Friday, August 31, 2012

Wisconsin Point

South Range WI (Sunny and Less Humid High 82 Low 52)

Subtitled: Why we love full-timing

One of the reasons we love full-timing is the unexpected just around the corner. We decided to drive along Wisconsin Point and see the Superior Entry Lighthouse just a few miles from our RV park. We like lighthouses so it was a given we would try to see this one. What we did not expect was the uniqueness of the area. Here is a google map of the Wisconsin Point and the Superior Entry (across the gap that is Superior Entry is Minnesota Point).

View Larger Map
The Superior Entry is the only natural opening through the longest freshwater sand bar in the world, we did not expect that. Sand deposits from Lake Superior and the rivers created the bar forming the harbor about 3000 years ago. The natural entry was originally 1500 feet wide but only 4-16 feet deep and the first ore shipped from the mighty Mesabi Iron Range was in 1893. In 1909 the entry was revised to 500 feet wide and 32 feet deep with concrete piers to accommodate the big freighters. The current through the channel sometimes reaches 3 mph. Today the entry serves one of the busiest ports in the United States. It is the western terminus of the St. Lawrence Seaway and handles cargoes of iron ore, coal, petroleum and grain destined for ports throughout the world.

The Superior Entry Lighthouse went into operation in 1912 after the concrete pier was completed. It replaced a couple of lighthouses that had been in the area on Minnesota Point and on Wisconsin Point. 

Getting to the lighthouse area at the end of Wisconsin Point we had another unexpected occurrence, OK maybe not so unexpected, we got lost. We drove past the road which was not that well marked and luckily ran into a lady out running with her dog. She got us on the right path after turning around in this great beach area.

Yet another unexpected was the fact that Wisconsin Point is a sacred burial ground for the Chippewa Indians. There were 22 spots to pull over and park along the point and the burial ground was one of them. Here is our photo of the lighthouse from marker 22.

At marker 21 we could have walked out to the lighthouse which is closed but since we were heading out the next day we decided to go back to the park. Here is a photo from of the lighthouse.

Here is another photo of the lighthouse we got from the web.

We really have enjoyed the area and plan to be back because there is more to see and more places to eat.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Jo Gets a Haircut

South Range WI (Partly Sunny and Warmer High 88 Low 48)

Subtitled: Part 2 of Bob's Whole Lotta Eating Going On

Jo got her hair cut at a salon in Canal Park in Duluth yesterday. While she was doing that Bob walked around Canal Park and enjoyed the scenery and the great weather (mid 60s with a good breeze). Although a big ship was not scheduled for the entire day which would cause the Aerial Lift Bridge to raise all the way to the top there was a tour boat that caused to bridge to partially raise. Here it is arriving.

Here is the Aerial Lift Bridge raising.

Here is the tour boat passing under the bridge.

Jo's haircut took about 2 hours and it was amazing just how fast the time went for Bob. He puttered with his smartphone for awhile, walked around the canal and then began reading his book. Before he knew it it was time to check menus in the area for lunch. From the "it doesn't hurt to ask file" Bob asked Famous Dave's if his expired Pig Club free birthday meal would still be honored since when it expired a couple of days ago we were not near a Famous Dave's and the manager said no problem, that there was some benefit to belonging to the Pig Club. So after Jo's haircut was over we walked to Famous Dave's. We were also able to use a survey coupon for a free dessert and got our favorite bread pudding for dessert.

After lunch we walked along Canal Park enjoying the great weather and scenery. So on a scale of a perfect day this was pretty high on the list with great food, sightseeing and weather.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

An Almost Perfect Day

South Range WI (Pleasant with Sunshine High 77 Low 50)

We have one measure of a perfect day; food, sightseeing, weather. By these measures we had an almost perfect day recently.

