Family Vacation 2014

This is going to be the non-medical version of the story. We had been looking forward to this trip since February of 2013. We didn’t end up having the expected trip, and it was cut short, but the time we did have? It was terrific.

We rented a cabin on Lake Shamineau, at Auger’s Resort, outside of Motley, MN, about a half an hour from Brainerd. Fun fact, Mindy is from Motley and was up there the first weekend we arrived. She and the boys came over to visit us. Her mom actually lives about a mile from where we were staying.

This was day one, pulling into Motley to eat before heading to the resort.

This is the view of the lake from our back door. The day we arrived it was so windy and the lake was extremely choppy. Whitecaps, baby.

This is the cabin. It was really nice. My room was the mirroring window hidden behind the tree.

The view from that window, behind that tree.

Our first day, we unpacked and then made lists of stuff to shop for. In order to avoid grocery shopping on vacation, I volunteered to babysit the kids while mom and Em went food shopping and the boys went beer shopping.

I walked the kids out the front door to the convenient playground. Arionna is playing on everything humanly possible, while little Camden just wanted to swing.
Because he loves it. Duh.

Then we changed and went for a swim. The lake was cold, no doubt, but once you adjusted, it was pretty nice. It was weedier than I like, but still fun. The big red slide was awesome, very fun for kids and adults. The floating toys were pretty great, too. Arionna was scared of the idea of swimming in the lake, but it took almost no time at all to get her involved. She liked when we relaxed and let the waves toss us around.

On day 2, we decided to rent a pontoon and spend the day on the lake. Brace yourself for a flurry of boat pics.

We hadn’t even left yet….

Again, we haven’t left yet, but she’s at least excited.

Morning sunshine on the lake.

He definitely likes it better when driving.

Ooops, guess it’s the waves, or the fresh air, or….nap time on the boat.

Relaxing in the back of the boat.

Me and my best girl.

She LOVED being in a moving vehicle and not being in a carseat and being able to walk around.

Lots of loons on our lake.

She loved driving, but only wanted to do it with Grandma.

Here she caught the wind and stood there, moving her head from side to side letting the wind catch her hair and laughing the whole time.

Me and my guy.

She wanted to swim off the boat, not off the beach, so I had to jump in, in the middle of the lake. And MY GOD IT WAS COLD.

Driving the boat was clearly a highlight. And we’re anchored here but he doesn’t care at all.

I love that picture!

Oh, and that one.

Boat day was fun, we all enjoyed it and it was so beautiful and relaxing and just exactly what vacation means.

At night, we kept having bonfires and drinking and talking, once the kids went to bed. And of course, when it wasn’t raining.

On day 3, we drove into Brainerd to go to the Paul Bunyan Museum. We did this when we were kids, but apparently they’ve changed it since then. This? So not worth it. It is super expensive and there’s hardly anything to do there. But I did get a nice shot of my family with Paul.


I’m not in it, but oh well.

I got Arionna under Babe the Blue Ox, but not Cam.

There was an old fashioned jail, so that was cute.

There was also a train, which delighted Cam. It also delighted me to get a shot of the family on a kiddie train.

After PBLand was dinner at Hessie’s which was pretty much a highlight for each of us. We actually talked about coming back the next night which was to be Chad’s birthday dinner, once my brother Nick arrived. So that was the plan. Zack actually got a token or two for free drinks, and meals were buy one get one the next night, so the stars had aligned and we had a plan.

That night, we were hanging out and the sky just lit up so beautifully. At first it was just this gorgeous wall of clouds.


It’s prettier with her in there.

Because that’s the deal…

And then….
The colors started to change and it was just gorgeous.


A perfect summer night on vacation.

The next day was when this happened.

So we spent some time at the hospital in Little Falls, then ate dinner in downtown LF, which ended up being Chad’s bday dinner, instead of our amazing Hessie’s night.

The next day, Em and Chad took Arionna canoeing, because that was part of the deal.

She was super excited.

They are just about to take off, though it looks like Chad is decapitating her with that paddle.

Out on the lake….

Same photo, with zoom.

Just to prove that Uncle Nick was there, even though he was only there for one day.

The final sunset, on our final night. Mom was being transported home via ambulance, to United hospital and we packed up a cabin of 9 people in one hour. Oh yes. It was rockstar packing.


One final moment, before we headed out at 9pm, ending vacation after only four days. But you know what? It’s not the length of time that matters, the time we were there was beautiful. It will always be a memorable vacation for the obvious reason, but I hope that we’ll also always remember the other moments as well. Including hours of endless Head’s Up around the fire.

Considering we have another surgery in 2015, I doubt we’ll be doing another week on a lake, but hopefully, in 2016, we’ll get another shot at a family vacation. I don’t think we’ll go back to Auger’s (though we really did like it, it just feels a little cursed is all…) but that gives us just about a year and a half to plan our next trip.

Mom? You’re just sitting at home….get looking!