Family Vacay 2010: a tour of the house

This post is ambitiously inaugurating a new category called “Home & Kids.” Um, so I don’t exactly have kids. Right. But I darn well plan on blogging about them anyway! If I feel like it. Or at least begging my pregnant sister to blog about her child and her extensive research on cloth diapers–hello, Heidi? Hello? And “Home,” well, I’m not exactly a designer or the best decorator/home-maker you’ll ever encounter, so don’t expect awesome tutorials on how to refurbish your deck with your own two hands. For that, you need to read my friend Jenny’s blog instead. However, I do plan on talking about our much loved leftovers tracking device, as well as our system of glass bottle storage. I’ll do what I can. Oh, and both my sisters have mad decorating and home-making skills. And my mom has personally remodeled every home she’s lived in. So maybe I can blackmail them into participating . . . hmmm, we’ll see what delectable and threatening materials I can dig up in the family albums that Mom so innocently left with me on her last visit to Chicago. Hah!

Anyway, moving back to the central point: a brief photo tour of the lake house we stayed at outside of Boulder Junction, Wisconsin for Family Vacay 2010 a couple weeks ago. Most of these were taken within 30 minutes of arriving, before the dozen occupants had “made themselves comfortable” so to speak.

First, there was a little guest house. I completely forgot to photograph the interior, but that’s where my parents and my husband and I stayed. There was a main room, 2 bedrooms, and a little bathroom. A few mosquitoes and spiders tried to share the space with us. “We’re just tiny guys! There’s plenty of room for all of us to live together!” they cajoled. And then I smashed them with a kleenex. And obliterated them with a paper towel. And squished them with my shoe.

Death and vacation. Vacation and death. I’ve got something philosophical brewing here, I can just feel it.  However, I will strategically withhold my deep and academic thoughts about Man versus Mosquito until someone out there decides to give me free money and the title of “Dr.”

We mostly all hung out at the main house, a glorious multistory paradise of fun, laughter, and infectious disease. Please read this post to learn how to most effectively share your particular sickness with your entire extended family–it’s been proven to work, or your money back!

Wait, what money?

If there’s money changing hands, it’s coming this way. Just so we’re clear.

What a house. Oh my, what a house. I mean, last year’s location was great, don’t get me wrong–but there is no comparison between the two. The clean tap water in this house versus the undrinkable rust water in the previous year’s house made that decision for me. The awesome kitchen this year made that decision for me. The comfy leather couches and thick clean rugs made that decision for me. And the 4 bathrooms this year versus the 2 bathrooms last year . . . well, that just cemented my blossoming relationship with this house.

As soon as you entered, to the left was a little coatroom/mud room. Very convenient for stashing life vests, helmets, and other outdoor paraphenalia. That’s Uncle Brian through the window. It looks like he’s studying a map. But why? We had just arrived!

Oooooh . . . maybe he was hiding out avoiding the work.

Cause it’s not like he singlehandedly got the sailboat in the water and around part of the lake to our dock, bicycling back to get the truck. Or unloaded any kayaks or bicycles. Or made the meal that evening with Aunt Kathy and washed dishes afterwards. Or drove the truck that didn’t have air conditioning by himself there and back, while the rest of us rode in comfort. That Uncle Brian . . . always looking out for himself.

Personally, I contributed to the move-in work by taking all these pictures. Hey, this camera can get a little heavy–it’s no walk in the park, OK?

Check out this awesome livingroom:

And the view was nothing to be frowned at either:

Yeah, it’s exactly like the view from our Chicago apartment.


We found a little nook for the games. That was a top priority.

Right off the living area was this wonderful little breakfast nook/sunroom. We actually turned this into Erica’s bedroom for the week.

And here is the view from the sunroom . . .

The kitchen was gorgeous. Many delicious things were cooked there–stuffed tomatoes, cheesy spinach bread, Thai peanut noodles, paella, grilled chicken, wild rice, Shepherd’s Pie, Pain à l’Ancien, Chili-Cheese Etouffé . . . oh, and how could I forget. The best pie ever, filled with raspberries and nectarines, courtesy of my sister Erica. She has promised to share her recipes on this blog, and on that day the deliciousness that she unleashes will bring about World Peace. I’m convinced.