Food - we have hit upon an incredible place to eat in South Range; Kounty Quart House which has an interesting story. A lady who used to cook for the Elks but then they decided they are not serving food anymore. She then starts a catering business and it explodes so she decided to start a restaurant. She buys a bar and the Kounty Quart House is born. The food is incredible and all of it homemade, they make everything from scratch including the salad dressings. So far we have had an Ultimate BLT, Greek hamburger, cheesesteak, fried yellow tomatoes on top of an arugula ssalad. This is a MUST stop for any foodie. We are going to send Guy Fieri from DDD an e-mail about this place. It is a little spot literally in the middle of nowhere that serves amazing food.

Sightseeing - We visited Pattison State Park for Big Manitou Falls, which at 165' is Wisconsin's tallest falls. The park also includes Little Manitou Falls. Both falls were view-able after a short walk from their respective parking lots. Here is Big Manitou Falls.

Here is Little Manitou Falls.

Weather - at a little over 80 and sunny with very little breeze it was a little too warm for our tastes, hence the title.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, August 25, 2012

On The Road Again - to South Range WI

South Range WI (Rain Possible High 78 Low 54)

After three great weeks at the City of Houghton RV Park we left yesterday, Friday August 24th, and headed to Northland Camping and RV Park in South Range WI near Duluth MN. Here is the route we took.

View Larger Map

It sure is great to be back on Central Time, although it might take us a little time to adjust but we did like it getting darker earlier than in Houghton. We plan to stay a week here and then head to the Twin Cities area. While here we plan to visit some of the sightseeing places in Duluth that are on our list and maybe eat Sara's Table.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Just Enough

Houghton MI (Sunny Chance of Rain High 79 Low 60)

Subtitled: Simplify, Simplify, Simplify

While plugging in a charger for yet another new electronic device we got to talking about how we have just enough outlets to live. We certainly had more in our old sticks and bricks so maybe we did not need that many. As Henry David Thoreau said "Simplify, Simplify, Simplify". One thing about this living full-time in an RV is that it is not easy to be cluttered by details as you just don't have the room and that is a very good thing. That got us thinking about other things that we have 'Just Enough' of.

Pantry - we have 'just enough' pantry to survive a few days and it is a lot less than we had in our sticks and bricks but we certainly don't have many items that are a few years past expiration date anymore either. We do have to make a run to the grocery store or Wal-Mart every few days but that is OK.

Refrigerator - sometimes we wish we had a bigger refrigerator but we have learned to live with 12 cu. ft. Planning your meals and then buying only what you need for the next couple of meals help keep the refrigerator size manageable.

Counter space - we have been able to fix big meals for two with our available counter space and the island's counter space. Sometimes it is like a chess game moving things around so that there is enough space to work but after almost three years of full-timing we have gotten quite good at that.

Drawer space - surprisingly we also have just enough drawer space for our stuff.

Storage - with a cargo tray in the basement and a floorplan with a rear basement we have stuff with us we have not used for three years. Bob plans to go through all of the storage this fall and get rid of the stuff we have not used yet.

Closet - Jo may not totally agree with this but we both still have clothes we have not worn in a long time so we guess we have 'just enough' closet space. At least Jo has not taken over Bob's closet, we have a floorplan with a smaller wardrobe in the slideout near the bed for Bob and a larger closet across the front of the fifth wheel for Jo, so maybe we do have 'just enough'.

We worried about having enough of all these things when we were thinking about full-timing. Now we just marvel about how we are getting by with much less than we thought we ever could, and having the time of our lives doing it.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Full-timing with 3 cats - JJ's Den

Houghton MI (Pleasant and Warmer High 77 Low 49)

Time to time we like to regale on our life on the road full-timing in 359 sq. ft. with three cats.

Our mantra on the road is "a place for everything and everything in its place". Cats believe that every place is for them and that once a spot frees up they have never, ever been in there before and they must get in there right away. 

Bob keeps his beard trimming stuff in the cabinet below the TV. After a recent beard trimming he went to put the box back into its assigned area and here is what he saw.

