Friday, August 18, 2017

Cabin time

This week, we headed up to my college friend Kristina's cabin for a few days with just us and our kids.  We weren't able to visit her cabin last summer or have our usual college friend weekend up there earlier this summer, so it was really nice to have a chance to get up there this time.  On the way up, the girls and I stopped at Mille Lacs Kathio State Park for a quick picnic.  It was rainy, so we ate in the trail center.

On the way to the trail center, we had noticed a sign for an observation tower.  Looking at the map, I could tell it would be a quick and easy hike, so we headed there after lunch.  The girls were very hesitant about the climb, but we made it!

Sadie was in heaven as soon as we reached the cabin--she could finally swim!  We haven't been able to bring her up north in the past couple of years, so she was so excited to see the lake.  Unfortunately, it was pretty rainy Wednesday night and most of Thursday, so we spent a lot of time hanging out in the cabin.  We did get out to go bowling on Thursday to break up the inside time a little bit.

By Friday morning, the sun was coming out again, so we were able to get to the island to play for a little bit before we had to head home.  The kids also enjoyed the neighbor's water trampoline while Kristina made lunch.

It was nice to have a chance to connect again and catch up, and the kids had fun playing with each other.  Already looking forward to next year!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Seattle trip

My sister and I traveled for the second time together to visit my brother and his girlfriend in Seattle.  It's always weird traveling without kids, but nice to be able to watch a movie on the plane or read a book!  We saw some sights in the city, ate some yummy food, took the ferry to Bainbridge Island, watched a baseball game, saw a movie, hung out on the rooftop, and camped in Olympic National Park.

After a night of camping, we spent the day seeing different parts of the park.  The ocean was definitely my favorite--we stopped at Ruby Beach and saw some neat tide pools and enjoyed the scenery.  We also hiked a little bit in the Hoh Rainforest, which was beautiful.  We even came upon some elk grazing along the way.

It's always nice having the chance to see Greg, and a bonus to see the beautiful scenery.  Fun place to visit!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Feed My Starving Children

It's been a few years since our ECFE group has gotten together at Feed My Starving Children, so I was excited when we made plans to do this again.  This time, Norah was even old enough to participate.  The kids did great, and somehow all ended up in the packing area by the end of our time, leaving the adults to juggle multiple tasks.  What a great activity and learning experience for the kids, though.

Afterward, we all gathered at our friend Tiffany's family pool for swimming time and wood-fire pizzas.  This is always such a fun gathering and this time, we even managed to get all of the kids together for a group photo!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Camping at Lake Bemidji State Park

Our camping trip this year took us to Lake Bemidji State Park.  We stopped on the way up to picnic and look around a little bit at Crow Wing State Park.

Wednesday night, we got our tent set up and had hot dogs over the fire.  We also checked out the playground and swimming beach area.  It rained ALL night long, but it was a gentle rain that helped everyone sleep well!

On Thursday, we hiked the bog trail and saw lots of pitcher plants and some flowers along the way.

After lunch, we checked out the visitor's center and then hiked to an overlook point.  On the way, we heard thunder.  When we got to the overlook, it started to rain, then hail.  We quickly made it back to the visitor's center where we waited out the rest of the storm.

There were two more overlook points that we hiked to that evening--nice trails at this park!  Unfortunately, it was too chilly to swim while we were there.

On Friday morning, we packed up and stopped in Bemidji to see the Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox statues.  Then, we headed to LaSalle Lake SRA for a picnic lunch and a hike.  This park has a beautiful newer picnic shelter and natural play area that the kids loved.  Our hike took us through the prairie and up to an overlook view of the Mississippi River.  It was a warm hike, but there were lots of wild raspberries to stop and eat along the way!

We had a great time camping, so hopefully we can extend next year's trip to 3 nights or longer!