Tag Archives: nature

Weekend Recap (the best kind)

Memorial Day weekend at Pelican Lake 2012!

Several weeks ago when Jon and I realized we hadn’t been home in almost six months, we looked for and found some perfect flights for the weekend over Memorial Day.  We don’t typically go home to the lake that early in the year (brrrrr) but he was beginning to see how homesick I was getting and we had high hopes for the weather.

Minnesota, like Colorado, had an incredibly mild winter so we decided we would take the risk.  He told me we would wait and see what the weather did and if it looked nasty we’d cancel our flights and re-use the fares at a later time.  I told him he could enjoy a nice weekend alone in Denver because I was going even if I had to walk.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out who won that battle and last Thursday we packed all of our winter/spring/summer clothes as we prepared to visit Minnesota, no matter the weather.

What I realized about Memorial weekend is that there are many things that need to get done with it being the ‘first’ main weekend at the lakes.  Luckily for us we got there early on Friday and the weather was average so we didn’t feel so bad dedicating our time to getting everything all set up!

One of the main things to be done was to move the boat lifts out further from shore due to the water being so low this spring.  Have to have lifts in order to have boats!  All the boys were thrilled to jump into the lake for some manual labor.

A shot and a beer to numb the pain : )

Slingin’ some boulders before moving the lift.  You know, normal stuff.

Nice job looking on the bright side!

Way to use team work!

Excellent use of the ‘if looks could kill’ face!

Great delegating!

Way to try and look busy!

Nice job looking warm, dry and happy!

They eventually got it moved, grabbed the rest of the Jameson and hit the sauna.

When the weather is sunny and beautiful at the cabin, life is simple.  Boats, beer, sand bar, tubing and skiing.  On. The. Lake.  At all times.

When it’s significantly chillier, cloudy, rainy and windy – it’s time to get creative.  Apparently our version of creativity is competing with one another.

Heidi and I had a ‘who can find the largest stick’ contest.

Livi and I raced everywhere we went.

Chad and Megan whooped our butts and took all our money at a dice game.

There was a shooting contest, dirt bike races, a beer pong contest, and a Zorbaz dance off.

I don’t have photo’s of all of them (lucky you) but here are a few (50).Larson for the win!

And now…onto the MAIN EVENT!

Jon, read us the rules…

“All ages can play, 21 and up can/must drink beer, may the best man win.”

Due to the delicate nature of having minors playing, we had only water in the cups and those of us legal held our own beers separately.  This game was more for sport than it was drinking.  I can’t say the same of the other more ‘late night’ games.

Yes, I realize he doesn’t look legal.  Sadly, that just means we’re old and don’t know what 21 looks like anymore.

Jon and I made it a couple rounds…nothing to sneeze at.

A Brandt, Kinkade and Hendrickson.  Family : )

Ty’s got a lot at stake for at this point he’s on the verge of losing to his 13 year old little brother!

The eventual 2nd place team!The 13 year old “Beer Pong Champ” aka “Juice Box Champ”  Beginners luck some say but I credit it to his wicked victory dance skills — the T-rex.

It was a rainy Saturday, but we made the most of it.  I was so happy ‘my side’ of the family came out.  My parents were actually celebrating their 28th wedding anniversary that day!Please pardon the lovely garage decor.

Two of my brothers had to work : (  Luckily Greyson still made it out!

Along with my family came Miss Livi of course and she LOVES all the action at that lake.  She was certainly a busy girl this weekend.

Let’s play ‘Two Words’ for these upcoming random shots shall we?

Tooth Less

Crystal ClearEvery NightAirplane Ride

Airplane Ride?Sisterly LoveSisterly love?

Tiny Babies
Doing WorkVery ScientificMama BearParty StartersDock ViewGood Boy
No ThanksSpeed DemonGathering PlaceJungle Gym?Manly MenCousin CooporationLake CeilingOnly ColePure HappinessNew BabyPelican Lake

Goof BallSir SamuelLittle RascalBush BudsBest InventionFamily Overload?Lake FoodQuietly ContentThe following are some photo’s I took of Livi in the most beautiful evening light imaginable.

This was Jon and my first trip back to the cabin as ‘married people’.

I guess I hadn’t really thought about it beforehand.

I didn’t really think about it right when we got there either.

But slowly, throughout the weekend, I began to realize that this is my family.  All the people in all the photos above.

I started spending time at the Hendrickson cabin when I was 19.  Afraid to get out of the car and see this boy who I had met and meet his family.  T.J. was around 7 years old.  Livi hadn’t even been born yet.

