Tuesday, June 23, 2009

UP NORTH!

About fourteen years ago when Mark and I went on our honeymoon, we drove five hours north to Hayward, Wisconsin. Actually, we drove a few hours north of there to Superior and crossed the bridge to Duluth, Minnesota in a heavy rain--then turned back south to Wisconsin because it just didn't look that fun "up north". So we drove down to Hayward and settled in the beautiful woods there for a few days, staying at a Country Inn and taking in the logging show, fireworks, and more local festivities. We didn't plan our honeymoon--we just packed and drove north the day after our wedding, venturing into new territory for the first time (at least for US it was a first). We had a great time (albeit a short one, if you ask my husband) and even bought tourist shirts that said "Up North" on them. (Nothing says GEEK like newlyweds with tourist t-shirts, right? Ah, young love.)

Time and money constraints, raising a family --the usual life "interruptions"--kept us from venturing that far since last weekend. This time the destination was five hours northeast, to Lake Surprise by Townsend. A few years ago Mark's brother married a girl whose family owns this beautiful vacation home on the lake. This time, it wasn't just my hubby and me; we had five little urchins in the two back seats behind us, and so we borrowed a set of DVD players with headphones (many thanks, Chad & Jodi!!) to brave the trip. For the most part, the kids were quiet and happy during the journey. Friday afternoon we arrived at this little "patch of heaven".

It would be an understatement to say that we were pampered. Greg and Marin fed us, had beds for us, and provided all of the water toys, kayaks, canoe, paddleboat, towels, etc. All we had to do was bring ourselves, basically. (And we were in a family gathering of EIGHTEEN people!) So needless to say, they really went out of their way to make us feel welcome and free to have fun.
And fun we had. Another understatement! When the kids weren't living in fear of their father the Throw-you-in-the-lake Monster,

they were busy learning how to kayak...



...making sand pies...

...digging & planting a beach garden with their baby cousins...


...relaxing on the water...

...sharing stories around the campfire (Going on a Bear Hunt)...

...and catching his first turtle!

Mark tried kayaking,

but he felt a lot more secure in the canoe. This picture makes me laugh because I took this shot moments before a fish jumped out of the water behind them. (The very fish they were seeking to catch!)

Personally I really enjoyed learning how to kayak. Not much of a swimmer, I was surprised to find out how much I liked feeling almost a "part" of the water.

I even snuck out on the lake early Sunday morning for my own private worship with God! I could talk with Him and sing to Him without anybody else around to notice! As I cut through the glassy surface of the water, it occured to me that perhaps God created the lakes to reflect the majesty of his Creation, as if He were looking down on us and wanted more than just an "aerial view". I know it sounds a little corny, but who knows?

We came home two days ago and I am still doing laundry, nursing the kids' sunburns, and trying to catch up on lost sleep. But that is all part of the camping experience, and we had it about as easy as you could get it! Thanks to our hosts Greg, Marin, and Kierta (front center) for making the family camp weekend a wonderful time that we'll always remember!


Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand,
or with the breadth of His hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
or weighed the mountains on the scales
and the hills in a balance?--Isaiah 40:12

2 Comments:

Blogger Astrid said...

Amy- What a FABULOUS trip! I'm glad you found a portable DVD player to borrow. Your photos make me want to jump in the car and do a camping trip Up North right now! I wonder if Mark and I shouldn't trade out our kayaks for open kayaks so that we can take the girls out for a ride...I *LOVE* kayaking!!!!

June 24, 2009 at 5:01 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Hi Astrid, it was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed kayaking; it was my first experience. Yes, I think the open kayak was great for the kids. Ally and Cy first went with their uncles to "learn the ropes", and by the end of our trip they were going on their own. We were fortunate that it was beautiful weather and not as hot as it's been this week!

June 25, 2009 at 5:59 AM  

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