Monday, September 23, 2013

Summertime in Minnesota

It is that time again...hope you are all enjoying those last days of summer...

As summertime leaves quietly, it is time to review some of the highlights of living and playing in Minnesota...

Our form of whale watching...loon watching
Loon spotting
Where did those loons go? Wait...what's that in the background?
Family vacation pictures serve as a wonderful reminder of times that our family comes together to play, and act as inspiration for others who may be longing to have more meaningful connections with family and friends. Spending a week around campfires, playing in the outdoors and just "being" together does wonders to develop deeper realtionships. We began this annual tradition of gathering as many family and friends around a week at the lake "up-north" 26 years ago when after listening to my husband's family talk about how great their times were they went fishing when they were kids...why not now?...was the question that I asked. From that simple question, we began with 9 of us crowded into one cabin to filling 4 cabins this year, 26 years later.
Turtle races

One of our big winners this year at the turtle races

Every year at the lake our family has a Murder Mystery night
this year's theme was 1950's...can you tell who did it?

Relaxing around the campfire is a family favorite...
hey when did we start getting internet at the lake?
Each year, we have a different collection of friends and family depending on schedules, life and death. Cousins get to play in a way that they used to decades ago when extended family lived on the same block. There are no heightened expectations about gifts, holiday traditions, financial stresses related to extravagant gestures found during the typical holiday family gatherings. Cabins take turns hosting the dinner for the group, bringing potluck together for dinners or supplying the fish for the fish fry. Kids play, adults play and sometimes we just sit around the fire reading, or writing or playing games. Laughter fills the air, volleyballs fly and canoes and kayaks offer alternative water activities.

Come on Grandpa - when do I get to take this thing out for a spin?
The lazy peaceful

Having fun fishing - something for everyone

The start of a great fish fry

Our record holder for largest fish
 We go to a lake near Perham, Minnesota which offers turtle races every Wednesday and sometimes someone in our group even wins the race - the prize is a $1 bill. On Wednesday our tradition is to host a Murder Mystery and everyone dresses for the occasion - this is always a highlight. Over the years our family and friends have come and gone and have created lasting memories.

Show me one more time Grandpa how it's done

That's how it's done
A stop at the local bookstore after the turtle races offers
something for everyone
Perhaps the greatest highlight is that we come together, we share time together, we laugh and play a lot, but mostly...we just "Be" together. You too can make this happen for your family and friends...e-mail Mama Caruso for sample itineraries, tips for creating a successful family and friend week experience and menu planning suggestions, or stay tuned for upcoming posts outlining how you too, can create an experience that will offer lasting memories.

It's hard to believe that our summer got pushed back a little by this snow fall in May
Next week's post is about some awesome activities and experiences the helped to finish off the summer with a bang, picking grapes at a local vineyard and an Indian curry cooking class...until then, from my table to yours...enjoy...Mama Caruso

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