A close up of JJ enjoying his "Den"

After a few minutes he moved on and with everything back in its place the doors were closed.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bob's Edition of "Whole Lotta Eating Going On"

Houghton (Partly Sunny High 68 Low 45)

Subtitled: Free Birthday Meals

Since Bob's birthday is in the summer and we are generally in remote areas he usually does not get free birthday meals. The Houghton area has 6 restaurants that offer a free birthday meal but only on the day of your birthday. So yesterday we had a rare three meal eating out day so we could maximize the benefits.

First was the Kaleva Cafe in Hancock across the river. Bob got the big breakfast of eggs, ham, hash browns, toast and 2 pancakes. The pancakes weren't even touched and were taken home. Jo had their version of Pannu Kakku and bacon. We then walked to a farmer's market and bought some blueberries.

The second meal of the day was at the Loading Zone II in Lake Linden. They serve a rack and a half of ribs so Bob ordered that and a side of spaghetti with a very good chicken and noodle soup. The ribs were excellent and the spaghetti was hardly touched and was taken home along with some ribs. Jo had a veggie sandwich.

After Mass we had our third meal of the day at Gino's Restaurant in Hancock where Bob got the Filet Mignon with soup and salad bar and a side of spaghetti. Jo got an order of spaghetti and ravioli. Bob's spaghetti and part of Jo's was taken home.

Not only did we have three good meals with the ribs and the filet as stand outs but we brought enough food home for a few meals. Just another benefit of being in Houghton for the summer.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, August 17, 2012

Portage Lake Lift Bridge

Houghton (Sunshine and breezy High 69 Low 54)

Subtitled: Officially the Houghton-Hancock Bridge

Thought we would share a little of why we have done so little sightseeing while in Houghton. Our site backs up to the Portage River. Here is the view of the lift bridge from our site.

As we mentioned before we just like to sit outside and read and watch the boats and ships go by. Here is tug boat hard at work.

Here is "The Ranger" approaching the lift bridge taken for our chairs outside our Cameo. "The Ranger" provides passenger service from Houghton to Isle Royale National Park and other places.

The Ranger getting closer.

Getting even closer the bridge is starting to raise.

The lift bridge raising.

The lift bridge at the top.

As it two names suggests this is a lift bridge that connects the towns of Houghton and Hancock across the Portage River. The middle section at its lowest is four feet of clearance and at its peak has 100 feet of clearance allowing Great Lakes freighters to pass underneath saving 100 miles if the Keweenaw Peninsula was circumnavigated. This bridge is the world's heaviest and widest double decked lift bridge.

Here is a picture we took when we walked the Houghton Waterfront Trail from our park to downtown Houghton.

Here is another one with the decks raised also from the Waterfront Trail.

As you can tell we really like Lift Bridges and to have one this close to us is amazing.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Texas added

Houghton MI (Times of Clouds and Sun High 78 Low 53)

We are doing a good job of recharging our batteries here in Houghton. It is great to just sit outside and watch the fishing boats, sailboats, etc. on the water and read our books. We do plan to do some sightseeing before our stay is over but we just cannot get enough of the easy life.

We have recently added the great state of Texas to 'Our Google Maps - Places to See and Eat' gadget on the left side of our blog.

We are now working on adding California which will be next to help us plan next summers adventure along the CA-OR-WA coasts.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, August 13, 2012

Catching Up - Float Plane Obsession while in Grand Marais

Houghton MI (Clouds and Sun High 75 Low 55)

Now that the Olympics are over we plan on doing some sightseeing in the Houghton area but staying up so late (ends at midnight here) gets us up late and the day is gone before we know it. This does allow us though to catch up on some blog entries of our recent stay in Grand Marais MN.

As we mentioned before Bob got obsessed with capturing a good picture of the float plane that was offering tours of the area from the air. The plane took off in Grand Marais Bay right next to where our RV was parked. He missed a lot of Kodak moments when we did not have a camera or he couldn't get the zoom at the right setting.

