At the time of planning, Toby had not yet been born, so we were tossing around if he would stay with Asher at my in-laws or if we would take him. There was something appealing about being with no kids. But I wasn't sure I would be able to leave him at 4 months old. We ended up deciding (like the week before) to take him. I didn't want to have to pump the whole time...and knew I would think too much about how he was doing and that seemed stressful. Plus, 4 months is still very easy to haul around everywhere, with minimal disruption to our plans!
Our celebrations actually began on Thursday evening before our trip. For Father's Day I had gotten Ben and I tickets to the Children's Museum for an "Adult's at Play" event! It was after-hours and they opened the museum exclusively for adults 21+. There were free desserts and beer tasting and trivia--plus full access to all the fun exhibits in the Museum. I'll be honest, I wasn't sure how it was going to go...but it seemed like a fun date night. And it was =)
Tables with random things to build and put together. Ben loves this sort of thing!
Balancing practice (he really needs this--poor guy has subpar balance!)
Strategically launching ping-pong balls
No, that is not a spider. I wouldn't have done it if it were. I can handle ants much better.
Enjoying our yummy Chocolate-Espresso bars!
Then the next day, we left early (7:30 am!) to head up to Duluth!
First stop was Canal Park to watch the ships come in
Tobes looks happy here. But he was screaming just a few minutes earlier...the loud horns and bells of the ships startled him
First meal. Walleye cakes and a local beer flight!
This whole trip had moments where Ben and I would look at each other and say, "Asher would LOVE this!" So we took pictures of things like trains and boats and stuff just to show him.
So weird to see pictures with just the three of us. It just didn't feel quite right without Ash. And I also had this urge to tell all the people who stopped to comment on Toby's cuteness that we DO have another kid, and we aren't first-time parents!
I think Ben got tired of all the selfies...oh well.
Beautiful vista of the Lake
Went on a hike and saw some fun things, including this beautiful butterfly!
These are "High Falls"--the highest falls entirely in Minnesota! (there is one higher, but it is half in Canada...)
while beautiful, it made me miss the canyon falls of CA
Another great selfie opportunity!
Took Gunflint Trail out about 15 miles into the open land of Northern Minnesota. Found this lake...so serene and quiet.
Stopped for donuts in Grand Marais!
We ended up having our "fancy" anniversary dinner in Grand Marais at this cute little place called The Crooked Spoon.
Some beautiful rapids that we pulled off the road to see!
I love random stops like that which turn out beautiful!
View from our lodge room!
The Lake was so calm the first two days we were there, then the wind picked up on Sunday and there were actual waves!
History nerd in me loved visiting Split Rock Lighthouse. It is one of the most visited/photographed lighthouses in the country! Such an interesting history to it.
Climbed down 172 steps to get this view. But it was totally worth it!
(Especially when we found out that back when they first built this, they had to haul supplies and people up the 130 foot cliff face in baskets. Although that would have been a fun adventure too!)
Last stop was Betty's Pies. Ben had told me about this place a long time ago. They are famous for their pies...and this fun milkshake. They take a slice of whatever pie you choose and drop the whole thing in the blender with the ice cream and milk! We got a chocolate layer pie. It was surprisingly delicious! Little chunks of pie crust gave it a nice texture and a slightly buttery/salty balance to the sweet! Ben was obviously happy with it!
The trip was everything I expected and more! I had been a little worried it wouldn't live up to the hype. But it did. It was beautiful to see more of this state that I've called home for 6 years.
We came home rested, refreshed and ready to see our sweet 2-year-old!
The report was he had a few moments of being weepy and requesting us (especially if he was being told "no" by Grandma!) but did well overall!
It looked like they had some fun!
Tractor Supply Co..."driving" a lawn mower!
Picnic outside with Grandma and Sierra!