Xtravapaloooooza™ Great Lakes Road Trip Highlights

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Sunrise over Lake Superior

To celebrate and distract my thoughts from my upcoming 50th birthday, I have been going on some adventures in what I am calling the “Yay I’m Almost 50 North American World Tour Xtravapaloooooza!™.” One thing that surprised me returning from my road trip was my lack of excitement to share my stories beyond my family; I had an awesome time so I am not sure why I was so quiet. But before my old brain starts to forget, it is time to get documenting.

My first adventure was a road trip around The Great Lakes with my 13-year-old niece; each day was completely different from the next and it is hard to pick a favorite activity. Some highlights:

Day 1 – I relaxed with a pre-trip pedicure then collected my niece and promptly got a speeding ticket. Discovered the niece likes my homemade kale chips.
Lowlight: Speeding ticket.
Bonding: Speeding ticket.

Day 2 – I got up early and renewed my expired car registration at the DMV then headed north for lunch at Gordy’s Hi Hat in Cloquet. The wind was so strong near the shore in Duluth the birds could barely get off the ground. Split Rock Lighthouse gave us our first chance at accidental learning. Gooseberry Falls was flowing like mad. My niece tried and even liked the Walleye at the lodge right on Lake Superior with the crazy loud tiny frogs. We repacked bags in more practical manner.
Highlight: The view and sounds of Superior from our room at Cove Point Lodge in Beaver Bay, MN; we had a comfortable patio for relaxing or could walk out right to the rocky shore and it was a fab way to begin our trip.
Bonding: Sharing the joy of singing “little old lady got mutilated late last night” from “Werewolves of London” by Warren Zevon.

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Exploring Alexandria Minnesota

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Ole puts the “big” in this central park.

For as long as I have lived in Minnesota, I have explored very little of the state beyond the Twin Cities and Duluth. It is my hope to rectify this situation. A City Pages ad for Ole Oppe Fest in Alexandria piqued my curiosity, it sounded like a perfect blend of small town charm and cheese and was a mere 2 hour drive away so I headed out.

As I was driving, I decided to swing into the Apple store to see what solutions they had for listening to music from my iPhone in my car. That led to a stop at Radio Shack of all places for an adapter. That led to a stop at another Radio Shack that had the adapter in stock. That led to the realization I had left my fitbit at home and a debate if I should return to retrieve it or carry on.

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