Lake George, MN – Day 30, Day 31, Day 32

While driving through the night 30+ hours may not be something we recommend anyone do in the future, it did make our arrival at Grandma Bonnie’s that much sweeter! We were tired, slap-happy, and excited when we rolled up to her adorable home, nestled in the pines of Paul Bunyon National Forest. I remember her coming out to greet us and it was just as if only a day had gone by since I saw her last summer with my family.

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^^^ Homemade bread + homemade jam = heaven on earth 😉

I gave Melody a tour of Grandma’s house (a few pictures below might give you a feel of the photographic charm found in every corner of every room) while Grandma heated up some dinner for us. I love Grandma’s house. I love the smell of coffee all day; I love the walls covered in old photographs of our family and artwork she’s done herself; I love the furniture she’s built or restored; I love the piano and the memories it brings back. Some summer I think it would be fun to stay all season & learn how to bake bread, build furniture, craft birdhouses. We had such a restful and wonderful time with my dad’s mom – eating delicious food, recording new music, and getting outside!

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We went to bed right after dinner – around 9pm – and slept for fourteen hours! I guess we needed it and the rainy weather outside let us sleep in late! After a yummy breakfast, we enjoyed some good conversation with Grandma followed by a little piano sing-a-long in the living room. Since the weather looked to be damp all day, we decided to postpone outdoor activities for tomorrow & spent the afternoon recording songs before heading to Aunt Pete’s for dinner with the cousins! It was so fun for me to see (almost) everyone again – a year after last summer’s visit! Thanks for the dinner and the laughs, family – love & miss you all already!

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^^^ Afternoon snack & music-making (:

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The next day, my cousins Chace and Aaron picked us up in the morning for a day of enjoying the Mississippi River! First stop: crossing the headwaters barefoot! It was a little surreal recognizing that just a couple weeks prior, we had eaten dinner in New Orleans looking over the end of the Mississippi only to be seeing its very beginnings now. Once that life-changing water-crossing was over, we drove down to Lake Itasca (part of the Mississippi waterway) and tried our hand at the art of the canoe. Psh. Pros in no time.

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^^^ Just like Pocahontas

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^^^ Clockwise from top left:  explorers, tour guides, open water, lunch!

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^^^ Group shot

Grandma packed us lunch that we enjoyed in the middle of the lake, tying our canoes together with life jackets. We were so lucky to have Chace with us! He fancies himself somewhat of an environmental & historical expert so we learned a lot about the Minnesotan pilgrims, the exceedingly common bald eagle, the intricate nature of sound waves, etc. etc. Thank you, good sir, for your articulate narrating all day! And Aaron, thanks for teaching us how to actually steer a canoe; there’s a chance we’d still be on that lake zig zagging around & passing out from exhaustion.

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^^^ Thanks for a fun day, boys!

 

That evening, we built a little campfire to roast the brats on to go with the yummy dinner Grandma had prepared. It rained again once the sun went down so we spent the evening talking with my Grandma and looking at old photo albums – dad sure looked good in those oversized lapels and polyester shirts! We stayed up way too late updating our blog (you’re welcome!) and then off to bed for our last night there.

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^^^ Fire-making and bratwurst-roasting!

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^^^ Back porch swingin (:

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^^^ Dinner & Dessert!

Our last morning in Minnesota was a special one with a morning devotion with Grandma, homemade coffeecake, and of course mugs of coffee. We said our goodbyes with hopes of visiting again in the near future. No visit to the Bemidji area is complete without a hello to Paul Bunyon & Babe. Then we were off to Chicago for the night! Thank you again, dear family, for a wonderful Minnesotan visit. We’ll be back!!

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^^^ Breakfast. Yes, please!

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^^^ And, we’re off!  Love you, Grandma!

 

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^^^ Hangin out with Paul & Babe! (America’s most photographed statue!)

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