Appalling, isnt’ it? Someone just up and leaves without even a “howdy-do?” I just hate that.
I’ve been gone without a trace all because Bug and I have been off on our annual summer trip to Chicagoland, which this year included a wonderful trip to the Minnesota Boundary Waters for a relaxing fishing trip with Captain Romance.
Common sense would dictate that I break this post into several smaller ones. We’ll see about that.
Common sense would also suggest that I recount our trip in chronological order, and for the sake of my sanity, I will do that.
**warning** photo heavy blog follows. Just wanted to let you know.
As I said, we began our summer adventure with a trip back to the Chicago burbs for lots of family visiting, r&r, sleepovers aplenty, and even some knitting and writing time, a ladies luncheon, and the magnificent annual yarn crawl with my Darling Cuz!
Starting with a marvelous Ladies Only Luncheon hosted by my delightful Aunt Wheezy, mother of Darling Cuz. We met up at her beautiful new home where we all feasted, gabbed, laughed, and reminisced the day away. So much fun!
And because cameras are kryptonite to this bunch, I submit this great vintage shot of my Momma (age 20?), Grandma Caroline, and Aunt Wheezy (age 17?) brought to the luncheon by their younger sis, my lovely Aunt Nancy. Aren’t they cute?
After a couple of days recuperation, it was time for a day I wait for all year long: The 5th (6th?) Annual Yarn Crawl with my original BFF, Darling Cuz! We’ve been besties since we were wee nippers in diapers, and this trip is always a great way for the two of us have some uninterrupted “cousin time.”
This year, due to various time constraints, previous obligations, and a sick Bug, we only made one stop: The Fold in Marengo, IL. But this was no problem, for to me, The Fold is the Holy Grail of yarn stores. Yes, it is nearly a one hour drive through corn fields on single lane highways (which doesn’t bother me a bit ’cause I love the Illinois countryside beyond words…besides, DC was doing the driving), but it so totally worth going. Between the absolutely charming and friendly owner, Toni Neil, and her fabulous selection of yarns–walls of Blue Moon Fiber Arts and Mountain Colors to Madelinetosh and Malabrigo as well as indie dyers and spinners–we always leave, happy, laughing, and arms full of wool. I actually save up for this trip. No kidding, because I always find unique yarns. And if you’re a spinner…oh my stars. The selection of spinning fibers are to dye for–Toni has stocked some of the most unique spinning fiber I’ve ever seen. Go to The Fold. Go. It is a knitter’s (and fiber-lover’s) paradise.
A few days later CR joined us at my parent’s and after a couple of days of visiting and touring (hello Geneva with brother Davy), he whisked us away to the wilderness boundary waters of northern Minnesota.We landed in Duluth (what a pretty place on the shores of Lake Superior), rented a car, and drove for a few hours to Gunflint Lodge, just about an hour north of Grand Marais, MN. Captain Romance took a canoe trip with his own besties a couple of years ago and used these folks as his outfitter and loved them.
I, as you all know, am not a camper or backpacker, so Gunflint’s pretty Lodge and cabins right on the lake were perfect for me (a Super 8 motel is my idea of roughing it, as they say); the grounds were beautiful, and our cabin was even haunted. Yes, I said haunted. More on that another time, perhaps. (winkwink)
The entire place was so relaxing! With hardly any wifi to speak of (you could only get the wifi I you perched on a certain couch in the lodge, and then you were only allowed to read emails. period. No posting of any kind), and absolutely no cell service, you had no other choice but to relax.
I was able to get a whole bunch of writing and knitting time in, which just thrilled me to no end. Plus, CR spoiled me with their meal plan (and the food was fab), since he knows that cooking and dishwashing on any trip make it “not a vacation” to me. Wise man. Yet another reason we’ve been married 25 years. 😉 We even tossed around the idea of buying a little place up there for our golden years.
We spent one morning on horseback, riding a trail with breathtaking view of Gunflint Lake. But probably the best part of our MN trip was the fishing! Yes, we really were “gone fishing.” CR treated us to a day’s fishing with a fantastic guide–Rodger–who not only had fish practically leaping into the boat for us, but was so much fun, that we laughed the entire time. I myself was lucky enough to catch one of each kind of sport fish in the huge lake we were on (Rodger said it was “21 miles long, with an island for every day of the year”): a big lake trout, a few big smallmouth bass, a decent size northern pike, and my trophy fish, a 26″ (?) walleye! And don’t worry; we only do catch and release. We never have reason to keep them, no matter how great they are.
Bug and CR got in on the great fishing action, too–Bug even got what I like to call “smallie thumb” which is when your thumb gets all scraped up and feels like velcro from holding your bass up for their pictures.
At the end of the week on our way back to the airport, we stopped in the charming town of Grand Marais, a place just “packed to the gills” (okay, I couldn’t help myself) with cute little gift shops and the like. And frankly, where else could you find a shop that has a godzilla-size walleye sticking out of it? Well, okay…maybe in Wisconsin. Anyway, look what I found in one of the shops:
It’s a CD by a dear friend of ours, Andrea Carlson! So we bought it, of course! 🙂 And it’s wonderful!
And then, even though there were 2 flights and lots of running to catch flights, we were home.
I miss it already.
(A few more fishing and lodge shots below)