weekend at the lake

Got back yesterday from an excellent few days away. We went to stay with some friends at their parents’ house on Big Lake in Western Minnesota – the lake is part of the border with South Dakota. It was very nice indeed to get out of the city and get some quiet and fresh air. Actually the quiet was relative – it was actually quite noisy with the chirping insects and noisy birds, but it was definitely a good change.

Toby did really well with the travelling, it took about 3.5 hours to get there, but having his friend Silje (the J is pronounced like a Y) ride with us meant that there was lots of fun and goofing around which kept them occupied pretty much the whole way. He was suffering with a bit of a cough which woke him up the first night, but nothing some medication couldn’t fix. He also did well keeping up with Silje, who is a year and a half older than he is. There were a couple of moments where he showed his age, mostly around sharing, but on the whole I think they had a lot of fun together. He particularly worked on keeping up with the speech and generally held his own. Two funny things came out – one was that he was carrying around a toy croquet mallet, and when we asked him what it was he said it was his baby. We asked him its name and he said “um… Shere Khan”. The second one was related to the fact that Silje burned her mouth a little bit on a grilled cheese sandwich. Toby waited very carefully before biting into his sandwich, then announced that he “didn’t get an owie because my tongue is .. helpful, and strong!”

We did a lot of lounging around while the kids zoomed about, but also got the chance to do some active things – I went kayaking on the lake two mornings in a row which was excellent. It’s good exercise but also very peaceful and I loved it. I didn’t realize that there were pelicans living on the lake, and we got really close to a small flock of them who were sitting on some rocks. I wouldn’t want to get too close – their beaks are really long. We also got to ride on Silje’s grandpa’s speedboat. I persuaded Toby that it would be fun so he sat in the back with me in his little lifejacket. As soon as we left the dock he got unhappy and said that he wanted to go back, but once we got going at moderate speed he relaxed a bit. However when the throttle was opened wide there was a fair bit of terror, but mixed with hilarity as he got spray on his face. I think he really enjoyed it despite his worries.

We also spent a fair bit of time just paddling in the lake – the water was warm and very comfortable. Toby was very interested in the tiny minnows which came close to the shore, but wasn’t happy about going any deeper than the water being up to his knees. I’m sure he’ll get more used to it in time, and we should really join a gym so that we can take him swimming more.

The kids totally wore themselves out each day, which was a good thing on Monday night with all the racked of fireworks from the neighbors and other houses around the lake. Once Toby was in bed I went out to watch the displays, but much cooler for me was seeing a bunch of fireflies meandering around the house.

All in all an excellent time, and I think we’re feeling well rested and that we had a very good break.

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