Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mini Vacation '09

We took a mini vacation on Monday and Tuesday of this week. I took the days off from daycare and Andy took the days off from all his various work things. We made sure that people knew we were going so they wouldn't call and we had some great, uninterrupted family time. We were planning on camping originally, but ended up just coming home each night because of cool nighttime temps near Lake Superior and the ease of simply camping at home. So we pitched the tent in the backyard, roasted hot dogs over the campfire, and slept in the tent at home. The girls thought it was a blast and I have to admit, it was a lot easier on me packing-wise.

Monday morning we woke up bright and early from all the birds. We had a quick breakfast, then headed up to Duluth, MN. Our first stop for the day was actually about 30 miles north of Duluth. Gooseberry Falls State Park is a place that's very near and dear to my heart. As a child, my family would go there every summer at least once to do some hiking and just take in the area. This was the first time that Mikayla and Lilly were there, and only Alayna's second time, and I'm glad to say they loved it too! The only unfortunate part of Gooseberry was that because of our current drought-like conditions, the falls weren't as spectacular as they can be. But we still had a great hike and saw some beautiful sights!
Middle and Lower Falls
Andy and I were at Gooseberry in Sept 2007 after weeks of heavy rain.
Here is a comparison shot of the middle falls then, with the falls raging!
Mikayla enjoying her lunch
The rest of the fam with their lunch on the shore of the river
Hiking along the trails
Distant shot of the middle and lower falls from another angle
Upper Falls
Mikayla, Lilly & Alayna in a cave opening

From Gooseberry, we headed into Duluth. As we approached the city, we saw a ship coming in, so we went down to Canal Park to watch it come in to port. The Adam E Cornelius was coming in with a load of rock for unloading. The girls loved seeing the ship come in and revelled at the size. Lilly's favorite part was when the ship blew it's horn and the lift bridge responded.

After seeing the ship, we decided to eat an early dinner at Gramma's Restaurant, which is right in Canal Park. We had a fabulous meal and great service, as well as the privilege of seeing a ship leave port from the window near our table! Once we finished our meal, we went to tour the William A Irvin, a ship that is now docked in Duluth permanently as a floating museum. The Irvin was once the flagship of US Steel on the Great Lakes and was retired in the 1940s. It was so neat to tour the ship and see all the various cabins, dining rooms, control areas, etc. The cargo holds were probably the most amazing due to their sheer size! Unfortunately, I didn't get many pictures while the on the ship because by this point, Mikayla was becoming very tired and a bit cranky.
The engine room of the Irvin
Inside one of the crew cabins
Touring the deck. Mikayla was peeking back at me and happy!

Once we left the Irvin, we did some shopping in Superior before heading home for the night. Mikayla was asleep before we were out of Superior proper, and Lilly was asleep only a few miles out. Alayna managed to stay awake for the entire drive, but she was lagging by the time we pulled into the driveway shortly after 8 pm. All the girls (Andy and I, too!) slept really well after so much walking and fresh air.

Tuesday morning we had a yummy breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon and hash browns, then headed out for a day of fishing. We borrowed Gramma and Grampa's boat and went to an area lake. The girls had so much fun! We didn't catch anything huge, or even big, but we caught almost 100 fish in the 4-5 hours we were on the lake. The girls had so much fun catching fish after fish after fish. They didn't care how big they were and that's what's so exciting. As long as you're catching fish, it's fun and keeps them interested.
Mikayla "driving" the boat
I caught the first fish of the day, but here's the first "kid" fish, caught by Lilly
One of the bass I caught
Alayna with one of her catches
Lilly with a lunker she caught!
Both the girls caught a fish at the same time, but Alayna's
was bigger and covered up Lilly's for the picture. :-(
There really are 2 fish there. (If you click on the pic and look closely...)
Mikayla got tired of fishing and coloring and took a nap
I have some video that I'll attempt to upload (Blogger doesn't always cooperate) and put in a post after this one. We had a great mini vacation and are ready to go back to the grind!

1 comment:

Heather Forcey said...

What a great idea for a mini vacation! Looks like you guys had a wonderful time. The falls are so pretty. Makes me want to head up to Yosemite to see the waterfalls.