A Summer Tradition - My Family Travels

With the month of June consisting of nothing but constant rain and temperatures below 80 degrees, I knew that this year Lake Okoboji in Iowa was going to be frigid. And frigid it was. Our first day there, Katie, Angela, and I simply stood on the dock, staring wearily at the lake water below us. We had all dipped a foot in and immediately decided against jumping in. Eventually we did all jump in together, but only after pinky swearing to not chicken out. As the ice water engulfed me, I couldn’t help but feel numb from head to toe. Therefore, the rest of that beach day was spent tanning on the beach at our resort, Village West. For dinner, we headed over to Estherville, a city just outside of Okoboji. Estherville is where Woody’s Pizza is located. They have the best pizza in the area.

            The next day we decided to be a little bit more adventurous and actually jumped in more than once. We learned that if we jumped in enough times,  the water would give off the illusion that it was actually warm. I decided that today would be a good day to rent a jet ski from our resort, since none of us could stand to be in the water for very long. We took turns going out on the lake, shivering as the cold spray hit our faces. Thankfully, no one got dumped off this year. Later that day, we all went out on our friends’ boat. Katie, Angela, and even Dad, were ambitious enough to go out tubing. Mom designated herself paparazzi, and took to taking pictures of their wipeouts. I simply sat back and enjoyed what little sun the clouds weren’t covering. Just as we docked the boat, a torrential downpour came out of nowhere. The beach emptied in a matter of seconds as people rushed to get away from the crazy storm. 

            After the rain, the air had been chilled to match the lake. We took this as a sign to go out shopping the next day. We went to the Emporium first. The Emporium is like a mall, but, like most of the other shops in the area, it specializes in Okoboji gear. It even has stores where you can pick from over 20 designs and design your own official Okoboji T-shirt or sweatshirt.. By now I have way too may articles of clothing that say Okoboji on them, but I can’t stop myself from buying more because it’s become a tradition. After the Emporium, we headed over to Arnold’s Park. This area is an amusement park and an outdoor shopping center. It’s a great place to waste a couple of hours.

            Okoboji, Iowa may not sound like the most exciting place in the world, but I can’t imagine my life without it. Every year since I was four-years-old, we’ve traveled to this small lake city the last week in July. Once I’m there, I never want to leave. It’s just a great place where you can escape from the responsibilities of every day life. For one week there is no work, dance, or summer projects. It’s simply a week spent in good company along with a beach and a chilly lake.


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