Thursday, February 4, 2016

Okiboji Winter Games

The kids didn't have school last Friday so we used the opportunity to travel to Iowa. We drove to West Bend on Friday night to stay with Rob's parents. It was a quick visit but a good time. Bob and I schooled Rob and Patti in a few games of 500. That was probably all due to Bob because I know I don't play in the "traditional" fashion...laying certain cards when others wouldn't. But, maybe that's my secret weapon! The girls were happy to go on a walk with Grandpa to the Grotto and Austin passed the time drawing Clones and various Star Wars characters for us.

Saturday morning we jumped back in the car and headed to Spirit Lake to stay with Rob's uncle and aunt (Rick and Jan) at their cabin and as a bonus Jaci (his cousin) was visiting too! They bought the cabin/house last summer and have completely redone it. It looks amazing! We went this particular weekend because it was the University of Okiboji Winter Games. Apparently there is no University of Okiboji and that is just a joke (that is lost on me). Anyway, lots of fun activities planned for the weekend! Our first order of business was to join 1-2 hundred other people (I could be way off on this number...I'm terrible at estimating large group numbers) in forming a large goldfinch in a field. Then an aerial photographer flew over and took our picture:

The kids did a great job being patient with this. We were some of the first people out on the field and had to stand out there in the snow until everyone else took their places and while the plane flew back and forth several times to take the picture. It turned out pretty cool though!

After that we headed to where all the main activities were taking place. They had motorbike races, flag football, sled dogs, helicopter rides, human sled races, a giant tubing hill for the kids (and adults!), and much more we didn't even see! Quite a party! We also got to meet up with Rob's sister's family for a bit. The girls really enjoyed making friends with the sled dogs.

Once we made it back to the house the kids were all anxious to try their hand at ice fishing. Rick and Rob headed out with them. After about an hour I glanced out and saw Riley playing out on the lake. Assuming she was bored I walked out there to check in. She was bored and graciously gave up her seat for me. Rob walked back with her and I stayed to try fishing too. Austin and Rick both caught a walleye. Austin was the next to give up and head in. Ellie was die hard but came up empty (so did I).

The next morning everyone was eager to get back out on the ice for more fishing. Including myself. Turns out I think ice fishing is way more fun than regular fishing. Doesn't hurt that we had a gorgeous day for it. We didn't even need a shack. Austin had his line in less than a minute when he pulled out the first perch. Large enough to get him on the Dehner record board. And then we were all rewarded about an hour later when a school of perch came by and I think we got 7 or 8 more.

I don't think Rob caught any, but he was pretty busy helping all of us with bait and what not. And Riley didn't catch any, but she wasn't fishing at the time the school came by. Ellie ended up knocking Austin off the board with an 11" perch so she was quite satisfied.

She was definitely the most patient person out there. Well, her and Rick. I'm sure it's not all that fun to go fishing with my family when there is only one of us who baits a hook but several of us who have no trouble losing our bait. Jaci lent Ellie her awesome pink hat and decided she looked so cute in it she should keep it. Ellie just loves it and has worn it every day since!

After a yummy lunch and some shopping for Jan and I it was time to head home. It was a great weekend and hopefully one we can repeat some day! Maybe the Okiboji Games will be a new tradition for us! A big thank you to Rick and Jan for having us!

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