I’ve been coming to the cabin every year for almost 10 years (yikes!).

Now I’m family.  It does feel different.  It feels really good actually.  Jon and I met and fell in love there and I feel very fortunate that we get to return at least once a year and be reminded of that and of those feelings.  It’s the best part of being there…being there with him.  It’s like a recharge for us and our relationship and now marriage.  I love it there, I always have, and just like every time before it was a weekend and time very very well spent.

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Hawaii Part 4 – Kauai!

Welcome to the Kauai portion of the program.  Please do not be alarmed by excess amounts of beauty, skyline, ocean, and spoiled rottenness.

See?  It’s SO lush and green here it borderlines on too much.  I’ve never been so close to sensory overload in my life.  We were really excited to see Kauai and spent a lot of time trying to decide which part of the island to stay at.  The decision was basically North shore vs. South shore and North won for many reasons, mainly because we wanted a change of scenery from just beaches.  We had a hankering for some jurassic park style greenery and boy did we get it.

Well.  THAT greeted us not 15 minutes after we stepped off the plane.  To put this into perspective, that my friends is higher than Niagara Falls.  

Alright fine.  We’ll stay out of your dangerous waterfall and instead proceed North to our cushy hotel.  We decided (on occasion of the delayed honeymoon) to spoil ourselves and Jon surprised me with a stay at the St. Regis Princeville.  The whole drive up from the airport we told ourselves that the hotel couldn’t possibly be that nice, we’ll probably be disappointed, let’s manage our expectations and anticipate it being pretty average.

Ahhhhh what a bunch of dummy’s.  AFTER we got through the winding road lined in flowers and beautiful tree’s, past the gorgeous homes, multiple fountains, and pristinely managed golf courses.  After Jon told me to stop gaping out the window with my mouth open because I was embarrassing him…we were shown to our room.  To say our expectations were exceeded is a bit of an understatement.

It’s basically a hotel made out of windows with absolutely breathtaking views of the Napali coast everywhere you look.  It was spectacular. 

Welcome Mr. and Mrs.  Hendrickson, we have upgraded your room on occasion of your honeymoon, please allow me to hang your lei’s and open this complimentary bottle of champagne while you enjoy the view.

You should have seen us trying to keep our cool until he left.  At which point we started dancing and squealing and jumping on the bed.  And by we I most certainly mean me.  Just me.

There was a flipping lei hook in the room for goodness sake.

The amount of times we said “are you kidding me” on this leg of the vacation is pretty high.  I mean – look at that photo?!  It looks fake!  This was the view…from our room…it’s essentially a living postcard.

Nothing was overly showy.  It was all in the details at the St. Regis combined with the most world class service I’ve ever seen.  Really fun to experience.  All that and we haven’t even stepped outside yet!We got in the pool, turned to each other and said ‘weird…it’s the most perfect water temperature of all time’.

Then turned around and said ‘weird…it’s the most beautiful pool view ever’.

Saw these guys and declared “weird…that’s the coolest boat I’ve ever seen”.

You get my point.  Everything was amazing.

We took a seat under some cabana’s to gather our thoughts and be brought delicious cocktails by a very friendly waiter.  You’ll notice the difference in lighting in a lot of these pictures and that’s because it goes from cloudy to bright sun to sprinkling and back all in 15 minutes.

The waiter brought us our drinks, pushed a magic St. Regis button and just as we took our first sip, after thinking we had soaked it all in…this happened:ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!  I stood up and said ‘I can’t take anymore, I need to go to the room and lie down to process this’.  I opened the door to our room and the bed had been turned….down….for….me.  At this point I decided to pretend to be the queen of england for the remainder of the trip and not be surprised by anything.  Even if they offered to chew my food for me.  Let’s move on.  Stunning.  Not me…the view.  I’m obstructing the view!  How dare I tarnish such a spectacular sight.Jon enjoying his ‘crown and pog’ (his favorite).  We brought along some of our own drinks because along with tipping every person that even looks at you, you also have to deal with things like this:Oh hey!  $16 for a bottle of Jack Daniel’s brought to the room + tip?  That’s not so bad.  Wait what?  You’re telling me that’s for 2 ounces in a glass?  Ummmm…go to hell.

Jon told me to settle down and informed me that we’re spoiling ourselves while in Kauai.  So we enjoyed our hotel, swam in the pool, drank lots of drinks and ordered the most ridiculous sushi dinner from room service.  I would like to be able to adequately express how delicious this food was…but I can’t.  I just can’t with the food.

