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It's Our Turn: So you wanna get away?

Where do you go when you want to get away? Osakis, of course!

After spending a year at my first full-time job, I was due for a nice vacation, or a mini vacation at least. I wasn't stressed, per se, but a part of me just needed a little change in the daily routine. My wish was granted with a four-day family camping trip to Linwood Resort on beautiful, exotic Lake Osakis.

After upgrading from a tent to a pop-up and all the way up to a Cherokee RV trailer, this year my family has an even newer, albeit a little smaller, camping abode: an Ice Castle RV Edition, ice fishing house/RV hybrid.

Although it's a little tight with my parents, sister and me, it has all the necessities and then some, including an incredibly comfy couch and an interior lined with fragrantly fresh cedar. Not to mention it gets many curious looks.

The first day was sweltering. Temperatures in the 90s, high humidity, excessive sunlight. Though we were right next to the lake and a pool, we didn't go swimming. Instead, we played some golf shoe (i.e. ladder golf), parents vs. kids. Usually we bet something on the game (massages, cooking dinner, etc.), but we forgot to declare the bet this time. Bummer, too, because the kids won!

That night and the next morning were kind of a blur. My sister and I arguing over who sleeps where, people moving around in the middle of the night, the family getting Eggo waffles ready while I half-slept. I swear I remember asking for a waffle, but when I wasn't greeted with a steaming Eggo upon waking, I sadly realized it must've been a dream.

We were joined that afternoon by close family friends who have kids close to my and my sister's ages. They were to tent next to us for the night.

This time, the day was gorgeous. Light breeze, warm in the sun yet cool in the shade, distant white caps on the lake. We spent the afternoon having golf shoe tournaments, playing horseshoes (I think I held my own playing with three guys) and failing at mini golf.

OK, so we were actually pretty even when mini golfing, but there were a few tricky holes. (Putting the hole at the top of a hill...who does that?) Sometimes, it was a quick "whack it before the mosquitoes eat you!"

Having the eight of us together also brought on more bets: "Whoever gets a hole-in-one gets ice cream," "If you make it through that loop-de-loop on your first try, I'll give you five bucks," and so on and so forth.

Finally, we ended with an intense game of keep-away in the pool with a ratty volleyball. Three girls against two guys? Seemed fair enough. It was a furious flurry of splashing, jumping, dunking, pushing and laughing.

By the time we rinsed off and darted back to the Ice Castle, it had started to sprinkle. We dried off inside while watching a clump of storm clouds drift across the lake, heading straight for us. That's nice.

Not so nice. Incredible gusts and sideways rain engulfed us in a hurry. Soon, it was a mad dash to get the awning down and the loose items packed away. Well, we were already wet anyway, I suppose.

So rather than build a campfire, the eight of us huddled inside the Ice Castle and watched The Pacifier, surrounded by draped wet towels and swimsuits.

The time away definitely did me some good. It was phenomenal to just sit outside in the crisp air, watching dogs stand as close to people as their leashes would allow and listening to birds chitter about in the trees, as I read or hand-stitched the binding on my quilt.

Now that it's over, I'm ready for another vacation. It's not quite fair how fast they go, but I suppose there's work to be done! In the meantime, I'll just look forward to my next vacation (Disney World!), where I can just unwind, relax the mind and leave all responsibilities behind.

• • •

"It's Our Turn" is a weekly column that rotates among members of the Echo Press editorial staff.

Jessica Sly

Jessica Sly has been working as a content writer at the Echo Press since May 2012, contributing, proofreading and editing content for both the Echo and Osakis Review. A Wadena native, she graduated from Verndale High School in 2009 and worked that summer at the Wadena Pioneer Journal as an intern reporter. She attended Northwestern College in St. Paul (now the University of Northwestern - St. Paul), where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in writing and a minor in Bible. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the piano (and learning the violin), reading, writing novels, going to the movies, and exploring Alexandria.

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