Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Northwoods Vacation

This summer we took a family vacation, with our six week old son, over 4000 + miles. It was quite the trip!  We knew we wanted to get up to the family cabin in Minnesota while my husband was on his paternity leave as he rarely gets time off in the summer. So, when Elliot and I finished our six week check ups, we loaded up the motor home, my folks' truck and boat, and started off on our trek.

The first leg of our trip was to Bozeman, Montana to my brother and sister-in-law's place where we stayed for a few days. It was a long first leg. We didn't get out of town until the afternoon and of course we were driving on the schedule of the babe. Which meant we stopped every three hours. For at least forty minutes so we could feed and do diaper changes. But we made slow steady progress. By the time we got in (just before 9pm) we were tired but didn't have to drive for a few more days which was nice. I knew it was time (or past time?) to stop when both my babies (human and canine) were fussing. 

Storm view from Bozeman

Aria's cave in the motor home 

Our few days in Bozeman gave us a chance to settle into the motor home.  Then we were on the road again.  We made it to Bismark, ND for the first night.  Then it was off to the Northwoods!  We stayed in Bemidji, MN our final night on the way to the cabin since a huge thunderstorm was arriving as evening hit and we didn't want to continue driving in it.  We found a great little RV park and had a chance to do some laundry, and of course a photo stop with Paul Bunyan & Babe on our way out of town.  We will try to make this an annual photo stop if we drive with Elliot just to show his growth each summer.  Finally, we arrived at Lake Vermillion and the cabin midday.  

First glimpse of the lake

We had a wonderful time at the cabin, swimming, kayaking, watching sunsets, nightly sunset swims, and taking day trips to Ely, Virginia, and Duluth.  And of course we had a true Minnesota thunderstorm while we were there which resulted in many down trees and loss of power for several days all over the state.  We even managed to make it briefly to Wisconsin.  If you were counting, that makes six states for Elliot before he was two months!  Wow, world traveler.  And, made it the whole time without a single mosquito bite on Elliot!

Bug shield for Elliot to get from cabin to motor home

Aria was in heaven!  She wanted to stay at the cabin forever, and felt free to let herself out of the cabin and run down to the lake whenever she wanted!  She did cut her pad open our third day there and had to stay out of the water for a day which she was not a fan of.  Here are some photos from our wonderful time there.

View from the dock

Dogs swimming

Walking around Ely, MN snuggled with mama

Aria with her boot after she injured her foot

View from the cabin

Out for a sunset boat ride

Beautiful sunset

Aria loving the boat ride


Elliot's first boat ride 
Elliot after his first boat ride, fast asleep

Another wonderful sunset 

Doesn't get much better than this

Brandy and Aria love playing!

Panoramic view from the dock

Love those baby blues!

To Wisconsin we go!

True Wisconsin cheese


Lake Superior from the Duluth boardwalk

Lily pads

Paddling in my new kayak 

One of the locals

Peaceful day

Aria's happy place
Beautiful end to the day

Sunset swim

Prescription for soul peace

Perfect end to the day

Aria swimming
View of the cabin from the lake
Elliot's new book

As always, it was hard to leave.  But, reality beckoned and we started the journey home.  On the way home we stopped briefly in Walker, MN to look around; watched the remnants of the storm damage all through the state and then finally stopped for the evening in Jamestown, ND.  We stayed in a small RV park which was functional but nothing fancy.  The next day we made it all the way back to Bozeman.  It was a very long day, especially for Elliot, but we were relieved to be close to home.  So in the morning we loaded up for the final stretch and arrived home by dinner.  What a wonderful trip.  We're already missing it and can't wait to go back next summer!

Aria and Elliot on the way home

View while driving

Bozeman sunset

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