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A Summer Holiday? Of Course We Went to the Cottage in Three Lakes

Scott insisted on leaving to go to the cottage for Labor Day as soon as I was done with work. I biked to work in the morning while he packed up the car and picked me up when I was done. 

We were going to camp along the way, but the only free site we knew of was three-quarters of the way there.

Day 1
Meadow slept most of the way up so she was ready to party when we arrived.

Nothing says party like sugary peanut butter and spread cheese.

Blake wasn't at the cottage yet, but I made a rum and coke in his honor.

We had some Chinese-style waffles for breakfast. The difference in texture is a game changer.

Instead of playing outside Meadow pretended to use the toilet.

Earlier in the week we biked with Emma and Olive (and June too, but he wasn't biking). I think after seeing Olive ride a bike Meadow was ready to get back on hers. Since then she has been insisting on going for bike rides everyday. Perfect timing I guess as we are doing a 30 Days of Biking challenge.

It usually happens in April, but they decided to go for round two this September. I'd always wussed out, so we had to try.

"Mama bike." 

Meadow and I explored the surrounding woods and went up in the tree house. I showed her how to lock the door from the inside only to have her lock me out. I was freaked out for a few seconds.

I had to tell her that she couldn't play in the neighbors yard. 

Too bad Brooke's parents don't own all the surrounding land.

While I was taking Meadow for a wagon ride I found a key on the road that looked important. I was hoping someone would come back looking for it, so I made a sign. Later in the day I noticed the key was missing and a mint candy was left in its place. 

In my hometown, where the Dutch heritage is prominent, its not unusual to find a pair of kissing statues in the fronts of peoples yards. Of course we had to represent at the cottage. Meadow thinks she's supposed to hug and kiss them too. 

I think she's telling me we have to go swimming.

I thought Meadow was into swimming after going to Webber Pool. I guess she really is afraid of lakes. 

On the other hand she adores running up and down the dock.

She makes me so nervous.

Then we had to get our bike ride in for the day. 

By the way, Meadow has a sudden attachment to this stuffed monkey. It goes with her everywhere. It can often be seen wearing diapers, shoes or pajamas. 

Through the forest...

along the lakes...

to cabin ruins we rode.

Since Scott missed it last time, I wanted to show him the abandoned cabin my parents showed us last time. I really hope whoever buys this land reuses the old fireplace. 

"Hi-C, Hi-C. Jump!"

When my parents arrived I saw my dad carrying a boat down to the lake. When I got closer he said it was a sand box that he had built. My dad is so handy, we tried to convince him that he needs to make more and sell these. Unfortunately Meadow would have to play by herself. My mom announced that she had bronchitis and was still planning on coming up.

That wasn't stopping us, but Chelsea wasn't brining a two-week old.

For dinner we ate some roast fries and cauliflower with Trig's brats and our homemade sauerkraut.

After dinner Meadow received a late birthday present from my aunt. A new sweater!

Day 2
Blake had arrived late the night before.

He couldn't wait to see his niece.

Last time we were up we didn't really use our kayaks. I debated on bringing them up this time, but I knew Blake would bring his. Instead of going on the same lakes we came up with the idea to kayak the Wisconsin River. This time it would actually work because we had two vehicles. We left Meadow with my dad while we had some fun.

First we dropped off Brooke at the launch site.

After dropping off the truck 5 miles ahead we drove back to Brooke.

The river is quite rocky. It was a nice challenge to avoid the rocks. 

The rapids were much calmer than where we camped along the St. Croix.

I'm not even sure you could call them rapids.

Leave it to Blake to find something to forage. This time: high bush cranberries. He offered me some, but they looked the poisonous ones to me. I said I would try them if he was still alive by the end of the day. 

Blake's senior portrait.

We stopped along this sandy section to take a break for lunch. Scott wanted to stop on an island of weeds.

Why do you call native vegetation weeds?

Further along the river we found a free campsite. Paddlers get all the best sites. I suggest you become one.

We are so camping here next summer. 

You can only camp at this site for one night. That's perfect for a getting a change of scenery.

Then back on the water to finish up our 5 mile paddle. 

When we got back Blake made his first rum and coke.

This one's Blake's college dropout picture. Don't worry he's heading back next year.

Meadow decided to mark her territory.

There's a lot going on in this photo.

The sand box was now complete. What lucky grandchildren. 

Brooke was really into the Goose Island Oktoberfest, while you could say the same for Meadow's corn crush.

