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2 Weddings and Paul Bunyan's

Scott and I headed back to our favorite state (other than Minnesota of course) one last time this summer. After spending a few hours working on our wedding invites and sending them off to the printers we drove late into the night to the Northwoods.

Growing up my mom didn't work and stayed home with us kids. So every year we spent the entire summer up at our cottage. My dad would join us on weekends. Sometimes we'd go home just for the day if one of us had an appointment. Most people would have thought this was great, but I hated it. When I would return back home to start school all my friends had new friends or inside jokes I didn't understand. Our friends on the lake only came up a few times in the summer so were left to ourselves. I wasn't much of an outdoors kid and would rather play inside. I usually watched the same movies and played Nintendo over and over, I still have Clueless and all the answers to Jeopardy memorized. Now that I'm grown up and don't have summers off anymore I try to spend as much time as I can outdoors. And coming up to the cottage is a real treat since I don't get to do it every year.

Brooke and I don't get a week off together very often. I guess most adults don't. With two weddings in two weekends we decided to stay at the cabin for a whole week. It just seemed like the most logical thing to do.

We totally had to make pancakes when we got up from the post-drive sleep.

 We enjoyed pancakes on the screen porch. I could get used to this.

 Peanut had pancakes too.

We needed to get groceries and since its local month we stopped at a meat market on our drive to Eagle River. We stocked up on cheese and meat. 

If I remember correctly we picked up Italian sausage, kielbasa, bacon and some Wisconsin cheddar from Vern's

I needed cake flour for Chelsea's wedding cake. My mom suggested trying The Flour Sack I called them ahead of time to put their entire stock of cake flour on hold for me.

 I found this cool summer sausage at the sack. Because we already bought a load of sausage this was out of the question.

Next we walked around Downtown Eagle River. 

I had to stop at Tremblay's for candy. I've been coming here every summer for as long as I can remember. A few years ago I discovered there was one in Stillwater, Mn.

We each got a 1/4 pound of fudge and a few handfuls of taffy. I forgot they don't take cards and sent Scott out to get cash. A woman ahead of me bought 60 dollars worth of candy. 

I told Brooke I didn't want taffy when we entered the store, but I stuffed our bag full of every variety known to man when she insisted.

Brooke likes sending me on errands for cash. When I got to the bank I realized I didn't have the debit card. She was hanging onto it. So, back and forth I went.  

The best thing about this place is being able to watch them make everything. 

Much better than going to the ATM.

We then went over to Soda Pop's for lunch. They had pretty much every kind of soda you could think of. Scott said he noticed a taco truck on his way to get cash. I changed my mind last minute on food and instead we ordered soda floats. 

When I was a kid my dad and I went to a Dog and Suds on a random trip near the Illinois-Wisconsin border.  I remember my pops being very excited for this childhood relic. When I get a chance to drink their root beer I have to order it. Apparently Dog n Suds are still around. Someday I might get to relive the dog half of the old drive-in.

I was pretty full from my float and ordered a taco.

I was little disappointed that they were super American. It was cheap so I can't complain.

With the food truck craze taking over the Twin Cities I thought this would be a good choice. There were black olives in my burrito. How much more Midwestern can you get?

We got the remainder of our groceries at Trig's before heading home.

We bought a 12 pack of New Glarus Spotted Cow and Hinterland Pale Ale from relatively nearby Green Bay. Wisconsin grocery stores are always well stocked with craft brews.

The sun finally came out in the afternoon so we headed into the lake. The water was very cold. I didn't stay in too long. Then my parents came up for the weekend. 

 I lasted marginally longer than Brooke.

We brought up our favorite cookbok, Mark Bittman's Best Recipe's in the World. We'd also brought up cabbage from home. We ended up making cabbage and sausage pasta. It was much better than it sounds.

I love being able to eat outside. 

 Immediately after dinner my dad took us for a boat ride before it got dark.

Boat rides are one of my favorite things to do up at the cabin. Next year I want to get my boat license.

I could never make it to Three Lakes the first few years we dated. Now that I make time for it, I want to learn how to be a true outdoorsman.  I also wouldn't mind going there every weekend.

This cloud in the distance looked like a UFO rising over the Northwoods. Brooke's mom insisted I take a photo.

Eventually we got to the end of the line. I got quite the stomach ache on the boat ride. It is not advisable to have this happen on a boat when you won't make it back to shore for a half-hour.

