The Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer

I adore this week’s Photo Challenge topic:  Summer!  Yeah!  Who doesn’t love summer?  It is such a wonderful time of year to let your hair down and be free!  I actually already did this challenge just last week as a fellow WordPress Blogger, Where’s my backpack? came up with the idea.  I really liked the post I did so in case you haven’t seen it, click here.

For this week’s official Photo Challenge, I decided to pick one week out of the summer that has become a family tradition and truly means summer to me.  Our family vacation up north in Minnesota.

Each July we take the week off, pack up the car and head up north to the Brainerd Lakes Area where we stay at the lovely, historic Grand View Lodge.  We always rent the same cottage which is located on lovely Roy Lake.  For one week, we get as much summer as our hearts desire.  It is a great way to celebrate the meaning of summer:  Fun, sun, beach, water, swimming, hiking, family, grilling, s’mores, more swimming, ice-cream, fireworks and stopping to slow down a bit and enjoy life.  I love it and can’t wait to go back again for the 4th of July!

For this week’s challenge, I have chosen a collection of photos from our week up north which mean summer to me. Hope you enjoy!

Summer means…

Eating cold, drippy ice cream on a hot, summer day. 

Swimming!  Lakes, pools, and even our backyard kiddie pool and sprinkler. 

Hours spent on the beach playing in the sand and building sand castles. 

Letting your hair down and going a little wild and crazy. 

Painted toenails and relaxing while reading my favorite book. 

Boating of any kind.  Kayaking, canoeing, motor boats, pontoon boats.  Rafts!

Eating sweets like lollipops and popsicles till your hearts desire. Don’t tell the dentist, mom!

Enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables.  Visiting the farmers stand and picking strawberries. 

Grilling out and making s’mores over a hot summer’s fire. 

Fishing with dad or even better grandpa. 

Peace, sun and fun. 

Or being a little crazier like riding a banana boat or waterskiing. 

Admiring the pure beauty of the sun, nature and reflecting on life. 

Creating wonderful childhood and family memories together that will last a lifetime. 

And most of all, watching the sun set at past ten pm…..on the patio of our cottage, talking about life and the future…..

To read more entries for this week’s photo challenge, click here.


  1. Lovely entry Nicole! The last two are gorgeous! Especially the one of the two of them looking into the water…just beautiful!

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  3. This is one of the most fun and beautiful Summer post that I ever read. I enjoyed every bit of your family vacation. From kayaking to playing by the beach to the relaxing reading close to the water. Cool toenails! Your kids looked so happy. This is what Summer is all about. Can’t wait for the rest of your Summer adventures. Thanks.

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  5. Nicole, you just made my heart ache for home. There is nothing like Summer in the States! I always start my summer off by watching the movie Sandlot and making smores. Sadly I won’t be able to celebrate this weekend at home, but I am planning to be there for July 4, so I’ll make up for it then!

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  9. I’ve been to the Chocolate Ox several times over the past few years at Grandview Lodge. My son worked there for a few summers. Love the Chocolate Ox and Grandview on beautiful Gull Lake! Great pictures!

    • Cool! Small world, isn’t it?! We are going again for the third time in early July. It is such a wonderful family trip. We can drive, have our own little cottage for the week and enjoy the beauty of northern MN plus a new wonderful ice cream flavor each day! Thanks for commenting!

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