Reflection: R&R in Minocqua, Wisconsin (Day One)

At around mid-August I joined a few friends up for a bit of rest and relaxation nearby Minocqua, Wisconsin. Although I have posted pictures in a previous post and I have mentioned what I did soon after I drove back down to the Chicagoland area from being up north… but this post is dedicated to my feelings of what happened in between… at least over the almost three day trip with commutes included.

I could have easily just drove straight up to Minocqua soon after rehearsal on Thursday evening, but that would mean I would have arrived around three or four in the morning and that was just crazy. Then I thought about wrapping up packing, take a quick cat nap and then head up there early in the morning… but when I was packing I started packing for my trip to Vietnam (more on that in a later post). So taking that cat nap and waking up early went right out the window.

Instead I decided that since I had a meeting that I really didn’t want to delay in Chicago and I had to stop by my parents’ place to unload a few air mattresses from my trunk (again more on that in a later post), it was probably wiser to get a full night’s sleep and get up double check on the packing, have a quick bite to eat and head out the door… Which ended up being around 8:00am to 8:30am. Bah.

After the round of errands and extraneous trips I was finally out of Chicago and on my way up to Wisconsin. Now what I was telling my friends to do is that if there is anything that any of them need that they had forgotten to text, call, FB message, just contact me and I will pick the items on my way up… afterall I would be the last person to join them. So true to form, there was a small grocery list of items that I needed to bring up with me for various people for various reasons. But, I figured to give them time I would wait until I reached the halfway point of my trip to get out of my car, fill up the gas tank and get me some Culvers Custard. Nom nom nom nom nom.

Anyone that knows me well knows that I have a bad habit of nitpicking on thoughts, issues, problems when I am by myself, alone, in my car. Well on this almost six hour drive none of that happened and that soon became the mantra of the mini-trip itself. The chance to really just relax and be able to leave almost everything behind is such an amazing feeling. Just the drive up to Wisconsin (as well as the drive back) was calming and helped in centering me in so many different ways… especially with the chaos and drama we all knew as life.

I eventually arrived just before four in the afternoon, and as it would turn out my friends took a trip into town and walked around for a few hours… so they were beyond beat. A couple of my friends showed me around and helped me get settled into a cabin that I was able to claim as my own (if only for a few days), kind of made me wished I came in at least a day earlier.

As it would turn out, on the dinner menu for Friday was a variety of “exotic meats” in the form of sausages each with additional spices / flavorings including: buffalo, venison, duck, pheasant, rabbit and something else that I don’t remember. I have had duck before so I only had a little bit of that, instead I opted to try the buffalo, venison, pheasant which were all good for me. What I found to be funny was the buns that they brought with them. They weren’t your typical hot dog / sausage buns, in fact it turned out to be a kind of cocoon type bun where you just slide your sausage into. Yes, you guys are allowed to think of all the dirty jokes you want now.

Afterwards there was a little bit of a resting period but in the end five of us piled into the pontoon boat and drove out into the lakes for a little bit of fishing or catching depending on one’s point of view. 🙂 Well that’s not entirely true, when I first got to Minocqua a few of us spent the time chillaxin on the dock and one of my friends grab a fishing rod and just started fishing off the dock. Me and another friend joked that he’s not going to catch anything and he said:

I’m here to fish not to catch!

Such a Facebook worthy quote… a little bit later after I posted that on Facebook he had to explain what he really meant:

Let me clarify. I have nothing against catching. In this context, though, to impose an anticipated result to my actions adds a degree of stress that goes against the entire idea of fishing. It’s a Zen-like situation. For those few hours, I am fulfilling my role in the universe. I go where fishes live and make my bait available. Whether or not a fish chooses to participate in my experience is up to them.

ANYWAY, I digress.

We headed out to the water and I will have to admit that I never truly understood why so many people love to go fishing? It just seemed like a massive waste of time, energy, and not very productive… and then I was there, with them. Saw the joy on their faces when their line goes taut, watching them attempt to reel in whatever it was that got caught on the line… the females of the boat (yes I am including myself) relaxed, enjoyed the air, watched as the guys tossed the line out and pulled it in. She was knitting / crocheting while I was playing on my iPad… kind of. I spent more time providing sound effects whenever one of the guys sent the line out and pulled the line into the boat.

There was a calmness being out in the water, being in the fresh air that is (for the most part) untouched by the hustle and bustle of the city. I love being in and on the water, I was really tempted to dive in and go a bit of swimming, but it was a wee bit colder than anticipated (which really wouldn’t have matter to me) and considering I just arrived I was just too lazy to change into a swimsuit.

After a couple of hours we drove back to the dock and on the way there we were able to smell the campfire going on at our location… and it smelled magnificent. After putting all the gear away we headed to the campfire and immediately sat down for a round of smores…

Now mind you, before you guys start laughing at me realize that I was brought up as a first generation Asian-American. So the concept of “smores” and “camping” etc are completely foreign concepts for me… As I would say:

I foreigner, I do not understand you Americans and your strange accents and customs. So strange, so strange.

So I learned to cook a marshmallow over a campfire and how to put a smore together… and let me tell you it was absolutely delicious, heavenly. Totally and completely in love… in fact so much so I immediately wanted seconds.

We chatted, caught up, joked, shared stories about anything and everything… and for myself personally I felt a purging of all the weight I was holding onto for the past few weeks (if not months, years, etc). It was very calming and soothing. Eventually night fell and someone mentioned to me to look up and I never saw so many stars in my life.

Now I loved astronomy (well astrology too but that’s a different story) and being a science nerd / geek / whatever as well as a Trekkie how could I not love the stars. Granted I wouldn’t necessarily call it:

the only real science

… however, there is something to be said about seeing the stars, satellites and constellations in the sky. So us women ran out to the dock where we were not blocked by any tree cover and laid on the dock and stared up into the sky.

That was the icing on top of the cake that was Minocqua, I was in love… still am in fact. This felt natural to me, this was normal for someone that never did anything like this before… and as emotional and over-dramatic as sometimes I tend to sound, this felt like home. I was at peace, and there was nothing that could bother me out there.

Eventually after looking at the stars, cracking jokes and finding constellations the girls went back to the campfire to talk and hang out before eventually retiring for the night.

Considering I arrived only at four in the afternoon, I felt like I had a very full day of fun, relaxation, etc… and as I tucked myself into bed (layered with a half-dozen blankets) I realized that I would be there for a full day on Saturday and who knows what that day would bring.