Sunday, August 7, 2011

Christmas Lake

I can't think of a better way to wind down summer than a visit to my sister Kerri's gorgeous lake house in Minnesota.  Add to that the fact that almost my entire family was able to make the trip AND the weather was PERFECT, and saying goodbye to summer got just a little easier.  Christmas Lake is pure magic and love.

But then, what can you expect from a lake that is in the shape of a heart???

The trip started out on a total high note with a FIRST CLASS flight to Minneapolis (courtesy of Kerri and Marty!)

A glass of wine or some type of cocktail is not an option when flying first class--it is a given!  And, as my sister Lynne always says, "Someone's gotta do it--might as well be me!"
cruising at 36,000 ft. above the Missouri River

Saying this with maybe just a little bit of hyperbole, the minute we arrived at Kerri's, we were out on the lake.  For my family, that means skiing, tubing, and probably our most favorite thing, just "parking" the boats in the middle of the lake and everyone jumping in and just hanging out in the water.  Having grown up with boats and weekly Sunday lake days, we are all part fish (or mermaid!) and never want to miss one minute of precious water time.
mermaids and gents!

a little squirt gun action!

Even Ethan got to enjoy the refreshing waters of Christmas Lake!  He seemed to like it but was just a little unsure at first.  I predict by next summer, he will develop his Thompson fins and be jumping in along with the rest of us!

Even though we might want to spend our entire time in the water, that doesn't really work.  Rain, lightening, and darkness did force us indoors at times.  And that's a good thing.  Kerri's house is huge, and it never felt like 20 people were inside.  There are so many little nooks and rooms, it was easy to find my own personal space where I could just kick back and read or watch the lake as I sipped on a pom-tini.  My favorite spot is Kerri's screen porch off of the kitchen.  Ethan and I spent lots of time there looking down at the lake and saying "ahoy" to anyone who walked below.  He quickly learned that nautical word as well as waving bye bye anytime he heard a boat motor on the lake.

Of course no Thompson family get together would be complete without THE JAM SESSION.  And . . . after a day spent drinking pom-tinis, strip-and-go-nakeds, wine and beer, we were ALL ready to jam!!  Our family is quite musical, although if you saw the video from this particular session, you would never know.  But, my brother-in-law Marty, who carefully selected the songs for the set list and set up the studio, is an amazing musician.  In fact, one of the reasons he and my sister moved to Minnesota was for the music scene and the opportunities it presented.  He even recorded a CD when they first moved there, and it is AWESOME!
We were all ecstatic when we heard the intro to Marty's "Blue House" as the jam session began!   Our little house band consisted of Marty and my nephews--Andy on guitar, Nate on drums, Gabe and Kyle on bass.  What was supposed to be a little concert quickly turned into a karaoke session.  I mean we just had to sing along--to "Blue House" and then to some Beatles and of course to some Bruce!  The groupie section soon took over the vocals.  Fortunately, after a little while, Marty was able to get the mic back and sing for us.  The highlight for me was another one of his originals, (the circle song as I always called it!) "She Goes Round," which isn't on the CD.   I hadn't heard it forever!  LOVED IT!!!!   Another highlight had to be the made up, extemporary songs that happened at the end of the jam session, the most memorable being, (we're still singing it!) "If You Don't Drink Budweiser Out of a Can, You're a Terrorist"!

the band!

groupies forever!!

E gets in on the action!  

The final evening of our stay at Kerri's called for one more sunset cruise around the lake.  Those of us still there piled onto the pontoon for a picture-perfect voyage around Christmas Lake.  As we drifted along the perimeter, tracing the heart outline of the lake, I glanced around at everyone.  Every face, every body exhibited serenity and calmness, and I suddenly felt as if my heart were as big as Christmas Lake's.  I wanted to hold on to that moment forever.

And with that, my summer came to an end.  I'm back in school, ready for another year of sharing my excitement for everything that is English with 7th graders.  Already feeling a bit overwhelmed and stressed, I close my eyes and transport myself back to the beckoning waters of Christmas Lake.  It is there I find my reason to believe.  Yes, I can make it for 10 months until summer comes round again!