I'm giddy packing to go. I can't believe a stay at Grand View Lodge just fell into our lap. I'm literally humming songs from "Dirty Dancing," as I hush the boy's bickering and get them to hurry up. The memories go back to over 25 years, ago. My brother worked many summers at the lodge, and we got to go as his "guests." Words just can't begin to do it justice, and I rush back in the house for my camera, as I ready to go. Will I even be able to sleep?
Just under 3 hours later, we pull up into the main lodge parking area and are instantly lulled by the scenic landscape that abounds everywhere- a postcard picture around every turn. Where do we begin?
The boys see the shuffleboard in front of the lodge and are ready to play, even though we don't have our cabin yet. Then they see the bikes, the paths, and the gaggle of kids running off to the next thing. I feel the boy's giddiness fall in step with mine. We just want to go. And do. And be.
This is the view off the deck, and its calling me out to the water already. I throw my bags down, and before we are even inside, I am off to the lake, breathing as deep as my lungs will allow.
This boy- said quite firmly- he'd only go to golf. Then scampered off alongside of me right down to the water and began skipping rocks instantly. He is so my boy!
I feel the water cleanse my feet, over and over again, His mercies fresh for me by the baptism of the water crashing over me, wave after wave.
My mind stills as I take in my surroundings.
It's fairly evident where the name "Gull lake," comes from. There is a carefree way the gulls fly in, and flutter a bit above, then just as quickly circle around and fly back the other way. I'm entranced.
And so are the boys...
Merely a half hour after being at Grand View Lodge, the boys are already asking if we can come back next summer? They hadn't even seen the whole place yet.
It cooled off rapidly our first night and we got to light a campfire down on the beach. We were soon joined by others, and had a relaxing, enjoyable night. I slept, really, really well.
While the boys were up early the next morning with tee times for golf, the water was calling my name.
It was the perfect temperature, warm, but not hot. With lots of sunshine. And a great read- a real page turner that does not disappoint!
It takes a pretty special place to put an indoor pool, next to the beach, and both are kept busy simultaneously.
And right between the pool and the beach? A family style restaurant and bar. You could play bingo, listen to live music, swim, and then eat dinner, all in your bare feet and swim suits.
The best part of the pool? The open sliding glass panels, that let parents sit outside in the sun, while the kids swim inside in the pool.
I think a smile was permanently etched on his face the whole time.
This one loved that he gets to drive the boat now. We brought our fishing boat, and the boys could often be found somewhere between the boat and the golf course.
It was Rick who kept telling me to wait until the lights came on to go and take a photo of the lodge. I swear, I expected "Baby" to trot past with a watermelon at any moment.
The view leaving the lodge was just as breath taking.
Every path seemed to lead to a hidden gem of one kind or another. This one? Pure sugar heaven. Every kind of candy, from salt water taffy to jelly beans in every flavor, and even ice cream was available. We quickly discovered "happy hour," was from 6-8 pm- buy one ice cream cone- get one free. We were regulars, just to be perfectly honest.
The golf courses were a brand new experience for our boys. They were a whole new level of challenge and demanded the utmost focus and attention to detail, as well as good golf etiquette, for our boys to play. They have always watched The PGA on tv and this felt like they were playing on one of those courses.
So no Minnesota lake vacation is complete without a trip to the local Zorbaz for pizza.
This one happened to come with an Elvis impersonator, and can I just say? He was quite good! There was a whole lot of dancing spontaneously erupting around us and tons of applause after each song.
Just a bit of one of his songs...
Our days went quick, and our nights even quicker. But our moments were long, and full. Could a girl ask for anything more? The handiwork of God was so abundant and breath taking. I simply sat in awe and surrendered to the whole experience.
Yet, even though my heart is full, my spirit strong- my body is showing steady decline. The "hard parts" are sitting side by side with the good. My stomach is distended, and cramps and aches after eating. Its tender and uncomfortable often. My blood work numbers are falling out of the "normal" range. I am spending way more time in bed, trying to ease the discomfort, and rest from being tired.
I'm jittery from the big doses of steroids I have started, and shaking in my shoes, literally.
Today the new adventure begins.
I will see the nurse practitioner at 8 as Dr. P is on vacation.
A 3 drug- chemo-infusion begins at 9.
I'm learning to play through the hard parts... so my life can keep on singing.
Your prayers are so deeply felt.
I am a blessed girl.
~All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all shall be well~