Sunday, October 18, 2015

Best family trip to the North Shore

Before I get to the details of our long weekend vacation - we'll do a little catch up. A couple of weeks ago I went to Las Vegas for a conference and met Elvis and won an Amazon Echo (besides learning some cool things for work). Then two friends met me in Vegas for a fun-filled weekend. The three of us have been going on girls trips (the first one also to Vegas) since 1999! We saw a show, laid by the pool, gambled, ate great food, and yes - went on a helicopter ride!
10-4 - I'm riding in a helicopter!

The very next weekend it was Mike's turn to get away and he went on a guy's 4-wheeling trip to Hayward, WI.
The kids and I had a lot of fun that weekend. We went to the library, saw the Chanhassen homecoming parade, and went to the MN Transportation Museum in St. Paul.
Who knew the library could be so exciting!? (Hadley's anticipating the candy she'll get at the parade.)
This girl is so photogenic (am I biased?)

We also made a stop at the park.

Just a little dirty
 Miles is still loving karate and is working hard at it. He recently earned his gold belt.
 All of this excitement is truly exhausting.

This weekend we went on our second annual Fall trip to the North Shore. We love to explore so this time we stayed at a new place - Cove Point Lodge, in Beaver Bay. We left Thursday morning and anticipated being in Duluth by at least noon. About 30 minutes into our trip we got a flat tire so made a pit stop at Tires Plus where we ended up getting two new tires. While we waited we stopped at Once Upon a Child and found some good deals and came up with Hadley's Halloween costume concept (and bought the accessories). Ninety minutes later, our original plan out the window, we made our way north - stopping at Banning State Park for a picnic in the woods. Next we stopped at Hawks Ridge in Duluth. We didn't see that many birds (although the bird enthusiasts were excited looking through their huge lenses) we saw a great view of the city and Lake Superior. Late that afternoon we pulled into the Lodge, went swimming, and out to dinner.
Hawks Ridge, Duluth
Hawks Ridge
We saw two rainbows on Thursday. Here's the view out our room in Beaver Bay.

Friday we bundled up and went to a scenic point at Palisades Head, then did a two mile hike in Tettegouche State Park. I love hiking and I had to talk the kiddos into two miles. I have a plan for next year and am aiming for a 5 mile trek. Although everyone had their moments on the hike - the surroundings were so beautiful - it was worth it. That afternoon we stopped at a little Agate Museum where Miles was just fascinated with agates. That evening we swam in the pool, ate at the nicest place (it was really good) in Beaver Bay - The Lemon Wolf, and listened to a local Minnetonka author read her book "I Love You To Pieces" and other selections at a children's storytime at the lodge. Miles and Hadley absolutely loved meeting Pamma the author and couldn't wait to say good morning to her at breakfast the next day.
Palisades Head

Throwing rocks into the water at the rock bar where the Baptism River meets Lake Superior in Tettegouche.
We made it to our destination on the hike - Cascades waterfall!

Saturday we packed up, hiked to the point at Cove Point Lodge, went to see the falls at Gooseberry Falls and stopped in Two Harbors to search for agates (Miles and I each got a pocketful that Miles says we need to do "diagnostics" on to find out if they are real agates. He also wants to buy a tool to polish his rocks.) Then we drove to Duluth. In Duluth we went to Bent Paddle Brewery (crazy enough it's a family friendly place), checked into our hotel in Canal Park, went swimming, and had dinner at the Duluth Grill (featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives).
Enjoying a small hike near Cove Point Lodge.
Cove Point Lodge
My photos are a bit out of order from here on out - tired kids (and tired mama).
Playing Uno at Bent Paddle
We played many serious games.

This boy LOVED exploring at Gooseberry Falls. He led us all over the waterfall and the walkways around the visitor center.

This morning after breakfast we explored Canal Park, saw the lift bridge rise (on this trip we saw three big, 1000 foot ships), and went swimming one last time. When I asked the kids their favorite parts of the trip they said playing games (we also played Trouble) and going swimming. My favorite parts (besides everything) were spending time together as a family in nature.
Exploring in Duluth