Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Letter to My Family...

Now that our summer vacation has been booked, it's time for each of you to start thinking about it and how you can each get the most out of our time together. We are going to be staying in Ashland but gallivanting to the surrounding communities, including Bayfield to explore the Apostle Islands. From there it's north to Ely, Minnesota. The town that was voted 'Hippest small town in America' not too long ago. I encourage you to look up these places on line. Bookmark their web-sites and monitor their weather. Mom's already found a vegan cafe and coffeehouse that's close to our hotel, so unless you want to be stuck eating sprouts three meals a day, you'd better do some research for yourselves. The reason I ask this of you is because I know this isn't the kind of trip any ol' kid would choose for themselves. This is no trip to Disneyland. This trip was designed to unplug us as a family. To get us together by taking us away. There was a day last week when all five of us were on a computer, phone, or iDevice; and each in separate rooms. No wonder we never know what's going on in each others' lives. I want a chunk of this trip to be left up to each of us. If ever on this vacation you need to say, 'what are we going to do next,' then you didn't take an active enough role in planning. We'll be gone for seven days and only have about four things planned. That leaves a lot of time to explore. The towns we're visiting are know to be small and friendly. Mom and I probably wouldn't even have issue with you walking on the beach or walking to town for ice cream without us (so long as you bring us a treat). The room we'll be in for the first three nights is a family suite with a private porch overlooking Lake Superior. I can't imagine a more perfect place to write, drink tea, or unroll a yoga mat. This being said, I also need each of you to start mentally packing and making lists for this trip as you plan our agenda. At the most northern spot we will visit, we'll be about three miles south of the Canadian border and about forty miles from a Wal-Mart is the opposite direction. So if you forget your toothbrush......please don't breath on me. You get the idea, right? To get you pointed in the right direction -- Remember when we'd go to Mauthe Lake for a day of kayaking and a picnic? Imagine doing that for a week. We'll probably each need to get some quick-drying shorts/capris, a long or short-sleeved sun shirt, and water shoes/sandals for the trip. Other things you'll need to remember are: camera batteries, a book, a journal, pens,{relaxing} music, and whatever 'personal time' items you think you'd need. I'm going to trust you can each get what you need packed. If there's anything you need, let us know as soon as possible. I'll be working up to the night before we leave, so any last minute shopping won't work. And I refuse to spend the first few hours of our vacation in Wal-Mart before we leave town.
Mom has referred to this trip our 'vision quest'. Our trip to look into ourselves. I hope you all take that into consideration. Take this opportunity to find out who you are when there's no one watching. Take this time to enjoy each other, as well. These are the most important people in your life. And, all too often, they are the ones who get the smallest piece of your time. I personally, can't wait for this trip. I've waited a long time to visit the Apostle Islands. The town of Bayfield was featured in my Natural Geographic Outside magazine as one of the coolest small towns in the Midwest. And I've wanted to share Ely with you all since I got home from my cousin Matt's wedding. I'm excited to experience all of this with each of you. And I'm also excited for each of you to help figure out how we'll spend our days. It'll be quite the change of pace to be leaving behind our chaotic world of school, therapy, work, practices, and appointments and fill our days with kayaking shoreline caves, hiking along waterfalls, and watching the sunset from the porch with a warm beverage in hand not worrying where we have to be and when. If this turns out to be the vacation I'm hoping for..... No one will want to return from it.