After enjoying being spoiled for two days we decided to FORCE ourselves to leave the hotel and go on a hike.  Thank the gods we did because it was…you guessed it…ridiculous.

On our way to the take off spot for the hike I forced Jon to pull over because I missed the hotel too much and I thought I was going to have a panic attack.  “WHO’S GOING TO OPEN ALL THE DOORS FOR ME? WHAT IF I NEED SOME ICE? WHERE WILL I HANG MY LEI? WHO WILL FAN ME WITH A FERN?!?!” Jon slapped me in the face and luckily we found a glimpse so I could get my fix.

Bye hotel….see you soon my love….

Then I opened my eyes and looked around and remembered we’re in absolute paradise.

From here we drove to the trailhead for our hike.  I’m going to TRY and let the pictures speak for themselves.

It’s amazing to me that more people don’t meet their deaths on these beautiful hikes simply from looking around.  The terrain was rocky and wet, not to mention one wrong step and you’re tumbling down hundreds of feet into the rocky ocean.  There is so much to see that you have to stop every time you want to look around or else you’ll definitely trip and be dead.  Here lies the destination of our hike:

Sweaty and muddy as hell.  It was intense.

After our hike we rushed back to the hotel to get changed for our ‘every book says you should, you can not miss it, you must do this while in kauai or you’re a moron‘ helicopter tour.  This is when things started to unravel.

We arrive at the helipad only to find that our helicopter tour was cancelled due to predicted rain that afternoon.  We knew this was a possibility.  The center of the island is the rainiest place on earth.  Literally.  That’s a fact.  Google it.  So we weren’t exactly surprised and made plans to reschedule.  Well it did rain that afternoon.  The thing is, it never stopped.  It did not flipping stop for the rest of the trip.  We made due the first 24 hours.  We actually sat outside in the hot tub with an umbrella determined not to let this ruin our trip.

Turns out the helicopter tour could not be rescheduled.  “That’s ok” I said, “we’ll go on the boat tour instead!”  Nope.  Cancelled.  “That’s ok” I said, “hopefully Jon will still get to golf at the brand new world renowned princeville golf course”.  Nope.  Cancelled.  Very sad husband.

It was tough to take.  In my mind that just means we have to go back! : )

To numb our pain…we ate.  We ate THE MOST incredible brunch that exists on the planet.  I’m convinced.  It was a whopping $60 a person (not including drinks) and after seeing the spread we did not bat an eye at the price.  It maybe should have been more.  I took a few photo’s but didn’t want to be super embarrassing.  Turns out I was anyways because I didn’t stop eating for like 6 hours.  These in no way fully explain what the hell was happening at that brunch, but I’ll throw em up anyway.

Meet Aloha Mary.  She was delicious.Let’s asses.  Waldorf Salad, duck gnocchi, fresh ahi with avocado, fried rice, incredible fruit, honey glazed halibut, crispy bacon, and parmesan and prosciutto wrapped asparagus.  Shut. Up.  My mouth is watering again.  These items are approximately 1/100th of what was there.  No lie.  It was impossible to try everything, but try I did.

Not only was everything world class, fresh, and indescribably delicious…but it was all beautiful as well.  Brunch will never be the same again.  Nay.  Food in general might not ever be the same again.

Don’t make me talk about the desert table.  I just don’t have it in me.

Meanwhile, THIS was happening while we were enjoying our delicious brunch on a covered patio. It may not look in on the computer, but those waves are ENORMOUS.  The storm had arrived.  Let me try to get this through to you.  These were monsoon conditions the likes of which the island hadn’t seen in 30 years.  On our vacation.  : (

It was raining two to three inches per hour for over 48 hours.  People were stranded.   Stranded at the St. Regis but STILL.  We barely made it to the airport and if our flight would have left several hours later we might still be in Kauai.  Don’t believe me?

Those are pickups.  And not the worst of it.  It was an adventure, but we were glad to finally take off after 48 indoors.

At first it felt like two days of our vacation/honeymoon were a waste.  That’s just not the case.  Looking back over all the photos and experiences has truly shown me how lucky we were to be able to do ANY of it.  It’s been really fun to share our trip and (for those that haven’t) I hope you all get a chance to experience Hawaii someday.   It’s so beautiful and everything the books tell you it is.  I just wouldn’t recommend visiting Kauai during peak rainy season, unless you hate the outdoors and sunshine.

This FINALLY concludes the Hawaii recaps.  Thanks for reading and for all of you that have already said such nice things about the photo’s – to me, to Jon, on Facebook or wherever – thank you so very, very much.