And So It Was Summer . . .

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Editor’s note:  I recently received an inquiry from a blog “subscriber” wondering whatever happened to the rest of the European river cruise?  Well, this, for one thing.  And the six blog posts from camp. And just the general hubbub that is summer.  I hope to pick up the cruise again asap – we last left you in Bamberg, Germany.  And I’d better hurry – the high school fall sports season is just around the corner!

August 12

[Anthony and Big Ole, sporting his recent makeover, are summer entertainment mainstays in Vacationland USA.]

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August 14

[I looked at clouds from both sides now . . . ]

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August 16

[Friends from the Far East – far eastern U.S. that is – arrived at the end of their family Laura Ingalls Wilder odyssey through the Upper Midwest for a couple days of relaxation along the shores of beautiful Lake Darling.  Anne and Bill Gross, who blog followers will recognize as our regular cruise partners, came with their progeny, Carrie and Kevin, and Carrie’s 8-year old daughter, Penny.]

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[So, what do you do for fun here in lake country – pontoon ride on the chain of lakes!  Absent the dearly departed, Moby Obie, we went to Carlos Marina for a rental on what turned to be just another perfect day in these environs!]

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[With Penny as the pontoon’s figurehead, we charged off in the direction of Carlos State Park while I worked to regain my mariner skills.]

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[Yep, surfing on boat wakes.  Becoming all the rage now on inland waterways.]

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[Surprisingly acceding to Penny’s requests, we stopped at an ole swimming hole on Lake Carlos for our first refreshing dip.]

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[And after a swim, what could be more fun than driving the boat?]

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[The passengers snacked while our pilot took a break to navigate from the prow . . . ]

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[And then wrestled with Uncle Kevin.]

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[L’Homme Dieu View townhomes, Mom’s old stomping grounds.]

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[Once Penny learned how to change speeds, we were at her mercy.]

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[I somehow missed coverage when we slipped briefly into Lake Le Homme Dieu for a pit stop at Rotary Beach.  Now we’re in beautiful Lake Darling, wading between the points separating Big Darling from Little Darling.]

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[Do you see any sharks?]

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[Just a big backyard swimming pool.]

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[Heading back into Lake Carlos again, checking on the swallow nests on the bridge girders.]

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[Kevin found a sun shield.  Gilligan was on a 3-hour tour – ours was for 4 hours in bright sunshine the whole time.]

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[Our pilot was intent on tracking our status via the dashboard gauges.]

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[No, those aren’t MY sandals!]

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[We boated by Bug-A-Boo Bay to show all where we would be going later for dinner.  So, here’s later . . . ]

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[Menu perusal while looking over Lake Le Homme Dieu.]

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[Penny wanted all photographers to follow her to the bouncy-bouncy.]

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[Get my picture while I’m jumping!]

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[Meanwhile, the beers sit unattended at the table . . . ]

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[And then the tourist photo op.]

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August 18

[Thanks again, Ed!!  (Well, you had to be there.)]

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August 19

[Freakshow, a favorite wine, a cool bottle!]

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[And a good SAWA turnout for MOTU!]

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[Bill, on percussion and whose family was having the reunion above; Dave on keyboard and voice; and Wally on steel drum, horn, other stuff, and voice.  We were in for a fun night featuring reggae.]

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[Don’t worry about a thing, ’cause everything little thing gonna be alright!]

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August 20

[Their only scheduled Alex visit this year . . . until they arrived and have now booked SAWA for October 1.  Smiley face!]

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[A one and a half day break from the summer heat – it was chilly (OK, 60) and windy and the assembled masses had their hoodies up and were wrapped in blankets.]

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[The wind made it appear that Karin was shopping incognito at the Patchouli memorabilia table.  I don’t know if she made a purchase.]

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August 21

[51-degree morning produced our first “fall” steam coming off Lake Darling.]

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[But it was absolutely perfect by the time the Salty Dogs took the stage at the winery.]

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[I believe someone introduced Annie, Greg, Erik, and Tom as a newspaper publisher, a city attorney, and two old(er) finance guys.]

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August 22

[A dining day in the life of retired people.  Little Mayo Johnson came up from Burnsville for his monthly lunch with the Boyz of ’65.  This was at La Ferme.]

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[That evening was pizza night at The Depot.  Since the Super had had lunch at the club, we decided could could probably put our stove up for sale.]

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[Breakfast?]

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August 23

[Yup, eating out again.  The annual spaghetti feed fundraiser for the Cardinal football team at the new and improved Elks Club.  The boys say they’re going to state!]

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It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.  ~ Yogi Berra

Up Next:  We’ll try Europe again.

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