Thursday, January 5, 2012

I Was Dreaming of a White Christmas

Blink. The holidays are gone and as a result, I am Jennifer McMopester. This year was much different than before, as I spent the holiday up North with my boyfran’s family instead of my own. There were a few issues with this: not being with my family on a holiday I’ve never spent away from them, not being there for the baby nephew’s first Christmas, and not being in my own house for the holiday. But the family was divided this year and the boyfran’s family had big plans for up North and so kindly invited me, so I took the leap and agreed. It was one of the most magical Christmases ever because it felt oh-so-Minnesotan and I got to do so many fun things!

{The hunchback of Rush City}

Last Thursday, most of the group was already up North but I had a nice dinner with my family before the boyfran and I went to a little Ugly Christmas Sweater shindig at Bulldog St. Paul. It was pretty fun and afterwards I headed home to stay up until 3am packing. Three hours later, the boyfran and I were out the door and on the road to watch the beautiful sunset. We only made one stop in Rush City, to see the largest walleye in the world, of course. Paul Bunyan was the brave fisherman on this one. (So dorky!)

We were warmly welcomed at our beachfront property in Lutsen, MN on Friday morning. I had never seen waves crashing into a shoreline blanketed in snow before. Soon after, I got a massage at the WatersMeet Spa, took a trip to boyfran’s brother’s cozy cabin in Grand Marais, then headed out to the community center for ice skating and hockey. 

The boys raced and played tag, while I honed my stopping and backwards skating skills. I may have ran my head straight into a hockey net at one point, but all was cured with a Peppermint Patty at a local bar with an awesome bartender, Whiskey Dick. Seriously, his name was Dick Winzer, kind of like Windsor. Like Whiskey. Get it? We ended the night with dinner and Cribbage and all was well in the world.

On Saturday, we trucked out to Caribou Lake and hauled our stuff on the boyfran’s three-wheeler. We played catch, I learned to punt, and we drank ice cold beer to keep us warm. Hmm? Yeah. I even got enough courage to hang onto the back of the three-wheeler while being towed on a snowboard. I tumbled down three times, but those falls were worth the fun. The scenery on the lake was intensely beautiful. Woodsy cabins dotted the shoreline and tall pines and bare birches skirted the entire perimeter. It was the most beautiful football field I have ever played on! Every once in a while, I’d stop, take a breath, and stare at the shoreline in disbelief of its beauty. 

Afterwards was the same drill: Cribbage, drinks, laughter. Only this time, we got to open presents! In my family I had never opened presents before Christmas morning so this was a treeeeeeeeeeat. Boyfriend Zeb and I got each other snow shoes – I can’t wait to bust those out! (Snow, darn it!)

On Christmas morning, we had a yummy breakfast prepared by boyfran’s mama. We had a small photo sesh for the other blog, then geared up to go sledding. When we arrived at Lutsen Resort to pick up some sleds, boyfran’s brother Luke decided to take us on a mini hike. The hike was breathtaking and a little bit scary, as we scaled steep inclines covered in slippery snow. Again, the green conifers against the snow were so strikingly beautiful I was practically gaping at every new view. We saw otter tracks along the water too! So cuuuute! 

After our hike, we drove over to the golf course and found a hill to slide down. The hill itself wasn’t all that intimidating, but a river disguised by a bed of snow awaited us at the bottom. Once we got to the bottom of the hill, we quickly had to roll off before plunging into the depths of the river. We had a Christmas dinner at the lodge and slothily made our way home for more Cribbage, Sequence, and Reggae music.

On Monday, we found our water pressure had officially died and instead of enjoying a slow morning with yummy breakfast, we bolted out of the place like something that bolts out of a place fast. 

We made our way slowly back to the cities, stopping at Beaver Bay for the giant Adirondack chairs, Split Rock Lighthouse for a view of the lake, and Duluth for a meal at Fitger’s Brewhouse and some shopping. I have a new quest to go see all of the odd statues and such in Minnesota, and everywhere.

I know this post is ridiculously long, but it’s basically a journal, so deal with it! Trips in confined quarters inevitably make you closer to the people you share them with. I feel closer to the boyfran’s family, if that was even possible, and I am happier for it. Sure, they are a quirky, sometimes gross (three boys, c’mon) bunch, but they’re pretty awesome and extremely welcoming. They got it from their mama!

So now I have all these amazing memories, items checked off of my winter to-do list, and a slew of photos I can’t even begin to sift through. It’s great to recognize the beauty in life, but when you take photos of each of those moments, well, you have hundreds of photos. Oh well, better than none! Okay, now back to our regularly-scheduled programming.

1 comment:

  1. This is the quintessential Minnesota winter weekend up north, you lucky duck!


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