Monday, August 22, 2022

Annual August Lake Trip Highlights

We are back from our 5-day trip to visit my parents at their lake home. This has become an annual tradition for us. August typically provides reliably good weather and mid-August tends to be a time when Phil and I can both get away from work. Overall we had a really good trip. Both boys ended up with a virus of some sort that resulted in fevers that would come and go but spike during the night. Some of the vacation ends up being what I call "type 2 fun" which means it's more enjoyable for the remembering self than the experiencing self. But I can see that vacations will only get better as the kids get older. Paul is at a GREAT age for travel. He had so much fun and was so positive and excited about everything. On our second to last morning when it was overcast and windy, he looked outside while eating breakfast and said, 'What a beautiful day!' That was basically his attitude for the whole trip, aside from when he wasn't feeling well. He was up for anything and everything and was just so happy to be up at the lake! 

Basically living his best life - sitting comfortably on a chair, eating a graham cracker.

Here are the highlights from our lake trip. 

Phil's annual lake swim: I'm not sure when this tradition started, maybe in 2019, but Phil tries to swim across the lake during our August trip. The winds were pretty calm on Tuesday when we got there so Phil decided to do the swim that day. We are not sure how far it is to swim across the lake, but we are estimating about 1.5 miles, but probably more? The photo on the left was takien at the start. The 2nd photo was around the half way point. He was swimming to the 3 white cabins across the lake. 

For those of you who are married, you know how there are things your spouse loves to do but they are not your favorite, and yet you do them because they are important to your spouse? That is how I'd characterize his annual lake swim. I kayak in front of him to make sure he stays safe and then he gets in the kayak on the other side and we kayak back together. On this day, the wind was to our back on the way across, so I didn't really have to paddle - I more so had to steer/reposition the kayak to stay in front of Phil. But on the way back, we were paddling right into a wind that seemed to have gotten much stronger. I was in the front and water kept splashing into the kayak. There was some grumbling on my part. But it was the highlight of Phil's vacation. I've done this swim once in 2009 (you can read about it here) and will never do it again. I am not a strong swimmer so it took me 1 hour 40 minutes. It took Phil 1 hour 5 minutes this summer. So significantly less time!

My parents watched the boys during the swim. My mom captured this cute photo of the boys. <3

Water activities: My parents have no shortage of water toys for us to enjoy. We always try to get out on the pontoon and kayak and this year I took Paul out on the paddle board for the first time. This is the first summer that he has really loved the water and was willing to go out on the paddle board with me. Will is not keen on the water yet but if he is like Paul, he will eventually change his mind. Will enjoyed the pontoon ride, though!

Outdoor time: We saw lots of wildlife on this trip - but luckily didn't see the black bear that's been spotted in the area! I spied this group of turkeys (which is referred to as a "rafter of turkeys" according to google) on a run one morning. And most days, this family of ducks would swim by. Will got very excited and would quack at them!

Much time was spent on the dock, although Paul only fished twice and didn't want to get too close to the tiny sunfish when I asked him to take a picture with it! Will is a wild man and terrifies all of us on the dock, so a life jacket was a requirement when he was on the dock. 

Paul had a great time on the lily pad, too. 

Indoor time: It was rainy towards the end of the week, so my mom and I took the boys to an amazing toy store that is about 30 minutes away and they both got to pick out a toy. Paul is masked since he had a fever the day before so I wanted to play it extra careful. Will was especially excited about alllll of the toys and was exclaiming carro (car in spanish), bus, ball, trucks, etc. Will picked out a bus and Paul picked out a trivia game about dinosaurs and other animals. He is his father's son (Phil is excellent at trivia). 

Paul put together lots of puzzles and the boys enjoyed playing with the toys my siblings and I had when we were kids. 

On Wednesday, we painted some rocks. We've seen painted rocks on walks in our neighborhood so I decided to buy a kit for my parents home in case we had any rainy weather. Paul had so much fun painting 3 rocks. 

I helped w/ the cat and fish but the he did the sun all by himself. 

Phil's birthday: Phil celebrated his 41st birthday at the lake and had some help with his birthday candles. When Paul came downstairs on the morning of Phil's birthday he said - "where are the presents?" I had to explain that adults don't necessarily exchange presents. I gave Phil the gift of time - he'll golf with friends sometime this month or in September. We are not 'gift people' and much prefer the gift of time doing something we love. 

I didn't take a picture, but we also went out to lunch with my 99 year-old grandma. She's in good health but I know how fast things can change so I am thankful for every visit we get with her! 

