We’re back from another wonderful summer trip to Minnesota, where the food and drink flows as easily and persistently as the Ottertail River. I’ll have plenty to recount later, but I’ll need to go through the 1,000-plus photos to help jog my memory of some of the highlights before I do (not surprisingly, it’s all a bit foggy right now).
We flew this time, not because we learned our lesson about driving cross-country with two small children the last go-round (see DC to Vermont for the weekend as exhibit “A”), but because we only had ten days of vacation to burn instead of the seemingly indefinite maternity-leave schedule from last summer.
All of this means that I’m back from a nice little life-got-too-busy, semi-forced blogging hiatus. Sorry for leaving you hanging there, but it all happened so fast I didn’t have the chance to realize I was going on a hiatus before I was on one. We were preparing for vacation, which means we had to spend quite a bit of time getting a few odds and ends in order before we left. We finalized plans for the Camp Davis renovation and shipped off the last paperwork for the first big cash-out from the insurance company. After much deliberation we decided to put our old condo on the market (as people do when on vacation), which meant signing contracts and working through a mountain of paperwork. We finally hit the road June 28th (Natalie’s 30th birthday for those of you keeping track at home), shortly thereafter Ruthie took her her first steps, then turned the big O-N-E, then we celebrated the birth of our nation. A day or two later we accepted an offer and our condo went under contract within a week of its listing. You know, just an easy-going summer vacation for you.
I’m decidedly fatter than I was when I left. Few are the parts of a pig that I didn’t consume during this trip (though surely a bite of scrapple will cover the remaining bases). I’m also pretty sure my liver is on strike at this point. Otherwise, we’re back – whole and mostly healthy. The kids are still adorable, the balcony garden survived our ten-day drought, Natalie is 30, and it’s every bit as hot and humid in DC as I would expect July 10th to be (so much so that our apartment door was swollen and stuck shut thanks to our leaving the A/C off for the whole trip – which made for a nice welcome home around ten o’clock Monday night, tired and confused and thinking we’d been locked out of our own home or banging into the wrong door).
I’ve finally/reluctantly taken a shower, something that is the unofficial end-mark of our trips to Ottertail. My rule at the lake: so long as I can jump in it, that’s where I bathe the whole trip. The weather was mostly perfect with a chance of slightly less than beautiful, and I was in that (admittedly cold – it still had ice on it in late May) water every day. Sometimes that was as soon as I woke in the morning and others right before bed during a somewhat tipsy midnight dip – and all hours in between.
The kids are currently undergoing Operation Room Share, with mixed results. Ruthie is in the process of cutting three or four teeth and Loren is trying to re-adjust to life without a never-ending stream of extended family love and attention. Since the four of us shared the big above-the-garage loft at the lake, we figured now would be the best time to transition Ruthie into Loren’s room full-time. We’re told children are adaptable. We’ll have to see how well Loren handles being woken up three times a night by a screaming one-year-old (as was the case last night). The room is eight feet wide by ten feet long, which means they are each within projectile barf range of one another should the occasion present itself. (You’re welcome for that visual by the way).
If this is post is a bit rambling, please forgive me. It’s been a while and we have a lot of catching up to do.by