After 5 weeks there he did manage to get a shot or two worth reporting here and a couple of hundred in the recycle bin never to seen again. Here is the plane coming in for a landing in front of us while we were at the Dragonboat Festival.

Here is the float plane airborne with the lighthouse and sailboat.

Here is the float plane with the other lighthouse and a boat.

There are a "few" more in our photos from our visit to Grand Marais that have been uploaded to in the Grand Marais set.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, August 10, 2012

Catching Up - Grand Marais Food Scene, Part 3

Houghton MI (Mostly Sunny High 70 Low 53)

Subtitled: A Foodies Paradise, Part 3

It rained yesterday pretty much all day in Houghton so that allows us to catch up on some blog entries from our recent stay in Grand Marais Minnesota.

On top of all the great dining places that we described in Grand Marais Food Scene Part 1 and Part 2 we forgot to mention Hughie's Tacos which serves up the best puffy taco that we have had. A puffy taco is a flour taco shell that is fried so it puffs out and then filled with ingredients. They serve a pork and kraut taco that sounds weird but is amazing and their fish taco is great too.

In addition to the great eating places there are other places that provide great food experiences.

Sydney's Frozen Custard - some of the best custard we have had, so rich and creamy. Plus they serve a wood fired pizza that is real good. These are more of the artisan style pizzas than the regular menu pizzas but still good.

Gunflint Mercantile - they make up the best rice combination packets. The best one is cranberry creation which has wild rice, jasmine rice, brown rice, wild pecan rice, slivered almonds, and dried cranberries. We have a cream of wild rice soup mix we haven't tried yet that we bought there.

Beth's Fudge and Gifts - Amazing fudge here. The best fudge we have ever had; the dark chocolate, caramel and sea salt mixture, is available here. Gift shop is neat to walk through also.

White Pine North - next door to Crooked Spoon. We got syrup there that is very unique and wonderful, a blueberry and maple syrup combination. They also have a no sugar added wild blueberry syrup that is great. Also a neat gift shop to walk through. 

World's Best Donuts - having been there and tried a couple of different donuts we feel we have to make a comment about World's Best Donuts, a famous donut shop in Grand Marais. We feel that the donuts are OK but would not call them world's best.

With so many places to eat and shop for food we really overdid it the 5 weeks that we were there. Next time we are there we want to stay a 2-3 months and spread out our eating out a little more as the places can get expensive. 

With the exception of Naniboujou and My Sister's Place we could walk easily to any of these locations which makes this location our favorite 'Foodies Paradise' so far.

This concludes our review of the Grand Marais Minnesota food scene.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Catching Up - Grand Marais MN Food Scene, Part 2

Houghton MI (Rainy High 70 Low 54)

Subtitled: Foodies Paradise, Part 2

We had another lunch and shopping day here in Houghton which allows us to catch up on some blog entries from our stay in Grand Marais. Sleeping in late has cut down on Bob's blogging activities as the morning is when he gets a lot done. 

As we mentioned in a previous blog entry Grand Marais is a foodies paradise. Here are some more of the great places to eat.

Crooked Spoon - Jo had her new favorite French Onion soup along with a great whitefish BLT, pastrami sandwich and other great offerings.

Angry Trout - right next to the Dockside Fish Market so you know the fish is very fresh. With outside seating with incredible views and great fresh fish sandwiches and a fettuccine and salad lunch entree that is tremendous this place is a must stop while in Grand Marais.

Pie Place Cafe - first of all pie; one of the best pies we have ever had is the raspberry rhubarb streusel pie here. The pies are expensive as are the meals but everything is good. They serve a northwoods Benedict which is maple sausage (which is excellent) instead of ham and a cheese sauce instead of hollandaise making this a very good variation of a Benedict. There is limited outside seating with a view of Grand Marais Bay and the Lighthouse.

