Three State Road Trip
Happy Monday Friends!
Keegan and I traveled a LOT during June and July and are now looking forward to a quiet summer at home after all the crazy. Between the two of us, we went to Missouri, Arkansas, Canada, Iowa 2X, Northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. All of our trips were really great, but I wanted to share about our most recent trip over the 4th of July.
I've uploaded pictures with headings in chronological order for your easy perusal.
The Ellery House, Duluth Minnesota
It's official, I'm twenty-seven. Even at this graying old age (wink, wink), my birthday is one of my favorite days of the year. Mainly, I love the time of year. It means the summer solstice, fireflies gliding lazily across cut grass, camping trips and lots of milk chocolate.
When Keegan asked what I wanted for my birthday, I mentioned two things. I wanted him to hang my hammock and to plan a day trip for us. Keegan went above and beyond and planned a surprise overnight at a B&B in Duluth. We LOVE B&Bs and have enjoyed many spontaneous stays in these historic houses in our four years of marriage. Although we go to the North Shore a few times every year, we've never stayed at a B&B there. Some friends of ours had recommended the Ellery House so that's where we went.
It was SO charming! The bathroom was antique subway and hexagon tile glory! We were given bathrobes and served one of the best breakfasts I've ever had in our room.
Glensheen Mansion, Duluth, Minnesota
The Congdon family, whose wealth was gained from buying and investing in iron mines across the country, finished the house in 1908. The historic mansion sits on the shores of Lake Superior in Duluth and has a man-made creek winding its way through the 7-acre property.
It has 39 rooms and is built in the Jacobean traditional style. Each room is trimmed and paneled in a different wood: mahogany, cypress, fumed oak, and American walnut. The furniture in the house is the same original furniture that was brought to the house in the early 20th Century.
My jaw dropped when I learned that many of the rugs (that are now wrapped up and put in storage) cost more than our house! Yikes!
I was a bit obsessed with the herringbone brick walkways and floors in the stable and the garden water features.
Pictured Rocks, Michigan
After Duluth, it was up and onward to the Upper Peninsula. It was an 8-hour drive from the cities to Pictured Rocks in Michigan. There, we met up with my parents, sisters Anne and Katie, and brother-in-law Tom.
We camped in a very rustic area. The amenities? A pump that spewed orange, filmy water and an outhouse that smelled of death itself. It also stormed 2/3 of the nights.
But the sights were incredible.
Our first big hike was to a place called Miners Castle. It was a 6 mile loop and we thought it would take us about 2 hours. But, here's the thing, Michigan has had a lot of rain this year and the trails were slick, shin deep mud.
We had to go off trail for most of the hike and find creative ways to get from point A to point B without falling on our behinds. But when we finally came out of the woods this is what we saw...
This is a photo of Miners Castle--just look at that aqua marine water and fine sand shoreline!
After three days of not sleeping and lots of hiking, you get beautiful faces like this! ;)
One of the oldest lighthouses on Lake Superior. I was in love with it!
On the right of the photo above, the reddish/brown water you see is actually an iron-rich river flowing into Lake Superior.
I don't know why we don't have more pictures of Bayfield--probably because we were too busy running from one interesting thing to the next. This is a town for the books. Its population is about 500 people but it attracts tourists from ALL OVER THE WORLD because of its lake caves.
Unfortunately, we didn't have enough time to rent kayaks and go explore the caves but we did enjoy a beach on Lake Superior, which is actually warm because it is sheltered by Madeline Island.
We explored an DNR fish hatchery that's been active since 1897.
We found a coffee shop and got Wifi for the first time in four days. The boys had to check to see how their stocks were doing. ;)
FLOORS! The one on the left is 1'' MARBLE planks! I was kind of freaking out!
This Bayfield B&B was up on a hill overlooking the harbor and Madeline Island. I would not mind staying there next time we visit.
Our last night we went to a rooftop restaurant and then returned to the cabin for cards and charades. It stormed that night and we were warm and dry in the cabin. All in all, I love taking trips but I don't love sleeping on the ground in a tent during a thunderstorm. Next year, we'll probably get an AirB&B. ;)
I feel super blessed to have seen all of these gorgeous places and have such a loving family to adventure with me.
Where have you gone this summer? I love to hear your travel recommendations!