Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Some Special Summer Shots...

     We have had a glorious summer this year.  The weather has been the best it's been for the past couple of years.  Just enough rain to keep everything green and growing...but lots of sunshine for swimming, kayaking, canoeing, fishing and everything else fun at a resort.  The fishing this year has been great.  Lots of crappies this week...walleyes last week....and here's some pictures to show the great fishing and resort activities:
Jim Winters big catch!

Katie Ristau's fish

The Daws boys catch

Beautiful night for a bonfire...

Keeping the ducks fed...

Pool time...

Ping Pong in the game room...

Or just hanging in the lodge with friends...

Are you looking for the best vacation ever?  Look no further!
Have a happy summer!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Guest Post from Mama Dink

      I just read this post and had to feature it...it just made my heart feel good and might let you imagine the excitement of "long-time" guests getting ready for their vacation.  Thank you, Cammie, for your beautiful writing...you made me cry!  It was a good cry!  We are so thankful for this "vacation spot" for families to spend their memorable vacation at...here's Cammie's post...hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Monday, July 12, 2010

3 days till 'cation!

That's what the kiddos are calling it this year - 'cation - without the "vay" in front. And boy are they excited - as we all are! Eva woke up early from her nap today begging to go for a boat ride. While we did move to a near-vacation like home, we don't have boats! And Eli proudly named off everyone who is coming this year. It is close tie for favorite between Sara (Tim's girlfriend) and Poppa. Eva is enamored of Sara and can't wait for Sara to "hode you" again (which is what she says instead of "hold me"). It's going to be a blast!

The grown-ups are ready, too - although our new home has been a lot more fun than the old place - I'm more tan than I've been in years (yes, Tim and John, even through 50-70 SPF), Eva knows how to swim now with only arm floaties, and every day we visit the toads living under our toddler basketball hoop in the backyard. But, there is still a lot of work to be done here, and it will be wonderful to take a break from the to-do list to go up to Cedar Rapids Lodge. One of my neighbors was asking me about our vacation and wondered if we could stay in town for the weekend to do the neighborhood garage sale. I tried to politely decline, but when she said, "Can't get out of it, huh? Family reunion type thing. . ." in a kind of "poor you" tone, I had to hold myself back - WHAT? This is the best vacation in the world - and we've been going on it for 20+ years now, and no, I can't miss the drive up, because that's part of it - we eat at the same place for breakfast, and stop at the Mall of America, and then on Saturday spend the last 50 miles on the edge of our seats, desperate to get to good ol' CRL. I never want to get out of it - I hope my kids are still hauling me along when I'm 80, with my Rascal on one of those ridiculous little trailers behind their car :) It is the gauge by which we measure our entire year - I have not put pictures in my albums since last July, and hopefully, as usual, I will catch up again this year. Many of the gifts we give each other are destined for use at CRL - rockets, fishing gear, swimming stuff. It's hard to explain how much I love this trip to people who don't go on trips with family to places that don't have air conditioning - it's kind of like a club. We even have shirts (I personally have about 7 in my current wardrobe)!

Ah, well, I better get back to packing for this fabulous trip - or I'll be borrowing Eva's pants!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Goodbye Dear Brother...

One of my favorite "brother"s left us this week to greet his Maker in heaven.  My brother-in-law, Dave, fought a tough battle this year and I feel like he won.  He is where we all should strive to be...fishing and baking pies and hiking those heavenly mountains...all his favorite things to do.  The problem is, his wife, Nancy can't do them with him anymore.  She is sad, but she knows for certain where he is and the sadness is brief because she knows that she will be with him again someday.
Dave was just one of those guys that you liked to be around.  He loved life!  He loved his boys!  He loved my kids and my grandkids!  He was a wonderful husband who enjoyed spending time with his wife...wherever they were.
We enjoyed many fun years with Dave....he and Nancy came up for many years, enjoying the solitude of their own cabin, but frequenting the lodge for one of his favorite meals...pizza!  The last time they were here, I had the privilege of watching him work in my kitchen making one of his famous pies with..of course...his homemade pie crust.  We stood in awe and watched Dave toss the ingredients together and make his perfect crust, fill it with his filling of choice, usually peaches and bake it to a picture perfect finish.  He had a gift for pies and he knew it!
He also had the gift of gab!  We loved going back to Illinois to visit our families and stay at the "Swigart Hotel".  We would call to see if our room was available and it always was.  They treated us like royalty and we had a great visit every time we were there.  We'd always stay up too late, talking and sharing stories.  We will forever miss those times...but we will continue to share that time with Nancy in their home...and I know she'll welcome us back.
As I write this, Steve is in Illinois for Dave's memorial service.  Dave's wife, Nancy, is Steve's sister.  I stayed behind to keep the resort running.  We always have told our parents that they just cannot die in the summer...it's too hard to leave; but Dave, he didn't listen!  So...I am saying my goodbye in this shared story.  And I have to share one of my favorite photos of Dave & Nancy at the resort...if you know the resort owners, you get to finish the rest of a tub of ice cream when no one is looking!  And they got their last hurrah with this one...
There's a story that's been told of a young girl dying who tells the preacher that she wants a fork placed in her coffin....because her Grandma always told her that when you are enjoying a great meal, you always keep your fork...because the best is yet to come.  Well, from this picture, I think Dave took his spoon with him...we thought the best was this tub of ice cream at the time...but for those who walk with the Lord, keep your spoons...the best is yet to come.
Dave, share a story or 2 with my Dad...tell him all about my grandkids...and we'll see you again someday!
We promise to take very good care of your wife!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Last Week's Fun...

Last week's guests are famous for good weather.  Most of the same group returns year after year and they seem to bring warm summer weather with them.  A little rain did fall, but most of the week provided warm weather for fishing, swimming, hiking and....posing by the perennial bed in new sweatshirts....
These lovely ladies met in the lodge each morning at 9a.m. for coffee....and shopping!

This young man LOVED the Hot Fudge Brownie Sundae.  He, James(I think...he has a twin brother, John) came in after a warm day outside and proudly ordered his sundae and I just had to take his picture for his Mom...she was home packing for their move to Kentucky.  Or was this treat a secret??

These kids are showing their winnings in tickets from the new game in the lodge.  You play the game and score points and are rewarded with tickets, redeemable for prizes in the lodge.  So now you can pretend you're at the town carnival when you're on vacation!  And we get to count hundreds of tickets everyday!  Whoohoo!
Kylee, Kenna & Derek counting tickets!
How many do I have?
Madison & Austin playing the new game...and...
counting their winnings as fast as they can...thus the blur!

Come join us for a fun week...and win yourself some tickets....
or pick out a fancy new sweatshirt and get your picture taken!