It was starting to get dark and we still needed to get our bike ride in. Darn this time of year.

I miss night rides in the city. You just can't do that with a kid. This a fun way to get a ride in.

Blake had moved the floor lamp into the screen porch and this became my new favorite reading nook.

We also turned the TV so we could enjoy the great weather.

Day 3
If  you were wondering, Brooke is still the hash queen.

This time we got our bike ride in right away.

I didn't realize that these shoes were Brown since I got them. I though they were blue or grey. Brooke and Blake blew my mind.

No he's actually not foraging for food this time. He's picking wildflowers.

After it rained a little Meadow took Monkey for a walk.

Then we decided to go tubing.

We inherited this giant tube from Brooke's grandparents.

Meadow and I went first.

She wasn't afraid of it, she just kept asking if we could go to the playground instead. 

Blake couldn't wait to be flipped by Mr. Mike.

We soon found out that the giant tube was impossible to flip.

Blake on the other hand was in the water.

Then I got a turn. I hadn't been tubing in a long time.

Brooke told me to sit on top of the tube head first. The monster tube filled with water.

I sat in a waterlogged tube for the rest of the time.

Beer o'clock.

Blake was going to ride this bike into the water when he wussed out.

 I think my dad stopped him saying that bike was worth too much money.

We then headed out for a boat ride before the rain clouds rolled in.

We took a slower route back along the shore. I enjoyed getting to see all the little cottages I had never noticed before.

When we got back we had some pizza.

Then my mom surprised us with a Vikings cheerleading outift for Meadow. We would have been more okay with a Packers one, but I guess she is a Minnesotan. 

She can only wear that on Halloween. She's Packers fan through and through.

Day 4
Paul Bunyan anyone?

My mom warned us that Labor Day was the busiest day of the year, but we were seated immediately. 

Everyday Meadow asks for pancakes for breakfast. I kept telling her on the way that she could eat as many as she wanted. 

I think we were both getting full at this point.

I think this was her fourth and last one. 

We were excited that since my mom wasn't here we didn't have to go to the gift shop. Somehow we ended up there anyway and probably spent just as much time. 

They tell you not to do this, but we're bad at following the rules.

My dad is always fixing Blake's cars. 

Since we were going to be in Minocqua I suggested we go to Jim Peck's (actually now its called Wildwood Wildlife Park). I loved seeing how things haven't changed at all since I was a kid. 

I wasn't sure about a Northwoods zoo, but this place was pretty fun.

We had rented a wagon for her, but she spent a large portion of the time running around.

Some parts were new like this parakeet area. For $1.00 you could get birdseed on a stick and the birds flocked to you. 

Apparently my boots were also tasty.

I thought Meadow would have been afraid of them, but she loved this room.

Meadow wanted to climb on everything.

We have similar photos from 15 years ago. 

Now we'll have to come back every few years.

I think she spent more time climbing than looking at animals.

When you first walk in there's a large petting area. We left this for last which was probably a good idea because Meadow loved playing with the bunnies. She would have stayed all day if we let her.

Then we went to downtown Minocqua for ice cream.

Don't worry she didn't eat the whole thing. She's helping her Grandpa. After ice cream Blake had to leave us to head to a rehearsal for a puppet tour he's doing. 

Had we realized that fudge shop had seating and homemade ice cream we would've went here.

What a good husband. He stopped by just to get a treat for G.G.

Passing by this window display I thought this cow sweater was really cute. Hint Hint Aunt Jill. 

"Sit in chair."

Back at home we got some lake time in. 

Mr. Mike and I decided to get some fishing in. We both came back empty handed and I was down another lure. 

Meanwhile, Meadow and I needed to get in our daily ride. The last few days our rides have been brief so this time I chose a longer 9 mile route. 

By now all the tourists had gone home so the roads were quieter. We saw lots of wildlife on our ride. I know my cell phone isn't great at taking photos, but that brown dot in the middle is a fox. 

We ran into multiple packs of deer as well as a raccoon. I guess Meadow didn't need to go the zoo earlier to see wildlife.

The guys weren't back from fishing when we returned so we went on a quick paddle boat ride.

Sunsets in Three Lakes are always great.

I went for another night ride before it got too dark.

We hadn't had any s'mores all weekend so I made Brooke and I some before bed.

Day 5
The next morning we cleaned up, ate corn and went home. We have plans to come back up this fall which I haven't done in a really long time. 


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