Family Vacation, 1980s-style

In keeping with my apparent obsession with all things nostalgic lately, my family and I are heading to the Northwoods resort where I spent one week every summer of my childhood. It is a typical family-owned resort of ten cabins fronting a sandy-bottom lake full of walleye, crappie, and bluegills, surrounded by tall pines. Up by the road, there’s a lodge (appropriately called “The Lodge”) with a bar and a game room with pool, pinball, and ping-pong.

From what I hear, it’s a dying breed, family resorts. Nowadays (do I sound sufficiently ancient?) people prefer shorter vacations or flashy places like Disney World.

Not me. Not even close. Give me a lake, a book, and some pine trees any day of the week. Give me a card game while it rains, a raft in the sun, a boat with a slow motor. An inlet with lily pads, a path through the woods, a drink at a hole-in-the-wall bar. Give me gravel roads, leaping deer, and a long red dock stretching out into dark blue water.

I haven’t been there since I was 18. It might have changed a lot, though judging from the pictures on its web site, it hasn’t; this could be both good and horribly bad. Either way, I am excited at the chance to re-experience a beloved place. It is rare, this chance, so I plan to take full advantage. I won’t have my computer with me, since we all know that travel and laptops go together like oil and water. Any writing will be done the old-fashioned way, using my iPhone Notes app.

Here’s to summer, to warm days and cool nights. To sandy beach towels and crickets under the picnic table. I hope you find the happy places of your childhood and stay awhile.



9 thoughts on “Family Vacation, 1980s-style

  1. Makes me want to go back to the places we went growing up- summers at Leech Lake in Minnesota as well as the Ozarks- both were family vacation resort cabins with everything you described. It’s as if all the cares in the world disappear when I’m staying in a cabin on a lake. Maybe next summer 🙂

  2. Pingback: The Cure for Melancholy « True STORIES.

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