WHERE: So, last weekend we headed for Indianapolis where we met the rest of the Wick crew.
WHY: To go to the Marsh Symphony on the Prairie. (Marsh as in Marsh Supermarket as in where Ken worked while in semnary – and where Kelli’s birth was announced over the store loudspeaker as shoppers picked up their lettuce in the produce aisle and bargained-shopped for mushrooms).
WHAT WAS HAPPENING: We heard the symphony play the music of Billy Joel. The evening was beautiful. The mass of people on colorful clothes (seemed to be a lot of red) was a great photo op. The kids were bouncing, dancing and jumping to the tune of just about anything played.
WHY NO PICTURES: The lack of pictures is not my choice. The brochure said no cameras, so I dutifully left it in the car – however, there were lots of cameras around. So, I missed the mass of people in their brightly-colored clothes photo op.
ANYTHING TO EAT: Their kettle corn was scrumptious. (Later the two girl munchkins and I finished it off in our hotel room while going to sleep to the background noise of the Iron Chef cooking flouder.) They were also selling big bowls of strawberries, topped with whipped cream, but I did not have any – but I’ve been thinking about them ever since. 🙂
WOULD I RECOMMEND IT: Definitely. Gorgeous night. Good music. Fun to be with family.
If you’re ever driving south through Indiana 0n 65 and you have some kids in the car and they aren’t finding the scenery all that entertaining – stop at Fair Oak Farms.
The home to 30,000 cows (none of which you’ll get to meet personally), the farm includes a play area, a 3D movie (with some surprises), a bus tour, a birthing barn and a restaurant/gift shop. And yes, when they say birthing barn, that’s just what they mean, so be prepared for some questions. You can tell when a calf is about to be born because the traffic light out front turns green – and then the poor cow gets to give birth in front of a packed amphitheater.
1. Take the Apostle Island Cruise (the boat was broken)
2. Visit Split Rock (decided it was too expensive after already spending the day on the lakeshore)
3. Visit the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.
After the very successful and pizza-laden cruise around the Duluth harbor, we drove to Hayward to the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. Our plan was to do a quick tour and then head back to Jeff and Cindy’s.
However, we got there at 4:07 and it closed at 4:00.
We drove around town a little bit and thought about what to do and what we decided to do was find a hotel and stay an extra night. This would allow us to eat at the Lumberjack pancake house and go to the Lumberjack Show. This is the place where the Lumberjack World Championships take place (next weekend, actually) which you can see on ESPN.
Amazingly, we got room at a beautiful hotel on a lake, right next to the logging village.
We settled in and then went to see about the Lumberjack Pancake House (at the site of the show), only to find that a hand printed sign that this was the one day it was closed! (Not the show, just the restaurant), but Linda, the very nice lady at the ice cream stand, said we could get our dinner somewhere else, bring it back and eat it on their patio since no one was at the restaurant. That’s what we did – brought Subway back to the patio.
The show itself was fun and the kids were totally into it. By the way, from the view of my pictures it looks as if no one was there – not true. The extra bleachers on the other side are for the World Championships. Our side was fairly full
The next morning we were at the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame when the gate opened. The big attraction here (and what they are known for) is the World’s Largest Muskie.
Otherwise – well … they have exciting exhibits like the “boat motor graveyard” and the history of fishing lures.
We then headed back to Jeff and Cindy’s quiet little corner of the woods – except this is the one week of the year that it’s not so quiet. 35,000 country music fans roll into town in their RVs ad camp out down the road at the Hodag Festival. Seriously, the deserted back roads suddenly have traffic jams and police hide behind trees waiting for partying drivers to speed by. And at night you can hear the entertainment – so Thursday night I was literally serenaded to sleep by Glen Campbell singing Southern Nights. Yep, he was just down the road behind the mic. I think we’ll always remember this short vacation as the vacation that didn’t turn out at all like we were expecting, but we had a fantastic time doing the things we didn’t plan on doing.
So, this morning I had an interview on WMBI – which made me a little apprehensive, because people I knew would actually hear me (unlike interviews I’ve done in South Texas or Seattle). I was to go on at 10:00 – so I did my usual routine of locking myself into my “room” and waiting for the call.
Except at 10:00 – there was no call. I was sure Moody hadn’t messed it up and couldn’t figure out what was happening. Finally, at about 10:10, I opened the door and asked someone to get a book from my desk – a book with the radio confirmation information stuck inside. Meanwhile, someone had called my brother (because they couldn’t get me), asking where I was because Moody was looking for me. And then the corporate communication supervisor came by and I talked with her – she went off to call WMBI and to talk to our PR guy. It was chaotic! We quickly discovered that the publicist had given WMBI the wrong number to call (she had switched one number).
So, finally I get on and the interview’s continuing and we get disconnected! That is the only technical problems I’ve had on any of the interviews – and of course, it was the WMBI one. Oh, well. Life is like that sometimes 🙂
Anyhow – back to the trip.
