Wild Weekend

How did Monday morning roll around so fast?

It seems like I went from anticipating a four-day weekend to it being over in a flash.

It was indeed a whirlwind weekend for me, as I joined other family members on a pilgrimage to the Brainerd/Baxter area for the baptism celebration of my new grand-niece, Millie Marie, and the Christmas stocking exchange among the Rickers clan.

Unfortunately, not everyone could be there. Hubby Bryan had to work on Friday, so he stayed behind and, alas, we celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary apart. Niece Ingrid will come from Washington, D.C., for Christmas, and niece Alexis was spending the Thanksgiving weekend on the Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas.

But those of us who were there had a grand time, taking in the tree-lighting festivities in nearby Nisswa, shopping at such diverse venues as Christmas Point Wild Rice Co., which sells a lot more than wild rice and Christmas items in its three-story level building, and Mills Fleet Farm, and frolicking in the huge water park at the hotel complex.

I donned a swimming suit with no intentions of going down the gigantic water slide. First of all, you have to climb four stories of stairs, toting a large raft the entire way, and secondly, I didn’t want to get my hair completely wet and have to redo it for the stocking exchange festivities in the evening. The extent of my getting wet was going to be sitting in the indoor/outdoor hot tub.

But brother Marty finally convinced me it was worth getting my hair wet — and he volunteered to carry the raft. As I stood at the top of the slide, watching the water rush down the tunnel in front of me, I thought, “What did I get myself into?” But there really wasn’t time to think about it too much — soon we were catapulting down that tunnel and into a twisting, turning abyss — the lights coming on only in small flashes to give a glimpse of what was ahead.

For me, it was largely reminiscent of Space Mountain at DisneyWorld — one of my favorite rides. It was worth the climb — and getting my hair wet.

I might have gone down the water slide again, but instead volunteered to repeatedly traverse the lazy river section of the park with 3-year-old grandnephew Mason — an equally fun pasttime, although it lacked the exhilaration of plunging through that water-filled tunnel. Although, come to think of it, his smile also sets my heart aflutter.