I promise you, our vacation was not nearly as long as the time it is taking me to post it! I am losing interest in this series, but how can I quit? We have not gotten to PlainJane's house yet, and oh dear, I AM late. She and her family just left our house!
After leaving my beloved North Dakota (beloved except, as one astute person pointed out, for its homeschooling laws, as we are wonderfully spoiled that way in AZ), we headed for Minnesota's North Shore. Lake Superior holds many fond memories for both my husband and me. When we first began to plan this trip, it was going to be a little family trip to Minnesota. By the time it was done, it was a BIG family trip! We were joined at beautiful Lake Superior shore by my in-laws and my husband's brother and sister and their families. Such fun we had! Here's a quick recap.
All the cousins on this side were together for the first time in... eight years. But two were not born yet back then, and one of those is a brand new little niece. We all got to know each other again! What a nice bunch of kids. (Look at all those BOYS!) My most techie child picked up all sorts of interesting information from her techie cousins, things like "jailbreaking" and cool things you can do with an iPhone. We played Pit, ate ice cream, grilled steaks, played in the water, slid down a mountain, rubber stamped post cards, talked, laughed, and all that fun stuff you do with family.
Ooops, they aren't all in that photo. Two girls and some adults missing.
We had two groups of hikers at Gooseberry Falls, the A team and the B team. The A team was for active teenagers, fit forty-some-year-olds, and some smaller ones with good endurance. The B team did a short little walk to the falls, collected a few rocks, walked back to the parking lot, and went to buy a pie. That's my kind of hiking. :D
We all went to see Split Rock Lighthouse. It has a very interesting history, and of course there are lots of shipwreck stories to be heard at Lake Superior. It is a most treacherous body of water. Remember the doomed Edmund Fitzgerald?
As a matter of fact, we visited several lighthouses:
We watched a fancy sailboat leave the harbor. (If I'd have written this two months ago I might remember what it's called.)
AND, for our first time ever, in spite of this being one of many trips to Duluth, we got to see the largest ore boat on Lake Superior come into the harbor. This made John Garrison's day.
Our girls talked their daddy into taking them to an alpine slide, and we had planned to do that in the Black Hills. That was before the van broke down and we were forced to reroute our travels. A quick Google search assured us it would still be possible -- in Minnesota! Who knew Minnesota had anything remotely alpine? If you ever decide to do this, don't think you can just buy the cheap package and be satisfied. Get the all day ticket. Of course, the best thing about all these Lake Superior adventures was the fact that all the relatives were with us. Emily was blessed with several big "brothers" to escort her down the slide.
The more prudent John Garrison entertained himself with his new niece, Elly.
Isn't he goofy? :D Emily did talk her Daddy into one ride, at the very end. The nice people at the ticket booth let him take his little girl at no charge. Later, while rubbing his aching back, he said he was glad he did not pay for that kind of treatment. I think alpine slides are for people with younger bodies.
We had lots of fun times. The best of it all was just being with people we love. ♥
Next stop, PlainJane's!