Marc and I celebrated our 10th anniversary on October 19th. Ten years married to this guy ... wow. Back in the day, before we really even knew each other, my mom had a class with Marc and came home to tell me that there was this boy in her group who was really cute, and he didn't talk much but he was from somewhere in South America and we would make really cute babies.
Guess Mom knew what she was talking about.
It's been a ten years full of ups and downs and everything in between, but I can't imagine my life and my future with anyone but him. He gets me (mostly) and he puts up with me (mostly), and those are pretty important things.
So happy 10 years, sweetie!
And to celebrate this rather important occasion, we took off for a vacation for the first time since October of 1999, when I was five months pregnant with Henry. Marc's parents drove up from Indiana to hold down the fort while we drove up to the North Shore of Minnesota for four days. Marc surprised me with lunch at our favorite Greek place on the way out of town, and then it was on to four days of peace, quiet, and no kids! And then on Saturday we were back in the metro for a wedding in Stillwater that I was shooting.
The North Shore is an amazing place. It's just gorgeous - if you like dark, slick rocky shorelines and tall pine trees and straight white aspens, amazing rivers and waterfalls flowing out of the hills and under the road and into Lake Superior, the smell of campfires and clean, cold air. Since we are in love with Maine, and the North Shore is at the same latitude at Acadia and therefore seriously resembles it, and we can get our Maine fix without a plane ride, the North Shore is a little piece of paradise.
Marc planned the stay and got us a condo at the Lutsen Resort, complete with champagne upon arrival and a nice big whirlpool tub overlooking the beautiful shore. The resort was lovely, the food was amazing, but the grounds - wow. The Poplar River flowed through the property, and each mealtime we hiked down a nature trail from our condo on a bluff, across the river on a covered bridge, onto the beach in front of the lodge, and then up into the main building. The setting was just perfect, and we found lots of little areas to explore.
While up there we headed to Lutsen Mountain and rode the ski gondola up to Moose Mountain and hung out on the scenic overlook. As we started our ascent it was flurrying, and by the time we reached the top the sun was coming out and lighting all the hills and the lake. As we were leaving the mountain, we counted five or six deer just lollygagging on the side of the road, watching us drive by like we were no big deal.
The next day we drove into Grand Marais and had amazing chowder at a little fish shed. And on the way home we stopped at the Cascade River to see if it was anything worthwhile. Umm, yes. It was. We hiked a short way up the hill and found the falls, but then we kept hiking up and saw more falls. By the time we reached the top we'd seen four or five different levels of waterfalls, all just gorgeous. There was a footbridge that crossed the river, and then we started heading down the opposite side. At the bottom, we veered off the path and crawled under the road overpass, following the river to where it fed into Lake Superior. Just beautiful.
On Thursday, our anniversary, we decided that since we were only an hour from Canada we might as well drive up and have lunch. We headed to Thunder Bay and had fun crossing the border. Instantly the road signs were different ... whereas Thunder Bay had been about 30 miles away, the signs were suddenly saying 62. We said, "no way!" until we realized we were in metric-land. Ha ha.
Thunder Bay was very uninteresting. But we had a good lunch and then drove back home. And saw some fun signs along the way.
Friday we headed back to the Cities, and stayed in Afton, Minnesota, where we were treated to a room with a backed-up toilet, and horribly painful shower, and a slap-and-tickle performance in the room above us from midnight until 1:30 a.m., when the acrobats knocked each other off the bed and went stomping and yelling around their room for awhile. Yeegawds. Friday night sucked.
Saturday was the wedding ... I'll post pix from that later.
So we did it - five days away from the kids. Amazing. The trip was beautiful (see more of the pix here) and fun and relaxing and SO long-overdue. The only bad thing is that I slept terribly each night ... so much for the idea of sleeping in and being lazy on vacation. But if that's the only bad thing, then I think we had a successful time! Can't wait until next year's First Anniversay of the Tenth Anniversary trip to Maine - for real, this time! Unless I can convince Marc we might need to step up the plan to head to Greece ...