We needed a minute. Or, rather, a day. To reset, pause. To get out of the city, and our own heads. To unplug and head up north for the day.
On Sundays, Jeremy lets me sleep in. Most of the week I'm up at 3 or 4 in the morning for work. So, on Sundays, he tries to sneak out of the bed to take care of Harlow and the puppy before I get up. I woke at 7:30m yesterday and saw that he had sent me a text that said: "wanna go on a day trip?". Now, I'm normally a person who balks at the disruption of plans. I'm a planner, I rely on routine. But I knew we needed this. So I got up, made my coffee (2 shots of Nespresso's chiaro, one pump of salted caramel, one pump of pumpkin spice, frothed milk, cinnamon on top), and set to work getting ready for the day.
We were on the road by 9:30 and followed our normal North Shore itinerary. We have the same traditions every time we head up north.
-Coffee, cheese curds, and a donut for Harlow at Tobie's in Hinckley (the half-way point between us and Duluth).
-The perfect soundtrack (Tycho, Noah Gunderson, Sara Barielles. Hozier)
- A deep, collective breath of relief as we make it to Duluth and see the first glimpse of Lake Superior over the hill
-A stop in Duluth (yesterday's was very brief because Canal Park was a veritable swarm of humans)
-Lunch at New Scenic Cafe (right now their restaurant proper is closed but they currently have a kitchen in a converted Airstream in their parking lot called Scenic 61, highly recommend).
-A stop at Russ Kendall's for smoked fish (we skipped this one yesterday because, it too, had a swarm of humans. Normally we plan our North Shore trips for the off-season, so for us there isn't anything regenerative about going to our "spots" when there are lines around the buildings).
-Head into Two Harbors
We went for a little hike at Gooseberry Falls. Vivian was the belle of the ball, as every passing person made an audible gasp as they behold her cuteness. We put out feet in the water at the falls and basked in the perfect Minnesota summer day: sunny, 80 degrees, no humidity, light breeze. Then we stopped at the Lighthouse in Two Harbors, threw rocks into Lake Superior and took several deep, full-lung breaths of the northern air.
We needed this. There's been so much going on in our lives, some good, some meh, some filled with trauma that's a little too hard to name on a public platform. These past 5 months have been... overwhelming. And underwhelming. And too adaptive for anyone's brain and spirit to really come to full grips with. So we needed this. It was perfect. It was good. It was a brief moment to pause.