Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Christmas in Chicago

After our ski trip, we drove to Chicago to be with family for the holiday. The drive from Minnesota through Wisconsin was beautiful, as the snowstorm that kept us in Duluth covered the northwoods.

We stopped in Eau Claire to do some last minute shopping and to grab some coffee. Here Joe is getting ready to drown his gingerbread man in his latte.

After a nice holiday with family, we went to the Museum of Contemporary Art on the day after Christmas. There was a Takashi Murakami installation in the cafe, a retrospective of the permanent collection on the upper floor, and a Rock show on the main level.


In front of the museum.

I wish I could remember what was so funny!

We did some shopping around Water Tower before the end of the day and the long drive home the following day.

Winter Up North

The week before Christmas, we headed up to the north shore of Lake Superior, to ski and snowshoe near Lutsen, MN.

It's a tradition for us to have breakfast at Blue Water Cafe in Grand Marais before snowshoeing. The hashbrowns, blueberry pancakes, and coffee always get us ready for a day outdoors.

We stopped along the shore at Cascade to enjoy the lake.

We snowshoed the 2.5 mile loop at Oberg Mountain on Thursday. The next two pictures are of us getting ready to set out.

At the trailhead!

An action shot along the trail.

Taking a break on the way up.

The view of the lake from the top of the hill.

We saw a grouse along the trail, and had some nice views of the inland lakes, but because of the cold, our camera battery died half way through our hike.

After arriving back at Eagle Ridge (our hotel), we saw a fantastic sunset over Moose Mountain from our porch.

Joe making a fire back in our room.

Friday, our first day of skiing, Joe going down the hill.

Taking the gondola over to Moose Mountain, Eagle Mountain is visible in the background.

Our skiis riding on the outside of the gondola.

Riding one of the chairlifts.

Looking out at Lake Superior from Moose Mountain.

Skiing on Ulur Mountain at the end of Friday.

On our balcony getting ready to go out for day two of skiing, on Saturday. The outdoor pool is visible at the lower left. Friday evening we tried swimming in the pool, but even though the pool was heated it was pretty cold, so we ran back to our room barefoot in the snow.

More chairlift.

Saturday on Moose Mountain.

The gondolas.

At the end of the day on Saturday, taking off the skiis.

Hanging out on the porch after a long day of skiing.

On Saturday night we walked over to the Lutsen bar Papa Charlie's to see Keller Williams perform. The evening started with some spiked hot chocolate....


It was fantastic to see such an amazing performer with a crowd of a few hundred, rather than a few thousand.

Walking back to our room through the snow.

Our room at Eagle Ridge was ski-in/ski-out. Joe is standing at the area where we hit the hill, and our hotel is the building in the background.

We intended to leave Lutsen on Sunday, but a snowstorm was approaching, so we decided to stay for another day of skiing. Joe at the top of Eagle Mountain with the lake in the background.

Joe coming out of a tree run.

In the lodge on Moose Mountain taking a lunch break.

Skiing the ridgeline back to the Moose Lodge.

Poplar Creek at the base of Eagle Mountain.

Taking off our boots after day three of skiing.

On Sunday evening we drove down the shore through a snowstorm to Duluth, where we decided to stop for the night. We stayed in the Canal Park area of town, and walked to Bellisio's for a fantastic dinner.

As we walked back to our hotel, we passed a local news center, where I was amused to see that they have a snowmobile parked out front.