This probably doesn't really matter to most of you because you didn't grow up with me, and for the few of you who did, I'm not really sure if you'll even find this cool. But I love my dad, and his quirkyness, and love for hunting, even though I don't care for dead animals, and so I took pictures to document his new house.
He retired at the lovely age of 52 (YAY! fire department pension!) and he left Illinois for the mountainous region of the Ozarks. He bought a home right on Table Rock Lake and plans to be there for quite a while. He spends his time remodeling the house, landscaping the yard, and building a deck. There are enough projects to keep him busy for quite a while.
This is his gym in the basement. I was very impressed and slightly jealous and may or may not have added barbells and weight bench to my personal wish list. But I did manage to use this space four days out of the six full days we were there.
That resort sign has a story. My dad's family immigrated from Germany and settled in the Chicago area and in northern Wisconsin. Dad's grandma and (step)grandpa specifically settled in northern Wisconsin and started Trail's End Resort. It was lots of land set on a large deep lake and they built little rentable cabins on the property as well as their own house that they lived in, and that was their business! I scanned some old photos so I'll share that story with you in a later post.
And three more deer that my dad hunted. He loves those and the home I grew up in always had these proud trophies.
We did quite a bit of fishing! Mark loves to fish and I have fond memories of early morning fishing with my dad when I was little, so it was inevitable that we pulled a few 4:30 a.m. mornings to head out on the lake at sunrise to score some bass.
This was Mark's first fish, a bluegill, and I thought it was so small and cute that I had him pose for a picture. He threw that one back but he continued on to catch three more fish that day, and a few the following day.
Then I had a nice strike on my line and pulled in this little bully. Check out the size of my lure in contrast to the size of the fish! Greedy little thing. He went back in the water too.
And then the following day was my day. I caught 4 fish that day and kept three of them for a fish fry!
There's something about catching and foraging your own food that makes me feel so proud.
Later in the week Dad treated us to dinner and a show on the Branson Bell Lake Cruise. It was good in that cheesey talent-show kind of way. The food was...pardon me...awful though and I only ate enough to make the hungries go away. I guess I shouldn't have expected too much.
Since the showboat was rated-G with cheese, and the food was sub par, AND it was a dry ship (no adult beverages), we stopped at the store to pick up some margarita mix for after the show. While perusing the isles I found this stuff! No I did not buy it--hello 50% alcohol! I liked that it was bottled in mason jars though. I'm a sucker for cute stuff sometimes.
We got up early on Memorial Day to go blueberry picking. This was my chosen activity and Dad went along with it. Funny, he wasn't too thrilled to stand in the hot sun and pick berries, but once home and in the air conditioning again, he repeated throughout the day that he thinks he'll go back and stock up on blueberries for the freezer.
They were cheap! $2 a POUND. All three of our buckets totaled only 6 bucks.
And we wrapped up our trip with some epic water sports. This tube is the same tube we used when I was 10 years old, with maybe a new rubber tire inside. Tubing was the highlight of family vacations back in the day and my brother and I would fight about who got to go tubing first and who had a longer turn and so on and so forth. Ya, we bickered quite a bit.