What better way to celebrate a long holiday weekend than to head up north with family?
It had only been a month since our last trip, so all of us knew the drill. Pretty well, anyway. We'd thought ahead for some helpful additions such as water shoes to protect our feet from the lake bottom; it would have been nice if I'd remembered my swimsuit, though! (T-shirt and shorts made an acceptable substitute.)
We had a somewhat larger group this time, with both JoyDad's brothers (Uncle Marathon and Uncle DO) and their spouses (Auntie Save-the-Tatas and Auntie LO). Joy was delighted to discover that four out of the six adults could do JoyDad's special trick where he relaxes his face and shakes his head quickly from side to side, making a silly "blub-blub-blub" noise with his mouth. She ran from one to the other on the screen porch, grinning up at them and shaking her head to request more!
Joy also had a special connection with Auntie Save-the-Tatas, whom she doesn't see often. This auntie was the go-to gal for special kissies and cuddles. Cute as could be.
Auntie LO and Uncle DO, meanwhile, brought the entertainment with games and goodies. Rose loved the big bubble-wands they brought, just perfect for holding up in the wind on the pier and creating huge bubbles for Joy's delight:
Joy, meanwhile, got a lot of mileage out of the swim-noodles that we bought on the way:
Wonderful weekend for water-play! The weather was warm and we had sunny skies for most of the sojourn. Despite the wind on the water, Uncle Marathon could always find a place to anchor the pontoon boat for the whole crew to take the plunge. Joy discovered what fun it was to lean back in the water in her life-vest and kick with her feet. And Rose was brave enough this time to actually jump from the boat:
The lake was at least a foot higher than it was a month ago, due to some rain and a strategically placed beaver dam. This made for some fine water-play down at the pier as well:
I suppose I should report that we finally broke our flawless chain of laxa-swim events. After a less-than-ideal diaper change on the pontoon boat the first time out, we managed to have the rest of the weekend's swims without going through more than one swim diaper. Whew. And in further toileting news, we did bring along the potty insert so that Joy could practice in the outhouse. I didn't have the stamina to take her for nearly as many scheduled trips as we do at home, but we practiced often enough that she did pee out there once!
Though it seems sometimes that the lake vacations never change, this time there was a new addition, engineered by the inlaws who own the larger share of the property and spend most of the summer up there: a new, not-quite-finished shower house.
It's quite a complex system. First you have to pump a tank full of water by hand over by the old pump. Then you have to fire up the generator so the sump pump can move the water over to the tank by the shower. Then there's switch mechanisms in the shower for heat and water pressure. Fancy stuff.
Of course, it wouldn't be a lake vacation without some explosive crisis. For some reason the girls and I are always down at the lake when the hollering starts. We were splashing at the pier when Uncle Marathon's voice raised the alarm, and his brothers burst out of the cabin (one out the front door, one out the back) to come to his assistance.
Here's what exploded this time:
Doesn't it look rather like an exotic flower? Alas, this is the remains of the hot water line coming into the shower house. The tubing was obviously not quite of a caliber to take the heat and the pressure, and so Uncle Marathon got an unfortunate surprise during his shower experience! (Auntie LO was the only one who got an uninterrupted shower earlier that afternoon. Lucky lady.)
Though we were there for Independence Day, we didn't take any explosives up with us. There's been a drought up there, and we weren't interested in risking a forest fire -- though it turned out to be rainy on Sunday afternoon into the evening, so even our grilling was soggy! The gray sky was still light when we put the girls to bed, and then we retired back to the screen porch to listen to the 1812 Overture that Uncle DO and Aunt LO had thoughtfully put on their MP3 player. Just as the cannons were firing, we noticed that the sky behind the cabin was producing shades of pink. As we ventured out to see, we discovered that the sunset had produced something else amazing:
This rainbow was huge, and complete. No way to get it all on the camera. It arced all the way across the sky, and from the end of the pier we could see the entire arc reflected in the lake as well. Full circle.