It's my life and I love it...most of the time.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Reflections of a "Girls Trip"

(Written 7/21/2011, just after our trip.)

I find myself at my parents for a down day, before having to make the 10 hour drive back home. I have just completed a girl trip with my mom and aunt to the North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota. This would be a trip to test me, as I planned it to not be planned. The only thing set in stone was when we would leave and where we would stay the first two evenings. Everything else was completely up to happenstance; in other words, totally against my nature.
I was a little anxious as I left town. Would we all get along, would I have enough patience, would I be able to go with the flow? I am thankful that last month I had a bit of a trial run. We were on vacation with family friends the Lambs, and they planned everything. I had no control (or it felt that way), and had not researched anything. With the exception of two small melt downs, it went well. I was now ready to take on two 60+ year old family members. This is not the first time I have travelled with my aunt. I don’t believe I have travelled with my mom since the summer before my senior year.
Day one found us leaving bright and not terribly early, around 8:00. One of the things I reiterated several times was that we were on no time schedule, and could stop anytime and anywhere we felt like. This trip was all about my mom, with second place to my aunt. After missing a turn, we used the GPS to find our way, and before we knew it (not really, it is about a 4-5 hour drive) we arrived in Duluth, Minnesota. I had selected a nice hotel, right on the banks of Lake Superior complete with boardwalk. It was so interesting to watch the boats come in, and the bridge rise to let the tall ships in. As we watched the sun set over the water, we could hear the stringed quartet playing at the hotel next to us. It was such a relaxing evening.

The next day we continued our journey up the North Shore of Lake Superior. We chose the scenic drive, which included a lot of trees and glimpses of the lake. As we approached Two Harbors, we were ready to enjoy some of the local sights. We quickly found an old depot next to the harbor. Down the way, we arrived at the lakes oldest working lighthouse. It was especially interesting to watch the ship that had docked early that morning to take on a cargo of ore pellets. As the weather was unusually humid, we were ready to get back in the air conditioned car and head towards our destination for the day.

With a few stops along the way to take in waterfalls and marinas, we arrived in Grand Marais, a mere 40 minutes from the Canadian border. I loved this small village! After a nice lunch at A Sisters Place, we checked into our hotel directly across from the harbor and checked out the shopping. We strolled the streets absorbing the sounds and smells of the shore. Included in these sounds were dozens of sea gulls – which drove my aunt nuts! I loved listening to them. As the sun set, the temperature fell to just right for sitting and enjoying the water.

The following morning brought an extremely enjoyable breakfast. I was intrigued by the “Shore Potatoes” that were on the menu to accompany my Krab (sic) Cake Eggs Benedict. I couldn’t help laughing when they arrived and discovered this specialty of the house is what we often refer to as “Funeral Potatoes” or “Church Potatoes”.  It should be no surprise that they were very good. I felt a bit like I was having dinner, but the poached egg reminded me that it was indeed breakfast. Over breakfast we discussed whether we would continue the drive to the shore on the Wisconsin side, or just continue our stay in the area. Now don’t be shocked, but I willingly went along with the idea we would see if there were any vacancies along the way and try to stay in the area another night. As we passed by a resort just outside of Two Harbors, we saw a vacancy sign, made a call, and before we knew it we had a place for the night. In fact, it ended up being the nicest facility during the trip, for the least amount of money! We were so glad that we stayed in the area. We enjoyed eating at Betty’s Pies (Yes, fabulous pie) – twice! We did resist having pie for breakfast during the second visit, even as others around us did. We also enjoyed some more shopping downtown. And the haze lifted long enough to go back to Split Rock Lighthouse to get some beautiful shots.

Lest you think the entire trip was about sleeping, shopping, and food, (and it pretty much was) we also enjoyed talking about anything and everything. But what’s talked about on a girl trip, stays on a girl trip. ;-)
This brings us to our last day, the trip home. No one wanted to go back, and we did toss around staying gone another day. However, I did want to make sure I spent some time with my dad before we had to head back to Kansas. We did have one more objective to reach. Actually I did, my aunt and mom just went along with it. It is extremely hard for me to be so close to a state and not make a stop there to mark it off my map. So on the way home, we searched for somewhere to stop in Wisconsin. We found some waterfalls in a Wisconsin State Park, and made one last stop before heading back to moms. Now I can cross it off! It had killed me to be so close to Canada and not be able to go. This wasn’t quite the same as going to another country, but it helped ease the pain.

The drive back across the mid-section of Minnesota is not the most exciting (sorry Minnesota), but soon enough we were back in Hendricks, Minnesota. Our adventure was over. We did do a little more shopping the next day in downtown Hendricks, went to a flower show, and attended a pie social; but none of that compared to the beautiful sights we saw, nor the company we shared. I wonder where the next Girls Trip will be. No matter where we go, or who else joins us, I’m sure it will be fabulous fun.

1 comment:

  1. My sisters and I do a girls trip every summer and have enjoyed them so much. this reminded me of our fun! Minnesota is one of the states I have not gotten to visit, and your pics and travel log really make me want to go sooner rather than later. rochelle