First of all: get a load of Jesse’s beard. I think he looks like a completely different person with it. I don’t know how I’m going to feel when he shaves it off. If he ever shaves it off.
We took a family get away in October that I’ve been meaning to share but things get busy!!! This is the first vacation that we’ve taken that was 1) just the four of us and 2) not piggy backed on a work trip for Jesse. I can’t even believe that.
Location: We rented a house just outside of Duluth. Our hosts were wonderful and the place was simple and cute – perfect for our little family of four. Outside there was plenty of land to hike, a fire pit with plenty of wood, and lawn games. Inside had a quirky and cute collection of art, a “cow pouf” that the kids fought to use, a cupboard full of games and another with movies. We played lots of games of Life and watched a movie every night before bed. (The 1970’s Benji was a hoot.)
Activities: We hiked Gooseberry Falls. It was quite pretty, but they’d had a great deal of rain so it was wet and sloppy. Jesse left his hiking boots in the car thinking he wouldn’t need them and came home with wet feet (and very muddy shoes).
In Duluth, we visited the Great Lakes Aquarium. It was crowded due a trick or treat event going on but we did get to touch some jellies, an alligator (I don’t know how they relate to the Great Lakes, but still cool) and some different species of sturgeon. After viewing lots of Great Lakes fish, we headed to Vertical Endeavors where Abram did some rock climbing. I thought Violet would really enjoy it but after a crowded aquarium, she requested introvert time. She and I relaxed in the car with some books and then browsed a couple of art studios nearby. I made stop to the local yarn store and picked up a few skeins – one for a hat I want to make and a couple more for socks. (Of course.)
Eats: If you happen to be in the area – Betty’s Pies was a big favorite. We waited 40 minutes on a Sunday morning for a table at Duluth Grill (should have made a reservation) and it was worth every second. Amazing service. We didn’t really plan for eats really well. Lots of times we just ended up eating PB&J at the house.
It felt good to get away for a long weekend and has me thinking about where we can next adventure. Snow has been falling so it might have to be skiing. (The kids have been going to a smaller local hill with Jesse for years but I haven’t been on a pair of skis in over a decade. I don’t know if I’ve got the stuff to do it again.)
Fall has come on with day after day of gray and rain with the briefest, occasional, glorious gift of an hour of blue skies. I find myself aching to curl up and cocoon but the days are a haze of practice and volunteer and errand obligations opportunities. For the most part I’m soldiering on like a good Midwesterner, but I find it harder and harder to get moving each morning despite getting plenty of sleep. Time to start the Vitamin D and pull my lamp out from its summer storage.
Earlier this month, my sister and I took the ferry over for a visit with family. With gusts over 50 miles an hour and waves in the double digits, it certainly was an adventure (and an hour longer than usual) but once we reached land it was a wonderful time. I love it when the stories and songs start rolling. Plates of my Gram’s food don’t hurt either.
Reading: I’ve read three things since I wrote back in September. Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer. If you’re going to read anything, this wouldn’t be the one I’d recommend. Earlier this year, I read What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape by Somalia Abdulali. It isn’t that I think the Krakauer book is bad, I just don’t think it does as good of a job addressing the subject as it could have done. After reading that I stuck with two *really* fluff reads American Royals by Katherine McGee and Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore. Both were very cotton candy. I picked The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates as my BOTM pick and then a certain you-get-a-car TV personality went and made it her book club pick and killed any desire to read it. (Tell me I’m not the only one who side eyes celebrity book club picks.)
Listening to: Trey Anastasio and Phish to prepare for a date night concert. Also lots of Imagine Dragons, Twenty One Pilots, and OneRepublic because KIDS. I’ve been trying out a few different podcasts but not finding anything that sticks.
Knitflixing: I’m trying so hard to be good and not binge for hours and hours which is reducing the amount of knitting I’m managing to get done. I’ve done a few dishrags (car knitting) and have completed the cuff of a sweater and almost have one sock. I obviously think my list of Christmas gift knits is going to be finished by elves. As for shows, I’m watching the newest season of Poldark but I’m hoping something happens because while I feel horrible for George Warleggan, I’m mostly just bored. So excited about Helen Mirren as Catherine the Great but haven’t gotten a chance to watch that yet. I need recommendations. Carnival Row and The Politician were both recommended to me and I’ve watched a couple of episodes of both and liked them, but they haven’t stuck. I feel like streaming is going the way of cable television for me – too many choices so it’s easier to just shrug my shoulders and not watch anything.
So that’s me, as promised. How are you doing this week? Reading, watching, listening to, or making anything you’d like to share?