We arrived here in beautiful Two Harbors (just north of Duluth along the North Shore of Lake Superior) late afternoon yesterday afternoon and settled into our room here. We found out about this place about three years ago when I was invited to preside at the wedding of parish members here. They have regular rooms, suites and even lake homes. We have a regular room, not even with a lake view, because that would be too expensive up here. But the lake is just out back, and we spent some time out there in the evening, Husband teaching niece M. to skip stones out on the lake. She is not bored yet.
Scout and M. are bonding quite nicely. I have a picture of both of them, sitting together out under the tree in our front yard, waiting for us to go. M. wants to hold the leash, which is ok, except when Scout decides to ... dash off! M. also likes to brush Scout, which she could definitely use more often.
On the way up we made the obligatory stops at Culvers for burgers, at Hinkley's Antique Mall, and at the Canal Park in Duluth, where there was a brief torrential downpour. We drove up the skyline parkway, and climbed up Enger Tower, which I know nothing about, but which affords a nice view of the big ships coming into harbor, and the suspension bridge coming up.
Of course, as well there was the car music ambience, so important to a musician. We listened to: Jazz on the Road, a two CD set of jazz standards (in one of the coolest "jackets" I have ever seen). Also of course, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and James Taylor were traveling music.
After skipping stones until it got good and dark, and walking with Scout along the water, we were good and tired. M. watched a missed TV episode on the computer, I began the highly recommended mystery In the Bleak Midwinter, but was so tired I couldn't keep my eyes open.
I have always wanted to do things like this with my nieces and nephews, but for some reason mostly, it hasn't worked out. I did have my oldest niece and nephew stay with me in South Dakota for a week once when they were very little. I'm glad finally to have the opportunity.
For a few minutes, watching Husband encourage M. in her stone-skipping technique, I wondered what it would have been like to have children of my own.
It felt good.
With any luck, sometime today we'll be able to stop in at Tettegouche State Park. It's a little drive, but a beautiful hike, and looks something like the picture above.