Later we made s'mores with giant marshmallows that my mom bought. She roasted one marshmallow first to try it out. Halfway through she says, "I'm never doing this again." I look over and see marshmallow guts all over her hands. 

After she finishes eating it she goes and makes a s'more with the giant marshmallows again and says, "There's more marshmallow than anything else." Or something to that extent. 

You had to be there.

My dad heard a noise in the woods and went searching for it. I wouldn't do that. I'm deathly afraid of the woods at night. I still won't walk down to the lake by myself. 

The next morning we got up early and drove up to Minocqua to go to Paul Bunyun's Cook Shanty for breakfast. 

My parents always took us here every summer. 

Mine too. Except we went to the one in Wisconsin Dells. Our yearly trips to the dells were the Tuska family's Northwoods. Everytime we go to the Minocqua Paul Bunyan's I make a point to say the Dell's location was first. I always thought I was just being a punk, but I guess I was right.

Mmmm, all you can eat breakfast goodies.

The waiters were walking around handing out the Babe the blue ox hats to kids. My dad kept asking if we wanted one. We said no. As we were finishing breakfast he got up and went over to the pile of paper hats and grabbed us two. Then insisted we put them on and took a photo of us. 

Afterwards we went into the gift shop. I swear they've been selling the same stuff since I was a kid.

I always wanted the rubber band gun. I never wanted this weird pear man.

As you can see I really enjoyed the Babe hat. 

We headed downtown to the Gaslight Square for some antiquing. Chelsea wanted a white cake stand to be used for her wedding cake. The only one I could find in Minneapolis was too big. Upon my luck, I found one that's the perfect size. Score!

It seems like antique malls are becoming dominated by knickknacks.

And what's up with the maple syrup next to the latest Marie Osmond book. I sure hope the syrup isn't an antique, unless it's like fine wine.

The last time we were here Scott spent probably a good hour looking through all the records.

I was really tired this morning so I passed on record hunting. I did find a copy of King Crimson's Starless and Bible Black.

The real reason we came to the mall was my wedding ring. We didn't find anything worth a darn. I guess dudes don't get rid of their wedding bands. Either that or they take them to pawn shops.

Like this kid, I wanted more candy.

We still had an hour to kill before heading to Lac du Flambeau. I suggested mini golfing at another childhood favorite: Kastle Rock. Sadly it wasn't kept up as well as it used to be. The toy train wasn't running and there weren't any parrots.

Brooke's family has a weird tradition of not counting the first hit until you make it past the initial obstacle. I was tired and crabby. I wanted to play by the rules. Gail was not having it.

Eventually Mr. Mike was sick of the two of us and told us to just keep score.

I took last place. It was almost as embarrassing as the time I went bowling with the Romenesko clan. Maybe I should have joined in on the Romenesko rules. One highlight was a hole-in-one on the last hole.

We then headed west to attend a friends wedding.

We got lost, but eventually found our way.

Scott decided to take the night off of photographing so we don't have many pictures from the wedding. I wish I had taken more.

I shoot weddings for a living. When I'm at an friend's wedding, I don't want to photograph.

After the ceremony a woman and her two sons did some traditional Native American dances and blessed the bride and groom. She even had everyone join in.

My old roommate Jon explained that the grooms grandfather was close to the Lac de Flambeau chief. I guess he wasn't kidding. How else can you explain that you have a family compound on a reservation?

Being here made us wish we had our wedding at my parents cottage. I suggested we move the wedding to next July since we hadn't sent out the invites yet. Scott said, "No way. Lets get it over with."

It got pretty chilly once the sun went down. Someone lit a bonfire and handed out sparklers.

Eventually we headed to the boat house and hung with some old friends from the Dinkytown and Como days. It was a good night, but we had to head home and sleep. 

What I failed to mention earlier was that I had to drive back to Minnesota for a shift at Best Buy on Sunday.  Our only vacation of the year together was the same week as one of two days a year that you have to work on. Let's just say I'm still peeved about this.

To be Continued...


Amanda said…
Scott I think you should have bought the sausage. It was pretty cool.
What an unusual taco trailer…is that normal? I’m not sure I would have been able to eat there. :) I think you guys should go to Three Lakes every weekend in the summer.We could get together! The pear man was really weird.
CHANGE THE DATE!!!!! I would love that! I think it’s a great idea to have your wedding upnorth!!!! :

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