Refreshing Up North

If you read this post back in May, you’ll certainly understand why our family believes the only thing better than kicking off summer with that fabulous trip up north was going on a second trip up north at the end of summer! We looked forward to it for months, and last week we headed off with hiking boots, sweatshirts, sleeping bags and fishing poles in tow.

Our first stop for gas was Hinkley. And we just had to buy a loaf of delicious fresh baked wheat bread at Tobies Restaurant. Mmmm. Their bread is so tasty it converted my picky “I-only-like-white-bread” eater into a brown bread fan in seconds flat. It’s that tasty. Their bakery is also world famous for its carmel rolls, but I can’t yet vouch for that claim since I haven’t eaten many carmel rolls.

Next stop was Edgewater Resort in Duluth. We stayed two nights there, enjoying their indoor waterpark and their outdoor heated pool that overlooks Lake Superior. Even in August, Duluth is not known as a likely destination for outdoor swimming, but Michael and I are now among the select few who can say we got sunburned swimming in Duluth! Don’t worry, the girls wore sunscreen the whole afternoon and we really were only lightly pink. Linnea enjoyed learning to do underwater flips; she can do three in a row before she has to come up for air. She also mastered jumping into the pool like a cannon ball. That was fun to watch! Laurel played “mermaid” and enjoyed spending lots of time underwater.

By far the biggest highlight of our time in Duluth was riding through Canal Park in a horse-drawn carriage.

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Our white horse was named Sid. Linnea beamed the entire time; words cannot express how overjoyed she was! Laurel also enjoyed the carriage ride.

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Michael greatly appreciated seeing the huge ship that came through the lift bridge. Nearby, we had a delicious dinner at Grandma’s and did a little shopping, too.

We met our friends in Grand Marais and they cooked us another tasty meal right on the rocky shoreline of Lake Superior.

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It was the perfect spot for collecting sea glass and rocks and searching for agates. We gathered up countless treasures to bring home from our sea-side picnic!

After a few stops in Grand Marais, we headed on to the cabin. Our time at there was so peaceful and relaxing. Linnea got to sleep in the middle bunk of the three built-in bunk beds. She was pretty thrilled about that.

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It rained much of the time we were there, and that made everything all the more cozy and laid back. We ate lots of s’mores and spent lots of time in front of the fireplace.

One morning for a late breakfast our friends graciously treated us to an all-you-can-eat Lumberjack Breakfast. Everyone snuggled beneath blankets, umbrellas and raincoats as the horse-drawn wagon took us to and from the cook shack in the lightly falling rain. 

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I felt like Laura Ingalls riding to town for the first time. I love the sound of trotting horses in the rain. They were huge, Belgian work horses, very beautiful and strong. But what I cannot stop thinking about is the huge heap of homemade biscuits. And the sourdough pancakes were piled so high; they were incredibly tasty, too! It was quite a feast and quite a blessing indeed! Thank you again, B and K!

Once the rain stopped, we dashed off to pick wild raspberries. Raspberries have been Linnea’s favorite food since she was 2-years-old, and this was her first time ever to pick them. Somehow she reminded me of Gretel, tromping into the woods to gather berries.

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She got pretty exasperated when I tried taking her picture. “Mom, I am picking berries and you are distracting me when I have to smile for a picture!” Laurel also found berry-picking quite delightful. She had her own little dish and found a stick to stir her berries.

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When we loaded up to leave, her berries were mostly mashed. After a short ride in the van, Laurel’s dish of mashed berries was empty, and around her mouth was an unusual reddish stain. We had lots of berries with dinner that night!

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As things began to dry off outside, the girls loved playing and exploring in the woods near the water.

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Laurel adopted this “purple rock” while playing mermaid, again, and she kept begging us to bring it home. Maybe when she’s big enough to carry it!

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On the way home we stopped in Lutsen to check out the alpine slide at the largest downhill ski area in the Midwest. We opted wait a year or two for the slide — Laurel is still too young to enjoy it. Instead we took the gondola/mountain tram up 1,000 feet.

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What breathtaking views of the Sawtooth Mountain Range, the Poplar River and Lake Superior! Michael could not stop talking about how beautiful the area was.

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We will have to go back in the winter so he can ski and again in the summer for the alpine slide!

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