Monday, April 13, 2009

To Murmur or not to Murmur?

I am torn, non-existant readers, on the issue of Murmuring Lake. Or more precisely, the Point Pleasant side-trip in the convention. There are two options, the food is supposed to be amazing and the price is right - $18 and I think transportation is included! (If you know for sure please leave a comment. Oh the shameless begging for comments!) I could do the Monday afternoon one with little difficulty, but I am afraid I will be too exhausted! Feel free to comment and talk me into it!

I have been to Murmuring Lake once before and I have cut and pasted my Madison Lake story from 2002 below!

[We had some adventures, then got some snacks and went to the cemetary to visit Maud...]

Then off we went to Murmuring Lake. I think the less said about the drive out there, the better. Maire and Nicole were incredibly kind and kept saying things like, "That map is nutty!" and "It could have happened to anyone!" But there is no getting around the fact that we left Mankato at about 3 o'clock and at 3:20 we saw a sign that said, "Welcome to Mankato!" Needless to say it is not necessary to drive through Mankato twice to get to Murmuring Lake.

I had called "Pleasant Point" which was on the site of the Inn (also originally called Pleasant Point Inn) to see if they had a restaurant.
The fellow I talked to said they had steak frys on Fridays or maybe it was steak fries. Either way it was not Friday so we were out of luck. Luckily I hadn't finished my bag of treats so I dined on them. The site of the Inn is now a campground. It is a nice, shady one but not the Lodge and
bungalow set up I was hoping for.

The lake seemed sunnier than I expected. It was a perfect day. Warm, but not hot. A nice breeze. I always pictured the lake as smaller with over hanging trees all over the shore. More like a New Hampshire lake. However it was big and open. Very pretty.

We decided to try to find Jule Ray's girlhood home. We searched all around the shore and saw nothing that looked like the picture in the companion. We went back out to the main road to see if we could access the other side of the lake when I spotted a driveway with two rocks at the end that looked like they had writing on them. "Hey you two, "I piped up from the back seat where I had been sent like the naughty non-vampire expert I am, "One of those rocks says 'Maud Hart Lovelace', Do you think it could be a clue?"

They agreed that it could very well be and we pulled over and piled out of the car. Sure enough it was Austin Park. There were poplar trees lining the driveway and a nice house at the end of the drive. I said I was going to go to the door and ask if I could tape the view of the lake. Nicole and
Maire said they were going to guard the car. Hmmmm....

I went to the door. it was open and I could hear the TV. I rang the bell and waited. No one answered the door. I shouted back down the driveway to Nicole and Maire (who were standing facing the road, with their hands casually behind their backs as of to say - "We are only paid to take her for a ride in the country when the men in the white coats say she is feeling
well enough to go.") that I was going to the lake side of the house to see if maybe someone was working in the yard from whom I could ask permission.

Here is where my morals and convictions were tested and found wanting. There was no one in the yard. But I REALLY wanted a picture of the bay window. So I stealthily turned on the video camera, threw caution to the winds, whipped off my lenscap and put the camera to my eye as I spun around 360 degrees to get the full (fast) panorama. Then I went back up the
driveway as if I had not just trespassed. I was comforted by the fact that when I
looked through the screen while I was waiting for someone to answer the door I
saw a wooden carving of what appeared to be Betsy Tacy and Tib on the kitchen
table. So I assume that whoever owns the house would be forgiving...

We drove back down to the water and I was thinking about the swimsuit Ihad tucked in my backpack. How many chances does one get to swim in Murmuring Lake in this lifetime? But did I really want to drive back to Mankato with wet hair? What in the world was I thinking? I asked Maire and Nicole if they minded if I went in for a dip and they did not at all. (I am sure they were thinking, "Thank goodness, now we don't have to keep dumbing down the conversation for her!")

So I went to the car and got my bathing suit out. Where to change?
Between the car doors seemed like the best idea. And then a little old man came by walking his poodle. And his poodle figured out what I was up to and decided to stare at me. So I waited. And the poodle waited. And the old man waited. And I waited. And the poodle waited. And the old man finally figured out that he looked like he was awaiting a strip show and dragged the poodle away... So I changed.

