Lake Superior For Three
Summer looked different for us this year. For the past five years, I spent 5/6 weeks in Texas with the kids, while Chaim Shaul held down the fort at home.
Do you find that you are constantly having to reevaluate and adjust how you do things? I do! It’s like something works for a few years, a few months, a few weeks, and then, nope, it doesn’t work anymore and you must come up with a whole new plan.
As my kids started reaching school age and attending local schools, I started to feel like it was important that during the summer they could go to a Jewish camp and be surrounded in a beautiful Jewish environment. So, my husband and I thought out of the box and came up with a plan that can allow that to happen. I would go (by myself) with the kids to San Antonio, Texas (where I grew up) for a big chunk of the summer, and he would stay in Bozeman, making sure our community was well taken care of and the tourists passing through had a place to come for Shabbos. We both had to sacrifice. I was alone for weeks with four, sometimes five, young kids, and he had to cook for Shabbos and on his own entertain many tens of people each Shabbos. We are not going to say who had the better end of the deal :). There were moments that felt very stressful making us question our existence, but for the most part it worked well.
Five years later, kids were getting bigger, Texas isn’t filling the need for most of them, and it was time to reevaluate once again. All this to explain why are summer looked different this year.
Bozeman was back to being our summer homebase. Chaya, Zeesy, and Menny all enjoyed overnight camp (for varying amounts of time) and we even had ten days with just Chana Laya at home.
It was an adjustment for me to not be spending the summer with my family, but it was the right choice. Every time things change, when we don’t get to do something we’re used to or something we wish we could, expect some feelings around that 🙂
Every situation we’re in does provide opportunity for something new, a new adventure or experience we wouldn’t have accessed otherwise, and that was true for us in this situation.
During the ten days that Chana Laya was enjoying all the attention, we decided to take a little trip just the three of us. Of course, we had to manage our expectations around that as well. Chaim and I have been wanting to get away just the two of us. It hasn’t been possible, as it’s not an easy feat to get someone to take care of five humans and two dogs… This seemed like the closest we will get for the foreseeable future. only one kid, sweet.
Let’s just say it didn’t at all feel like a trip for the two of us, as it was very much centered around our strong minded almost five-year-old, yet it turned out to be such a special experience and I am so grateful we did it!
Wow! This was a long intro to a travel post. I’m a big believer in context, in case you couldn’t tell.
OK. So, getting down to it. We had five days including travel (had to be home to host Shabbos) we wanted to get the most out of our time. We love exploring areas that we have never been to before, so we landed on Lake Superior. Direct flight to Minneapolis (can’t fly to many places direct from Bozeman), pick up some food, and drive up to the shore.
I’ll share our itinerary and maybe provide some inspo for your next getaway.
Sunday – Landed in MSP, picked up some food, and started our drive to Duluth. We went to the Aquarium. Quite nice for a small city. Our hotel room wasn’t ready, so we drove over the Wisconsin border to Little Manitou Falls, nothing spectacular but a great pastime. By then we were able to check into our hotel. We stayed at Pier B right on the lake. It was awesome. We ate our little makeshift dinner right on the water and it was great.
Monday – Packed up and continued north along the lake. (Did you know Lake Superior is the biggest lake in the world?). First stop of the day was Gooseberry Falls. It was so cool. Hard to explain, but it was this layered rock, waterfall situation. Chana Laya got into her bathing suit and was able to explore and play in a G-d designed waterpark. A unique experience! Split Rock lighthouse was our next stop. Gorgeous views, amazing history, we enjoyed it very much.
On to our lodging for the night. We stayed in Tofte, MN at www.liveklarhet.com. It’s the coolest place. They created these dome structures on this beautiful property in the wilderness. When we arrived, the dome was extremely hot, it happened to be the hottest day of the summer, the Dome has no AC, but usually it isn’t a problem. Sure enough, as the sun set and we opened all the flaps, it was beautiful, and the rest of our stay was awesome.
Tuesday – We drove further along the shore all the way to the Canadian border. We spent time enjoying Grand Marais, this adorable artsy town. The town is right on the lake, it was a rainy day and the weather system over the lake was so cool, it had this enchanted spooky-like feel. Chana Laya had so much fun coloring on the floor of an adorable art store, we enjoyed browsing the shops, getting coffee from a little hut right on the lake and taking it easy with no specific plans. On the way back to our cute little dome we went up to Lutsen Mountain Resort, a small ski hill and took a beautiful Gondola ride to the top of the mountain, followed by dinner and bed.
Wednesday – We said goodbye to our dome and our chicken friends, and we headed towards Tettegouche State Park where we did an amazing hike to Shovel Point. It was a little long for Chana Laya, but we made it, and it was spectacular. Next stop we went to Palisade head, a gorgeous lookout that you access through climbing these big boulders. We had a little picnic lunch there and headed on our way
Before we got to our lodging location, which was a tiny house at Getaway Kettle River, we stopped and did some biking (you know the super touristy kind) around Duluth. Right after that we called it a day and headed to our tiny house which was such a cool experience. loved it. Perfect for the three of us. Would never have been able to do it with the whole family.
Thursday – Packed up by 9 AM and were on our way, two-hour drive to the airport. Home in Bozeman by 3 PM.
It was a short, sweet trip, which have gifted us very fond memories.
I love to travel the world and land in exotic locations or explore the glorious cities of Europe, But I also value and appreciate adventuring the State next door or the underrated location that nobody deems worthy. If you get discouraged watching people’s foreign travels and it’s not in the cards for you now, don’t forget the experience you can have a short plane ride, or car ride, away.
It took longer than I had hoped to get this post up. We are nearing the end of the summer and we have one small family trip happening next week. Stay Tuned for the recap on that.
Catch you later,