Cabin Weekend

We had not made it up to the family cabin on Lake Osakis yet this summer (as always, PROLIFIC THANKS to the Hanafins for letting us stay there!), but after a few false starts finally got there this last weekend!

A few years back we had discovered "Vintage Village," a truly eclectic place in Osakis that Jerry Hittner has created. It's got a store, livery stable, blacksmith, and small house filled chockablock with antiques, a school he has restored, and a church he is restoring. But best of all to Beatrix, there's a full hobby farm with chickens, sheep, pigs, cows, horses, geese, a pony, dogs, and cats, including kittens! This year there was an adorable, 3-week long haired tortoiseshell that Beatrix immediately christened "Angelica" (after Hamilton, natch.) That did it. We spent almost 2 hours there on Saturday (stopped before we even got to the cabin), and went back yesterday and today. If B and I had our way, there would be another kitten here tonight....

We also stopped in Osakis to look for eclipse glasses (none), and to finally stop in at Jacob's Lefse (underwhelming), and a new bookstore in town called The Owl Books and Brew. LOVED the bookstore. It's small, but incredibly well-curated; I could easily have bought every book there. There's a play area and coffee coming soon. I really hope it makes it there! (At the same time we were sad to see that another meat place had closed and the sprawling "Just Like Grandma's" complex had closed up. Plus the drive-in is closed after extensive screen damage. I think times for small stores are tougher than we know).

FINALLY after all that we got to the cabin, only to face a small disaster in that the power had gone off and everything in the refrigerator spoiled. Luckily the cleaning woman had stopped in (on a total fluke) and dealt with most of it, but it was quite a sight!

After all that, we settled in to prime cabin relaxation mode. The water was too high for Beatrix to play on the beach, but she settled on the float; we read, and hung out, drank beer, had a nice dinner, made s'mores in the fire pit and watched the stars. It was perfect peace.

The next day, we got to sleep in a little, though several neighbors working with chainsaws apparently did not! We pulled the brand new kayak out of the boathouse (easily the best addition to the cabin in forever!) and did some exploring. I had never kayaked before but totally fell in love with it. Patrick had not kayaked in years but quickly picked up speed. Beatrix had also not tried if before, always opting for canoeing at Girl Scout camp, but she turned out to be amazing at it!

After some puzzle time and some more relaxation, we decided to check out another place we had wanted to see for awhile — Carlos Creek Winery. I was expecting the wine to be not great, and though we only tasted 6 in our tasting — well, I appear to be correct. But the rest of the complex was amazing! We played giant chess, toured the cave, listened to music, and just hung out. Definitely going back, but maybe sticking to cider (though the "Frontenac" was not bad.)

We then went to the Tip Top Dairy Bar before heading back to Vintage Village, and then some relaxation at the cabin. By Sunday afternoon, everyone was gone from the point, and the peacefulness was amazing!

We then headed to another perennial favorite, Chet's Lakeside Inn. (Another thing about favorites — in talking to my cousin the other night, I found out that she had never been to some of our favorite places up there, and I am sure vice versa. How can that even happen?) That place is totally out of the supper clubs of my youth, though without little plastic animals in your drink and maybe not as "upscale." But the "salad bar" is a vintage delight. On the way back, Beatrix was delighted to see deer 3 separate times by the side of the road, and we were thrilled not to be like my mom and hit them.

Today we basked in the alone time — there were not even any boats on the lake! More kayaking, and watching the eclipse through my potato-chip-box viewer. Old and jaded as I am, the eclipse was kind of amazing. We though the clouds would preclude it, but we got enough breaks in the sun to see it, and to marvel that these things happen.

Then BACK to Vintage Village, where little Angelica ran after us as we were leaving (so sad!) Stop din Albertville for dinner at another guilty pleasure, Space Aliens Bar and Grill, which was undergoing a serious case of IDGAF service. Still, after such a great weekend, it almost didn't matter.

We're back, and ready to face the week...

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