Naniboujou - we blogged about the great french toast before, this place is so unique we had to mention it again.

Believe it or not there is still more to cover on the incredible food scene in Grand Marais which will wrap up in a future entry.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

We Don't Like Eastern Time Zone

Houghton MI (Cloudy High 72 Low 57)

We rarely spend time in the Eastern Time Zone and when we do we don't like it. It just feels off with everything an hour later. Add to that the part of the Upper Peninsula where we are is north of Wisconsin which is on Central Time so it doesn't feel like we should be on Eastern Time. But this year is even worse with the Olympics on and the prime time broadcast ending at midnight. The first few nights we watched till the bitter end ending even later than midnight with our DVR delay watching. But last night we decided to quit earlier and just catch up today. So we are DVR delaying the network's tape delaying.

Staying up later means getting up later so we have done very little touristy things except for sitting outside and looking at water, reading, and talking with our neighbors which we have really enjoyed. We have had a couple great meals; a steak and cheddar pizza at the Loading Zone in Linden City and breakfast at Suomi in Houghton where Jo got the Finnish baked custard pancakes, Pannu Kakku. We are here for three weeks so once the Olympics are over we can get into tourist mode but we are really enjoying the relaxation portion so we are not complaining. There are just a couple of places we would like to see while we are here.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Catching up - Review of Grand Marais food scene, Part 1

Houghton MI (Mostly Sunny High 75 Low 55)

Subtitled: A Foodies Paradise, Part 1

We still haven't done much more than enjoy sitting outside and reading or chatting with our neighbors and enjoying the view of the Portage River so we thought we would catch up on some postings from our recent stay in Grand Marais. As promised in an earlier posting here is our review of the food scene there. Grand Marais is a small town of 1351 on the North Shore of Lake Superior about 40 miles from Canada. For such a small town the food scene is amazing due to the number of summer visitors enjoying the cooler temperatures, except when we were there :-(

Bob had three food places to check out on his list before we even hit town so let's deal with those first. The very first place we ate at was brunch at the 'Blue Water Cafe' because we heard the pancakes and french toast were good there and we heard correctly. They make a blueberry wild rice pancake that is very good. The cinnamon french toast is also quite good. 

The next place on his list was the 'Dockside Fish Market' which is the supplier of fish for the town and also serves fish and chips and soups and desserts. The walleye, whitefish, lake trout and herring were all fresh and amazing, much better than the fish we had last year in Wisconsin and Michigan. The soups and chowders were good and they have a tri-chocolate cake that is very good.

'My Sister's Place' was the third one on his list with burgers, gizzards and pizza listed. We first tried the burgers and they were very good and unique. They serve a sliced green olive and cream cheese topping on a burger that was flavorful with the crunch and brine of the olive and creaminess of the cheese. The gizzards were also good but a little chewy as they sometimes can get. The best thing on the menu though is the pizza, specifically the 'My Sister's Special', a italian sausage, pepperoni, onion, mushroom, green pepper, black olive combo that may be the best pizza we have ever had. One time we substituted green olives for onions and it was even better. The sausage is homemade and mild, the crust is thin and it is wood fired in a stone oven. 

Once we get to a place we start asking around where to eat. The office staff recommended 'South of the Border' for breakfast so that was the second place that we ate at. You are probably thinking like we were that this was a mexican place but south of the border up here refers to the Canadian border. This place serves good food, nothing spectacular, but good food at a great price. The Grand Marais food scene can get a little pricey so more reasonable pricing was nice for a change.

The place was crowded when we walked in and a very friendly local named Ann offered to share her table with us. We of course struck up a food and sightseeing conversation with here and got many more tips on places to eat and some of the sightseeing tips we have blogged about. The food scene is incredible in Grand Marais, so much so that we need to break it into multiple parts so stay tuned for our next edition of the Grand Marais Food Scene.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Catching up - Aerial Lift Bridge History

Houghton MI (Sunny and VERY Windy High 65 Low 55)

We made another Wal-Mart run yesterday to stock up for our stay in Houghton so that allows us to catch up on blog entries of our recent trip to Saginaw Minnesota near Duluth.

