As I think I have mentioned before, my dream vacation is to go to a tropical island, preferably in one of those "over-water bungalows."

As I think I have mentioned before, my dream vacation is to go to a tropical island, preferably in one of those "over-water bungalows."

This is the vacation fantasy that I dream about when waiting in line at the DMV or trying desperately to be patient when behind someone who forgot to write the bin numbers down for their bulk items at the grocery store.

I close my eyes and imagine that I am relaxing in a hammock, cold pineapple-flavored drink in hand, while listening to the waves of turquoise tropical waters. Also, in my vacation fantasy I have the figure of a swimsuit model and my child is amazingly able to amuse himself for hours playing in the sand, a reassuringly safe distance from the ocean waves.

I had a week of vacation time recently. My mind wanted to go to Bora Bora, but my bank account told me in no uncertain terms that I actually really wanted to go camping. Unfortunately, my bank account wears the pants in this family and pretty much gets to dictate all our vacation destinations.

I asked my boyfriend, Eric, if he'd like to go camping with me and my son, Silas. Eric is still recovering from his knee injury and told me that if he slept in a sleeping bag on the ground he'd require a tow truck to get him back up to his feet. After a little research I realized that for less than the cost of getting a tow truck up into the mountains we could probably rent a little cabin instead. Eric's knee and my bank account did some last-minute negotiations, and we ended up staying at the cabins alongside Hyatt Lake.

When I was growing up, my parents frequently took us up to the mountain lakes for day trips and for camping, so I'm pretty sure that I've been to Hyatt Lake before, but I honestly can't remember it. I think I spent most of my mountain lake days as a child at Lake of the Woods instead.

Our cabin didn't have a hammock, or tropical drinks, but we did have a nice loft where Silas played and slept, and a gas stove where we made our s'mores — since the fire danger level was too high for us too build an actual campfire.

There were no waves, but I did get to relax in a floatie while listening to Silas splash around in the shallows. Unlike swimming in a tropical ocean I didn't have to worry about sharks, though I was bitten by something big under the water.

Silas told me he had just seen a giant lake shark swim back under the surface, but the bite pattern looked suspiciously like that of a 9-year-old human boy. On one of our evening excursions Silas and I saw a snake swimming through the water in the lake, or possibly it was just a very small lake shark.

A couple days at Hyatt Lake were extremely relaxing. We all came back a little sunburned, and Silas and I came back with more than just a few mosquito bites. Silas and I probably got bit more than Eric (because of his injured knee he didn't participate in our evening walks quite as frequently).

Though Silas says that the mosquitoes just like me and him more because we're related. That could be just as true as my explanation.

We didn't have to wait in long lines at airports, try to keep track of passports, or learn a foreign language. There were no tropical drinks, but no post-tropical drink headaches either.

We relaxed, hung out, and managed to finish our vacation without feeling like we needed another vacation just to recover from the first.

Zoe Abel finished her vacation at the lake without any major disasters or requiring the services of a tow truck driver. Now that she's back from her successful vacation you can contact her at