"The big cooler is forcing the dog onto my chair and she's breathing all over my arm Mom. Gross! Take her up there please!"
"Dad, just reminding you guys- you said no stops this time."
Really? We're 20 minutes away from cabin heaven and they can't cope? I roll my eyes at Dan as our teens have done countless times when they think we're not looking. (Heads up little darlings. I have eyes in the back of my head. I see everything.)
Who invited the whiners anyway? I'm hungry too. And the panting dog? I know her well as it would appear I'm the only one who notices when she needs water in her bowl. And, yes I know all about the big cooler as I shopped to fill it. Yes me, the woman who carried you on my bladder for a total of 30 months and then today, the woman who helped carry that cooler is now making the call. We are going to stop because I actually do need to stop. I'm not whining about it either. But perhaps that's because I happen to know where we're stopping. And I know it well because I have planned this stop since our departure from the TwinCities.
Lindstrom is the town and Quick Stop is the destination. Unlike other stations that line both sides of Highway 8, this little diamond in the rough offers much more than chips, candy bars and cold drinks. Our friends serve up a menu of homemade Middle Eastern food that rivals any restaurant in Minneapolis. Fresh Tabbuli (never a fan until I had it here), gyros, falafel, hummus, baklava are all made to order. The house tzadiki is rich, creamy and delicious. I put it on everything. Yummy! There are burgers, chicken and a kids menu too but why settle for regular fare when you can have a warm, savory, sliced pile of lamb with lettuce, tomatoes and onions nestled in a fresh pita. "Danny, pull over please. I need a pit stop."
Dan's coy smile spreads across his face. "Need or want Deborah?" Twenty years married, 11 of which we've been coming to our cabin paradise and he knows me too well. A deep shade of red now washes across my face. Our sons see the familiar Quick Stop store front fast approaching and look disappointed as there is construction on Highway 8 and they are perhaps processing we may drive on? No worries. We simply follow the signage and soon this family is on the same page. Rather, same plate? We are pulling in to park, each thinking of his or her order... I guess no one cares that they will have to climb over the big cooler, the panting dog and make a stop after all...
See you on the lake...