A Weekend in Minnesota

On our way back from our recent trip to Europe, Alex and I made a pit stop in Minnesota to spend some time with my family, celebrate my dad’s big birthday and to attend my good friend’s wedding.

Beautiful Lake Shaimeau
Beautiful Lake Shaimeau

As we always do when we go back to our respective hometowns, we had a jam-packed schedule. My mom picked us up from the airport when we arrived and whisked us away to her backyard oasis. She knew just what we’d be in the mood for after being away from American food for a month! She cooked us kabobs, lots of fruit and veggies, and of course, wine.

It was a quick visit with my mom, but I was thankful to have an excuse to spend an evening with her. We were pretty beat after a very looooong day of travel so we didn’t stay up too late chatting with my dad when we got over to his house to stay later that evening.


The next morning we were up bright and early, ready to head up to my family’s lake home to relax and celebrate my dad’s birthday.

I had heard from my dad that there had been an unusual amount of rain and because of that the lake was up very high; he had already had to raise the dock up twice that summer. I was glad, though, that I had some forewarning of what was to come when we arrived.


The water was even higher than it was the previous weekend when my dad was up at the cabin. The driveway was now one with the lake in its low spots. The four feet of grass between the cabin and the lake was no more. There was at least six inches of water in the basement {about 12 years ago we had to fill in the basement with sand because the lake level had come up so high – the basement hadn’t been used in years prior, already}. The lake level was almost even with the top of our dock, which now needed to be raised a third time.


Seeing the lake like that and realizing that the cabin is in grave danger of potentially not withstanding the winter really put a damper on my usual upbeat self.


I was able to snap out of it and remember that we had a birthday to celebrate! My dad’s 60th birthday was the next day, but we would only get to spend a few hours with him that day. To celebrate his birthday a day early we enjoyed a wonderful meal of steaks on the grill and big slices of cherry pie a la mode.


I found a custom sign company on Etsy and ordered a sign for the cabin as a gift to my dad, which is now proudly displayed alongside the bayonet when you walk in the door.


Aside from the sight of the lake and not knowing the fate of the cabin over the next 9 months we had such a nice time relaxing and catching up with my dad. My family shares the property with my great aunt and her children so we were also able to catch up with them, most of whom I hadn’t seen in a few years.


Our time at the cabin was very brief. The next day we needed to leave by noon to make it back to White Bear Lake for Cammy and Adam’s wedding. We had an awesome time catching up with my friends from high school and watching the union of such a wonderful couple. More to come on the wedding…


That pretty much sums up our quick weekend in Minnesota! We flew back to Seattle Sunday morning and began getting settled into our normal life again…

If you’re wondering the fate of our cabin, my dad has three rows of sandbags to protect the structure from waves and an increasing lake level. He plans to replace or support the foundation before winter comes, as well as re-grade the yard around the cabin again. Last weekend he got a new sump pump to drain the water from the basement. His effort was successful, but now they need to bring in more sand under the house. Hopefully with a dry basement there will be no/reduced risk of this winter’s freeze cracking the foundation.

{photo credit goes to my dad}
{photo credit goes to my dad}

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