Three Trips for the Family


We have had three important trips recently that I’ll try to summarize below with some fun pictures.


First was our anniversary trip, delayed due to skin infection and state government closure.  I had originally planned for us to visit Lake Itasca, but I couldn’t be sure whether or not the park would be open because the state government had shut down.  Would it be open in time?  Well, I was interested in visiting an interesting spot along the Mississippi, and I figured if Minnesota was closed I should turn to Wisconsin.

I soon discovered a neat area called “Lake Pepin,” which is not really a lake at all.  It is the widest natural stretch of the Mississippi.  I set up the date as a mystery with only geocache coordinates along the way to lead us from stop to stop.

The visit took us along the Great River Road, which was gorgeous.  You could see the river intermittently along the drive, and every so often there were scenic overlook spots to get out of the car and enjoy the river.

The road often wound in between the river and huge bluffs.

One of the non-geocache stops was to picnic atop a bluff in a park area.  I thought it would be a quick walk from the parking area, but we ended up walking for about 20 minutes through a grassy and wooded area.

Finally we emerged onto a clearing atop the bluff.

See a beautiful image of the bluff here.

Elizabeth set out the blanket, and we had a picnic, watching the barges float by.

After that we visited a historical museum in the town of Pepin, the birthplace of Laura Ingalls Wilder, as well as a replica cabin near to the area where her family lived.

We also stopped in little Stockholm, WI, where there was an event called Dog Days.  We were just curious to drive by, but while driving by we saw these blue bikes.  Around the Twin Cities there is a program called Nice Ride, where you can rent a bicycle for a short period and return it to any kiosk around the cities for a fee.  Here there was an absolutely free bike sharing program.  It is one of the advantages of small town living – you don’t worry nearly as much about theft.

(click the picture to zoom in and read the tags on each bike)

I had plans for us to visit the Tiffany wildlife area, but we were too exhausted to do more exploring.  We returned home along the beautiful Great River Road.


A few days after our trip to Wisconsin, we were on our way out of the house when Basil decided he would take his own trip.  Very confidently he took the back stairs by himself, but he had a misstep and tripped over his head on the way down.  His mother reports that he was more upset about a fallen tupperware than his own head.  Oh well!



It took about a week to all heal up.


The last trip we took was another wonderful trip to Wisconsin.  We’ve had a lot of positive experiences in that state recently – and it’s not due simply to their famous bratwursts, cheese, and beer (triple threat, oh my!).

We had a family vacation with our friends from Chicago.
We shared a cabin with John and Lila, Basil’s Godparents, and their daughter Dorothy:

And our friends, Mark and Claire, Basil’s first-ever baby sitters.  Claire was one of Basil’s most frequent (and favorite) visitors  during his first year of life.

It was great to see Dorothy a little more grown up.  Basil was super excited to meet her.  We think this bodes well for his younger sibling.

Many hugs and kisses were exchanged.

The location was called Historic Liberty Lodge.  It turned out to be built after our own home, but it was covered from floor to ceiling with patriotic decorations.  Here is just a sampling:


They provided a row boat along the dock for the lake, horseshoes, croquet, bicycles, a gas grill, a bonfire pit, patio furniture, and acorns aplenty.  Basil’s favorite part, aside from Dorothy, was making “acorn pie” for the squirrels.

We spent lots of time talking about raising children, the prevalence of disposable plastics in society, future vocations, and church.  We really had a wonderful time and would love to make it a regular gathering.




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2 Responses to “Three Trips for the Family”

  1. markandclaire Says:

    so would we!

  2. AK the Second Says:

    Basil and Dorothy couldn’t be cuter. The family pics of you guys are great too. However, I must confess that I the one on the bike, where both Lizzy and Basil have their eyes part closed, is my very favorite :)

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