We just finished our mini-family reunion of 2010. This time, instead of the four of us driving down South in blistering heat, the family came up here. And, thankfully, the weather (mostly) cooperated so being outside was really a fun thing.
We rented a lake house about 30 minutes from our house. The lake house sleeps 10 people easily and has a game room in the basement along with the usual living room, dining area, kitchen, and 4 bedrooms. PWM and I and Rosie Girl got the big room upstairs because the toilet up there doesn’t work right now. Sadly, Grams (my mom) and Grandpa (my dad) needed to sleep downstairs so PWM and I got the king sized bed upstairs while Rosie Girl had a mattress that we took from another bed. Not that I’m complaining about the king sized bed, mind you!
While we were there, we had plenty of time to play around the lake despite all the outings we had planned. There were a paddleboat and a canoe for our use, along with the dock for fishing. Wild Man did a good bit of fishing and caught several very small fish. He had one bigger one, but the line broke, to Wild Man’s great distress.
There were some glitches, though. When the family arrived, Grandpa already had a pretty bad cold, so he and Grams skipped church on Sunday morning. I had a headache the entire week, so I missed a few outings. Grams developed the cold on Tuesday and was pretty much in bed for Tuesday through Thursday. CC (my brother), KC (his wife), PWM, and all the kids, though, stayed nice and healthy.
Monday morning was the hike at Skunk Lake. Grandpa, Rosie Girl, and I didn’t go hiking, but ran errands instead. The rest of the group loved the hiking trail because it’s beautiful and has lots of ridges and moraines (which is a little valley with lots of big rocks left by a retreating glacier – learn something new every day!). And the weather was perfect – in the 70s!
Wednesday morning was cheese morning!! We all (except Grams) went to Union Star Cheese Factory in Zittau and got a tour. J (CC and KC’s 3 year old son) wasn’t quite as thrilled with the tour since it was mostly standing around and listening, so he and I played outside in the grass for a while. All the kids got cheesemaker hats and we, of course, bought plenty of cheese and cheese curds!
That evening, we decided to have dinner at the Wheelhouse and then dessert at Scoopers – a plan everyone approved of. (Although, Grams and Grandpa didn’t make it because Grams was still feeling pretty rotten.) Wild Man tried to teach E (his 8 year old cousin) to cross his eyes. I’m sure KC will thank me for that one day!
On Wednesday, everyone except me and Grams went to the EAA Museum and Pioneer Airport. (But, Grams and I have both seen the EAA Museum before, so it was a minor loss.) Wild Man and E both got to have their Young Eagles flights on this trip. I’m not sure it was quite as big a deal for E because CC is a licensed pilot and takes E out in his flying club’s plane on occasion. Rosie Girl did a great job of taking care of J when he fell asleep in the middle of the afternoon!
Circus World in Baraboo was our activity for Thursday for everyone but Grams who was still feeling sick. My favorite part was seeing the museum, old costumes, and old interesting musical instruments. The kids rode on elephants. We saw a great magic show and a very cool tiger show. Unfortunately, it was really hot and I got a migraine, so PWM, Rosie Girl, and I left early. The rest of the group got to see the Bigtop show – apparently, it was quite good. Grandpa, it appears, splurged for some clown get-up for Wild Man and E.
Thursday night, we made a fire in the fire pit, which the little kids loved. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the makings for S’mores. The excitement of the evening was that Rosie Girl fell down the bottom two stairs of the deck and twisted her ankle pretty badly.
Every night, PWM read to us from the first Harry Potter book. We had thought about bringing Artemis Fowl, because we love those books, but Artemis is still mostly a villain in the first book, which might not be great reading for the 8 year old! In any case, E had already read the first chapter of Harry Potter, so this might entice him to finish the book at home because we only got about halfway through.
On Friday morning, everyone but PWM, me, Wild Man, and Rosie Girl went to the Paper Discovery Center. They made paper as well as making things out of paper – like air rockets. My kids had been before, so they weren’t terribly interested. Besides, I took Rosie Girl to the clinic in the early afternoon for an X-Ray of her ankle. Thankfully, nothing was broken, but we did get an air cast to help splint it.
Rosie Girl and I said our goodbyes on Friday afternoon and then came home. We were quite the pair – Rosie Girl with her foot up and ice on it and me with an icepack on my head! Nonetheless, the rest of the family was up and out before 10am on Saturday!
Overall, we had a blast! I really wish that no one had been sick all week, but this stuff happens, so we make the best of it. I am pretty glad to be home right now. Everything’s a mess since we just put the bags in the middle of the living room. I’ll clean when my headache finally calms down. In the meantime, I’ve still got school planning to do!