A Little Getaway

Since I can tend to over explain everything (sometimes ad nauseam), and a picture is worth a thousand words, I decided to talk less (but still some) and add a bunch of photos to share a WONDERFUL weekend we had while my sister was in town... Photos are "clickable" for larger versions.

With my sister in town from New York, and having a few days off (coincidently, a pretty rare combination) our family came up with an idea of all going "Up North" (A Minnesota term for heading off into the North woods). Our Uncle Greg and Aunt Marilyn have a very nice cabin, and were very generous in allowing us the use of their cabin for the two days that we were able to squeeze a trip to the cabin into.

With six of the seven of us going (#1 of 5 had to work), my sister and her two kids (my brother in law had to return to New York on Business), and my parents - we had a healthy group of eleven to bring up!

We caravanned it in two mini-vans - doing a little "mix-n-matching" of kids... (i.e. one of my kids took a turn riding with their cousins in their van). An idea I had helped make the trip fly by! We put an FRS two way radio (walkie-talkie) in each car - I think the kids spent at least half the trip up visiting on the radios, and the adults spent the other half!

We (of course) had to stop at the Milaca Unclaimed Freight store in... Milaca! MUF is the epiphany of what a closeout, refurbished, junk shop is!! They have EVERTHING there!! Toys, tools, gifts, groceries, furniture, paintings, ice houses, sporting goods, jewelry, heck... They have almost anything a frugal cheap dad with a bunch of kids (who seemingly always "hafta have that") could ask for!!

It was no sooner than we arrived that the kids were (faster than lighting) down on the dock, begging to get the fishing rods and tackle boxes out (from the very bottom) of the packed van so they could fish.

Unpacking, room arrangements, and lunch (hot dogs) took a little bit, but once these things were complete - it was time for FISHING! I took the boys out and the girls stayed back and did some swimming (which also included the task of raking the swimming area of weeds) and fishing from the dock.

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Thankfully (having experienced it in the past) I went into this endeavor with the expectation that I WOULD NOT be getting to fish myself - whatsoever. It's better to tell myself that I would get NO time to fish, and find out that I do, then to tell myself I am going to get to fish, and then not get to...

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IMG_0119The fishing was pretty good - lots of decent panfish (sunnies, crappies, and perch) and even a couple of small bass!The afternoon / evening went well - MOST of it was spent fishing rigging kids rods, baiting hooks, and taking fish off the hook. When the kids got impatient, we went back to the cabin and broke out the kayak!

After dinner (sloppy joes)- we all relaxed to the Beethoven movie (which all but the oldest kids had NOT seen - since the movie is older). Even my parents (who also had never seen the movie) enjoyed it.

I REALLY enjoyed the portion that I fell asleep for! Oh, and that was my dad you all heard snoring!

After the movie, we watched the sun set as a family of loons passed by the cabin (snapped a few photos too!). It was truly a picturesque finish to a wonderful day!

The next morning was met with an even more eager, and larger group of kids that wanted to go fishing! I loaded all but one into the boat, and we headed out.

The day was spent fishing, swimming, water play, exploring, more fishing, baiting hooks, taking fish off the hook, fishing from the dock, paddle boating, kayaking, row boating and anything else the kids could think up!

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#5 of 5 was the only kid to stay back and not join us on the boat in the morning. Instead, she watched us from the dock with a set of binoculars!

The sister of the Father of Five doing "her impression" of removing a fish from a hook. (Loose the glove!)

Memere (mother of the Father of Five) joining in the fun too!



Now, that is boat load of kids. Had I been in any deeper lake - or a lake with better "gamefishing" I may have considered using the children as bait!

#5 of 5 in a floaty innertube thinggie





#4 of 5 on a Best Buy floating raft. My mom is a Best Buy retiree, and my cousin is a current Best Buy employee!

#5 of 5 with her cousin in the paddleboat. When legs are not long enough to reach the peddles, then sit on the floor and use your arms!





The boys - going on an exploration down the lakeshore...

#3 of 5 with #5 of 5 in the kayak together







#5 of 5 and her cousin collecting nature items for her Arts & Crafts. (She has already made two collages with the junk stuff she found!)

After seeing her daddy take all the kids out fishing in the boat, #5 of 5 wanted to have some one on one time with me. I serenaded her as I rowed her around the lake.


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Father of the Father of Five with the Sister of the Father of Five - going for a paddleboat ride.

Yup. Woodticks were back this year!





I can not thank my Aunt Marilyn & Uncle Greg for the generosity of letting us use their cabin for these few days! Much of my childhood was spent at this cabin with MY cousins - it means so much to me for them to allow my children to spend time with THEIR cousins - doing the same types of things we did as kids. It's like watching my own childhood pass in front of my eyes!

We had such a WONDERFUL time! I can not think of anything that would have made these couple of days any better (except having my brother in law, and #1 of 5 with us). It was the most relaxing, and enjoyable time I have had in... well... in MONTHS.

Having my sister and her family live so far away - it's harder to stay connected with them. I want so desperately to make sure that my nephews have a connection with us, and with their cousins... Spending this time at the cabin helped create memories that will (I am sure) last a very very long time!

Before we headed out, we ended the day with a few different photo opportunities with all the cousins together.

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This weekend will remain in my memory for as long as I still have it as one of the most memorable. The kids were all so well behaved, the weather was PERFECT, the fishing was great, the food - family - and fun were second to none.

Thanks EVERYONE. Thanks for making this happen!


  1. That does look fun, but you seem to be always behind the camera.

  2. What a wonderful weekend! It was a pleasure just reading about it. Except the ticks. Thanks for sharing the fun

    Good looking family!

  3. Great pictures. Yucky tick. (shudder). I'm glad you had such a good time. It's too easy to talk yourself out of things like that -- all the packing and driving and taking care of kids. At least for me. I'll remember this the next time I try to talk myself out of it.

  4. Dave,
    why is it, when one clicks on the photo of your sister and father, the link opens up a giant tick photo?
    What are you trying to say? Don't let your sister find out or she will beat you up again.


  5. Here are some tips for planning family holidays! http://www.diyfather.com/content/Plan_the_Best_Family_Holiday


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