Last weekend was my baby sister's 21st birthday. FINALLY. No more fake ID's or sneaking her into bars or buying her liqour because she can't. And so, to celebrate her newfound adulthood, we took the party north to celebrate with the family. At first I had some reservations. A wasted, beligerent sister, one cousin I can fight with at the drop of a hat, another who I seemingly had nothing in common with except our bloodline, and a wild party girl who might as well be a sister. In the past we'd been ok in small doses, but we'd never spent three full days together in a cabin in the middle of nowhere. Anything could happen, and did.
Wisely, we girls decided NOT to stay at our family cabin out at the Fourty, but took a $165 per night abode on east lake Mille Lacs, about 10 minutes away from where our parents were staying. Nic and I left Kato Thursday night, me staying at Tony's, her at Jeanna's. The next day the girls picked me up early in a rental car and we headed for Den's, since I was going to ride up with her. While waiting by myself for Den to get off work, I wrote crazy post-its and hid them all over her house to drive her crazy. By 6:30 or so, Den and I were on the road, headed north in the twilight and the rain, her hyped up and crazy, me tired and cranky from having played the waiting game all day. We made it to the Fourty without fighting, though both of us later commented to others that it was "the longest car ride ever".
Upon reaching our destination, Den and I headed inside and all five of us girls sat around the dinner table, laughing and catching up while Uncle Don eyed us lovingly and served piece after piece of breaded fish fillets while mom worked on what was probably her fourth drink and dad more or less ignored us until we said something particularly funny or interesting. Molly was already there, had been there for a week, visiting her father she doesn't see much since she moved to Alaska upon getting married. After dinner, us girls headed to our place on the lake in two cars to drop off our stuff and prepare for the night at hand.
The cabin was great. I ended up sharing a bed with Nic that night since Den was being gross in the car, and Molly and Jeanna had already claimed the two single beds. We all changed quickly, did a shot or two, shook our butts to the music, and headed to Hunter's bar, which was conveniently located across the street. All the local men gave us surprised and pleased looks as we entered, and Jeanna heard one man tell his friend, "That one's cute, that one's cuter, that one's even cuter..." We started off strong, and by the time dad and Don joined us, we were wasted and gave the "sexy Town men" loud catcalls when they entered. I'm pretty sure we embarassed them greatly. I slipped away from my family for about a half hour to have a drunken heart to heart with Josh, who had randomly called me and was drunk himself back in Kato. He asked me several times what has been up with me lately, and after several subject changes, he gracefully took the bait and talked about other, less pressing, things.
A few hours and several drinks later, us girls headed back to the cabin, turned on Molly's ipod, danced some more, butchered a pizza, and drank even more. Some of us slipped out onto the deck to smoke around 2 am and some of the drunks from the bar noticed us and came over to chat. After they left we went back inside, until out of the blue Kyle from Carlson called and I went back out on the patio to chat. I noticed another old drunk guy leave the bar and head our way. Instead of walking past, he comes up onto our deck, looks me up and down, says hello, then walks past me into our cabin. I freeze, then turn and follow him in. My family had turned unusually quiet and were all standing with their backs to him, facing the sink, making no eye contact. Dennie took charge of the situation and threw him out, following him to the door and blocking him every time he tried to duck around her and come back in to the party. He finally left, we locked all doors and closed the windows, Jeanna threw up a few times out the window, and we all went to bed.
The next day we were up pretty early and made it back to the Fourty in time for a big pancake breakfast. We hung out there for a while, nursing our hangovers if we had them, checking out Antie Betty's scrapbooks, sleeping and such. During lunch Jeanna and I had a debate about dinner vs. supper, and came to the interesting conclusion that "only Catholics eat Supper." Don't ask. Early that evening we went back to the cabin to get ready for that night's adventure. While Den was curling my hair we got into a minor scrap about God only knows what, and I figured we were overdue for a fight. It was minor, though, and by dinner we were sitting next to each other, best friends again.
First we headed to Carlzona's where we had beer with our dinner, got flirted with by some ugly thirty-year- olds in the booth behind us, and debated on whether or not to let them pick up our tab. We decided not. A guy old enough to be our grandpa came up then, singing to us, and Nic recognized him from last summer, when she saw him and all his daughters walking around wearing SWAMP DONKEY tee shirts. Him and a much younger guy, maybe 32, who was singing Alan Jackson, told us how pretty we were, then followed us to the next bar. We left Carlzona's when the drunks behind us became beligerent when we didnt respond to their questions, and Denn started to mouth off like she does. Jeanna started talking to some young guys who also ended up following us to the next bar. She collects guys like pennies.
At Barnacle's Jeanna did some Karokee, dad and Don eventually showed up, along with Swamp Donkey, Alan Jackson dude, and the young guys, Trav and Dan. Swamp Donkey told us to call him our fishing grandpa and gave Molly and I some awkward back massages as we sat at the table playing poker. A.J. zeroed in on me, telling me how pretty I am and buying me drinks, asking my dad if he could date me, though he was married and had a pregnant wife at home. Dan was all over the place, first hitting on Nic, then putting his arm around my chair when he switched places to help me play poker. I got some interesting conversation plus some tequila out of him, so he wasn't a total waste. Trav pretty much stuck to Jeanna, hoping for something that just wasn't in the cards.
At closing time the boys invited Jeanna and I back to their cabin across the lake, and were bummed when we said it wasn't happening. On the way back we had to pull over and let Nic barf in someone's driveway, and Jeanna hopped out of the car to take pictures. When we got home we were surprised to find our cabin decorated to the hilt by mom, who hadn't showed up at the bars either night. Nic was so drunk, however, that she just went to bed without noticing until the next morning. Den was up early Sunday and cut out before anyone else woke up, and the rest of us girls rode back in the rental after lunch. Nicole went out Sunday night, too, since that was her real birthday, and I stayed at Tony's in Burnsville and had him drive me back Monday morning. When we got here we saw that a huge tree in our yard had blown over in some storm that we missed. If it had gone the other way I would be homeless right now. After Ton'y left and B went to bed, I thought about our weekend and wondered how long it would be until we all saw each other again.