Identical twin first cousin hair at the lake house, originally uploaded by margaretgouldstewart.
My fondest summer memories were those spent at my cousins' lake house in Connecticut, which felt a world away to my 5 year old self. We didn't travel much at all from our home in New Jersey, which is understandable given that I am the youngest of nine kids.
That trip to the lake, which I remember as being weeks long and was in fact a long weekend, was filled with all the critical elements of lake summer living: hot dogs for dinner nearly every night, washing your hair in the lake, making pot holders, fishing with hooks that have the barbs filed off my my soft-hearted Uncle Al, learning to water ski, and playing the card game Spit. Other families were heading to Europe and cruises in the Caribbean, but I think I came out on the winning end.
These days, my parents live on a lake in South Carolina. My kids wait for our trip every year, because they know there will be kayak and paddle boat outings, dancing and singing shows performed by the cluster of cousins present, grilling everything that can possibly be grilled, and floating on rafts as the sun sets.
I wish it were closer, but the truth is, it's worth the trip.