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Colin and Jenn's First Cottage Visit and the Vilas County Fair with Brooke's Fam

We had a lot of visitors up at the cottage this week. A "kid" my sister used to babysit was up with a couple friends fishing plus my parents.

He's now in college. No longer a kid.

Meadow got to open a belated birthday present. 

A mermaid outfit. She had been wanting one for a long time.

I carried my little gal down to the lake. Mermaids can't walk.


We had a some final prep before the mermaid could kick her flippers.




It was a lot harder to swim than she thought.

Even though there was a chance of rain we headed to Eagle River for mini golf and horseback riding. After riding the pony at the zoo in Fort Wayne Meadow wanted to go again. 

I decided that this wasn't for me. Instead I went to town to shop for a new fishing pole.

I was probably Meadow's age the last time I went.

It had probably been 25 years for my dad too. 

I think it will be never for this guy. Ha.


Careful Brooke, shouldn't you be holding on to the horse's reins?

They go slow. The ride was about 45 minutes long.


The ride through the woods was pretty. Near the end Theo kept complaining that his butt hurt and he'd rather be hiking.

Before I knew it they were back.

It had just started pouring when we finished our ride. 

We were going to go mini golfing, but that would have to wait.

When mom found out we were going to town she told us to stop at Tremblay's for her.

For the first time in months the kids and I masked up. Apparently COVID wasn't ready to say goodbye, but only the kids and I had gotten the Delta memo.

Back at the cottage, Theo insisted on some big swing time.

We also got some dock fishing in. The fishing boat was still at the shop.

The guy would be out in their boats from early morning to late at night with occasional breaks.

The next day Scott took a driving test with the pontoon since he'd be using it without my dad around this week. 

I finally feel like I'm an adult at the cottage.

We took the boat to our favorite island.


Time to head back. Colin and Jen would soon be arriving.

 After we got back Colin and Jen showed up not to long after.

My phone had been getting no texts all week (damn you T-Mobile). So, we were surprised they had already arrived.

Apparently G.G. and Grandpa wanted to try our canoe. Wah?

Somehow my dad talked my mom into going on a quick canoe ride with our boat.

My broham tried his best at fishing. He's definitely a city boy just like his brother.


Meadow and Theo showed Uncle Colin how to play some Nintendo Switch after shrimp and grits dinner.

In true Tuska fashion we had Kringle for breakfast. 

Colin had found this and liver sausage at the Three Lake Town Market. He was very excited.

Also, tbh, it was a mid-afternoon snacks when we'd visit my grandparents in Racine.

Theo wasn't sure about kringle.

Getting the hang of it. I probably shouldn't have given Colin a reel with a janky bail wire.

Theo was still acting like a shy boy on our first boat ride.

Oh, and Brooke wouldn't ride with us. She was "too nervous." Thought I'd crash the pontoon. Brooke, that kind of commentary made me even more nervous.

I couldn't handle it if he crashed my dad's new boat.

We made it back without issue. 

We traded in the big lures for some hook and worm fishing with our Dock Demons. I love these little poles for kids AND adults.

We killed some time before grilling out on Island Lake.

This time I agreed to a boat ride.

Thanks, killer bee.

We took Colin and Jen to our favorite island for some Trig's brats, corn and Wisconsin brews.

We try to do a cookout on the island every summer but have missed it the last few years.

Colin took charge. He's the grillmaster amongst us.

That's the stuff. Nothing like fresh corn.

Love these fools and love Three Lakes.



The next day called for rain again. We tried to sneak between showers with a round of mini golfing. 

This was Meadow's first time playing and she loved it.

Afterward Colin whipped Theo and I on the go-karts.

Then we headed to downtown Eagle River for lunch.

We tried out the new Italian deli, Aieollo's. Definitely try the giant meatball bombers. The meatballs are stuffed inside of the bread. Crazy.

Eagle River has picnic benches setup for the COVID cautious crowd on an empty lot. Except it was raining again. This would be a trend the rest of the week.

Because our bellies weren't full enough we stopped to get ice cream. 

Our first time at Peanut's was a hit. We will be back.

Then it was fishing time again, back at the cottage.

Meadow caught this monster Pumpkinseed.

