With school just around the corner, we took our last summer family rendezvous recently. We ventured for a few days to Diamond Lake at my sister-in-law’s family cabin. We spent the long weekend with my brother, his wife and their three children, packing in as much fun as two families can before all of the structure of school sets in.
Go-carting, mini-golfing, fishing from the dock, swimming, tubing, and boating were all a part of the fun. One evening we took in a movie at the outdoor theater in Litchfield, which is one of the few outdoor theaters still in existence in Minnesota.
It was a cooler evening with a little breeze so viewing the movie was very pleasant. Bugs, humidity and heat did not infringe on our movie experience, as I had experienced when I was a girl watching the “Herbie” and “Benji” movies on the outdoor big screen in Hutchinson.
We were not in short supply of food either. Grilling hot dogs, hamburgers, potatoes, and marshmallows filled our stomachs throughout the weeend; not to mention some trips out to enjoy the summer ultimate, ice cream.
One evening was spent on the banks of Crow River in New London, viewing the Little Crow water ski show. There were things done on skis that many could not do standing on land. The back drop for the ski show was beautifully scenic, which certainly added to the enjoyment of the show.
A trip to Sibley State Park in New London filled our last morning. The popular Minnesota state park is named after Minnesota’s first governor, Henry Hastings Sibley.
We took a hike up to the park’s Mount Tom, which is one of several high points in a 50-mile radius. We viewed forest, farmland, prairie knolls and lakes from the rock tower. We continued on our hike and continued on one of the park’s many trails.
It is a beautiful park, that offers swimming, boating and fishing on Lake Andrew. A canoe route on Henschien Lake and Swan Lake invites visitors to tour the lovely scenery in a canoe, as well. The park offers camping, a group center, horseback camps, picnic area, and interpretive programs all year-round.
Of course, after exercising our minds and bodies, ice cream was calling or more like it, our stomachs were calling for ice cream. On our way home, we did not disappoint. Ice cream treats at a local ice cream shop were enjoyed by us deserving hikers.
My favorite part about vacationing is just getting away from the daily chores and hectic activities. Simple fun is good fun. One morning our families spent playing a variety of games, including Uno, Scrabble Slam (a newer card game), Blink (a very fun card game), and Bingo. The adults and all of the kids participated in this fun-filled morning.
The camaraderie shared, stories told, abd laughter experienced made our last summer outing another one for the memory banks and a good end to the summer, for yet another back-to-school beginning.