Let’s take a closer look at that chandelier.

It makes me feel like I need to go hunt some big game.

In fact, if you’re good, I’ll do a tutorial on how to make this very chandelier, starting with the hunting and killing of . . . of . . . a, um, deer? Or antelope? Or stag? Which one has horns that look kind of like that? Or wait–is the chandelier supposed to look like branches and twigs? Maybe it’s not a murderous chandelier after all. It’s hard to tell–trees, animals, branches, horns–it’s all just one big mush of nature to me.

There were so many woodsy details in the house. Things I would never buy myself, but that gave the house a delightful, vacationy feel. I don’t think there was a single light fixture that didn’t evoke some animal, large or small.

There were 2 large bedrooms (though I only photographed one) and beautiful tiled bathrooms . . .

 There was a lovely basement, which hosted some hilarious Wii activity on rainy evenings. And, um, on some non-rainy evenings too. Nature and technology–they don’t have to be enemies!

My sister Erica led the way to the lower level.

The basement was practically a second livingroom.

It also had a laundry room/bathroom off to the side. And with a dozen people sharing the space, each extra bathroom was a golden nugget of delight in our crowns. Yes, on this vacation everyones’ bodily functions were comfortably accomodated. In case you were wondering. Not that I have any ‘bodily functions’ myself, of course.

 And of course, the staple piece of art–a picture of wolves roaming about in the moonlight. It wouldn’t be the North Woods without one of these on the wall. If I were a true believer, I would also own a T-shirt with these selfsame wolves howling at the night sky. Believe me, there are ample opportunities to obtain such a thing in your choice of tourist traps, if you’re into the whole wolves-on-a-shirt scene.

Outside the house was the dock, home of both the sailboat and a spontaneous photo shoot in which the beauty of my sister and cousins shone forth like the sun. Photos coming . . . next week? We’ll see.

Luke quickly discovered a grill:

. . . and a firepit, where this would soon happen:

There was plenty of room for the bikes, kayaks, and sailboat.


I may or may not have neglected to ride a bike a single time–in fact, I kind of forgot until the last two days when it got rainy. That’s why the musculature of my legs isn’t quite as developed by now as I had hoped–it kills me to be just one bike-ride away from amazingly powerful and attractive thigh muscles.

However, though I didn’t make it to biking, not a single day passed that I didn’t venture out on the lake in a kayak. There was so much to explore! And in the evening, especially after it rained, the water was like glass.

What a great vacation. There’s so much to say about it still, and so many fun pictures to share, but as they say, the man who fights and runs away will live to fight another day.

Do I hear an “amen” from the crowd, or is that the caffeine ringing in my ears?

Have a lovely Tuesday everyone!

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7 Responses to Family Vacay 2010: a tour of the house

  1. Steph Berg says:

    as im sure many of the people reading this are falling in love with the house, they should know ITS FOR SALE!! :)

    • Jenna says:

      That’s so true! I can’t believe I didn’t think to mention it . . . especially because that’s probably why they had it looking so spiffy! if anyone is interested, just email me and I can privately tell you the going price. =)

  2. Vesselina says:

    i am LOVING the new header sweetie. And your musings on hunting are quite entertaining! :) If I’d known, I would have stepped in and lent a hand with the proper scientific names where they belong! Can’t wait to see more photos of this vacay palooza.

  3. Twinky says:

    Yes!! I love the new banner photo for the site. The pics here are great, too, and I love chuckling and laughing out loud at how you say all you do.

  4. can we go back? like today?

  5. Jana says:

    Hi – I saw the picture of the box of games. Did you guys try “Ticket to Ride – Europe?” It is the BEST GAME EVER! My husband and I love it! The first time you try it, it takes longer to figure out the game play, but it is totally worth it!

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