The area around Park Rapids was the destination spot and we found an awesome cabin that was actually big enough for all 10 of us. There were 4 bedrooms and a huge walk in closet that Kay turned into bed room, a really nice kitchen two different decks, a fire pit and a pontoon boat, look out Potato lake here we come!
We spent traveling up north and getting the cabin situated for the week. Then if was off to the store, bait shop along with getting the boat ready, making beds and the all important discovery, the wireless password! A round of applause went out from the kids when they were all successfully re-connected to the mother ship. We then loaded the whole group onto the pontoon for an early evening joy ride to discover the lake, make a couple of trial casts and generally relax on the lake.
Dinner was a BBQ feat of burgers, chicken sandwiches, corn on the cob, corn salad and watermelon. Tom being the cooking geek was impressed with the serving table, simple things. We then hung out and played the first of many board/card games of the week.
We headed out to go fishing and caught several fish and several different species, the crew used several high end presentation techniques to best the fish ( basically a bobber and a leech) but the fish fry was looking good!
We had the worlds largest bag of pancakes and had we made all of them it think it would have amounted to about 500! Bacon which goes with everything we also had in abundance! Swimming filled up most of the afternoon until it was time to try and fish again. The try part was on account of the boat, well more specifically the motor, which we had a hard time getting started. It seems this motor would love to fire up and drive you away from the dock, it just did not want to bring you back, so frustrating. If you are boat mechanic, marina owner or rent water craft in the Park Rapids your name must be Jeff. So the boat repair guy, Jeff came by and basically did nothing but disconnect the emergency alarm on the steering column and said let me know if it gives you any more trouble? The boat was the only unreliable part of the cabin and somehow we managed to get back home.
We headed out to the local " Theme Park" which included water bunker boats, rope climbing, go-carts, at which Billy came from behind to take the checkered flag, laser tag, and of course ice-cream treats ! There was a fair crowd all trying to perform somersaults and various other tricks on the rubber band/ ropes game however Kay took the show as usual with most people just staring at her..gymnasts are used to this kid of attention! We headed back to the cabin for a pasta fest and fire featuring of course s'mores.
Tracy had to head back to Minneapolis for a couple of meetings so she headed out just after lunch meanwhile; we took delivery of a 500cc jet ski. 0-60 in under three seconds, it was super fast.
We parked the pontoon in the cove for a docking station and proceeded to see how fast we could get the jet ski going and live to tell about it. Perhaps the favorite event of the week and by the end of the 4 hour rental we were all jet-skied out!
Tracy returned in the early afternoon and we spent the day fishing cooking hot dogs at the fire for lunch and other various cabin things like ..making about 50 macaroons and cannolis...for the special dinner celebrating Doug and Jennifer's 23rd wedding Anniversary, several types of kabobs and rice pilaf rounded out the dinner. A fun game of Catch Phrase was next up, Sam claimed " apples to apples will suck the soul of the weak"
Tubing down a river should be on everyone's bucket list. PSA: For anyone reading the blog Tracy will soon be launching her new business the name has yet to be revealed but the topic of the business is " teaching teenagers how to pay attention and be aware of the surroundings"...we will be kazillionaires! So as we set out, the guide, who needs a course in customer service, told us to get out of the river at the first bridge and walk back along the highway till you see your cars, really!?! Well Jimmy and James decided to float out on their own and then Sean had to join them. Meanwhile the rest of us were strapped together like a floating party barge, slowly making our way toward the "bridge". Two and a half hours later we finally sighted the bridge and of course we got out,. But wait, the teenagers? Ray of hope, maybe the walked back to the cars, along the highway? We arrived back at the outfitters and sure enough the boys were not there. Fortunately this happens all the time when they give teenagers tubes so the guide had a plan and about 30 minutes later the boys were reunited with their angry parents, all good!
No buy in from anyone on the days plan, so parental edicts were issued and off to Itasca State Park we went, the headway of the mighty Mississippi! No tad poles could be found, several frog sightings and several really poorly maked trails later we were enjoying ice cream at the snack bar. The park is super huge and very well kept, they even rent cabins, maybe next year!
We headed out to dinner for our last night and even caught a bit of the opening ceremonies, however the kids were more interested in playing pool, which none of them were remotely any good at, really the were awful. IT was entertaining for the parents however.
The week flew by, we all had a blast even with the major electrical storm where the lighting blew out the transform right out our back door! Sam woke up Doug and Jennifer at 2am and said " get up we are leaving right now there is no power!" Jimmy, a bit more even keeled, just wanted to know at 2:00 am if he could still use the toilet? It was an amazing lightening light show and thunderstorm. Very impressive!
We had great cabin meals, caught enough fish for a shore lunch, swam everyday, read books, played card and board games and generally had a really good time.
Thanks to Doug, Jennifer, James, Sam& Sean for a great week and tons of great memories!
Can't wait for the next adventure, more to come....