When I say I’m going to a cabin at a resort on “Lake Five” in Minnesota for my summer vacation, my Kansas City friends laugh. Lake Five? Really? After I’m asked if Lake Five is near the Mall of America (no) and if the mosquitoes are really as big as they say (maybe ...), I try to explain why a week at a cabin in Minnesota is the best summer vacation ever.

First, there’s the beauty of the place. The A-frame cabins are tucked back in the trees. They are simple and comfortable with decks perfect for reading and lofts perfect for kids. The lake (officially named Five Lake) is clean and cool. There are bright, warm days; thunderstorms at night; green fields and gravel roads; and loons and owls. There is no Wi-Fi or television, which leaves time for early morning kayaking, hammock naps, evening campfires and stargazing.

Then, there’s tradition. Located near Detroit Lakes, Five Lakes Resort is family owned and much the same year after year. Our family traditions endure over the decades as well: Dad drives to town early each morning for doughnuts and the newspaper, there’s an annual scavenger hunt, swimming, bike boats, puzzles, and the Tuesday night hootenanny at the main lodge on a nearby lake.

Finally, there’s family. I was in high school (36 years ago) when we started going to Lake Five from Sioux Falls, S.D., as a family of six. My dad fell in love with the place, so now we are three generations and 22 people, descending on the lake from Sioux Falls, Kansas City, Denver, South Bend, Ind., and St. Paul. The adults reconnect, and the grandkids form bonds that will last a lifetime.

So, yes — a cabin on Lake Five in Minnesota. Really. My favorite week of the year.

Sheila McGreevy, Lenexa, Kan.