This blog post is extremely unsponsored.
Grand Marais looks like a neighborhood that Michael could have designed to be The Good Place.
It’s idyllic. It’s super Scandinavian. People wearing sweaters and holding ice cream cones wander the quiet streets. Someone might wander by holding a freshly caught fish.
The mention of “Grand Marais” throws Minnesotans into a tizzy, a dreamy state of frenzied joy. Those who have been will tell you about the World’s Best Doughnuts (yes, that’s what the shop is called), suggest you eat some lake fish, and share the best places to hike.
After one visit, I’m now one of these people.
If you don’t eat a piece of cheese from the sample table at Rybicki, you aren’t are a real Minnesotan.
Just kidding you still are.
Neither of us particularly enjoys shopping, but we love wandering the Mall of America. Each lap is supposedly a little over 1/2 a mile. We love walking with the mall walkers.
Six years ago (!!) I wrote a blog post called “My Short Guide To Cheap Mall Of America Food Dates.” This was back when we lived next to the Mall of America. Occasionally we’d pop over for weeknight snack and walk dates.
Many things have changed since we moved back home to the Twin Cites and while others are the same.
“Do you feel like you’re in a Bob Ross painting?” I asked Jake as he steered our vehicle up and down steep mountains thick with towering trees. “I feel like I’m trapped in a Bob Ross painting on drugs,” he replied, gripping the steering wheel with white knuckles. “I bet the woods are full of bears, too,” he added as we passed a Rock Slide Area sign followed by another featuring a truck tumbling off the side of a mountain.
The waters of Lake Tahoe are crystal clear and the sun beats over the mountains like a flaming, angry saucer.
Early in the morning, the sun rises over Lake Tahoe; it seems to rise much earlier than it does in the Midwest. Before seven a.m., the lake radiated so fiercely with white light that I had to look away.
For two Midwestern kids, the drive to Lake Tahoe felt nerve-wracking. We’re used to driving long, flat distances through corn fields on auto-drive, only pausing it to pass semis. You can’t do that here. The highway winds up through the mountains and around sharp curves hugging drop-offs that make your palms sweat.
This post is not sponsored. We paid for our own accommodations at full-price.
This beer with a view is the only photo I took during our two-night stay at Hotel Lincoln because I hadn’t planned on writing a blog post.
Now that I’m home, I’ll share my thoughts in case it helps someone with their trip planning. We’ve visited Chicago a few times together and Lincoln Park is an area we like to stay. It has an energetic neighborhood feel. DePaul University is also located in Lincoln Park which means there are plenty of boutiques, bars, and dining options in every price range. When we visited Chicago on our honeymoon, we stayed at a bed and breakfast called Villa D’Citta. This time Jake chose the lodging. He’s less of a bed and breakfast type of person and prefers hotels. Plus, a hotel was more conducive for our gathering with friends.