We also ate well, played lots of uno, rummy and one game of hand and foot. Yes, there were low points, but that is travel with young kids. It was great to get so much time with my parents and to enjoy a slower pace of life! 

On my first morning back at work, I presented on our weekly national sales call which is something I've never done before! Nothing like jumping right back in head first! Luckily I presented the same deck that I presented at that conference in July so I didn't have to do much prep work but it was a bit of a stressful start to the week. But as much as I loved vacation, I am very happy to be back to our normal schedule/routine! 


Elisabeth said...

Yay! Aside from the fevers it sounds like such a great week (I swear of 20 or so trips - mostly to my parents lake house - we've taken with the kids, at least 13 of them someone has been sick. Usually they get sick the night before we leave. I don't know how this happens. So often.)

I swam across my parents lake too; only once and that was enough. I don't swim enough these days to enjoy a long swim and...I've done it once, so why again? But I can see it being a really fun tradition and it's so nice you're able to support and spot Phil as he swims to keep him safe and encourage his interest.

I love the "where are the presents" question. It's funny when kids expectations butt up against adult reality.

Great pictures and sounds like such nice memories. I am so conscious of my parents having time with my kids, too. So every summer we get to visit them and spend time together at the lake feels like building up everyone's collective memory bank. I love that, and it's worth the effort and putting up with interrupted sleep and the break in routine. But I also 100% understand you're "Type 2" vacation. Our recent roadtrip had a lot of these moments and the further we get from the actual event, the more positively I remember our time. I can ALMOST forget the horrors of finding public bathrooms - haha!

Welcome back. Enjoy the return to routine. You know how I feel about that as well :)

Anonymous said...

Awww, this looks so great! I’m glad you guys had fun. The reality is there are always ups and downs with little ones, but it sounds like you made the best of it for sure. The lake swim is really cool- so nice of you to support Phil! I’m sure Paul (and Will) will have amazing memories of these recurring trips to the lake! So special.

(Still commenting anon because I’m still in Mexico and can’t seem to comment on blogger blogs on my phone! Kaelyn from Grateful Kae

Jeanie said...

Welcome back! Happy belated birthday to Phil -- it looks like a great celebration! I'm sorry the boys had viruses but from the photos, it appears to be a lovely getaway with loads to do and lots of fun. Phil's swim impresses me. I felt good when I saw 1/2 mile across the lake years ago! But I can see how the kayak might get a little old, especially fighting the wind. It looks like a wonderful tradition for your family and I love that.

NGS said...

It sounds like so much fun to have a regular vacation scheduled and in a place where you can be relaxed (even if you are a tiny bit sick). It just looks so relaxing - I'm wishing I could hang out by that lake!

San said...

Oh, it sounds like you had a wonderful weekend (minus the fever!)... and I love Paul's attitude. Isn't it great when you can get excited about EVERYTHING? We need to remember that more often as adults.

Happy birthday to Phil. While I love giving and receiving gifts (when I have a great gift idea!), Jon and I have kinda stopped buying each other gifts, too. But a birthday cake with candles is a MUST :)

Jenny said...

This trip sounds so fun! I love four-year-olds so much- "What a beautiful day!" Yes, why shouldn't a windy, rainy day be beautiful? This just don't have the judgments that we do about things.
That lake swim... I've done open water swims like that and finally came to the same conclusion you did- I don't enjoy them. But it's cool that Phil enjoys it, and it was the highlight of his trip. And... you have a 99-year-old grandmother who's in good health??? There are some good genes in your family! That's amazing.
Glad you had such a great vacation!

coco said...

happy birthday to Phil, 41 is a good age, my husband will turn 41 in December. I totally get what you are saying about there are things your spouse loves to do but they are not your favorite, and yet you do them because they are important to your spouse? this is golf for us. I wouldn't have kept doing it except that husband loves it, and I love doing something together as a couple. What makes it special is that it doesn't feel like sacrifice but happy to love him that way.
your grandma is 99? woooo! what's her secret! both my grandmas lived past 90s as well, it's such a privilege to have them for long.
I love the idea of a vacation place to go yearly... that's comfort and relaxing. maybe in few years when we settle somewhere if ever.

Nicole said...

Sounds like a great week! I am so glad your grandma is still around!

Stephany said...

This sounds like such a fun vacation (minus the fevers, of course)! I've been doing the gift of time for my mom because it feels really silly to buy her THINGS when she can buy whatever she wants. It's been really fun.

I love that Paul picked out a trivia game! So cute!