Every year we plan a family vacation up to the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Mercer, Wisconsin to be exact. My wife's family owns a small cabin up on a small lake chain and their family has been going up to the area for well over 40 years. It is just one of those annual vacations that you don't want to miss out on.
Yes, we do go up on other occasions. Holidays like Memorial day and the 4th of July, but those are typically work weekends. Those of you who own any type of vacation spot know about those "work" weekends. There just seems to always be something that needs to get cut, moved, or repaired. Cut the grass, paint the pump house, shore up the dock, etc.
These chores are nothing much different than what you do on your own home but there is something about doing them up in the Northwoods. They aren't chores as much as they are adventures. There is something about the smell of Pine pitch and the buzzing of the hummingbirds to calm the soul and make the day pass by effortlessly.
With most of the work already done, the family vacation is just that, a vacation. Everybody does their own thing. Some layout in the sun and read, while others play made-up games on the lawn and in my case I spend the time on the water chasing anything that swims. That is the great thing about the Northwoods. You make the vacation be what you want it to be. There is no pressure to meet deadlines, go here or do this.
My wife's family is no small one by any means as my mother-in-law is one of nine children so these vacations can have quite the crowd. The more the merrier when we are up there. Being up there tends to bond the family and people can let their hair down and just be themselves.
Every year I count down the days until we head for the Northwoods and this year is no exception. The dynamic is ever changing with the kids growing up, the families starting to grow, and the reality of life getting in the way, but there is never any negatives in the Northwoods.
Unfortunately every year there is one event that seems to put a bit of a damper on the vacation and that is the day of departure. A bittersweet "see you soon" is said to the cabins and a caravan of vehicles followed by boats heads back to the flatlands of Illinois.
Till next year!