Have you ever been on a vacation and realized that you’ve lived in the wrong places most of your life? Somewhere it just hit you over the head? That when you got home, you had a very hard time being back and wondering why you’re living there?
That happened to us this summer. Where was this magical place? A home to cream horns and unlocked doors. Unlocked doors? Really? Neighbors telling you to just come in even if they’re not home and get whatever you need, then just bring whatever back when you’re finished or if it’s food, you’re more than welcome to have it. Good Grief! Is this America? Yes, and of course it’s the Midwest. We were at a lake in Minnesota for a month where the summer time population grows to close to 70,000. Where everyone is friendly and social, where stores and restaurants are all open and where you can go into the local bakery and order two cream horns, two pastries, 8 homemade cookies and two coffee’s and it costs you $11.80. I know what you’re thinking, “Did you really eat two cream horns and two pastries?” I had one cream horn and a coffee and I refuse to say what Tom had.
OK, I do admit that the coffee here is bad, real bad. We tried three different breakfast places and while the food was good, the coffee was horrible. There is a Caribou coffee in town and apparently we’re not alone in our judgement of the local coffee as this place always had a line.
We have relatives on this same lake and that was a one of the highlights of our trip. I had not seen my cousin in 30 some years and wondered if he was still the same bratty kid I’d remembered. He wasn’t, but he’s a world class trash talker and the golf course really brought it out. I bonded with his wife and the four of us had a lot of fun on the golf course and everywhere else. Then there was my 92 year old Aunt who is the most social person I know. She knows everyone on the chain of lakes, has her women friends over every Monday night for drinks and appetizers, another group on Tuesday night at one of their homes for drinks and dinner, is always going out and drives like she’s chasing the roadrunner.
Thunder storms, amazing sunsets, golf, no TV, books, family there and family visits, college girlfriends and the best birthday party I could have hoped for. Our daughter, husband and twins were there for 8 days and the twins planned a party as it was my birthday when they were there. They were amazing planners and made a list including balloons, goody bags, streamers, horns, party hats and a crown for me. They made invitations and wanted a pinata most of all. There was only one place to get all of this and anything else your heart may desire: Ron’s Warehouse. Ron’s is huge and the owner buys merchandise from stores going out of business, trucks that topple over on the freeways, sight unseen containers, so you never know what you’re going to get at Ron’s. I was secretly hoping Ron’s did not have a pinata. They didn’t but had everything else and then some. Ron’s is a very popular place. The twins invited 14 people for dinner (they’re 7), and of course Papa would cook. Which he did and it was a wild success. With all that’s going on in this Country, it was great to be in a place you felt was normal life, remember normal life?
Have you ever had second thoughts about where you’re living after a vacation?
7 thoughts on “If I Had it to do Over”
Nice reminder of Minnesota, Stevie; and by the way, you look GREAT!!
Another fabulous post, loved the pictures too. It sounded like a magical vacation. Would’ve love to attend your birthday party. Sounds like the twins did a great job.💗
Wow…..You grew up in a fantastic place. Your vacation sounds REALLY GREAT!
What a wonderful story! I’ve never had a cream horn. You made my mouth water. It is hard to beat West Coast coffee…
I love your writing! I just got back from 48 hours in San Diego. Doctor. Drugs. Shopping. Flight left at 6am and it was none too soon. I couldn’t wait to get home. The gardener kept things well watered in my absence and when I got inside I found the maid had taken it upon herself to organize my closet and the pantry. Undies on the left, shorts next followed by t-shirts and swimsuits. The pantry is perfectly organized and there was a plate full of some fruit she’d picked Awaiting my return. Yes, there’s no Trader Joe’s and lamb is hard to find but caring friends and neighbors are everywhere. Many are Mexicans who’ve never been on an airplane and some are Americans who got sick of being on weekly flights to another sales call.
Been spending a week a month in Mexico City. Juan has a practice there so while he’s working I go exploring. It’s a very cool place and reminds me of Pars. How are you feeling? How’s your golf game?
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One of the best vacations we ever took was in the boundary waters of Minnesota, once in the fall and once in the winter. However, being from the mid-west, Illinois, I consider Minnesota the mid-northwest. Try it in the winter and see if you still want to live there.
The boundary waters are great. See, Minnesota offers great vacations. Winter? We’re not sure, but we grew up with winter, so who knows. To be determined, not yet decided.