up north

I remember when we went up north back in March and I tried writing these long posts about every day. I got bored with it and never even finished Saturday and Sunday, two of the days we had the most fun.

This time I will do a short & sweet recap. Or, rather, I will try.

Friday - left home at 9am, stopped in Madison for Patrick to get his haircut. Love State St. and happy to have some time down there. The trip went really well and we had a nice long lunch in Eau Claire at a school playground. Rolled into my dad's driveway at around 7pm. Long day, but good. It's so much better making the trip with Patrick...I actually got to read!

Saturday - Busy day. Party at 1:00 but there wasn't much to get ready. It was a beautiful morning so James, Grandpa and I went down 7 Bridges Road and into Lester Park for a while. Lester Park reminds me a bit of Gooseberry Falls, which I am dying to go back to. These places are what Minnesota is to me...water, trees & rocks. I am so happy when I am outside and even happier when there are rocks to be climbed on and water to listen to. I decided it's because some of my happiest childhood memories are of these things...camping, Canal Park, Gooseberry, Jay Cooke. It explains why my need to be at these places is so strong when I am at home, I think. Okay, enough psycho babble. I JUST LOVE IT, okay? :) And I loved seeing James climbing on fallen trees and rocks and feeling just as happy as I did. (my dad seemed to feel the same)

After our excursion we headed home to get changed for the party. Patrick's family arrived and we all sat around watching the kids and finally singing to Ruby and partaking in the cupcakes. It was a pretty quick party because the guest of honor needed her afternoon nap by around 3. Really a fun afternoon.

Next, my dad & I went down to see Kerri & Chris and their brand new baby boy. They were all doing great and Kerri looked beautiful. (She did share that Bobbi Brown concealer is her best kept secret for under eye circles...definitely gonna check that out!)

We drove home and rounded up the kids to go drop James at grandma's house for a sleep over. Patrick remarked that it felt like a mini vacation only having one child in the back of the van. We went to Shamrock for our favorite pizza and then home to put Ruby down. A lovely day.

On Sunday, my dad made us pancakes for breakfast...what a nice way to start the morning. I put Ruby down for her nap and when I came out I found Patrick out in the garage with my Dad. He was having fun helping him with a trim piece so I left to go get some coffee and stroll through Duluth Pack on Canal Park. It was windy and freezing and my favorite coffee shop, Amazing Grace, was packed. I decided to skip their baked goods but was regretting my decision as soon as I was on my way home.

When Ruby woke up we went down to my mom's to see her & our buddy. He was happy to see us but had had a really fun night with grandma. After a little while we went up to see my grandma. She was in such a good mood and really happy to see us all. My uncle Frank was also there and it was a good visit. Frank is so cute with James and will just show him anything he wants to see or let him take anything apart. He was a curious child, too, and likes to encourage that in James. After a while the kids were getting cranky so we left. James watched Calliou, a bribe so he would kiss my grandma goodbye, (can you believe I did that? It was worth it.) and my mom and I ate ice cream bars while we drove around and Ruby slept. Patrick met us at her house and helped her out with a few things. Another good day.

We got up Monday morning and packed it up. We were going to go back to Lester Park but it started raining so we said our goodbyes and left Duluth. We were barely through Superior when it cleared up and turned into a gorgeous but windy day. We made more stops on the way home to let the kids move around a little. Ruby woke up from her 2nd nap right as we were passing the Devil's Lake exit so we headed that way. It was very windy but hot and beautiful. James & Ruby had so much fun...Ruby loved the sand and water and James just ran up and down the beach, in and out of the water, singing and laughing. We got home around 7:30 and the kids were in bed by 8:30. Overall, a great trip...lots of fun and we got to see lots of family. It's also very good to be home even though I have a mountain of laundry to climb...the payback for taking 4 glorious days off from laundry duty. :)

I put a ton more pictures on flickr - 4 pages worth! (and I would have more pics of my mom, I have none, but she will never let me)


  1. Oh we love Gooseberry Falls too! I am really hoping that it will work for us to drive to Duluth for a little getaway with the kids this summer. I've never heard of Jay Cooke though...what is it?

  2. Jay Cooke is another Minnesota state park. Do a search for it...it's really a beautiful place. It's kind of famous for its' swinging bridge.

    I hope to make it to Gooseberry next time we're home. Love it!


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