Our day certainly hadn’t turned out the way we expected – no Apostle Island Cruise and no Split Rock Lighthouse (except for a far away picture). We headed for our hotel in Duluth – planning on walking along the harbor the next morning, then heading back to J&C’s, stopping in Hayward for the Freshwater Fish Hall of Fame on the way.
Besides the harbor being beautiful (especially on this sunshiny day) and interesting (the huge boats are fascinating) – it has the renown lift bridge. When a boat comes through, the bridge goes up on pulleys and then comes down again after the boat is clear.
Then Cindy noticed that there was a Pizza Cruise through the harbor – an hour and a half with all the pizza, soda and cookies that you can eat. That sounded fun and a good alternative for the missed Apostle Island cruise – so off we went! How fun!
Our day was quickly speeding by and we had seen a lot of scenery and walked through woods, up hills, over rocks, along the shore and out on the breakwater – but we still hadn’t accomplished any of the goals we originally had.
So, we kept going with a stop at Gooseberry Falls. I didn’t get a lot of pictures here – there were people everywhere.
And it was here that the 9yo suddenly realized she had left her sweatshirt back at Two Harbor Lighthouse – on the rocks. She was not happy. This was the shirt I bought her at camp last summer that matches her cousin’s. But alas … when you set stuff down, you gotta remember to pick it up. We had already gone about 25 miles up the road.
After Gooseberry we headed to Split Rock. Split Rock is a well-known lighthouse because of it’s beauty – I guess too well known, because other than a quick glimpse through the trees as you went along the road, you could not see the lighthouse. They had even closed the overlook where people could take free pictures.
When we got to the gift shop (always one of those), we realized it would cost about $45.00 for us to get inside the fence. Considering we had already climbed, hiked and meandered along the shore and among the rocks that day, that seemed a little high. Maybe if it had been the ONLY thing we had come to see, but as I said, we had already seen a lot of Lake Superior scenery. So, we headed back down the road and I pulled over on some gravel. I gave Jeff my camera and he want tromping through the woods looking for a clear shot. Couldn’t find one. So he walked up to the closed overlook, crawled past all the the road equipment and took a picture. What a guy!
Here is Split Rock in all its beauty. Our one and only picture
By this time, we were all hungry. Evening was approaching. We had seen a restaurant on the way north called Betty’s Pies. Looked like a touristy place, but there were a lot of cars there, so we decided to give it a try. Whoa! We all really, really liked the food. Jeff said his walleye sandwich was delicious. Cindy had a reuben. One of the kids had fish sticks that were absolutely yummy. I had a pasty which is a meat pie. Super, super food – all of it.
And the pies were crazy. A guy at the table next to us got pig’s trough which was about six pieces of different kinds of pie in a pie tin with bananas around the side.
We decided to buy a five-layer raspberry pie and take it to our motel for later on. I’m not one for overly rich food – but this pie was so creamy and light, we remarked that we didn’t even fill that full after eating it. the middle raspberry part was creamy with fresh raspberries mixed in. Unbelievably good. No wonder the parking lot was packed.
About five hours after we had been the Two Harbor Lighthouse, we once again passed the lighthouse. I pulled in and Jeff and the 9yo ran out to the rocks – and there was the sweatshirt – exactly where she had left it. Victory!
After doing some more geocaching in the Bayfield cemetary, we headed west. After all, we had two more goals before this trip was over the next day – the Split Rock Lighthouse and the Freshwater Fishing Museum. Just because one goal fell through, that didn’t mean all our goals had to fall through.
So, we headed down the road and I saw a sign that said Two Harbor Lighthouse and I turned in. Another unexpected twist to the trip. The lighthouse itself was private – and actually a bed and breakfast, but they did have a gift shop that was open. (Funny how that works, isn’t it?) Still, we did get to see the lighthouse.
The cool thing about Two Harbors, however, is the breakwater jutting out into the lake – and so we walked it.
So, the next morning we got up bright and early, ate breakfast at the hotel and headed north to Bayfield. The blue sky, the blue water, the crisp air added up to a day made to order.
Cindy had made the reservations and they said we needed to get there by nine thirty in order to keep the reservations, so we arrived in plenty of time. The town was busy with people coming in for the day’s boatrides – several different types of boats go out from Bayfield – including the ferry to Madeleine Island. I dropped Jeff and Cindy off and headed up the street to get a parking space.
Soon they were back again.
“Bad news,” Cindy said. “the boat is broken – no rides today.” She went on to say that there were a lot of very unhappy people milling around inside the boat office, quite angry that there was no warning and people traveled miles out of their way to get there.
So much for my BD present boat trip.
We parked the car. Cindy and the 6y0 went off in search of something to drink while Jeff and the girls decided to introduce me to some geocaching. This particular hunt took us up the steeps hills of Bayfield and then deep inside a wooded ravine. We walked through the woods and then crossed a bubbling brook and walked over a wooden bridge.
“Aha!” Jeff said. “I think we have it. Girls, check under the bridge.”