Monday, June 27, 2011
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.