The menfolk garner great pleasure from building the best fires in the pit each night, after amazing, home cooked, themed dinners, great bottles of wine...and, well, even more wine after that.
Both of our families dream of building homes on the lake one day. We've each joked about our stash of kitchen appliances and the errant piece of furniture that has, for now, been relegated to a storage area; labeled for years to come: 'Lake House.'
We rent a pontoon boat. We rent sea doos. We freeze our asses off on both, and don't really care because it's that much fun to ride on a massive lake even if you're wearing uggs, winter coats, gloves, hats and scarves.
We take a day trip to Glacier National Park and go for a walk in the freezing rain. Because it's THAT spectacular anyway.
We yell at our kids to not run on the dock. (okay, so that part may be more me than anyone else)
We take a whole seven days to get into the groove of traveling with children---a point we kvetch about at night with hopes it takes zero days when the kids are older.
We go to bed too late and wake up too early.
We make friends with the locals and mean it when we tell them we hope to see them next year.
A little brother laments the big brother he wished would play with him the way the two sisters do...and his Mom hopes that their frank discussions help him realize how special their bond is nonetheless.
We shop for things we don't need, and realize we forgot to pack things we did need.
We get to reunite with middle school friends we haven't seen in a decade--who live nowhere near the neighborhood, but because it's Montana, a five hour drive seems like nothing.
We have the good fortune of a couple of grown up-only nights out because a good friend back home has family in the area that is happy to babysit!
And two old friends who've changed leaps and bounds since their high school days, can talk openly about how different their parenting styles are--how different their children are, and yet still know that it is worth it to spend this invaluable time with each other summer after summer. And every once in awhile, they might just find themselves doubled over in laughter like they used to when their lives were a bit simpler, their stomachs a bit flatter, and their ability to stay up all night a bit more fine tuned. But make no mistake...they've still go 'it!'