Laughter, Lakes, and Mosquito Bites

Sitting in an airport with a delayed flight home can be a curse.  You are tired from traveling, the flight home signifies that your trip is over, you are rethinking all the fun that you had, and then thinking how you have to return to work the next day.  I know for me this is the hardest part of a trip.  Don’t get me wrong, I love home and I enjoy my own space and own bed, but my heart loves the adventure in travel and the emotions it brings.

Over the past week I have been through all the emotions in the book: happy, sad, excited, angry, surprised, worried, afraid, tired, hopeful, embarrassed, frustrated, and relaxed.  I feel like I needed one of those “today I am” sheets with all the faces.  The trip was a combination of three things: time with friends in Minneapolis, a wedding, and a visit to Voyageurs National Park.  I think that might explain the wide range of emotions.

To start everything off I was able to spend a few days with great friends.  I was so excited to be able to make this work out.  We get the chance to spend lots of hours laughing and just enjoying each other’s company.  Sometimes there is nothing better than just being with someone.  Quality time!  We did get the chance to go to the lake one day and I tried something new, paddle boarding.  I have to say when I first stood up on that wobbly piece of floating plastic I was not ok with it.  I wanted to sit down.  I told myself to breathe.  What was the worst that could happen?  I would fall into the water and get wet.  Well, I am a huge fan now!  Being able to paddle out into the lake and then sit down and take in the view.  I remember thinking and saying it is a perfect day. Sun, water, a light breeze, and a friend to share it all with.  I could see the amazing mystery that is God in it all.
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These two friends are ones that I have known since college and we always have a great time no matter what.  Even if it is just sitting around talking.  Normally we are doing crazy things together and going 100 mph.  Did you know there is such a thing as bleeding tissue paper?  We didn’t!  I think that was the biggest Pinterest fail I have ever done.  Or when you play mini golf and you think you are doing great until you realize the group of 6 behind you is quickly gaining on you.  How are they so good?   Or did you know that my friends can basically make any statement that you say be part of a Hamilton song (the new hit musical) and sing you the next line.  Amazing!  I love them so much!!


Pinterest fail!

The next phase of this whirlwind week was a wedding.  Two of our good family friends were tying the knot.  It was an outdoor wedding at a barn and it was a beautiful day.  Only in Minnesota would you ever think of having an outdoor wedding in July.  They both looked so happy.  I loved that it was all in the same location.  The ceremony in one area overlooking the fields, a time for games on the lawn before dinner, dinner in the barn, and then games and dancing to a live band late into the night.  They could not have wished for a better day or a better way to celebrate the next phase of their lives together.  I wish them all the best.  I have filed away a few of their ideas for when I get married someday!


Dad and Mom enjoying a dance!


Now it is time to cross off another national park!  Our last stop was Voyageurs National Park to explore these protected waters.  The park is mainly water and they say that the best way is to explore it by boat.  We don’t own a boat but we were able to enjoy a boat ride through the national park with the park rangers.  We saw lots of loons and eagles, but the moose, bear, and wolf did not show their furry faces despite all our pleading and looking.  The cabin that we stayed at was right on the water, and from my bed I could see everything.  How often can you lay in bed and see the water, pelicans, boats, and hear the cry of the loon, bringing all that beauty into your room?  We did take a few hikes but we quickly found that it is true that the water was the main attraction.  The trails were very narrow and had tall grass.  It kind of made it feel more like we were foraging out on our own.  The only frustrating thing was the mosquitoes.  They have always loved me, so being by water and being up north were they are known to be bad, was not a great combination.  I looked like I had chicken pox after our days there.  This is despite the fact I had on bug spray and pants most of the time.  In the end it was worth the bites for the views.  Here are some pictures to show you the beauty that is Voyageurs National Park.

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The view from my bed. Dad found us all looking out the window one morning.

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This is the best way to see the park, house boat!

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We found wild blueberries! A great mid hike snack!

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So you may be wondering what is next for my crazy travel life.  As of now I have no other trips planned, but don’t worry, there are 3 locations that have friends I hope to visit soon.  Mom and I were even talking about next summer’s possible adventures.  See, we are always planning and saving for something fun!

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