After giving specific videotaping instructions to Nicole ("From the
waist up only, please...") I ran into the water.

It was lovely. The sand was smooth, there were no little fish
carcasses, no rocks, the water was warmish from the hot weather. I did some handstands while Nicole took pictures. (one of which I am hoping to post to picturetrail if I can get it to upload after lunch...) I was so glad I decided to go in.

No one got lost on the ride home. Later I had a lovely dinner with
Nicole in a little Irish bar. Then I went back and had drinks while Guusje, Amy, Kristen W. and Michelle had a lovely dinner at the same place. THEN Amy, Kristen, Nicole and I planned the next convention based on Betsy and the Great World. And you had all better write to Amy to nag her to post the particulars, because it is spectacular!

Wednesday morning it was - Goodbye Mankato and I hate even typing the words...

But you can bet I will be back in 5 years!


  1. My Tacy is named Caty and she and I and her daughter Sierra will be at the convention. We're looking at the Monday Murmuring Lake adventure.

    Thanks for updating. I promise to make comments!

  2. Hello darling, it is I, your roommate, and the driver of our Convention car. I am totally going to Murmuring Lake on Monday, and what will you do without me? :) And even if transportation is not included (I think it is), I will drive us. Kathy and Kristin can sit in the back seat, and Kristin will navigate. All will be well.

    I know a meal is included, but no one said anything about swimming. I'm game if you are!

    xoxo Jen

  3. Swimming will be REQUIRED! We will have some handsome college men there, so you can bat your eyes and pretend you can't swim very far.

    I had seen the video but did not know the back story -- hilarious!

    It will only let me post as Anonymous, but my name rhymes with Badhika.

  4. I think I signed up for the Murmuring Lake trip on Sunday... didn't it say something about taking it on Sunday if you are going to attend the Twin Cities event? Maybe I'm confused. And maybe I can switch... it sounds too fun to miss ML with you guys!

    (the blog is great, Barb!)


  5. OK, that story is hilarious. I want to go to Murmuring Lake too! And I thought it was Sunday....I was thinking of Minneapolis on Monday.

  6. BTW Barb, keep up the great work, someone tweeted about the blog on twitter and I just "retweeted" it out to all my followers too. I started my blog two years ago and I know well the feeling of writing into the void. Keep on writing, people will come (blogging is much like building a field of dreams in that way ;)

  7. The Murmuring Lake lunch is offered Sunday OR Monday, so that people who need to leave early don't miss a thing! So sign up for whichever one you want to. At the time we started registration, there was talk that the Twin Cities tour would start on Monday afternoon (we were planning a boat ride on Lake Minnetonka to see the Japanese house and where Maud and Delos lived). Now I think the tour will be on Tuesday am (don't quote me!) so anyone can go either Sunday or Monday. At either time, you will definitely meet up with the spirit of the Rays and have a great lunch!

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  9. The transportation *is* included in the optional Murmuring Lake trip. Unless Badhika says otherwise, as she is our fearless leader, and makes all the wise decisions that affect our economical operation.

    I hope swimming is not REQUIRED, as the mere thought of changing into my suit between car doors is enough to send me into a swoon. (Also they are not near big enough for me to change into anything, except if I was Superwoman.)

    Steffi Smith

  10. Yes, you should go to Murmurming Lake! Bring a "skippy" bathing suit if you dare, or see if you can find a rowboat to rent and row yourself out onto the lake with a "fat notebook and several sharply pointed pencils" and take stock, as Betsy did in Betsy Was a Junior.

    My dad, who along with my mom has attended a couple of Betsy-Tacy conventions, still remembers going out to Point Pleasant, and seeing all the decorated tables and having a great fried chicken meal. He was utterly bemused and completely impressed with the whole event, and it created a lasting and happy memory!

  11. I hope all realize that Barb's story, delightful though it is, is a bit inaccurate when she hypothesizes about what Maire is thinking [I wont' speak for Nicole]...
    mostly I was thinking 'what a gorgeous day' and realizing how lucky I was to make the trip with 2 wonderful, intrepid women.

    Cheers, Maire

  12. I plan to bring a cup of salt to Murmuring Lake.

  13. I'll swim... but will remove my silk stockings underwater because of my Deep Valley modesty.