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I vividly bear in mind my first vacation to Sister Lake, Michigan as if it were yesterday. It was on a heat summer day in July 2009 when we arrived in Michigan upon the invitation of my cousin’s husband for his family reunion. It was a wonderful destination for our vacation after finishing the faculty year. I was happy as a king for I would board a plane for the first time, moreover my cousins, Jacob and Joshua were going with me. Sister Lakes, Michigan is among my favorite locations to visit with the glistening lake and the lake-side houses. we rented a tall three-storied building that boasted 10 rooms including a basement which I had never seen before. To add on this, was a huge natural water lake to the south of the house with a long dock and boating option. We were warmly welcomed, told the rules of the lake and shown around by our hosts. Every day was fun and adventurous in Michigan. My father, James Michigan, warned me against ever going out alone. I felt he has always been too harsh and hard on me but I obeyed.
On a lonely Wednesday after our parents, my cousin and her husband had left for shopping Jacob suggested that we take a tour of the lake on our own. I tried opposing but he promised that we will not take long and that that we would be back before they were. We stormed out, rushed to the dock, jumped into the paddle boat of my cousin’s husband and left for a tour of the lake. “Am so happy to be here in the lake without my father,” said Jacob.
“Why do our parents hate exploring with us?” I Asked as I splashed water on Joshua’s face.
“They already did this while at our age. They are just hard on us!” explained Jacob dipping one leg into the waters. We continued sailing as Joshua threw a fishing line into the lake for a catch. “Let’s cover a thousand more kilometers until I catch a fish for supper,” suggested Joshua.
We stopped in the middle of the lake after sailing for more than three hours. The boat started rotating on the water surface to our joy. We screamed, danced and had all sorts of fun that we could imagine of in the lake. I felt thirst due to the scorching solar but we had not even a bottle of water. Our skins would develop sunburns for lack of sunscreen but we cared less. It soon dawned on me that it was getting late. “They are almost coming back! It’s late!” I warned my cousins.
“You can swim back home you chicken,” replied Jacob. I felt offended but instead hurriedly moved to paddle back home. Jacob tried to stop me but I pushed him back. He fell with a thud banging his head on the floor. There was grave silence as we sailed back, Joshua came and stood by me. “There are no buildings at the shore we are heading to?” wondered Joshua drawing my attention to the shore. I stopped and to my uttermost surprise there were no buildings anywhere close to where we were. I remembered my cousin pointing to some direction at one of our lake expeditions and saying that no one lived at that end except crocodiles. I thought we were in the crocodile republic. My eyes were filled with tears, Joshua cried as Jacob moved from corner to corner of the small boat.
Jacob saw a boat and identified it as one that he saw leaving the dock almost the same time as we did and suggested that we follow it. I turned around and kept track with the speeding boat. They all came and helped me to peddle. Our differences with Jacob never mattered anymore, we all had a common goal of getting back home safely. It was getting dark Michigan was the same, all buildings resembled each other and non could be identified but we assumed that we were on the right track especially after we saw boats at the dock. We were relieved to have made it back home. Our delight was soon cut short when we realized that we were at the wrong dock. We jumped out of the boat leaving it adrift. We just lay on the ground and no one wanted to speak to the other. “Where are we and what should we do?” I broke the silence with a question
“You got us into this mess!” replied Jacob. “If it were not for you paddling without knowing where you were moving to, we wouldn’t be here!” he continued.
“You actually suggested that we take a tour of the lake, it was not my idea and above all you asked us to follow the boat which led us here,” I defended myself.
Joshua, who was all along lying down pondering, sprang up and asked in surprise where our boat was. We looked all around but we could not see it. My feet became weaker with every second that passed, fear gripped me with icy fingers and I felt the ground should open and swallow me.
“James! Joshua! Jacob!” we heard voices calling us. With relieve we paid close attention and heard the calls again and in unison we replied “Over here!” as we ran to where the calls came from. We drew closer and closer with every step we made and soon I recognized my father’s voice. We finally came into contact, my mother ran to me, hugged me and asked if I were okay. I told her I was okay but the boat was missing. My mother told me that they had found it while they were looking for us. My father who was evidently upset could not utter a single word as we quickly rushed back home. On getting home, we were asked to explain ourselves. I said that we could not justify our actions and would accept any punishment. We were deservedly grounded for three days. On the third day we had a talk with my father, he told me that he loved me so much and he always wanted the best for me. He also said that henceforth I will be accompanying them wherever they went as a family. I realized how much our families loved us no matter what. The rest of the vacation progressed well as we always went out together and had fun as a family until the day we boarded a plane again back home.
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