Like we said earlier we do like lift bridges and the one in Duluth has an interesting history. We found out more about it at the Maritime Museum which is located in Canal Park. This museum is Minnesota's most popular visitor attraction. There are models and exhibits giving an inside look into the Lake Superior shipping industry and the history of shipping on the big lake.

But we were mostly interested in the history of the lift bridge. It was interesting to find out that it started out in 1905 as an extremely rare transporter bridge, the first of two such bridges ever built in this country.  Over time this became known as the Aerial Ferry Bridge. Here is a painting of what it looked like in operation.

Here is a model of the Aerial Ferry Bridge with a model of the current Aerial Lift Bridge behind it. This was a display of the centennial celebration of the lift bridges in 2005. The Aerial Lift Bridge was constructed in 1929-1930.

It was cool to find out about the bridge history and learn that this was the site of an extremely rare bridge. We saw a picture on the evening news while in Duluth of the Aerial Lift Bridge at night and we just had to find that image so here is one we found on the internet.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, August 4, 2012

On the move again - to Houghton Michigan

Houghton MI (Rainy then Mostly Sunny High 81 Low 60)

Subtitled: A bad day traveling is better than a good day flying (with apologies to the fishing saying).

We left Two Harbors Minnesota yesterday, August 3rd, and headed to Houghton Michigan which is also near Lake Superior. We were in Houghton last year and fell in love with the town and the City of Houghton RV Park. Here is a photo out our back window, we are backed up to the Portage River.

Since it is about 250 miles and we had the time this summer we decided to visit it. Here is the route we took.

View Larger Map

We certainly tested the saying about a bad day traveling being better than a good day flying yesterday. With all the small towns and road construction and stretching breaks it took us 5 and 1/2 hours. But the worst part was when we started setting up. Remember when we mentioned how the water spigot was in a different location, well that is all it took for us to leave our pressure regulator and water softener there. We have called the campground but they forward all calls to voicemail and we are waiting on a call back. We hope we can get them back with just a little postage and handling but if not it is not so bad in the grand scheme of things. The truck and RV were not damaged, we were not hurt, and no animals were hurt in the filming of this adventure, it is only money that will solve this situation. Another valuable lesson learned on this great adventure.

While in Houghton we plan to eat at some of our favorite places from last year and find some new ones, explore the Keweenaw Peninsula, walk along the Portage River to hopefully the Lift Bridge here in action, and just relax. Here is a photo of the Lift Bridge from our last visit.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, August 3, 2012

Catching Up - Canal Park and Aerial Lift Bridge, Day 2

Two Harbors MN (Partly Sunny High 79 Low 63)

After 5 weeks of no Wal-Mart (and other shopping) we had a 'shop till you drop' day yesterday with Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Petco, etc. on the itinerary after a great breakfast at Sara's Table in Duluth. This allows us to catch up on some blog posts from our recent visit to Saginaw Minnesota. Then we will catch up on our blog posts from Grand Marais Minnesota.

We awoke to these morning visitors seen from our back window exploring the area around one of the ponds. It was good to see the geese as we fondly remember all the geese we used to see in our backyard at our old sticks and bricks.

After our great meal the previous day we went back to Sara's Table in Duluth for breakfast, this time we bought a loaf of the cranberry wild rice bread to use for french toast at home again. Then it was off to Canal Park again.

This time we got to see Aerial Lift Bridge go all the way to the top with a barge/tugboat combo going through. Here is the bridge starting to go up about 20 minutes before the barge/tugboat combo was even in sight.

Here is the barge/tugboat combo approaching the bridge.

The bridge at its highest point.

Finally the barge/tugboat/combo going under the bridge.

