‘Tis the season for vacation... or is it? Summer is typically one of the most popular seasons people choose to use up their vacation days. Kids are out of school, and people want to take advantage of the gorgeous weather in Minnesota and neighboring states. 

Of course with the COVID-19 pandemic, many plans have been altered or canceled and people are choosing to not go on vacation. That was not an option for my family and me. 

It has been a tradition in my family to go to Wisconsin Dells every year, usually around the end of July (my birthday) or the beginning of August. I always look forward to floating on the lazy river, riding some waterslides, attending the Tommy Bartlett Show and eating pizza at Moose Jaw. 

This year when it came time to make our annual reservation, it kept getting pushed back because the resort we stay at was shut down for a while. After things started to open back up a bit (with many restrictions in place) and more staff started to go back to work, we were finally able to make a reservation. 

We were hopeful that by the time our vacation rolled around, coronavirus cases would be down and we would be “back to normal.” As the date kept getting closer and closer, it became clear that we were in no way out of the woods yet. 

Even though there is research that suggests the coronavirus doesn’t like certain environments, that you are relatively safe outdoors and that chemicals like chlorine can actually kill the virus, my family and I did not feel comfortable with the idea of floating around in a pool or waiting in lines for waterslides with hundreds of other people not wearing masks. 

We were running out of time and quickly decided to try to arrange a Plan B. My husband and I really enjoyed our trip for our five-year anniversary with the fur babies to Gunflint Lake near the Canadian border last month, so we decided to try to find something similar. 

We began to look all over Minnesota and Wisconsin for a resort or cabin. It was a challenge to find something on such a short notice that was big enough for all of us and dog friendly. Many of the places we looked into were already booked or were not pet-friendly. Thankfully, we ended up finding a beautiful lake home available for rent in August near Rice Lake, Wisconsin.

Even though our vacation will look very different this year, I am so happy that we will still be able to get away for a little while. I am thrilled that I get to bring my dogs Frosty and Twinkie along for some fun too, which would not have been possible with our original vacation plans. Now, we will pray that the weather cooperates. 

Summer never lasts long enough in Minnesota, so be sure to get outdoors and make the best of it. Just because pretty much everything has been canceled at this point, including our city festivals, doesn’t mean we can’t still have some fun. 

Stay safe and healthy. 


Shannon Granholm is the Lead Editor at Press Publications.

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