Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Vagabond Village

Vagabond Village: July 2011LinkWe spent our week long vacation just outside of Park Rapids at Vagabond Village. This was the first week off Bear and I have taken since Australia in 2005! We were long overdue for a week off. We pulled the 79 Starcraft camper and stayed Monday-Friday. This trip happened to connect with our previous weekend with the girls from college. So really we had 2 different camping trips back to back in basically the same area of the state. We came home for a day to wash our clothes and pack up more food. It was so nice to wind down for a week with just our family of four.
We did it all this week too. We fished for sunny's off the dock and the boys each caught their own fish. By the end they were baiting and taking off their own fish too. Parker learned how to cast and even hooked daddy in the butt! We swam in the lake for about 10 minutes and then we were in the heated pool the rest of the week. Hours and hours were spent in the pool. This is the pool and the vacation that Parker learned how to swim. Emmitt was no longer afraid of the water. He turned into a fish too. We grilled our meals outside over an open fire every night. We roasted marshmallows, made smores, and enjoyed the heat! We actually had nice weather the entire week we were gone. It stormed just one night, but in the camper we sat playing games and watching Robin Hood and stayed nice and dry. One morning Bear went for a walk and spotted the Sherwood Forest sign. It said the caretaker was Robin Hood. When we drove by the sign the next day, we read it to the boys and they were on a mission to find Robin Hood the rest of the week. The scoured the woods in search of him. You know "the fox with the clothes on". So the night it rained, we let them pick out a movie and sure enough the choice was Robin Hood.
I was told about this place from my boss at the hospital and she said we had to venture out to the Logging Camp. We got directions and headed out one day to check it out. They have a little general store that has everything in it that your kids think they need. And of course a sweet lady working the counter telling you all about the place and what you can do. We bought honey sticks, old fashion candy sticks and stinky rabbits feet. We fed the fish, that literally jumped out of the water when the food hit the surface. We walked on the trail and saw old logging equipment and learned all sorts of fun facts about logging. The kids chased chickens and turkeys. And we were able to look at the camp where we would have breakfast the next day. It is set up logging style, where you all sit on a bench at a long table, complete with tin dishes and silverware. We waited until the next day for breakfast. When we got back the next morning we were asked how many eggs each family member wanted and if we wanted them all scrambled or over easy. We chose over easy, dad=2, mom=2, Parker=3, Emmitt=1. You were served all you could eat ham, prunes, pancakes, orange juice and coffee. Then your serving of eggs and a family serving of hash browns. The food all came out family style on a huge platter. The kids' eyes were absolutely bulging out of their sockets when they saw all our food! The server had come over with two little logs pieces for the kids to sit on as booster seats. It was so cute! Then we ate and ate and ate. As we were eating we kept hearing groups come in. Large groups. Like 16 and 20 people at a time! I asked just how many people they served for breakfast and she told us 300-500 every day! We are talking this little county road in the middle of nowhere! It was worth it. We paid like $8 for the adults to eat and $5 for the kids. Totally worth it. They serve dinner too, but we just did the one meal there. It was probably the most memorable experience for the kids. It was just so different. The platter, the seating arrangement and the decor.
We also went to Evergreen Mountain. AKA The World of Christmas. It had everything from go carts to bumper boats, mini golf and a maze. The morning after it had rained it was too icky to go to the pool so we hit the road looking for something to do. After a meltdown in the parking lot by both children, we headed into the store. We purchased our tickets for the day and told the kids to pick what they wanted to do first. We bought a bag of rocks with sand and hit the mining trough. We mined for stones and found some beauties. Then it was off to the go carts. The kids were unaware that mom and dad were probably having more fun driving these things, than they were riding in them. They were both way too short to drive, but we had a blast. Even when daddy and Parker pinned Emmitt and mommy under the waterfall during the bumper boat fight! Daddy sent the boys with mommy into the Maze. He totally new that we would be in there forever! I can't find my way out of a wet paper bag...I have zero sense of direction. When we came running back out the entrance to the maze after 30 minutes or so, he and the kid working just shook their heads. Parker finally got us out! It only took 3 tickets and 45 minutes!
We also visited a Bison Ranch, biked the loop, had a couple of icecream cones and made friends with people and kids we are sure to see next year!

"Vagabond Village"

Top Ten of our Family Vacation
10. The meal at the Logging Camp
9. Emmitt is no longer afraid of the water
8. The nights in the camper
7. Catching grasshoppers and frogs
6. The many nights around the fire in silence and making smores with Tolberone and Reese's PB cups
5. Searching for Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest
4. Emmitt caught his first fish
3. We all had tan lines on our feet from our sandals
2. Parker learned how to swim with out a life jacket
1. Good ol' family time

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