Grand Marais, MN

The closest to heaven on earth I’ve been so far might be the East Bay in Grand Marais, Minnesota, where we spent a few days before the 4th of July. It’s our third time staying at East Bay Suites in room 108, overlooking the incredible “sea” called Lake Superior. Situated right along the edge of the lake, this spot is our favorite in town…or maybe in the whole world. When looking out the patio window, it feels as if one is at the end of the earth, looking into a great abyss. Every evening, sunset paints a pink, mystical sky. A more peaceful and serene setting might exist somewhere in this world, but I’ve not seen it yet.

Coming home was not easy, but it was fun to come home to 4th of July festivities and our pets, whom we missed a lot when we were gone.

October

We have had a beautiful October here in Minnesota with mild temperatures, just enough rain, and fall colors that will spill into November.  We even had our first snowfall. Our homeschooling has settled into its own rhythm, which involves far less structure and direction than originally planned for.  This is good. It is ok.  We’re back to a sort of “unschooling” theme, with a little direction and suggestion here and there.

We celebrated my sisters’ birthdays, visited my parents, went to a lovely apple orchard, stayed in a cozy and warm camper cabin at Afton State Park during the peak weekend for fall colors, and of course, along with the rest of the country, we celebrated Halloween with pumpkin carving, costumes, and trick-or-treating in our neighborhood.  Mia was a “flapper” from the 20’s and Anna was a snail.

I read this book over our cabin camping weekend and it changed my life a little.  It changed the course of my children’s lives even more because it helped me relax and trust them more. They have been very happy since this change occurred, and I am reminded once again how things fall into place when the time is right.

Another wonderful thing is that my dad finishes radiation treatment tomorrow.  The maintenance part of his treatment begins now and continues for the rest of his life. I learned that although I was told that his cancer was stage 4 in the beginning, this was not accurate.  I do not know why the misinformation happened.  He is doing much better now.

Fall greetings to my dear blog readers.  I hope this finds you happy and well.

xo

November 2017

We had our family photos taken this week with a Groupon for JC Penney.  As usual, the photo session there was rushed and awkward and most of the photos turned out terribly.  But we did manage to get a few good ones, and here is one of Alan and me that I love:

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This is my last year of being in my thirties.  I think I’ve officially hit my “midlife crisis” phase of life.  This picture helped me feel a little better about myself because it turned out nicely and magically hides the things I don’t like about my appearance these days.  I always wanted to age gracefully and not feel badly about getting older, but now that it is happening to me I am not feeling graceful about it at all.  It is very difficult to embrace the changes.

We got a decent family photo to use for Christmas cards, but Mia really doesn’t like it, so I won’t post it.  Here is a cute one of our sweet girls:

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I guess we’re all growing up. Some of us are just further along than others.

 

 

Days one and two

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Meeting my dad at the Minneapolis airport before our flight to Amsterdam.

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84 Attemosevej, 2840 Holte. This was my childhood home in Denmark.

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Vangeboskole, Holte. This was my elementary school in Denmark.

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A farmhouse that sits adjacent to Vangeboskole, my old school, and shares the road to the school forest.

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A horse grazing in the pasture just beside the school grounds.

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Me standing in Copenhagen on our second day in Denmark, in the rain.

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Nyhavn, Copenhagen, one of the harbors where sailors used to stop in the old days to get drunk and get into a fight. Now it is a charming section of town filled with lovely cafes and shops.

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A row of bikes in Copenhagen, where there are more bicyclists than drivers in cars. This is a typical bike ridden by Danes, with a basket in front and a cargo rack in the back.

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A beautiful ship in the harbor near Amalieborg Slot.  Beautiful ships and boats made of wood are abundant in the harbors of Denmark.

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A traditional Danish hot dog, or pølse, with toasted onions and pickles. Although I was not able to eat more than 3/4 of it, it was incredible.

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Our little rental car, a Corsa Eco. It ran on diesel fuel and had incredible gas mileage. A little car like this is typical in Copenhagen and around Denmark.

Photos of my Denmark trip

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Grasses in Skagen, the northernmost portion of Denmark.

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This is the school forest at Vangeboskole, which is just as magical now as it was when I was 7 years old.

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The famous scuplture based on HC Andersen’s fairy tale, The Little Mermaid, sits on Langelinie in Copenhagen.

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A typical Danish mailbox

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The little village where HC Andersen was born in Odense, on the island of Fyn. His original house is now a museum and the rest is a real village where people still live today. It’s a real-life fairy tale!

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Guards are Amalieborg Slot, the home of Denmark’s royalty.

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A street on the island of Aeroe, a tiny island in Denmark. This part of town has been preserved to maintain its original appearance from 1680. People really live here, and it’s a little fairy tale town. It’s an absolutely lovely place to visit.

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Egeskov Slot, a castle that is privately owned by a family who has owned it since the 1600’s. People live there, and it is passed down each generation.  Its grounds are magnificent.

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Lavender grows abundantly in Denmark, thanks to its mild climate. The scent is incredible, and bumble bees cover the shrubs from morning till night. This shrub sat just outside of our B&B in Aeroe.

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Fish soup, made with the day’s catch. Restaurants and fisheries are abundant in harbor towns, and the fish is absolutely fresh and delicious.

 

More to follow….

Camping!

We spent two nights at campsite 3 in the primitive campground at Lake Elmo Reserve.  It was glorious.  While it was still close to the city and we didn’t quite get away in the fashion that I prefer, it was relatively quiet and also convenient, as well as surprisingly beautiful and lovely overall.

 

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