Tag : vacation

3 posts

I missed T stands for Tuesday last week while Mini-me and I were up north enjoying time with family at a resort. There were 16 of us which is a lot smaller group than it has been over the last few years.

resortIt’s been a long standing tradition for the maternal side of Mr. G’s family to gather at a resort for a week each summer. The first few years we were married the yearly gathering was at a small resort in Wisconsin. We went for a few days when we could but after the resort changed ownership the tradition faded. That is until about 4 years ago when the group gathered in Alexandria, MN.

We tried out a new resort this year and don’t regret it at all. It’s in a beautiful yet fairly remote area…as in there are no decent sized towns within an hours drive.  We were a very short distance from the southern edge of the Chippewa National Forest.

resort

The resort sat on a small bay of a much larger lake. It was very quiet with little boat traffic.

resort

Just the occasional Loon.

resort

There was a great beach volleyball court for Mini-me to practice her skills. She gave me and my BIL quiet the workout playing with her. Neither of us are sporty in the least.

Each year we have a themed potluck gathering. This years theme was kind of vague…Greece/Olympus. Honestly, I didn’t really “get it” other than the food.  I brought a Mediterranean salad.

resort

Typically everyone goes all out dressing up, menu planning and decorating according to the theme. There was Gyros, hummus, kabobs, salads, crockpots of goodies, homemade wine and cider plus so much more.

resort

So much food!!!!

resort

The kids enjoyed games.

resort

And of course S’mores around the fire.

We aren’t sure what the plan is for next year yet but I’m sure at least Mini-me and I will go if time allows.

Tuesday has an appt. and back to school shopping for sure…who knows what else we’ll end up doing. The summer is quickly fading away.

What are you doing today?

This past weekend Mini-me and I went on a little adventure back to my old stomping grounds…well at least summer stomping grounds. We were fortunate to be able to stay on two different lakes in the Alexandria, MN area.

We first traveled to my cousin’s cabin.  It’s been about 22 years since I’ve set foot on the property but instantly I was flooded with memories from my childhood. I spent countless weekends here with my cousins growing up until my parents bought a cabin about 10 miles from there.

dog on shore

We arrived at the lake about the same time as a little cloud burst. Mini-me went wading as soon as the rain cleared. Rogue was there to supervise. She is so pretty. I wish the photo showed the expressiveness eyes.

After supper it was time for some water sports. Since our side of the lake was pretty choppy, we traveled the mile across the lake to the calm waters to try out some of the new equipment. wakeboarding

This is another cousin just about to pop out of the water on the wakeboard. I thought I got one of her on top of the water but I was mistaken.  Both her and her husband were very skilled at this. I’ve never tried and wasn’t about to…although I did give waterskiing a go again. Since I am 25+ years out of practice I thought getting up on two skis would be easier than one like I used to do. Now I’m thinking one ski might have been a better choice. I got close to getting up but my skis went apart and I went face first into the water and swallowed/inhaled what felt like half the lake on my attempt and decided I better not continue. No one snapped a photo of my valiant attempt so you’ll just have to believe me. Honestly I was hoping me getting in the water and trying something would inspire Mini-me to try. She was a little timid and likely a little freaked out after seeing mom face plant it in the water. I did remember how to haul myself back up over the side of the boat in deep water though, so I hadn’t forgotten everything.

After a quick trip back to the cabin, change of clothes and passengers (including two dogs) we headed back out for a little lake tour at sunset.

dogs in boat

sunset

sunset

It was simply beautiful. After that we had a bonfire including s’mores…yum! Mini-me and I slept in the loft of the cabin just like I did as a kid…only now there are better mattresses…thank goodness.

In the morning I grabbed a cup of coffee, went out to the dock and sat…in my jammies…with my feet in the water and listened to the loons calling and the water lapping at the shore. I can’t think of a better way to start your day.

morning dock sitting

Eventually Mini-me and I headed into town to explore while we waited for the next leg of our weekend adventure.

Big Ole

We went to see Big Ole. He is now nestled in a small park next to a bike trail about a block from his original home which was at the end of the main street. The 28′ statue is always great for a photo op.

We did a little shopping and found these fun tea items…

tea fun

tea fun

The manatee or manatea was by far our favorite. He just cracks me up every time I look at him.

I also picked up some fabric. I was looking for some neutrals but then I stumbled upon these fun ones and just couldn’t pass up some fat quarters.

fun fabric

I really love this one. Fabric dedicated to Minnesota and all the things we love about our great state.

fun fabric

After shopping and lunch at a local cafe..sorry no photos…we drove back out of town to the second lake. The weather was not very cooperative. I was lucky to get this photo while we waited for our resort cabin to be ready. I think this was the most sunshine and the calmest water we saw until we had to leave for home.

resort

My in-laws were planning to stay all week but we had to head home since all the school activities kicked off yesterday for both kids. Busy, busy day and days ahead. This summer just flew by!!

