Here we are, September.  Summer is over.  The tourists are gone.  Hang a “Closed” sign on the bay.  Time to hibernate.

Of course, none of this is completely true.  We like to joke that people think the Bay suddenly closes after Labor Day.  But it is funny, year-after-year, living in a tourist town and watching people and their fun tickets flock south.  It gets quiet, fast.  Sure, the salmon are running and fall color season kicks in…but it’s nothing like the circus that comes to town from June thru August.

Personally, I think September is the best month to live in Traverse City — the water is warm and the beaches are empty.  We already sailed, watched college football and Tigers baseball…all in the same day!  You can’t do that in July.

It is a bit depressing to see the marinas and mooring balls slowly begin to empty.  But it’s OK, fall and winter bring new opportunities for escapism.

Though tourist towns and vacation destinations thrive on…tourists, it is nice to get a breather and a chance to clean things up. Beach cleanup efforts during summer unearth cigarette butts and empty beer cans, but I was surprised to learn that parents actually bury dirty diapers in the sand.  Yes, dirty diapers buried in the sand.

As the leaves begin to fall, the temperatures begin to drop and Saturdays are jam packed with real ‘reality tv’ (sports)…It’s the time of year that always brings this song to mind.

“They’re closin’ down the hangout
The air is turnin’ cool
They’re shuttin’ off the superslide
The kids are back in school

The tourist traps are empty
Vacancy abounds
Almost like it used to be
Before the circus came to town

That’s when it always happens
The same time every year
I come down to talk to me
When the coast is clear “

“The Coast is Clear” – Jimmy Buffett



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