Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lodge highlights

About a month ago we were in Wisconsin, taking our annual trip to the Lodge. It was a great trip, but this year everyone is moving and starting new life phases so only Grandma and Grandpa could make it when we could. It wasn't as wild and crazy as it has been in past years, we missed the kids' aunts and uncles.

We started the trip with a stop off to see Grandma Brenda and Grandpa Paul in Madison and show off Hallie in her glamour sunglasses. We were excited to see our cats Duke & Clementine, who have been living with Grandma & Grandpa for the past 6 months or so while we're trying to sell our house. Duke is much nicer these days, he's allowed to go outside much more often than when he lived at our house. So he was very sweet to Hallie, who said "hiyeee!" to him a lot while we were there.

When we got to the Lodge, it was everything we were hoping for: beautiful weather (with a few storms thrown in to mix it up), fishing, playing in the lake, and relaxing. This trip we met a new friend: Black Smokey the bear (Will named him). Black Smokey was a juvenile black bear who appeared to have hurt his leg so couldn't move very fast. He discovered Grandpa Mike's deer feeder and Grandpa - who like most of us had yet to have seen a bear at the Lodge - discovered him cleaning it out very early one morning. We all got out to watch him and take lots of pictures before he ran off, but he came back repeatedly during our stay to check in. Will and Grandpa made sure to keep the feeder stocked for him.

Will and Grandpa and I took the Mario kart into the forest and found the tallest, straightest tree we could, chopped it down and we all stripped it and made a flagpole for the Lodge. Doesn't it look great? Will got the honor of hoisting the flag for the first time.

This was the first trip in which Hallie was old enough to play outside, and she had a great time. Most of the time she hung out with Grandma Susie and bossed her around. This picture looks familiar...

We also took Hallie on her first boat ride. She seemed to like it considerably more than Will did. I think the tiny infant lifejacket fits her better than it did Will.

Oh yeah, the shark tent is at the Lodge! Hallie and Will played in this a lot - in fact, it was central to many games they invented/played together throughout the trip.

Here's a video of some of the silliness that went on with the shark tent, and another Lodge toy: the early-90's-era electronic keyboard, complete with awesome demo music.

Inspired by the fun of the shark tent, Grandpa and Will and I went camping (in a much larger tent) down by the lake one night. It was Will's first time "camping out", and he loved it. Grandpa and I had more fun than we thought we would too. We made a camp fire with the girls and roasted marshmallows, then stayed up late playing cards, telling stories, and listening to the frogs. One interesting discovery that we made when it got dark was that the Lodge shirts that Uncle Adam made us all for Christmas glow in the dark! That was pretty cool to find out.

I hope we can all make it next year, or sometime again soon. It'll be much harder to make the trip from Texas, at least keeping it an annual trip. But I'm sure we'll figure out a way.

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