Grand Marais, MN!

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All right, friends. Here’s the last group of photos from our extended trip up to Minnesota’s north shore! I know, right. How can there possibly be more photos?! Oh but you underestimate my complete inability to take less than one bajillion photos while we’re on vacation.

So. On that note, meet Grand Marais!

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Darrin and I spent most of our mornings waking up around 6am and walking down to the harbor. The Lake Superior shoreline was quiet in the early morning, except for the seemingly random squawks from the seagulls parked near the water. Darrin is actually not much of a morning person, and when I say “not much,” I mean “not at all.”  He’s much happier staying up until 4am to work on a project than he is waking up at 6am to get a jumpstart on the day. I, on the other hand, love the early morning hours, so Darrin graciously dragged himself out of bed super early each morning so we could share coffee and donuts on the lake shore {we’re talking 6am, folks…which is like 4am in “Darrin Hours”…a measurement of time that works similarly to “dog years”}. Grand Marais is home to the World’s Best Donut Shop, a little donut place near the lake that makes the best cake donuts I’ve ever had. Total donut heaven. The frosted raised donuts have a thick layer of frosting, while the cake donuts just melt in your mouth and make you question everything you knew about the donut world.

Yeah. They’re  that good. 

We embraced our sleepy-eyed looks, grabbed our coffee from Java Moose {their salted caramel syrup deserves at least 5 thumbs up emojis…and don’t even get me started on how awesome my americano tasted…hint: super awesome.}, ordered a box of donuts from the World’s Best Donut shop {because when you’re on vacation, you order donuts by the box, my friends}, and sat along the boardwalk talking about houses and babies and work and school and family and everything else we’re hoping for in the future. A warm sweatshirt, a cup of coffee, and a beautiful view will have you counting your blessings and hopes in no time.

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Also, YES. I did wear this Hamlet sweatshirt almost every day of the trip because, well, HAMLET, and the mornings and evenings were also pretty chilly.

On the night before we had to head back to the cities, we watched the Grand Maris fireworks show along the lake’s shoreline. Darrin made sure that we were adequately prepared to enjoy the show by stopping at the local food truck for some cheese curds. We took our curds to the rocks, found a spot close to the shore, and waited for the show while parents and families began surrounding us with their sometimes darling and sometimes obnoxious kids. Some couples use parenting-help books to prepare themselves for their future families…I simply take mental notes of the parenting that takes place at public events {don’t buy those flashy light saber toys that could easily be used to smack someone else’s child….don’t let my kid throw rocks at strangers…watch my child so he/she doesn’t walk down the shoreline alone, at night, unchaperoned….I feel like these are “duh” parenting moments, but that’s just me}.

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We had such a great time simply sitting on the shore, sharing a tray of cheese curds while a local band played a few classic rock songs in the background. Darrin took his little cousins down near the water so they could practice skipping rock across the surface. His youngest cousin, who will be starting kindergarten this fall {already?!}, had some trouble with his “skipping technique,” so he resorted to simply throwing large rocks into the lake, trying to {as he claimed} “hit the moon.”

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We ended our night back at the hotel, playing board games and drinking Diet Coke in the hotel lobby. The trip was filled with relaxing moments and beautiful views that were hard to leave the next morning. We rode back to the cities with Darrin’s grandpa, the genius planner behind the entire weekend, and we made sure to take Darrin’s grandpa to our favorite sandwich shop in Duluth {a few pictures from this post}: Northern Waters Smokehaus. Sharing a Cajun Finn salmon sandwich while reminiscing about the trip sure made leaving the relaxing getaway that is Grand Marais just a bit easier. And the Minnesota Vikings preseason football airs tomorrow, so Darrin most definitely needed to get back to the Twin Cities. Gotta be close to his team, ya know? 😉

And now we’re back! And happy to be home. Thanks so much for putting up with my obnoxious amount of pictures from our trip! And thanks for reading! I hope your Thursday is riddled with relaxing moments! 🙂

5 Comments

  • Reply Carlee August 7, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Love all those photos and sounds like the perfect end to the day. Board games and soda.

    Carlee

    http://www.thelittlesloth.blogspot.com

  • Reply jennifer prod August 10, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    a bird house on a stick? how awesome is that? if only i had a yard… also, i’ve always been an up-at-six kinda girl, and i thought it was a sign of true love when i first woke up next to jon and – wait a minute – i wasn’t next to him – the sweet/dream guy was making coffee at 6am <3

    • Reply Grace Beekman August 11, 2014 at 7:25 am

      What a hubby! Quiet mornings are just the best. I like the feeling of being awake before the rest of the world is awake…definitely a great time for a little reflection and a lot of warm coffee. 🙂

  • Reply Shannon January 27, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    Gracie,
    I just found your blog today and have been throurghly enjoying the Grand Marais photos!!! We totally speak the same language when it comes to waking up extra early on vacation in G.M. just to take in their beautiful sunrises over the lake and topping it off w/the donuts and coffee is exactly what I have to do when we’re there!!! So worth the calories right?!!! I wish I had a gal pal who loves G.M. as much as you do, at least now I know I’m not the only one!!! Keep up posting on your North Shore adventures, LOVE IT!!!!! P.S. Have you ever walked the Croftville Road? It’s known as the “walking road” in G.M. and my fav for early morning walks!!! email me and I’ll explain where it is if you don’t know….
    Best,
    Shannon

    • Reply Grace February 17, 2016 at 10:40 am

      I am so happy that you love the photos! Grand Marais is one of our favorite places. Darrin and I have spent a weekend or two there almost every summer! I’ve got to visit Croftville Road! Beautiful morning walks about north are the absolute best. Thanks for the suggestion! 🙂

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