Summer Vacation when I Was 11 – Part 1

{If you click on the picture above you can see the Big Dipper :-)}

The summer I was 11 we were still living in Winona, MN. My family had a runabout boat that was a 4 seater that was about 16 feet long from tip to back. That summer during our vacation in August we journeyed by boat from Winona, MN to Stillwater, MN. That is a distance of about 120 miles. We drove by boat, camping on sandbars along the way. For those of you not familiar with them, those are uninhabited islands of sand in the Mississippi River. We had tents, and our waterskis. We had our clothes, and 1 towel apiece. We had some blankets, and used boat cushions for pillows.

Every now and then we had to stop at a harbor in a marina and get more gas for the boat. Sometimes we’d ski. Sometimes we’d drop anchor and hop out and swim. Sometimes we’d stay at the same sandbar for 2 nights and swim at play in the woods on the end of the sandbar all day long. Dad would cook on a campfire. There is NOTHING that smells as good as waking up on a sandbar to the smell of bacon and eggs cooking over an open campfire and your dad saying “kids–rise and shine! go for a swim before breakfast”.

After breakfast and/or before supper dad would take us kids for a waterski if there wasn’t a lot of boat traffic. That was the time of day the river would be as smooth as glass. We felt like such studs cutting through the smooth water on our skis!

In the evening we’d gather around the campfire, toast marshmallows, sing and chat. We;d look at the stars. The photo above shows a starry MN night which reminds me of that trip. On that trip, one night as we stretched out on our backs, we saw the northern lights. we were awed to say the least.

As we got close to Stillwater, we were hit by a deluge! My folks could hardly see to drive the boat. We were soaked to the skin as we pulled in to the marina. The marina man let us park there. We grabbed our bags and sloshed our way to the Lowell, Inn. We looked like river rats as we dripped ALL over the lobby. Dad asked if they had a room and they did. The bellhops were mopping behind us all the way to our room. The beds felt like the finest luxury that night!

The next day I needed a new swimsuit as mine had torn apart mid-ski the day before! Don’t worry, I dropped my rope, held my suit around me, and went under water. Dad brought the boat around, I explained my predicament. Dad threw me my beach cover up and I put it on underwater!! The next day I got the prettiest lime-green one piece swimsuit ever.

After lunch we checked out and started our trip back to Winona. We only camped a couple of nights on our way back~as it was almost time for school to start. That is one of the most memorable vacations. There have been many a time that I have looked at a starry night and thought of that trip. Many a time I have toasted a marshmallow that the smell of a wood fire takes me back, too; not to mention the sight of lime-green anything!

So as we are getting close to August, and as I remember the feel of waterskis beneath my feet ever so fondly, I remember when the world seemed young. I remember when I felt that no day would be without laughter; and I know this ~ the world is ever so full of the most wondrous things. Do you remember summers like that? More on this tomorrow šŸ™‚

About Kate Kresse

I love to write, I love to talk, I love to uplift people when I can. I am a woman in love with life. I am a wife, mom, tutor, writer, and I am a perennial optimist. (OK not every single minute but you get the point! :-)
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14 Responses to Summer Vacation when I Was 11 – Part 1

  1. mlissabeth says:

    Yes, I remember it well.

  2. dorannrule says:

    Kate, I love your line “I remember when the world seemed young.” This is a lovely post and a lovely memory. I know there will be other days of feel-good memories for you and me to share.

  3. Gilly Gee says:

    Wow Kate what a wonderful time!

  4. Caddo Veil says:

    Very lovely, Kate! God bless you today–love, sis Caddo

  5. Anne says:

    Kate, thanks for sharing some of your wonderful childhood memories (esp. from mn.) What an awesome trip!!

  6. Wow. Got tears in my eyes. Yep. You do bring back memories. Amazing loving care your family showed you. No wonder you are so attached to them. ā¤

  7. Sure do remember. I visited my memorable spot at Island lake in Detroit Lakes, MN last week. My husband & I saw the Big Dipper one night walking back to our cabin after visiting around the campfire with friends until 1:00am in the morning! I had the 2-piece lemon yellow swimsuit!

    • Kate Kresse says:

      What a wonderful memory!! I have a cousin that is now a dentist up in Detroit Lakes~ he and his family love it there :-). I had a lemon yellow beach cover-up!!

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