Theo and Jen caught a couple too.

Nothing more fun than when you catch a bunch of pan fish in a row.

The rain stopped and the sun started to peek out so we quickly headed over to Pine Isle for drinks and taco night.

The tacos were just OK (I'd stick with the pizza), but fun was had.

One after another, rain kept coming through even though forecast predicted none.

After another rainstorm we took them hiking at Sam Campbell Trail

One of our favorite places up here. The trail has great informational placards that teach you about the forest.


Of course as we were nearing the end of the trail it started pouring rain. 

It started as a drizzle halfway through. It did not let up.

The sun finally came out for the first time in days so we finally got to swim.


I taught Meadow how to use the kayak on her own. She loved it. She's trying so many new things this summer.

She chased after Theo and I and even tugged us along for a bit on the tube.

Colin had big plans for the grill. It was steak night.

Of course more corn was had.

Colin also cooked up hot dogs, but the kids just wanted the steak.


Colin and the kids got a little crazy.


The kiddos had finally warmed up to their big city aunt and uncle.

The next day was actually going to be a rain free day. We took them up to the U.P. to check out Agate Falls. 

The signage was not clear, but just go under the road and follow the trail.


It was a little disappointing that you could only view it from high up. 

You could go even higher up to an old rail bridge to see it from above. 

Other than the power line it was a great view. But all we could wonder was, "How did people get down to the bottom?"


It looks like this is used as a snowmobile trail.

Colin and Jen took a little while, but they peaked over the very high bridge.

Since that was quick we went down to Bond Falls.

Much better.

For out last meal together we picked up some of Bonnie's Lakesides famed broasted chicken.

After they left the next morning we took our canoe out and let Meadow kayak next to us.

She thought it was so cool. 

We would've went further, but the wind was pushing us back toward the cottage.

I finally got around to changing out Brooke's tires on her old bike.

I've needed new tires for like 10 years.

Then Brooke's parents showed back up.

After my parents came back we went out for dinner at the Oneida Village lot. 

They love the fish fries at the old Oneida Village lot. 

It's good and fun to be downtown, but take me to Twelve Pines.


What in the what?

It's a bird, it's a plane. It's Brooke fishing!!!

Dad had to step away and asked me to take over. Then I kept going. 

Mike and I picked up the fishing boat only for it to breakdown on the way back. We were not going to be fishing this year.

My parents surprised Meadow with her own Stormy Kromer hat. She had been wanting one so she should could match her Grandpa.

Bubye boat. Maybe next season

We would've headed back to Minneapolis but it was the Vilas County Fair this weekend.

And you know how much we love fairs.

Holy, cheese curds, Batman.

These curds were the highlight of the fair. Otherwise the food was meh.


Meadow liked watching the chainsaw guy carve an eagle out of wood.

How does someone become this good at using a chainsaw?

Dad likes to try to win the big prizes.

Not this time, Mr. Mike.


He even tried another one.

Meadow really wanted to win a goldfish but no luck.




G.G. didn't fare much better

You know Meadow had to do the carnival maze again. She got lost, but eventually found some kids to follow.

I was a little disappointed in the lack of rides this year. Not the usual ones they have.

Did I mention the cheese curds were amazing. We went back for seconds.



After food and games it was time for rides. 



The carny on this ride was blasting the tunes.

This ride was cool. I wish they had it at Bay Beach.



Then G.G. played her favorite game. Some kind of low-key gambling game.

She has been playing this since we were kids. 

Oh yeah Brittany and Marina came up too. The girls got new tails and loved watching their Gigi win prizes.

My dad and I played the water balloon game. I ended up winning a stuffed animal for Theo.

Then one last ride. Theo and I went on the knockoff Lightning McQueen ride. He's a tough little guy.

People kept giving us their leftover tickets. 

We almost got funnel cake (not pictured) to end our night, but gave up and decided to eat something back at home.

One last boat ride before we headed home. 

By boat ride she means eating all of the twizzlers like a goof.


I hadn't taken a boat ride to the dam in a long time. 

I guess it was worth the long ride.

The kids liked watching the boat go over. Someday I'd like to take our kayaks and canoe over the dam.

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