Independence Day: North Shore, MN
Zach and I went to Duluth, MN for the long (thank goodness!) weekend of the 4th. Zach has a long-time friend that he visits every year up there, and this year I got to tag along! The last two summers that we have been dating, I have been tied up with parade duty for my old job. This year I was FREEEEEEEE!
We left after work on Thursday. Cornfields turned into tall pines and we finally rolled into the bay area of Duluth around 11. The town wraps around Lake Superior. This side is pretty blue-collar, lots of factories and ship yards.
Bryan and Lisa live in a cute house in a quiet neighborhood on the north end of the town. There's a little neighborhood coffee shop, fly shop, and yarn shop down the block. We woke up to half naked 2 1/2 year old twins, Henry and Evy. The day started with time on the rocky beach close to their house.
Something I really enjoyed about spending time with the Wentworths is that they make sure their twins are really well taken care of-they go slow enough if they are tired and need time or need to get inside because it's so hot-but! they also just do whatever they normally do together and bring their kids along. So we all just hung out like normal couples do, but with kids. And having a twin gives you an automatic play partner, so really we all just watched them play on the shore for a couple of hours.
Then we headed downtown Duluth. The streets are full of bars, restaurants, and shops laying next to the bay and the shipyard. Before lunch we browsed Duluth Pack. We ate lunch from this amazing salmon sandwich shop called North Waters Smokehaus. I had the Sitka Sushi sandwich!
We sat near the Pier and I ate my salmon, cilantro, and wasabi goodness before we went home and took naps.
That night the kids went to sleep, Bryan made us martinis as we grilled, and we ended the night around the fire pit listening to Zach and Bryan talk about high school shenanigans.
The next morning Zach and I got up and drove along the north shore up to a little diner. The highway is littered with cafes, cabins, and state parks. We stopped at Tettegouche State Park and hiked 8.3 miles! We used our new Oboz hiking boots and Darn Tough socks. The park holds the tallest waterfall in the state which we hiked to and then beyond. At the bottom of the mountain is a tiny bay opening from the lake and its beautiful. And even better, it’s amazingly chilly and fresh and clean. Well I mean, sorta clean. We jumped in and washed the hike sweat away. And then I laid and seriously basked on the rocks while Zach ran around and skipped stones.
We ended this newfound (for me) Independence Day at Lisa's family's house. It sits perfect on this "finger" that is one road of single lined houses on either side that starts after the LIFT BRIDGE close to downtown and goes straight across the bay. So you pull up to this seriously American house-white cottage feeling, with hints of nautical reds and blues. And then you step out their backyard and you are toe to toe with the bay. The quiet part of the water starts here and goes over to the factories across the way.
But then! You cross the single road and walk through these dunes and get to a beach like any I have seen pictures of in the Carolina's. This side meets the rough waters of Lake Superior. It would have been the coolest place to grow up and play at.
The family was so nice and super welcoming to us. We mostly spent the evening watching the kids light sparklers and actually walk around in a circle singing patriotic classics. (The grandparents harmonized and it was adorable.)
Zach and I camped next to the bay, got up and headed south! We made a stop at CB2 and IKEA in Minnie, and came back to put some furniture together! Someday soon, I'll post the apartment and all of it's advances in the last month.
-From the porch on Pleasant Street.