Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Wrap up: Part One

We had a pleasant and relaxing Christmas break. My mom came to visit her grandbabies for the first time in almost 2 years. We suprised Ben. Before he left for school he thought we were going to get grandma from the airport when he got home, but in reality she was waiting around the corner in the dining room when he got off the bus. It was awesome.

We took a few small advetures during my mom's 2 week stay. My favorite was a trip up to the Duluth area. On the way up we passed through Moose Lake. I had to get a picture. I have a long time love of moose, and even though there aren't any moose left in the Moose Lake area, the town is not short of cute moose things.

We stayed at Duluth hotel, 'The Edge' with a water park. The place was not crowded at all. Had a nice short lazy river, a cute little kids area that dumped buckets of water over their heads, and some huge slides. This is dad and Hunter coming down the big slide.

We had a yummy dinner at Grandma's on the short front in downtown Duluth. The decor in the restaurant was adorable.

That night we went to Bentleyville, and free outdoor light display. I wasn't prepared for how awesome it was! Free entry, happy people, free cookies, coffee, and hot cocoa handed out by the most spirited people.

I thought I'd died and gone to heaven when the kids were chomping on free popcorn and we rounded the corner to find a couple dozen people around a few dozen fire pits roasting free marshemellows handed to you on roasting rods. How perfect?

Despite the chilly temps in the teens, we stayed in line to see Santa, and the kids got a free hat and candy canes.

On the way out we spotted Mrs. Claus. Grandma Anita had told Hunter and Ben all week that her secret identity was Mrs. Claus. They believed her, so much so that wanted her to kiss Santa when we got to see him. Well, fortunately they forgot about the kiss when Santa time came, and just asked for their toys, and wished him a Merry Christmas. However, seeing Mrs. Claus Hunter glared at Grandma, "I tot you hed (said) you were Mrs. Claw (Claus)?" His face in the this picture says it all. He was pissed.

The next morning we woke up, ate, and drove up the coast of Lake Superior. We enjoyed seeing lighthouses, the icy rocks at the waters edge, the cabins, and lake shore homes, birch forests. So beautiful! We stopped or lunch at a little diner called Annie's- home of famous pies. We food was excellent, and the pie was also.

Just up the road from there we found Gooseberry Falls. The kids waited in the car with dad becuase it was super icy, but Grandma and I headed out. Grandma stayed behind at the gift shop, and I put my best foot forward, heading out on the paths over the slick ice to see the falls. It was so quiet and serene.

I was afraid I would fall, lots of steps caked in a sheet of inch of ice, but seeing the falls was totally worth it. The water was frozen solid and running only underneath. The sound was incredible! I could have stayed there all day, but I had to get back to the car.

Our last stop was up in the Iron Mountains to the little town of Finland. There is a resort up here that we want to stay at sometime, and we wanted to just go up and see the litte comunity built by Finns.

I was delighted when we went into the little grocery store and when we asked the woman, "Are there moose around here?" She said, "Oh yes." She explained you see Moose most often between Finland and the next town down the the road, mostly near sunset. Needless to say, I will be heading back up there soon.

Finally, we rode a train through downtown Duluth to have The Polar Express read to us, and see Santa (again). This time, the boys asked Santa what he wanted for Christmas, and what his favorite cookie was. He said he wanted cookies and milk, and his favorite was chocolate.

I have a quite a few more pictures to share... so more to come.

No comments: