It's Friday. Our last day at the lake. This is the day we are all a bit sad and introspective, but also frantically trying to cram in every last item on our vacation "to-do" list: fishing, tubing, kayaking, biking, group photos, ice cream cones, camp fires, etc; while at the same time doing all those not-so-fun, last-day-of-vacation tasks: laundry, packing, cleaning up the boat, and yes, settling up with the resort owners. Our last Friday is always a busy, busy day. The usual four (Tom, Seth, Maddie & I) made one last trip out to Pike Bay, and were able to add 21 fish to our totals...19 perch and 2 rock bass. We greeted Dad, Phyllis and Beth who were leaving as we came out, and fished alongside Paul and Melissa and boys. The sky was as blue as could be, and the sunshine warm on our faces.
Back at the resort, we said good-bye to my mom, dad and Phyllis. Several of the kids (including Seth and Chloe) went tubing. Deb, Melissa and I went out on our last kayak ride, and were awed by a close-up view of two eagles simultaneously taking flight out of a tree right in front of us! Beth and Bill were preparing to leave in the evening but first took a family bike ride around the Migizi; something Seth, Tom and Deb and I did a little later.
An annual tradition has been the "cousin jump photo," which we managed to squeeze in between bike rides, dinners and packing. We realized we missed our opportunity to get ALL of the cousins (except Leah) in the photo on Sunday after the picnic. By today, Luke and Kara were no longer around (they had gone home on Tuesday), and sadly Tommy was out on the boat spotting for Paul who was skiing. Maybe next year we'll have ALL the kids together again!
We ended our evening with s'mores and conversation around the campfire. We talked about the "good old days" when us adults were the kids, enjoying the long car rides (with non-automated toll booths, no seat belts, and CB radios) up to Battle Lake. Though some things have changed, our Minnesota lake vacations have been our constant...an annual source of joy, adventure and rejuvenation.