While we did not go on a romantic getaway to celebrate this anniversary, we have been lucky enough over our seven years together to go on some incredible weekend trips close to home. We don’t really seek out “romantic” spots per se, but we love ourselves a fun and relaxing getaway. In honor of anniversary week, we thought we’d share some of our favorite weekend getaways within driving distance of the Twin Cities. Maybe you’ve been to these places or maybe you’re looking for somewhere to go. But these are our top picks.
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After our morning in Seattle last Thursday, we hit the road and headed south towards Mount Rainier National Park where we had plans to camp for the night. We didn’t bring too much in the way of camping supplies other than our tent and sleeping bags, but we were ready for our outdoor adventure. After about a two hour drive, we came to the Mount Rainier National Park gate, paid our $15 (which is good for 7 days), and made our way to our little campsite in the big forest while taking in spectacular views of the park and of the mountain peeking through the trees along the way.
We’ve been putting off house projects over this past weekend to enjoy a little vacation in Washington. What have we been up to out here? Well, our trip started and ended in Seattle with a jaunt to Mount Rainier in the middle. And we picked a good time to come since it has been sunny and gorgeous, which we hear is rare for the area. One place we couldn’t pass up is the Pike Place Market near the waterfront, where we ambled up and down the booths ogling the fresh fish, flowers, and produce. Continue reading →
Our apologies for a late post today. We have been sweating it out in Missouri for the past few days visiting family. While we have been there before, it was our first trip together to the Lake of the Ozarks area, which is slightly reminiscent of Minnesota lakes but with much larger boats, much hotter water, and a lot less clothing (at least in “Party Cove”). Getting there was an adventure in and of itself. By the time Friday was over, we had used 9 different modes of transportation. Here’s how we pulled it off.
We were planning an awesome house post for today, but low and behold, our power went out last night for the first time since we’ve lived here. Apparently our local grid couldn’t handle everyone’s air conditioners working overtime. It was a scorching 103 degrees in the Twin Cities yesterday. It hasn’t been that hot since 1988. Did it stop us from moving our big pile of dirt into our yard? No. Did it make us turn on our air conditioning? No, because we are cheap like that. Did we drive to three places in search of Icees after our power went out? It’s a distinct possibility. But do we still have a great place for a getaway to share? We sure do. And we’re a little partial to it since we got married there. Bluefin Bay Resort in Tofte, MN on the shores of Lake Superior.
Duluth is a Northern Minnesota town close to our hearts. Both of us have siblings who went to school at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and we have both participated in Grandma’s Marathon. My older brother even married a Duluth native, and my first niece was born there so it is a sentimental spot for us. But it is also insanely cool for anyone who hasn’t been there yet (and those who have because it seems like we find ourselves coming back for more). Located about 150 miles from Minneapolis, Duluth is situated on the shores of Lake Superior. It is the largest port (by volume) on the Great Lakes, and it is known for the Aerial Lift Bridge that lets some 1,000 freighters enter the harbor every year.
If you’ve never been this far “Up North” in Minnesota, you should make it a point to check it out. Grand Marais is a picturesque town along the shores of Lake Superior 110 miles Northeast of Duluth and only 40 miles from the Canadian border. Situated on scenic Highway 61, it is a historic harbor town that began as a Native American village before falling under the flags of France, Great Britain, and finally, the United States. It was a fur trading post and a commercial fishing outpost, but now it is a lot more about the visitors. With plenty of outdoor activities, kitschy gift shops, and amazing spots to grab a bite to eat, Grand Marais is a classic Minnesota destination in and of itself.
It all started on Christmas. My parents gave me three books on mountaineering, including: No Way Down: Life and Death on K2 by Graham Bowley, No Shortcuts to the Top by Ed Viesturs, and Dark Summit: the True Story of Everest’s Most Controversial Season by Nick Heil. After flying through them, I was hooked. And it didn’t take Dain long to join in my fascination. The vivid stories planted the seed, and our sense of adventure grew so much that the end result is the two of us planning our first mountaineering trip.
Located on scenic Highway 61 along the shores of Lake Superior, the New Scenic Café is an unexpected delight offering contemporary American cuisine in a relaxed setting. The picturesque restaurant provides a tranquil view of the lake and is located just 10 miles outside of Duluth.
As long as we were going to be in Nevada, we couldn’t resist a trip to the Hoover Dam just to get in something a little more educational than people watching during our trip. Although the dam tour provided a lot of that too (I’m talking to you: people who couldn’t resist eating a whole bag of Funyons during the short history film).