Empty Nesters...

Trip Start Oct 20, 2012
Trip End Jul 11, 2013

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Where I stayed
With Gary & Diane
What I did
Lake Le Homme Deau

Flag of United States  , Minnesota
Saturday, October 27, 2012

        On Sunday, we headed north....to Alexandria,
Minnesota.... through the town of Barrett where our friends Dick & Jan
Vipond have a wonderful log "Cottage" on the lake. I have not been
there in almost two decades and understand they added substantially to the
original home since we were last there.

    Our timing was off for this detour in that Jan was leaving for "The
Cities" (as in Twin Cities") as we were passing through. I do
remember "The Wild Bunch" on one of the family motor home trips spent
a grand couple of days in Barrett. Perhaps my siblings might be able to add to
this... in some comments.

    I do remember we water-skied 'til our legs felt like falling off and partied
'til the rest of our limbs felt like falling off... and a hazy memory of having
no lights on the boat as we were returning home well after dusk. I was standing
on the bow with a large flashlight and Dick Vipond, our Captain, Host and resident
comic, played a little bumper boats upon arrival back at their dock.

    We arrived in Alexandria, Minnesota with the usual day or two notice but were
welcomed by retired, loving-life "empty nesters" Gary & Diane St.
Martin. Their "new" residence was, I believe, literally out of the
"Parade of Homes." It was distinctly and deliberately appointed...
room to room... a showcase to be enjoyed & marveled.
We have actually made 3 other stops but have been without internet... so The Odyssy will catch up soon!  Leaving Chicago today for Michigan!

    After a warm greeting and the "who is
this guy we've heard so much about" introductions we were naturally eating and asked to join them for a Paynesville High School Play-off football game later that night

    We reveled on the tour which also included "The Ice House" which was
built around 100 years ago where they stored ice from Lake Le Homme Deau in the
winter and naturally cooled this charming respite through ducting engineered
and designed well before its time.

    Gary & Diane had originally lived right next door in a 6000+ square foot home plus a garage and servants quarters (white building - above detached garage) but sold it and built  their current manse. The family who built it was escaping the summer heat in Texas and their servants, of course, would come early to prepare the house for the Masters' arrival. When I last visited Alexandria, Gary had given us a tour of both abodes and I remember being awed by each

    Their grandson Alex Kranz (sophomore, son of cousins Bobbi & Aaron Kranz)
had recently been moved to starting Center for the Bulldogs so we were sure so
see him play. It was cold and windy but the warmth and humor of this family
including more cousins Rhonda & Mike Boesen, and dedicated Paynesville
Boosters/supporters was a blanket of joy. They played hard but the game ended
the season for Paynesville. I spent the 2nd half of the game watching from the
car with Diane and stupidly did not take a single picture of players, proud
parents, prouder grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends who made it so fun.
We enjoyed being back in the comfort of Gary & Diane's beautiful home but
painfully watched and awaited word from family who were in HurricaneSandy's
wrath and path. The weather channel sure had our attention for days, and any
and all incoming messages seemed few and far between but usually allowed for a
sigh of relief from each. Thanks to all who forwarded updates and, on the other
side, were sending messages of love and hope for our relatives on the East
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Connie on

Do you remember the parking sign in front of the variety store that said, "Don't even THINK of parking here". We laughed as we bought our 5 matching pair of Blues Brothers shades. Brother Tom really hurt his calf water skiing on that trip. Hard to believe that the five of us had a 30' motor home without and parents with us... Fun was definitely had by all.

owc on

I remember the parking sign - we laughed so hard! Wrong trip for Tom's waterskiing injury that was on Krista's boat.

Joan Clark on

Glad you got to stop at brother Gary's home. Sounds like you're having a good time.

OWC on

Just remembered a sign we saw "please remove sunglasses". Boy did we laugh!

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