Summer is here. Well, it has been here for a little while but Wisconsin decided to take its sweet time bringing in the warm weather. It’s here now and I just want to jump around like Steve Martin when the phone book arrives in The Jerk.

We went up North for the Fourth of July but I couldn’t wait to start my holiday. My wife could not stop laughing when she got home from work. I was sitting outside with the most stereotypical Wisconsin snack of cheese curds and beer. I didn’t grow up in Wisconsin but I’m here now so I might as well act like it. This seemed like a good way to start our vacation so I carried the theme throughout.
We were able to spend most of our time up north on the water. I probably, no I definitely, spent too much time in the sun. I had more than a couple beers floating in a giant donut tube. It was like living in Homer Simpson’s dream. I did not use enough sunscreen, perhaps my judgement was slightly impaired, so I ended up with a REALLY bad sunburn. I had to wear a “sunshirt” the final day on the pontoon boat. It wasn’t pretty. Now all my skin is peeling off which is even less. Nevertheless, we had a wonderful vacation. My brother-in-law’s cottage is close to a State Park so we went running the beautiful trails in the morning which was how I justified my later gluttony. “What? I ran 4 miles this morning…”

What really made everything wonderful was the time spent with family. The boats and beer are great but sharing it with family gives it meaning. Growing our bonds and enriching each others lives is why we are really there. I can drink beer at home, trust me I have put in plenty hours of practice, but joking around with my nephews and seeing them playing with my girls is what really matters.

When I was little my whole family was located in Florida and we would always get together for holidays and weekends. As I grew older different family members started moving away. Some moved to Pennsylvania some moved out to Nevada. We eventually moved out of state too. Almost all of my best childhood memories are from when we all used to get together. We would go to the beach to watch the fireworks and then come home to play with sparklers and make homemade ice cream. I miss those days, but it brings me joy to think my kids will be able to look back and have wonderful memories of watching fireworks with their cousins.