The loudspeaker had the announcement early on what was going to happen and the crowd got bigger as the time drew nearer. We were glad our timing was such that we could enjoy this spectacle.

Till next time

Bob and Jo

Thursday, August 2, 2012

On the Move Again - to Two Harbors Minnesota

Two Harbors MN (Mostly Sunny High 81 Low 57)

After over a month in Grand Marais Minnesota we headed out yesterday, August 1st, to Two Harbors also in Minnesota and also along the North Shore of Lake Superior. We are staying at the Burlington Bay Campground which is another nice campground right on the water.

It was approximately 80 miles from Grand Marais to Two Harbors, we sure like the shorter days. Here is the route we took.

View Larger Map

We had a short trip but then a long setup time. This is a very popular campground with an unusual reservation window. In January you can make reservations for the next year so when Bob called in January of this year there was slim pickings. We know now why this was the only site available. We ended up at a site that at first we weren't sure was even a site because we could not see the hookups. It looked like a primitive site with trees all around. The power was at the end of the site but down a hill, the sewer the same but in the middle. The water, however, was not to be found, turns out it is on the pedestal for the site next door so we needed two hoses which thankfully we had the second hose.

When Bob turned on the water the house water filter in the cargo bay fell out and a waterfall developed. Luckily we have everything in plastic bins but the carpet was soaked. Our ShamWows sopped it up and we put a fan on it but by now a short setup time was much longer. This was the first time that the water filter has fallen out in almost three years of living in our Cameo.

We did get it all setup and decided to eat at Betty's Pies which we had heard so much about. The food and of course pie were both very good. Luckily we are only here two nights because we are really roughing it. With trees all around our roof mounted dish could only get the low definition channels so we had to watch the Olympics live with the air antenna. It has been a long time since we have watched something live and suffered through the commercials. Bob kept picking up the remote to fast forward, you'd think after the 20th time he would have remembered, but sadly no. We are also roughing it because we only have 30a service but we put the refrigerator and water heater on LP so we can run both air conditioners at the same time which we had to do since it was a little hot inside after our trip and in the low 80s outside. But it is not all bad, we are few steps from a nice view of the big water and once we got settled and used to live TV it was OK.

We plan to take a trip into Duluth today to eat at Sara's Table and visit our home away from home, Wal-Mart. We are sorely in need of a Wal-Mart fix after being away for so long.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Naniboujou Lodge and Restaurant

Grand Marais MN (Sunny High 80 Low 61)

While in Grand Marais Minnesota we ate at the Naniboujou Lodge and Restaurant. Naniboujou was conceived in the minds of a handful of men as an ultra-exclusive, private club on the shores of Lake Superior about 15 miles north of Grand Marais. Among the charter members were Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey and Ring Lardner. The club was dedicated in 1929 with plans for membership to be limited to 1000. A golf course and eight tennis courts were planned as well as a hunting lodge but later in 1929 Black Friday occurred and the Great Depression began. As a result the club failed and was sold, only the main lodge was completed. It is now open as a Hotel and a Restaurant.

Inside the dining room stands a native stone fireplace, the largest in the state of Minnesota, is made of two hundred tons of native rock. 

The dining room is decorated in designs of the Cree Indians and has never been repainted since its completion in 1929. Here is the ceiling.

Here is a closeup of one of the designs.

The food here is incredible. The french toast is the best we have ever had and has been added to 'Our Favorite Things: Food!'. Their oatmeal is called porridge and tastes like cream of bread pudding. They make a wild rice, mushroom, cheese and Black Forest ham omelet that is very good. Everything else is also very good; from the bread to the muffins to the herbed potatoes. The breakfast meats of bacon and blueberry wild rice sausage are also tasty.

If you are ever in the area a stop at the Naniboujou Lodge and Restaurant is a sightseeing and culinary adventure.

This got us thinking since we are leaving Grand Marais today how the area is a foodies paradise so we plan to do an in-depth analysis of the Grand Marais food scene in a future blog posting.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo