Sunday, June 24, 2012

Diamonds are a girl's best friend. Or are they?

Just before my 50th birthday, I accidentally read an email with questions about diamond rings from Bill to one of our daughters.  Well, what I really wanted was a kayak, so I had to fess up before the diamond in question was purchased.  That was 3 years ago and the rest, as they say, is history.

We bought our kayaks from Spring Creek Outfitters which sells slightly blemished new kayaks at discounted prices.  They also designed the carrier racks that strap to the top of our car in less than 5 minutes.  I'm not sure if they know it, but the racks also come in rather handy for hauling.....oh, vintage fireplaces and other treasures that happen to find me.

So, I could be sitting in my yard on a beautiful summer evening admiring a diamond ring on my finger, or out on the water enjoying the views only mother nature can offer.  No contest.
(Bill securing the boats after a trip last fall.)

After more than a week of rain (which happened to be my week of vacation)
the weather finally cleared up on Friday.  In the early evening it was in the low 70's
with no wind, which is the perfect combination to lure me out to the lake.

We chose to visit a small chain of lakes just off the Scenic Highway.  We launched our boats
into O'Reilly Lake, traveled through Shamrock Lake and through a small channel (top photo) into
Island Lake, named for the small island pictured above.

I almost fell out of my kayak with my good camera while I was taking this picture
when something big jumped out of the water nearby!
I didn't actually see what it was, but it made quite a splash.

A few minutes later my question was answered.  Bill spotted a family of beavers
 frolicking in the lily pads.  With my slow response time, this is the best I could do.
  That little brown blob in the center of the picture is the last beaver to dive under
 the water to escape the curious onlookers.

"Come here, Norman. Hurry up. The loons! The loons! They're welcoming us back."

This is the 3rd year we've paddled these lakes, and without fail these 2 loons
can be found patrolling Shamrock Lake.  They serenade us, but only allow us
to get so close before they dive under and resurface out of range of my camera.

I'm sure you recognized the quote from "On Golden Pond", my all-time favorite movie.

If you've never seen this 1981 award winner, it's a classic summertime movie.
And if I could pick the perfect rustic vacation cabin, this would be it.

The setting sun signals the end of our evening voyage.
Who needs diamonds?!

After we unloaded the boats and settled in for the night, we heard a commotion outside.

(Photo taken through the trees from our front porch.)
The local raceway was kicking off the evening with a fireworks display.

The perfect end to the perfect day.


I almost forgot to show you what I found!
 It's currently in the shop getting a new
paint color and I've already given my new toy boat a name.
Can you guess what it is?


  1. Vickie,
    I am a sucker for diamonds.I would have jumped for that.But I see the beauty that you admire in that lake.And the memories you two will make.Can't put a price on that!
    Something in the shop being painted.Hmmm by you or someone else.I am seeing water and that small boat.I am thinking a boat or a boat paddle.

  2. I wouldn't have picked the diamonds either, Vickie. BUT I wouldn't have picked a kayak either. I'm probably too lazy to kayak. Being on the lake is great though! Did you name the toy boat Ranger?

  3. I have to confess I would have grabbed the diamonds (it is my birthstone after all) and then I would have found a way to get the kayak too. What an idyllic day out on the water. You are so lucky to live close to a scenic lake like that. Your new boat is wonderful too. Let's see. I bet the name of your boat might be Ranger 911?

  4. Love the photos (only I have to admit I was a little bit disappointed that I didn't see a sock monkey on the bow)... what gorgeous scenery. Glad your camera (and you) didn't go for a dip!

    I can't say I'd have picked a kayak, but I would definitely go for something other than diamond(s).

    Now, as for the name of your new boat... my guess is Mariah or Thayer IV.

    So glad you had some beautiful weather to cap off your busy week!

  5. My husband is always threatening to buy a new diamond ring to replace the one I lost the diamond out of a few years ago. I won't let him, there are so many other things I'd prefer to have.
    Never been kayaking, but from your photos I can see it is a wonderful pastime. AND, it's something you can share together, bonus!
    Loved On Golden Pond, I could just hear Katherine Hepburn speaking as I was reading that quote. I'll have to watch that again. Thanks for the reminder. Great post.

  6. The question on my mine. Are you in some great physical shape or what. It must be great exercise for body. Oh and those photos are priceless the water is so reflective.

  7. who needs diamonds with vacas like this?! beautiful pics--it looks so peaceful and calm:)

  8. Vicki,
    a girl after my heart! The only difference is I've always wanted a canoe! What a great time you had, I'm totally jealous! That would have been a nice break from our high 90's weather! Beautiful pics, glad you got some time without the rain

  9. Awesome! It love it! Brings back fond memories of canoeing in the Boundary Waters with the girls in northern Minnesota...before I got married...husband is not into this at all! I would have passed on the diamonds too, might have taken a canoe though if I had someone to go with me.

  10. Love your kayaks! What a great gift..much better then diamonds to me also! Love the little boat shelf...Norman by any chance? HUGS, Linda

  11. Aren't you a clever lady getting a kayak? I think that was a marvelous idea. But, would I go out in the water with my expensive camera to take photos? Oh you are one brave person.

  12. ohhh! I didn't know the story about you finding an email! Was it to me? Funny! What lovely pics, and a romantical day. :)

  13. I would choose having our boat over a diamond any day!!! However, I do take the old Canon at home when we are on the water....the new baby stays on dry land ;)

  14. For my birthday 4 years ago I got a kayak and so did my husband. It was not his birthday. We love it and we have even gone out at night with flashlights clipped on the front. We have seen beaver and an alligator. I am convinced the gator does not know I am in the kayak.

    Have you named yours? Mine is Lil Nauti.

  15. Well I just sent you an email saying I'd hoped you had gotten some kayaking in ... and then I read your blog post to find out you were able to get out on the lake. Love the photo of the fireworks! Enjoy the rest of your vacation!!

  16. As a nature lover I would pass on the diamonds(The best choice EVER)...What a beautiful post! I loved it!!! Kate would agree too, "I KNOW IT"!
    Have a FUN week,

  17. Gorgeous photos! What a beautiful trip. Good choice - picking the kayakover the diamonds. Diamonds are forever glistening on the water.

  18. This was such a wonderful post! I don't blame you at all for choosing a kayak over a diamond when you have a lake like that to go to. How gorgeous. Plus you and your husband can keep the sparks flying by spending time together too. Your subdivision looks so pretty with the fireworks going off. How fun!

  19. Love this post. Loved that movie, still gets me teary thinking about it. Your pics are super wonderful and that little find is a boat shelf thingy. lol Glad you had such a wonderful time.

  20. What a lovely story. Is the lake nearby? The whole day sounds like heaven, and I am seriously considering kayaks now. How magical!

  21. Vicki, enjoyed reading your post. I don't think a diamond could have ever given you the memories you just shared with your readers! Continue to enjoy your kayak.

  22. Vickie, What a beautiful lake to go kayaking! You were able to get some terrific photos with your camera. What a wonderful way to spend the day together with your hubby.
    Mary Alice

  23. Woo hoo! I'm going to ask my husband for a kayak. ;-) Have fun all summer long with it.

  24. I've had so many camera moments like that! Your heart stops!
    You got some great photos, though.
    I agree about the diamonds... I'd rather have a grand adventure!
    This looks like great fun.

  25. Love the photo of the sparkling water. I rather take a trip than have diamonds but I wouldn't turn any down if they were given to me!!! Thanks for stopping by, Laura

  26. I love kayaking but I do love diamonds. The lake is so peaceful on a kayak. I love your pictures!
    Katie-Let's Add Sprinkles

  27. The loon? But that's just a guess.
    I think it's great you wanted a kayak instead of diamonds. :) I'm sure you're husband thought so, too.
    Gorgeous pictures!

  28. Such a beautiful kayak! I am so with you! Your photos are gorgeous. I have SO overwatched OGP and love it so. It's my fantasy cabin too! One of my favorite things is all the b&w photos just tacked to the wall. You're a lucky girl! Glad you had such a beautiful day.

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