A New Year's Eve Northwoods Snowshoeing, Gateway Lodge, Paulding Light Adventure

The next morning my mom made biscuits and gravy for breakfast. 

This year they were unsweetened.

I got up a little late and got a massive helping. No lunch for me today.

After breakfast we waited for Scott to wake up.

Ummm....I took this picture. Unless I was sleep photographing.

Once he got up my mom decided to take a nap. I worked on my painting in the meantime. 

Meadow waited patiently for Grandma to wake up so she could open presents. 

She finds this pillow to be the bees knees.


And we waited. I was about to go outside when she finally got up. 

Meadow was so excited to open presents again. She got a hippo car that pops when it rolls. 

It was exciting to open presents from Santa.



After passing out all the gifts I ended up with a pinwheel for our garden, fuzzy posters, a puzzle, a clock, a bird feeder and a loom kit. 

Scott ended up with popcorn containers, build your own helicopter kit, a collapsable canteen, a Nerf gun, microwave egg poacher and a lighter.

The first thing I did was shoot the Nerf dart at Brooke.

Sorry Peanut no gifts for you. Oh yea we left Peanut with my parents when we were home a few weeks ago. Since we couldn't pick him up at Christmas we were reunited again. 

We left Meadow with my mom. Blake, Scott and I went on a snowshoeing adventure. 

It was super cold on the lake so we decided to venture into the woods instead. 

It was cold enough for Blake to wear snowpants and a coat. 

I was suffering from another cold, so the weather quickly got on my nerves.

We figured the neighbors two doors down woulnd't mind us using their driveway as a shortcut.


Our breath started to freeze our hair.

And beards. 


We followed Scott this time. 

Brooke broke her walking sticks while we trudged through a wetland.

We saw numerous animal tracks.




It has never been this cold during a snowshoe adventure.

I suggested we head back since it wasn't exactly fun.



I probably could have snapped off my hair at this point. 

Brooke and Blake told me that I looked like an old guy.

From Russia that is. 

We hung around outside for a little longer before going back in. 

I had brought along my peppermint chocolate cake mix I received for Christmas. I thought I'd whip it up before we went out for the night. 

While it was baking, Blake and I worked on crafts. I started a potholder on my loom and Blake worked on his sailboat. 


I apparently didn't grease the pan well enough so the cake didn't come out in one piece. The directions also had me bake it longer than it should have so it was a little dry. 

The directions also told me to melt chocolate chips in the microwave which I never ever do because it burns the chocolate. I did it anyway and yup the chocolate burned. Blake didn't think my cake was too appetizing. 

Last fall my parents went on a haunted bus tour. One of the places they stopped at was the Gateway Lodge. It used to be a ski resort where celebrities would go. The staff claims to see a woman in white walking the hallway. My parents suggested this place for New Years dinner. 

Of course they had a claw machine. My dad won Meadow a tiger stuffed animal.

We named it Madame Tigre. Too many of her stuffed animals are boys.

The dinning room was pretty grand for a log cabin.

Gail wanted a picture of Meadow and Blake. We need to get her a better camera.

Scott and I ordered Rhinelander Shorty's. Shorty's they were. 

They tasted like average Grain Belt or Miller High Life.

I can't wait until Meadow can sit in a high chair without falling over so we don't have to hold her while eating anymore.

Blake ordered two appetizers since there weren't veggie entrees. This is a recurring problem.

Baby it's cold outside. 

After dinner we were going to get drinks in the bar but it was packed. We walked around the hotel instead. They had lots of historic photos to look at too. 

This place has a lot of timeshare holders.

This place also gave off a creepy vibe.

As always we had to check out the pool. We think it was originally outdoors. 

This place even has a house phone.


The night was still young so we hung out in the lobby for a little bit. 


My dad said he's going to buy this place. Scott and I will be the chefs, Mom will be the housekeeper, Blake will work the front desk and my dad was going to do the maintenance.

He could also provide tours of the hotel. I think we got this business plan down. Now where is that fortune again?

Meadow is wearing a dress with a pink cardigan and blue booties. Our hostess didn't know if she was a boy or girl because of the booties. Why do people think Meadow is a boy?!

Because all babies are boys...

Man would it be cool to own this place. For some reason I do think that at some point I want to own a resort up here. I think our skills would be perfect.


Our next destination was to go to the Paulding Light in Michigan. We asked one of the locals if they knew if the road to it would be plowed. She didn't think it was.

Since we were so close to Michigan already we thought we would drive there for fun, then my dad said we should see if we can get through anyway. 

Outside of Watersmeet, Michigan down a road with nothing else on it is where you will find it. Despite how cold out it was we watched for it. It started out with a beam of light in the distance then it turned red and then got brighter and brighter and started coming towards us like a train was coming.

You'll just have to find out the secret for yourself.

The light wasn't the only thing to see out here. I have never seen so many stars in my life. You can see a lot when you are on our dock at night, but not as many as this.

Everyone else was sitting in the car while I was taking the pictures. I took the one above after a false start where Mr. Mike turned on the car lights.

Then I turned around and saw awesome dash lights were lighting them up. I had to get a shot. And yes, the stars were amazing. Who cares if it was nearly 20 below.

Next we stopped at the ice castle in Eagle River. All the blocks come from Silver Lake. 

We made another stop at Trigg's to pick up a couple things.

Brooke was embarrased that she was wearing her moon boots, so I saids something like, "Nice boots."

Despite this face Meadow was being super cranky so instead of going out for more drinks we decided to head home. It was 20 to 12 anyway. Next year we will have to get a sitter.

Like that's ever going to happen...

We watched the ball drop on TV and ate cake. Then we all went to bed around 1 a.m. 

Man was that cake bad.

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