My parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in April. When I asked them last year what they wanted to do to celebrate, they just said they wanted to spend time together with the entire family. So, after a little brainstorming, we opted to spend a week at a lake resort in Minnesota. We wanted to make it extra special for my parents as their European celebration trip was canceled and they had been cooped up, along with the rest my family, all spring.
A week-long lake vacation sounded perfect for us after climbing our hearts out for the entire month of June. Our bodies needed to recover, and some good old family time would be good for our spirits. I am extremely fortunate that everyone in the family gets along and enjoys spending time together.
After a long, hot, boring drive through Eastern Wyoming, South Dakota, and Western Minnesota, we arrived at Lake Florida to settle in for the week. The resort is old-school with 13 basic cabins located right on the lake. There is no wifi and minimal cell phone coverage, although by the end of the week my 16-year old niece had located all 2-bar spots around the place!
The resort sits on this gorgeous small lake with crystal clear, warm water. It has a nice sand beach, 2 docks and tons of different watercrafts including SUPs, kayaks, and water bikes. Floating in the water was a large trampoline and foam lily pad. The owner mentioned that these were for the kids, but the adults took over the trampoline most afternoons to hang out while tossing the occasional kid into the water.
Most mornings started out slowly by enjoying a cup of coffee on the dock overlooking the perfectly calm lake and watching my dad fish. After coffee, I found various partners to go for a kayak or SUP to the nature-reserve side of the lake to look for big fish, loons, and turtles. The afternoon was spent playing in the water with the kids and lazing on the trampoline with the adults. Evenings were filled with shared meals, stories, and various games. It was a very relaxing week and special to spend so much time with my siblings, parents and ever growing-up nieces and nephews.
I tried to have one-on-one time with everyone in the family. My sister suggested a nature hike at the nearby reserve in an area that she had scoped while out on a run. What she failed to mention was the number of garter snakes that we would encounter! We walked on a freshly mowed grass trail and almost every other step we jumped and screamed due to another snake! I was very happy to get back to the resort!
I also enjoyed going tubing behind a speed boat with my brother. Neither of us had been before, so why not try together. It was fun holding on for dear life all the while giggling and hollering as we were being bounced around.
The time with my nieces and nephews was extra special as well. I loved watching Mike play endlessly with them all and never tire of them jumping all over him. It was also fun to watch the cousinsâ€™ bond and share their common interests. I loved having them pop over for a visit to our cabin and giving them ice cream or playing a game. It was super awesome to have that much time with them.
We tried to make the week extra special for my parents, as well, including a resort wide champagne toast and decorating their cabin. During a few of our shared dinners, we heard stories about their courtship, engagement, and early years of their marriage. Plus, we all shared our favorite memories and what we were most thankful for. The theme was the same â€“ we were thankful that they showed all of us what a strong loving marriage is all about and for creating a family that gets along. We are lucky. Thanks Mom and Dad and Happy 50th!