Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cabin Recap

Last week we spent four glorious days up North at a friend's cabin. The weather was P.E.R.F.E.C.T. The lake was like glass for much of the day, but somehow there was enough breeze on land to keep us from getting too warm. I was a little concerned about how Sam would sleep without his pack-n-play, but he ended up being so tired at night that he fell asleep in my arms while we sat around the fire most nights until almost midnight. Julia asked to go to bed by 9pm - two hours past her usual bedtime.

On Thursday the kids played in the water - a LOT. I think Sam, Adam, and Tommy (twins who are six months older than Sam) ran for an hour straight back and forth in the shallow water of Hartley Lake.

We missed having Brian there with us, but thought of him often. Brian's family has been friends with the cabin owners since Brian was Sam's age. These families have lots of history together which always comes out in funny stories told by Tony (one of Brian's groomsmen at our wedding seven years ago). We're now privileged to watch the next generation form life-long friendships. Each night the kids played with Sam's little bag of Matchbox cars until it was too dark to run around anymore.

Friday we were given a taste (literally!) of some of the best blueberry picking around. Sam went fishing with the other boys, Julia hung out with Sharon, and by the end of the day I had two exhausted kiddos who slept through the night again.
Saturday morning brought us yet another picture perfect day. We started off with pancakes with freshly made blueberry syrup before headed off to find another berry patch.
In the afternoon we took a drive to get the biggest ice cream cones of all time, as is tradition.
Another tradition we continued was going to the dam. The water is deep, clear, cool, and weed free. We washed our hair, splashed, watched a boat launch, and greeted a canoe full of our friends who came to see what all the screaming was about. (The kids weren't all that excited about washing their hair.)

Back at the cabin Sam took is first ever canoe ride and then Julia and I went out for a cruise as well. We watched a juvenile eagle fly over us and had a loon surface very close to the boat.
Water activities continued to entertain the kids through the rest of the night with all eight kids fishing from the dock. I even caught myself a bass with Lucy's Snoopy pole. Before we called it a night we roasted marshmallows and watched the stars come out. Every day we watched the moon move across the sky and reflect over the water. What was strange was that the moon didn't rise, but instead got lower as the day went on. Anybody know why that is?

Saturday night was the worst night of sleeping of the whole trip. There were nights that Sam fell off the air mattress or woke up in the middle of the night for a second, but this night took the cake. At 4am Sam woke up and asked for a drink of water. The talking woke up Julia who cried for 20 minutes. At 6am Sam woke up saying that he was all sweaty - except it wasn't sweat, it was pee. I got him out of his jammies and we went back to sleep. At 8:30am we all woke up to discover that not only was Sam's sleeping bag soaked, but so was mine. ugh. gross.

Sunday morning we packed up the van and started the five hour drive back home. I had hoped the kids would have taken long naps in the car but that wasn't the case. Sam never slept and Julia only dozed off for 30 minutes. I still have the bruises from being smooshed in between the car seats in the third seat, but they're worth it.
(Rather than upload soooo many pictures I opted for a collage. You'll need to click on the image to see them better. Bonus points to the person who can pick out which two pictures Sam took.)

Captions for each photo will read from the left to right like a book.

As excited as all the kids were about the prospect of playing together they were shy at first. Running in the water quickly cured that Thursday evening as the sun set over the lake.

2. Tony was very brave to take 4 little boys out fishing Friday morning.

3. The sign for the cabin at the end of the driveway. It's been in the family for generations.

4. Blueberry picking near the cabin. It is so peaceful up there. The kids can walk down the middle of the road and pick as many berries as they want.

5. Grandpa picked the most blueberries out of all of us. He used a picker that he designed and built himself. Whenever someone came back from picking the littlest ones (especially Julia) were right there to sample the berries.

6. The kids played really well together considering they were sleep deprived. These are the kinds of days I want my kids to remember about their childhoods - hours and hours of playing outdoors with their friends. Julia had at least 10 slivers from the dock and just as many scratches - a sign of a good trip IMO.

(second row)
7. A loon from our boat cruise on Friday night

8. Maddie is six months older than Julia and was the perfect model for me while I gave her uncle Chris some pointers about apetures, f-stops, and shutter speeds to use with his new camera.

9. These are some of Tony's handmade fishing rods. Isn't he talented?

10. Sam caught 5 fish on Friday night

11. Julia wasn't as lucky, but she had fun anyway.

12. These dainty daisies were scattered all over the place. Julia and Sam picked some to cheer up Grandma who came down with the flu.

(third row)
13, 14, 15, 16. The giant ice cream cones I wrote about earlier. Sam ate his entire vanilla cone without needed one napkin. Julia needed 30 by the time she polished off her strawberry cone and half of my chocolate peanut butter revel one.

17. These signs can be found at many of the intersections up there.

18. I didn't get a signal on my cell phone up there so internet was out of the question even if my computer hadn't been in the shop. I felt like we were in the boundary waters because we were completely cut off from the outside world since there wasn't even a land line phone where we could be reached. We couldn't check in on little Stellan, but he was always on my mind.

(fourth row)
19. This isn't a posed picture. Julia put her hand on Sam's back on her own. How sweet is that?

20. Sending Sam off in a canoe without me was hard for me to do, but I'm trying to not be so overprotective.

21. The kids thought it was fun to go for boat rides on land. They each had a paddle and would sing Row Row Row Your Boat.

22. By 11:30 the moon would turn this orangy color, right before it went behind the tree.

23. I started potty training the day before we left for the cabin and I didn't want to lose the momentum we had gained in one day. She did really well up there too. In 4 days she only used 10 disposable diapers. This picture also reminds me of my bad mom moment when I glanced up to see Julia climbing on the open toilet seat of the outhouse when I thought she was playing ball with the boys. That could have been beyond horrible.

24. Big Blue - that's what we called this blueberry patch. Eleven of us could sit here for hours and pick.

(fifth row)
25. It took 5 hours of picking to get 1/2 a bucket of blueberries. Wild blueberries are tiny, but so fun to pick.

26. Snug as a bug in his sleeping bag.

27. Kitty leading the way on one of our berry adventures.

28. Sam and Tommy picked berries for almost two hours on Friday (when they weren't busy picking up logs and climbing over stuff). It was funny how some of the kids ate every single berry they picked and others put them in their cups for later.

29. Saturday afternoon's nap: He rolled off the mattress, but stayed asleep. Now that's tired!

30. Julia's first canoe ride - Look out Boundary Waters! Here we come! (as soon as we ditch the diapers for good)

(bottom row)
31. More of the glass lake. Have I mentioned how perfect the weather was?
32. My first fish in a LONG time.
33. I took this from inside the tent when we took a nap on Saturday.
35. There were a bunch of little fish who came to say hi while we were at the dam. Julia wasn't so sure about them.
36.One tired girl.


Grandma Rena August 14, 2008 at 11:33 AM  

It is really fun to see Tony and Brians kids play the same things that they played when they were young. The cabin, guest cabin plus all the room for tents and lots of room to run and play, not to mention the company of people who you really do love to be with---make for a very fun filled vacation.

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