Sunday, February 5, 2012

Up North

Before the recent snow, we were really in need of a dose of winter. The week after New Year’s it was 46° and we had no snow at all. Our good friends invited us up to their family cabin for the weekend for some snowmobiling and just hanging out. We always have a great time up at their cabin and each visit brings something different. In the summer we might find ourselves picking buckets full of the sweetest, biggest wild blueberries you've ever seen and baking them into pancakes, desserts and muffins or out on the pontoon in the middle of the Lake fishing for sunfish to fry up for supper. In the winter we're often found out snowmobiling across the frozen lakes and wooded terrain or cozied up in the sunroom reading a good book or playing a game with the kids. The evenings are almost always spent crowded around the table playing cribbage or poker. This visit, we were all in bed by 9:30 or 10:00 each night and were too tuckered out for card playing! Whatever it is we're doing, it's always a good way to "unplug" as there is barely cell phone service there, no telephone, no TV, and the only electricity comes from a generator.

The drive to the cabin is about 4 hours, and the temperature usually drops by at least 10° as we make our way north of Duluth to the Superior National Forest area near Isabella. In Duluth, there was still no more snow than we had back home, but as we made our way out of Two Harbors, the snow started piling up. It was a lovely weekend of relaxation... as much as you can relax with three little ones keeping you on your toes! 

We had quiet time for snuggling on the couch with the Daddies and reading books.   

We had a few little ventures out of the cabin to have lunch at some of our favorite places. like the Trestle Inn, where you can order a Trainwreck Burger with Casualties on which the toppings may include cheese, bacon, a bratwurst patty, onion rings, and a fried egg.

Since we always love to stop in at the Trestle Inn when we're up there, we thought we should get a quick little family photo in front of their awesomely personalized woodstove. Bet ya didn't expect two little kidlets in our family photo. These two friends are simply inseparable, so we ended up with both of them in this picture!

Of course you can't go to Minnesota's most wild winter wonderland with out snowmobiles, and we wouldn't even think about it! What's more fun than seeing how high off the ground you can get your sled and still land facing up or being the first to ride on the freshly fallen snow through the magical beauty of the Superior National Forest?

Gavin stayed close to the cabin while on the snowmobile and I promise we didn't send him flying through the air, but he sure loves to ride with us and didn't want to get off the sled!  

We even made the one-hour drive (in the truck)  down one of the area's most beautiful, but quiet roads to Ely, MN for some shopping and lunch. We didn't see another vehicle for an entire 45-minutes on the way there.

While in Ely, we stopped into Piragi's Outfitters Retail Store for a little winter weather wear, where Gavin got a new pair of kids smartwool socks. I don't worry about his feet getting cold when he is wearing his regular winter boots and is just outside for normal play, but the smartwool socks sure keep his feet warm inside his rain boots when it's still cold outside, but too wet to wear regular boots. They're also great inside his ice skates, which have no insulation of their own.  

The best part about Piragi's though, is the Moose up in the upstairs bookstore of course! You can't go that far north and not see a moose, afterall! If you get to hug one, that's extra special! 

Did you hug your moose today?

Gavin and Sloane couldn't get enough of this guy and kept taking turns hugging him! It was pretty cute! They also have an awesome selection of outdoor-themed books, from survival books to children's stories.

After stopping into a few other shops and galleries, including the Mukluks Store, we sat down for lunch before heading back to the cabin.

A weekend with these three adorable travelers is both exhausting and exciting! We had two three-year old CLOWNS and one sweet little snuggler!

My favorite part about being up in this beautiful, wild forest area is going for a walk on a mild, snowy winter day. Gavin and Sloane loved that part too, and spent more time eating snow and making snow angels than they actually did walking!

The Daddies were anxious to keep moving and didn't think they had time to dawdle, so they sure kept the kids on their toes and coaxed them along. Sloane made the best of it and ate her snow while she walked!

What's better than a snow angel? A little boy angel! My favorite kind!

We all had a good time up at the cabin! It seems though, that no matter where you go or how comfortable you are and how much fun you have, there really is no place like home. After a few days of fun, we were all happy to be back in our own comfy beds, and I was happy to climb into a hot bubble bath!

 'til next time! 


Big Sis said...

I'm guessing the snowmobiling actually happens in the winter, not the summer. Looks like you guys had a great time sightseeing and enjoying a real MN winter!

Erin J said...

Oops! I'll fix that!