Monday, September 29, 2008

"Up North!" – Duluth

After our adventures along the coast, we drove back towards Minneapolis and stayed in Duluth. It is a cute little town located right on Lake Superior. 

Our hotel was located on Canal Park which is a peninsula surrounded by the Lake. There were lots of great restaurants and cute shops as well as the famous lift bridge. If I am correct, this is the largest (?) working lift bridge in the US or at least on the lakes. Unfortunately, the bridge did not lift while we were there but it was neat nonetheless.

Alex tried to skip rocks on the beach but was a bit unsuccessful. The beach was very rocky and I wondered if this would be a good summer beach but I'm thinking that is not the case.

My vacation from my "vacation" came to an end. It was a lot of fun. We are looking forward to going back and traveling even further north. Supposedly we can see all sorts of wildlife. For example, caribou will walk out into roads without a care in the world. That would be fun to see.

"Up North!" – Odds & Ends

Along our drive we came across a few odds and ends that made us laugh.

Here is a Paul Bunyan statue in a random parking lot. I don't remember him looking like this. Didn't he wear flannel? 

We came across Emily's Restaurant. Unfortunately, it was under renovation. But that didn't stop me from taking my picture in front.

There still remains an Indian influence up here. Alex felt the need to pay tribute to the Indians.

Betty's World Famous Pies is a destination. This place was a recommendation and it was well deserved. They have delicious pie! Everyone else thought so too. The parking lot was packed. 

"Up North!" - Split Rock Lighthouse

This past weekend Alex and I decided to take a little road trip "Up North" to Duluth and Split Rock Harbor. Everyone kept telling us this is the best time to go as the trees are turning color. 

We drove about 3.5 hours up the Minnesota Scenic Byway to Split Rock Harbor on Lake Superior where we found the iconic Split Rock Lighthouse. I have never seen a real working lighthouse so I was very excited. 

The scenery around us was beautiful. Lake Superior is like an ocean in itself. Alex read that Lake Superior could fit the other 4 Great Lakes in addition to 2 more Lake Eries. Also, the amount of water in Lake Superior could cover the entire United States in 3 feet of water. Incredible!

There are these cliffs that are along Lake Superior. The weather was a bit gloomy and I was hoping we'd see more waves crashing up against them which would have been very picturesque. Another Lake Superior fact: Waves can get up to 11 feet tall. I felt like I was in another world at this point. 

The Split Rock Lighthouse came out of nowhere. We were just walking along and there it was.

We were able to go inside the Lighthouse. Every two hours the watchmen would have to go back into the lighthouse and wind up the light so that it would continue to turn for another two hours. They would do this every night. 

Here is what I think is a pretty cool picture that I took. I like that I caught the sunlight as the light turned. Maybe there is a photographer in me after all.

After walking down a series of very steep, wet, wooden steps we were able to get to lake level and see the lighthouse sitting on the edge of the cliff. It is quite breathtaking. My camera does not do it justice.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mousehouse Cheese

Alex wanted to visit a Wisconsin cheese shack so that we could get some cheese curds. We found the "cheesiest" of them all . . . the Mousehouse!

Here Come the Irish!

What a great weekend! It started out a bit rocky. Dad's car broke down in South Bend and we were trying to get it fixed in time to get to the game. Joe, Alex and myself left Mom and Dad at the car shop, headed over to campus in enough time to sell a ticket, grab a hot dog on the quad and see the band step off. 

Mom and Dad made it just in time for kick off. Of course, as soon as they got there Dad dropped his brat . . .
Things started looking up for us and the Irish once the game officially started. After a few Michigan fumbles, torrential downpours, and lots of ND points we were happy how the day ended.
Go Irish!

2008 Republican National Convention

I was very excited to move to town just as the RNC was starting. Unfortunately, I did not plan it out very well. In order to get into the convention I had to be either a delegate or a volunteer. I was neither of those.

I thought it would be neat to head over to St. Paul during the day but after watching news reports of vandalism, rioting, and delegates being injured by the same loons that showed up at the DNC in Denver, I felt that it was best to stay home. Alex was nice enough to drive me over in the evening to check out what was going on. He does not get excited about politics the way I do. I think if the Democrats and the Republicans had hockey sticks he would find it more interesting.

St. Paul seemed to be pretty much on lock down. You could not get anywhere near the Xcel Energy Center. There were SWAT teams everywhere. I was afraid to take pictures thinking that they might think I had a gun or something. It was very surreal. I have never seen anything like it.
The only way to get to the Convention was through this barricade much like they have in D.C. We decided to head home and watch it in the safety of our home.

I now have 4 years to figure out how to get into the RNC.

Rainbow Groceries

I have never purchased this amount of food at one time. Usually my grocery bill averages $30 every two weeks. This is $200 worth of food. Granted this is includes a lot of stuff we needed and will use. I just couldn't believe how quickly food adds up for two people.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Big Move!

We made it safely to our new home in Minneapolis (or Robbinsdale). The trip itself was not all that bad. It took us about 12 hours total on the road but we stopped in a small town about 2.5 hours outside of Minneapolis. We could have kept going but I was losing steam. Alex drove the 16' truck and I followed behind in my car.

That is the Chicago skyline with Alex in front. This was probably the most stressful part of the drive.

Welcome to Minnesota! (Sorry the images are blurry. I was in the car aiming and shooting. I was trying to focus on driving.)

 Home Sweet Home!

Once we got to the house it was all about 
unloading the truck. Alex was proud of how much I was able to help him. He couldn't believe some of the stuff I carried in. I'm a lot stronger than I look . . . I just don't let people know.

I am finding out that I have an accent here. Little do the Minnesotans know they actually have the accent. I decided to title my blog "You Bet!" because that is their classic phrase here that I have noticed. According to Alex's "How to talk Minnesotan" the phrase "you bet" is a common response to "thank you". However, "you bet" is mainly used to answer questions. If you can't think of anything else, say "you bet."  

So here it is my blog. I'll try to add some more a bit later. I have some unpacking to do now.