The Li Po Lounge is a mood.
The inside is dimly lit and there is no food. Brandy and Monica’s “The Boy Is Mine” hummed in the background, followed by Puddle of Mud’s “Blurry.”
The sign advertising the signature Mai Thai listed three types of rum, “Chinese Liquor” and pineapple juice. “Are we supposed to pick one of the rums?” I asked Jake. “No, it includes them all.”
Bourdain featured Li Po Lounge in his San Francisco episode of The Layover. Toasting him in a place that he loved with a drink that he liked felt very important. This Mai Tai here felt more like a quest.
Castle Danger sounds scarier than it really is.
This very pleasant brewery is located on Lake Superior in the small town of Two Harbors along scenic highway 61.
Of the few breweries we’ve visited between Duluth and Two Harbors, this is our favorite. Jake enjoys the IPA’s and like the nitro stout.
Castle Danger doesn’t serve food (except for chips and salsa) but that’s ok. You can order from local restaurants. Or, you can bring your own.
If you’re heading to Castle Danger from Duluth, stop at Northern Waters Smokehaus, first. Our favorite thing to order are the smoked fish boxes. Simply order whatever portion of smoked fish you would, and they will add saltine crackers and scallion cream cheese.
It took me one visit to love Duluth. Even in February, when the winds hurl sub-zero winds from across the lake.
In February, we felt like we had the lake to ourselves. In the summers you have to share.
Last weekend we headed 2.5 hours north back to Duluth. A mere 2.5 hours north, I-35 takes you far away from the hustle and bustle of the Twin Cities. As the hills open up and you reach the port you’ll feel like you’ve different world.
There was a blues music festival down in the open park by the aquarium, bringing lots of visitors to the area. Canadian wildfires north cast a sort of sleepy haze over the lake.
Neither of us grew up with a family cabin.
As we’ve moved back to our home state, I’ve a deep longing to make up for 34 years of cabin life.
I never felt this longing before. Friends would tell me they were “going up North.” I generally knew where Up North was, but didn’t really know what they did.
In hindsight, I get why my folks didn’t want to own a cabin. Still, I’m intrigued by cabin life and feel drawn towards Northern Minnesota.
Our friends graciously invited us to their family cabin for a weekend.
We found ourselves on a whirlwind trip to San Antonio when Jake won a contest a work.
The main point of the trip was to see the Final Four basketball games, so we spent most of the evenings at the AlamoDome. However, the schedule did allow some time to relax and choose our own adventures in the spaces between.
Starting at the MSP Airport Humphrey Terminal’s Barrio, I made it my goal to eat so much guacamole that it would be disgusting. Everywhere we went, I ordered guacamole. It was great.
Drive all the way down I-35 from Minnesota and you will end up in Laredo, Texas. BBQ, country music, sunshine, an abundance of guacamole, Mexican and Tex Mex food, warm greetings. . .maybe I’m just a little bit Texan?