Saturday, July 21, 2012

July 21, 2012

We got home today from a great trip to the Itasca Biological Station in Itasca State Park. Each year the first-year students in the College of Biological Sciences at the UofM (where I work) spend a few days at the biological station studying biology, enjoying the park, and getting to know one another. I am lucky enough to get to go up for one session and bring along my family. Patrick and Charlotte spend much of the time on their own while I'm sitting in on modules (I learned all sorts of cool biology-related things) but we squeezed in time for some family fun!

Charlotte was very excited to put on a life jacket. She insisted upon wearing it and was frustrated she had to take it off to go to the bathroom. Prior to this photo Charlotte got to go fishing for the first time! She caught a little fish that Patrick threw back. A faculty member was fishing with his kids and they offered to let Charlotte give it a try - very nice!

The life jacket was for our canoe trip. Here's Patrick putting the canoe into Lake Itasca. Neither of us have canoed in a very, very long time so it was perhaps not the fastest or most efficient canoe trip. However, I define success as staying afloat and we did not tip over! Success!

Of course we had to visit the headwaters of the Mississippi, just a short distance away. Charlotte was not shy about putting her feet (and then her whole body) into the Mississippi.

Water is for splashing. Especially the water of the mighty Mississippi River (which doesn't seem so mighty at the headwaters).

Taking a break from splashing with Dad. Take note of the water bottle in Patrick's hands. It's the Dora water bottle that we bought Charlotte as incentive for going BM in the toilet. I was very excited to come back to our cabin late one morning to see Charlotte drinking out of her Dora water bottle and then Patrick was kind enough to show me the photo he'd taken of her BM in the toilet. What a Dad. We have not seen a repeat of BM in the toilet, but we're excited that she has done it once!

Walking across the Mississippi River!

Our last night at Itasca! Charlotte roasted a marshmallow with Patrick. She enjoyed more than one s'more while at Itasca. Notice the fabulous shirts! These are the traditional Nature of Life shirts that are to be worn with pride. It was very nice of the NOL staff to give shirts to Charlotte and Patrick this year.

As a result we were able to take this adorable family photo in our cabin. Charlotte was a trooper over the past few days, staying up until after 10 p.m. each night! Today we got home around noon and we all slept for at least 1.5 hours. It's good to be home and, despite being surrounded by a pile of laundry to fold, feeling refreshed!

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