From the beach at the lodge:
We had a really good time there, and even though it was sort of cool & windy, we found a great spot for lunch, out of the wind.
After we left there we stopped at a place thats name is still in dispute. Gma Grace calls it "the donut factory" based on the fact that they sell some pretty fantastic donuts, freshly made on site. Gpa however, calls it Lakeshore Farms Market. I'm going to opt for calling it the donut factory, it just rolls off the tongue much easier.
When we got back to the cottage, Gpa's 2 sisters & sister in law arrived to celebrate his birthday with us. It's been many years since I've seen them and the first time Ruth has ever met them. At some point in the conversation (and there were lots and lots of laughs) Kevin's aunt Linda mentioned that she'd heard lyme disease symptoms resembled common cold symptoms. Before she could finish her point (and her reason for mentioning it) her husband Gord interjected that there'd been recent sightings of a cougar in the area. It was just so out of the blue, suddenly the conversation turned and the whole moral of the story was that there was a sneezing cougar in the area, with lyme disease. It doesn't sound so funny hearing it second hand, it was definitely a "you had to be there" conversation, but some of us were laughing so hard at the comments being made that our faces were hurting. Gpa Rolfe and I briefly discussed a plan to make cougar & sneezing sounds when Kev was outside that night (just to scare him) but we scrapped that plan since we knew we'd probably laugh too hard to pull it off.
Day two was a great day. After the ferry & lunch at the old lodge site, Kev's aunts visiting, the kids also went swimming again & spent a lot of time at the docks visiting with other vacationing kids and adults who were coming back in from a day of fishing. They got a first hand look at fish cleaning too, since they have a fish house right on the dock to do that. All of them commented more than once that this was the best vacation they'd ever had. That was sure nice to hear.
It's funny how even though this is the way I grew up (always around water, going fishing, going on the Bremerton-Seattle car ferry or Bremerton-Port Orchard foot ferry), to them it was all brand new, and all very exciting.
Aside from the fact that my camera batteries kept dying on me (good thing I brought back up), it was a really good day. Kev's dad rented the cottage for us this year, and we already love it so much we've begun serious dicussion about seeing if we can save up for another trip next year to the same place. We'd love to be able to make this an annual tradition for the kids. This is the stuff amazing childhood memories is made of, and the stuff that creates some pretty strong family bonds. My own memories of childhood family trips are some of the most cherished memories I have, so I know it'll be the same for them.