Monday, June 27, 2011

Midsummer Festival!

We had a wonderful weekend at the Mesaba Co-Op Park celebrating Juhannus or Midsummer. It's a place & a festival we'd never heard of before a few weeks ago when twice in the same day it was mentioned to us. Once to me by friends & once to Steve by our neighbor (who happens to be on the board & very involved). Turns out they all know each other quite well. Crazy.

I'll spare you the details about the park (you can read a bit more about it here) & just say that it's unique to say the least. A bit like summer camp for adults as GTR said (she was there with her family too - first time she'd be there!) There were activities for young & old; potlucks & meals served in the mess hall; great music for dancing; open stage, yoga, sustainability workshops, fairy house building & the most enormous bonfire I have ever seen. We brought food & we also ate at the mess hall (we weren't quite sure what to expect). How easy though to not REALLY have to prepare any food (or clean up at a campsite?). We pitched our tents near our friends & it was just really a lot of fun. The first night after setting up we sort of just hung out at the site & explored a bit. Steve took Dahlia swimming. We went to hear the music & August quite literally STOLE the show with his dancing moves. Everyone was so into him. He was, I will admit, ridiculously adorable. He really can dance! I got lots of extra steps that evening on my FitBit due to trying to keep up with him & Dahlia. After the band was done, one of the musicians came up to Steve & told him that watching him out there dancing was the pinnacle of his performing career & brought tears to his eyes! He remembers his own kids dancing like that & he was really overcome! Wow. The sleeping that night was abysmal. Terrible. Gah. The kids didn't go to bed all that well, & they certainly didn't sleep all that well. When I went in the tent around 10 or so (?) August had moved right to the door & was asleep on the floor. Dahlia was sideways on the air mattress. The sweet girl had brought his blanket to him & covered him up as he had crawled to the door. Very nice. But then I have to navigate those two. ugh. It was awful. I didn't sleep very well at all. And it was light by about 4am - the BIRDS were crazy loud. And we were relatively close to the Hibbing airport so all (early) morning there were planes & helicopters we could hear. What the heck? I almost considered driving home that day & picking Steve up the next day - but we hung in there (and it got much better).

The kids & I went off to make fairy houses. It was pretty fun. I could get into doing more of that. :) Dahlia also spent a lot of time with the other kids. There were 2 babysitters who watched the little ones. They had some activities planned & it gave the adults time to relax or do other things. In short - IT ROCKED. Dahlia loved it too. There were lots of little friends for her to play with.

I could not for the LIFE of me get August to take a nap. He was so crabby. We finally decided that since we needed ice anyway, we'd take a drive to see if he'd fall asleep. Well, they BOTH fell asleep - it was great. We drove up to Hibbing over to Chisholm & back to the park. Oh with a stop at McDonald's for some ice cream (Dahlia woke up).

That afternoon Steve took August on a little hike, Dahlia played with the kids & did the treasure hunt, & I had about 30 minutes to sit in the hammock. yay! Next up was the MayPole - which ROCKED. It was so cool. I'd never participated in one before & it was very very cool.

Supper was a traditional Finnish meal (which, eh...was not my favorite - however the lamb stew was great). More music & dancing followed that. We hung out at the campsite after that & put the kids to bed (SO MUCH BETTER than the night before). We skipped out on the 2nd part of the dance but did go down to see them pull a bonfire on a raft out to the lake (cool) & then the GIGANTIC bonfire. You could feel the heat from that a long ways away.

I went to bed after that. Sleep was about a hundred times better that night. Thank goodness.

Sunday we did more playing & packing up. It's always a bit sad when a weekend like that comes to an end but I was ready to go home too. Camping with 2 little ones is very difficult!

We managed to sneak in a quick paddle before hitting the road. The kids (& I) slept all the way home! Last night was early baths, early dinner & early bed night!

It was a weekend full of great weather, new friends & LOTS of bug bites. Ah well, summer in Minnesota.


Odie Langley said...

Not exactly a restful vacation but interesting and the pictures were great.

GTR (Gina) said...

Yay! So fun to actually meet you! Wish we had been there more on Friday or were not asleep during some of the highlights... but it was still a good time! Thanks for posting stuff so i can show my friends (i'm such a lazy blogger right now!)

Kate said...

Can I just say you are such lovely hippies? It makes me smile.