM Oredigger football game on his phone. However, we made it up to him when we all crossed the street for dinner at The Polish Peasant with our bags a little heavier and out wallets a little lighter. 

Even before we ordered our food, I felt like I’d stumbled onto a new favorite. It reminded me of my Oma’s tiny kitchen from the decorative plates artfully arranged on the wall to the lace curtains that dappled the honey autumn light filtering through the windows. The red tablecloths and cozy atmosphere mingled perfectly with the warm scents of savory meats and bread fresh out of the oven. Despite only being able to pronounce half of the items on the menu, it was impossible to go wrong. We feasted on a meal of Polish sausage, pierogies, stuffed cabbage, sauerkraut, mashed potatoes; the kind of food that fills up your heart as well as your stomach and would make any sensible Hobbit proud. We loved it so much that we ordered dessert, something we rarely do, knowing full well that we could barely manage another bite.

With full bellies and happy hearts, we made our way to the Lighthouse, still licking powdered sugar from our fingertips. Sunset truly is the best time to view this attraction. Being mid October and off season for tourists, the parking lot and beach were relatively deserted as we walked out to the lighthouse. A stiff wind tugged at our coats and made small waves slap at the edge of the pier. The orange sherbert light sparkling on the churning surface of the water was well worth our cold feet and ruffled hair. The lighthouse itself posed for many photos, regally silhouetted against the flaming horizon fading to ashen blue. Even as the last rays of sun retreated from the rippling waves of Lake Michigan, the tip of the lighthouse winked to life. 

After witnessing this changing of the lights over Lake Michigan, we said goodnight and goodbye to Michigan City and headed for home. A day of food and leisure had left us happily exhausted and we all slept exceedingly well that night.