Summer is a time for us Minnesotans to soak up the sun and travel as much as we can. Many of my childhood summers included a trip to Sioux City, Iowa, to see my cousins. We lived every minute of the time we had and begged not to leave when Dad was packing up the car. And, we were naughty — taking off on my cousin’s green moped to go a few blocks away to the candy store to just be able to spend more time together and avoid that long trip home. Well, that life came back full circle this weekend with a trip to Lake of the Ozarks with my three girl cousins from Sioux City.
Well, that is, after I listened to my husband ask, “What I am going to eat when you’re gone? Are you making some food before you leave?” Augh, how fast can I get in the car. I must be getting either lazy or older or both because the thought of putting together meals for each day for one person made me “itchyscratchy,” as the cousins would say. Instead, I did what any wonderful wife would do and made a fast stop at the grocery store and bought a bunch of junk food he can cook — you know what I am talking about ladies, boxed mac n’ cheese, pizza, luncheon meat. When that mighty task was done and he also informed me that my camping friends promised to feed him at the campground, I knew it was safe to hit the road.
From the moment we left, there wasn’t more than a minute of quiet time. The girls and I had six and a half hours of car time that was filled with so much laughter and reminiscing and I treasured every minute. Have you ever laughed so hard you can’t open your eyes? Been there. Have you ever been so engaged in your vacation that you forgot day it was, emailed people at work and were surprised no one was answering you? — then you realized it was Saturday. Did that.
Our days were filled with being at the pool for hours, eating great food, having wonderful cocktails, and dancing on our deck to ‘80s and ‘90s tunes. We also Uber-ed to and from a restaurant for great seafood and steak and, as any good Iowa girl would do, my cousin was quick to inform the Uber driver that we all had a “permit to carry,” in case he tried any funny stuff. (I don’t have one but guess it was more threatening if we all were packing..ha!) Lastly, with sore feet and sunburns, we checked with each other to make sure we wouldn’t be the “old chicks” if we went to bed before 9:30 p.m. We were wiped!
The best part of this trip was the familiarity of the smiles and faces of my cousins because it was like going back home. Their dad and my dad were brothers and, with my parents both having passed, this time was able to spend with my cousins was the feeling you only get from being “home.” Thanks ladies for a sensational time and, until next year….love you all!