EVEN NOW; WITH A THOUSAND LITTLE VOYAGES UNDER MY BELT.
I STILL FEEL A MEMORIAL CHILL ON CASTING OFF.
-E.B. White

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Dog Days of Summer, Grand Marais and Back to School

So much for summer - can't believe it is back to school time already. 

No more sleeping in for you Cooper -


and no more fun and games for Rylie and Georgia


We have had a Smith family reunion at Bald Eagle Lake, a Wilson family reunion in Grand Marais and Casserly family reunion will happen next weekend at the Platte Lake cabin.

Three generations of Smiths headed out for Boys Camp weekend at Interstate Park on the St. Croix River near Taylors Falls. Rick decided to tag along this year to the father and son sleep on rocks and eat burnt food bonding experience. (He claims he had a great time).

Getting ready for a cruise/fishing trip down the river.


Ranger Rick selfie.

And it certainly would not be Boys Camp weekend without the fire games.

No burnt food here!  Big skillet of Jambalaya.  
Hmmm, thinking there may have been a Mom involved.


Last week we headed up to Grand Marais on Lake Superior for a mini gathering of Wilson's.

  Shot of Palasaide Head.


Sunrise on Lake Superior

Looking out over Artists Point

Hiking Pincushion Mountain - shot of Grand Marais.

Izzy enjoying the crisp, clear water of Lake Superior.


And just some sights around town.





Really?  Ice and Beaver Flicks?

Enjoying a fine dinning experience back at Mom and Dads RV site - Pizza from Sven and Oles and box wine - bon appetit.  



Thanks Mom & Dad 
We had a great time!


Now that the "Dog Days of Summer" are behind us -  some pictures of summer in Minnesota 


Our Asiatic Lilly produced 8 blooms this year - it's a record.



The Robins returned to our front porch building their nest on one of the columns.  All I got to say is lots of bird poop.



We had a week in August of temps in the high 80's and lots of humidity - our Tropical Hibiscus though it was back in Florida and started blooming.



Enjoyed lots of pretty sunsets on our lake -







and an unusual amount of storms.

As our thoughts turn towards fall - we start to formulate plans for our return to Broulee.  Nothing written in stone, but, we are at least thinking.  Loking forward to crisp cool nights and lots of bonfires at the Platte Lake cabin.   

Hope everyone had a good summer.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Polar Vortex returns!!!

After what turned out to be the second worst winter on record for Minnesota (thank goodness  we were not here) our summer has proven to be even more challenging. The month of June we received record amounts of rain causing major flooding; shutting down traffic on the Mississippi River and no wake zones enforced on the St. Croix River and Lake Minnetonka.  Now in the middle of July a blast of cold air from Canada "a summertime polar vortex" has hit the Twin Cities - catching many people arriving for the MLB All Star Game off guard - most of them had not planned on needing sweatshirts.


Our friends Ken & Kim invited us to visit their waterfront property on the St. Croix River - at Bayport.  The condos are built with this disaster in mind.  They had enough warning to move everything out of the garages, open the doors and install the netting that catches all the debris that comes with a flood.


   The inside of the garage


 and their adorable dog, Ali - can't believe they make a tennis ball that small.



The youngest grandkids are growing up too fast. These two live next door to us, but the older two we rarely see - hoping to hook up this summer. 


Georgia's passion continues to be riding.  Bringing Nina to the ring from the field.



Even though they have their own dog now - Cooper still manages to find some time for his favorite girl - Izzy and she loves every minute of it.


Attending the annual Kentucky Derby Party - Lord & Lady Smythe and their beautiful daughter-in-law Katherine.  Ohhhh those mint juleps are tasty.

Later we got into the hat bin and things got wild, crazy & fuzzy.


Memorial weekend found us in Kansas City for a Smith Wedding.  Rick with cousins Dave and Jon Smith at Grooms dinner.


Father's Day, we were surprised by the arrival of Erin (flying in from Washington D.C.) and Ali (flying in from Austin, TX).  Dad surrounded by the eight beautiful, amazing women in his life.


Wine making continues -  our Raspberry Wine was a huge hit.  We decided to try a wine kit and started with a Piesporter.  We got 28 bottles out of the kit - next picture is of Rick corking the bottles.  Lucky for us - friends Bob & Pam have agreed to let us turn their house into a winery. 


 All the wine we did last fall was bottled this spring when we got home.  Hardy Minnesota grapes have been a challenge for the guys - lots of acidity so they have been a work in progress - lots of tweaking and tasting - unfortunately you don't notice how much wine you are drinking when you are tweaking and testing.   


The 4th of July Annual Pontoon Boat Race - The Smith's finally take the trophy (the wooden fishing lure hanging from the bimini top). We came in 4th, but even then we may have cut a few corners. But they say we won on style - time to proudly add our name to that much sought after prize.

The Styling Smiths


Our gardens are flourishing - one good thing, with all the rain - as of July 17th we havn't had to turn on irrigation systems.  Also, cooler tems - no A/C needed.


A fellow boater sent this pic out the other day - it made me laugh.  

We have had a jam packed spring and summer and apologize for not posting.  Will try to do better, but no promises.