Today I’ll be taxi driver, laundry fairy, accountant, personal shopper and chef just to name a few.

What are you doing today?

Welcome to T stands for Tuesday.T stands for Tuesday_200

I’m going to warn you ahead of time… you better grab a fresh cuppa whatever you’re drinking today because I’ve got a lot of photos to share.

We traveled 1318 miles (2121 km), crossing two states, in 4 days. We spent a total of 25 hrs in the van. Remarkably there were no fights or bickering until we were within 5 miles of home.1-windfarmWe saw numerous wind farms we saw along the way. This one is in SW Minnesota.2-SDCrossing the boarder in South Dakota. Kind of a boring sign if you ask me. We honestly almost missed it.3-wall signNext stop Wall Drug. This is just one of hundreds and hundreds of signs along I-90.

Actually we made a couple of stops before Wall Drug, such as a drive by of the Corn Palace in Mitchell even though it is closed while some restoration is done on the domes.  At least we saw it.4-wall drugWe ate a very late lunch in Wall. It was super busy since it was the week preceding the Sturgis Bike Rally. We had hoped that we’d miss all that traffic but they started showing up about a week early.5-camp disappointmentThis sign sort of said it all for the Wall Drug stop. Camp Disappointment. Too busy, poor service, and no paper in the restrooms…none. Lovely. But if in SD you have to stop at Wall! Just not near Bike Week. 🙂6-cabinWe finally made it to our home away from home. We were fortunate to have the other side of the duplex empty the entire time we were there.7-coffee and ducksLittle J and I fed the ducks early the next morning before we left for Mount Rushmore. Note my coffee cup on the picnic table.
Two days later we saw a sign on this side of the lake asking people NOT to feed the wildlife. Whoops.

After a hearty breakfast we were on to Rushmore… 10-road to rushmoreWe ended up behind this motor home that had a long license plate such like one I associate with European countries. We lost track of it once before we even got through the gate.11-rushmore entranceWe saw plates from all over the country both here and on I-90. I’d estimate that we saw 3/4 of the states in the lower 48 and several Canadian Provinces in the 4 days were gone.12-Mt Rushmore

12a-closeupI’ve visited Mount Rushmore many times over the years but have never walked the Presidential trail before. We got so amazingly close. 13-Keystone bikesAgain with so many bikes…we decided to skip stopping in the tourist trap area of Keystone. Later that same day we visited Cosmos Mystery Area, Dinosaur Park, Black Hills Caverns,  Chapel in the Hills and stopped for groceries. Whew! No wonder we were tired. Plus the kids and I went in the pool at the end of the day.

The next morning we decided to head to Custer State Park. As we entered rounded the bend towards the visitors center we encountered a bit of a road block.

16-Custer state parkAbout 200 or so bison were hanging out on and along the road. Males, females and calves all together. The bison were in rut.

17-offical greetersThis one was very interested in sniffing all the vehicles as they went by.

We took a 2 hour Jeep tour through the park seeing areas that aren’t accessible to the general public.

21-Custer Jeep ride

I think this was probably my favorite part of the whole trip. Our guide happened to be the lady who owned the tour company. She was amazing knowledgeable. 22-prairie dogWe saw prairie dogs…

23-mountain bluebirdmountain blue birds…

24-big horn sheepand bighorn sheep.

After spending a lot more time than expected in Custer, we went to Rushmore Cave then back to our cabin for supper. We decided to explore the park that was on the other side of the lake  until it was nearly dark. It was a beautiful evening.

In the morning we packed up to head for home via the Badlands.

25-badlands

26-painted layers27-above the painted layersThere really isn’t a bad view in this whole park. 28-rattlesnake shakeNow why in the world would I show you this… Well, there is a story to this photo.  As we walked to the end of this overlook Mr. G had mentioned that he thought these raised boardwalks would be a perfect place for rattlesnakes to rest in the shade. As we got about half way back we heard the telltale rattle. The kids were gone like a shot and wouldn’t get back out of the van for the next few stops.  29-end of the journeyWe finally got them to emerge for a final little trek. Little J would go past the sign that said beware of rattlesnakes. I have to admit I wasn’t terribly excited about doing that either after hearing one. Blech…gives me goose bumps just thinking about it again.

I hope I didn’t bore you with our road trip photos.  We took about 900 photos with our 2 cameras plus a few videos.

Sorry that I never made it around to anyone last week….we were too busy traveling. I had my post scheduled and was able to use some wifi long enough to link up at Elizabeth’s blog.

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