Summer Snapshots: Lake Living

Happy Unofficial Start to Fall, campers! I had a great Labor Day, replete with two musicals, a trip to the Fair, and a few good books and great meals. Now that the last of the Summer Holiday Trifecta is behind us, though, I'm turning my attention (a bit prematurely, admittedly) to fall.

As I wind down summer, it would be remiss of me to NOT mention lakes on this blog. I proudly hail from the Land of 10,000, and I've grown up spending summers on them since I was little. We used to have a cabin 2 hours west of the Cities, and some of my fondest childhood memories are of weekends "at the lake." These days, we keep our boat at my parents' place and spend our weekends on lakes closer to home...

...where libations flow freely, little brother Jonathan and cousin Kari waterski like bosses, and the only way we mark hours passing is by how often we have to reapply sunscreen. One of the perks of living at home for the summer was my ability to take after-dinner cruises with my family on a spur-of-the-moment whim...some of the prettiest evenings we had this summer were out on the water for a quick jaunt!

I was also lucky enough to sneak away for not one, but two weekends up north! The first was our annual trip to Hay Lake for a weekend at Kelsie's cabin. 

You know that new thing people do where they make up special hashtags on Instagram for their pictures? We made one for Cabin Weekend 2014, "#hummerjuice," in honor of our signature weekend drink...Hummer Juice! Kels and I discovered this delish cocktail at The Chatterbox Pub in St.'s a mix of grapefruit juice and chardonnay. We experimented with proportions and found that half-and-half was solid gold...and tasted best when drunk off your biceps, a la Dustin Lynch's "bicep chug!" (Mostly because Dustin Lynch is super cute. No shame.)

We pontooned around forever, played some great games around the fire, played with duck phones and golf-peg board games, and all loved on precious puppy Grace like it was our job. After a stop in Nisswa for amazing pizza at Rafferty's, we amused ourselves the whole way home with the Spotify Boy Band Playlist...which makes an excellent road trip soundtrack!! Thanks for hosting us, Kels!

Our second getaway followed just two weekends after Cabin Weekend 2014, when my family headed up north to celebrate the wedding of my "fake uncle Steve," a friend of my dad's who is not related to my family at all but was around so much when I was a kid that I thought he was my uncle until I was 10. We stayed at a darling little resort on Woman Lake, Broadwater Lodge, and enjoyed a gorgeous day on the water on Friday before the wedding. 

One of the highlights? We spotted a mature bald eagle trying to teach its baby how to hunt...after a while, the mother perched in a tree right near where we were floating. After several minutes of quiet observation, we got the bright idea to pull out my iPhone and search Youtube for baby bald eagle sounds. Once we played them, it was freaky...the second the baby eagle in the video screeched, even with my low-sound-quality phone, the mother eagle's head absolutely whipped around in our direction, no matter how many times we played the video. It was insane to see just how honed their sense of hearing is. 

We also got to witness my first "beach" wedding, as Steve and Cheryl tied the knot on the beach of her aunt's home on Mule Lake! It was a lovely ceremony and the reception was full of personal touches...we loved celebrating with Steve!

It freaks my mind to know that in just a few months all this gorgeous water will be frozen solid and I'll be bitching about the subzero temps again...for now, I'm hoping for one or two more September boat trips before the weather officially gets autumnal on us!