This year Thanksgiving would be just us in our home in Minneapolis. After watching the awkward Macy's Day Parade the kids helped with making pie. I thought it would be fun to top the pumpkin pie with our two favorite states.
With our busy schedules and the sun setting so early I feel like we hardly get outside when the sun is out. Today our goal was to spend time outside. We decided on Coldwater Spring as we hadn't been there in a few years. We weren't the only ones with this idea as the road was lined up with cars. This is the opposite of our typical avoiding people during COVID mantra. But we were still able to generely avoid people. I convinced Theo to bring his doll carrier. He liked the idea once he figured out he could put his hands in his pockets while still holding his baby. Coldwater Spring was nearly empty, it seems every one else was at the off leash dog park.
We're still trying to use up those apples. Apple pancake again. They will never be all eaten. It's like our fruit drawer has no bottom. PicassoTiles are still #1 in our house. The kids play with them every single day. Although Meadow mostly plays with every day objects. I've never seen anyone get so excited to get a box. I try to sneak them out of the house, but she insists on making something out of each and every one of them.
We randomly discovered Meadow was off school on a Friday and the weather was supposed to be unseasonably warm. An impromptu trip to the cottage it was. Gotta get those cottage visits in. It's just about the best way to have fun and avoid COVID. We passed the 200,000 mileage mark on our car this week. Luckily this little hybrid is still going strong. I had brought in the car because of noise and it ended up just being a damaged tire. After I got the car I noticed it was just over 200,000 miles. The mechanic took away the joy of the speedometer rolling over. Since there are many more waterfalls to see in the U.P. we headed back up. Our first stop was Ajibikoka Falls . Google maps took us down this unpaved road to a dead end.
With Halloween being a bit different this year we planned to have a Halloween party at home. But first pie for breakfast. We've been using up those apples from a road side stand in Wisconsin for weeks. Theo was not into costumes this year and wouldn't put on his Yoda costume. He finally agreed to a cape. Meadow has been planning for our party for weeks. She made this ghost piñata for the occasion. No idea what's inside.
For the first time in a long while we had no trips planned. With our abundance of apples we picked up last weekend I made German apple pancake for breakfast. We bought two big bags of apples along the road on our way back from the cottage. We've been making apple sauces, dumplings and even a pie. And they're still not gone. The night before I asked Theo what we should do tomorrow. He said, "drive". I asked where we should drive to and he said playground.
Day 2 Meadow had a few days off from school and I have a few days of PTO to use so we took a fall trip to the cottage. We arrived on Tuesday evening. Wednesday happened to be our 9th Anniversary. It's tradition to have crepes for breakfast but we didn't have any milk. Waffle mix it is. Though we've only been married nine years we've actually been together for almost 15 years. I think that number matters a lot more than a legal document celebrating a party we had six years after meeting. We went from summer weather the week before to winter this week. Today called for on and off rain. Eventually we made it outside. My dad had apparently already brought in the docks and boat for the winter. With the weather we had this weekend, it was probably for the best.
We had heard that the the Mississippi River was being drawn down in Downtown Minneapolis. So we picked up some pizza and headed down to the river. The other side of the river was packed so we stayed on the west side. I don't know why they don't take advantage of cleaning up all the garbage. Perhaps everyone could just take a piece of garbage to the trash. It could've been cleaned up in no time flat.
Scott had to take some sunset photos in Stillwater. A fall color aerial 360. I hadn't been there in awhile so we tagged along. We left as soon as Meadow was done for school and headed for the St Croix Boom Site. I had heard there was a hidden waterfall and wanted to check it out. There's not a specific trail to it. From what I read you go down the stairs and take a left following the river. I think it's an old state trail that isn't maintained and has way too much graffiti.
When I get in that travel mode I can't stop. This weekend brought us to my family's hunting land. We had plans to meet my parents around dinnertime. When in Wisconsin we have to get a fish fry. We picked up food from Silvercryst in nearby Wautoma. We're still not dining in even nearly six months into Covid. Call ahead, get your fish fry and take it to your destination. Especially that the greater Fox Valley area is now the the nation's worst hotspot. After dinner the kiddos tried some fishing. Great-grandpa did a good job of stocking this partially man-made pond. Check out our private oasis.
Scott had more shoots this weekend. This time it took us way up north. With Meadow back in school we left Friday afternoon. Luckily Meadow's teacher canceled their afternoon meeting and we were able to leave earlier than we planned. To break up the long drive we camped for the night at Mille Lacs Kathio State Park . We booked the last site, I can't believe people are still camping. When we were setting up our tent Meadow said, "Why are other people so close to us?" We don't go to normal campgrounds very often I guess. We set up early and went on a hike before dinner. We should have brought our canoe along, but a hike would do.
I had taken the kids to the farmers market yesterday and Meadow wanted apples. I was like, hey it's apple picking season why don't we get our own? Scott had more shoots south of the Cities so we tagged along again. The jobs are small, shooting a big chain of paint stores, so we're able to get them out of the way and have some fun. I chose Whistling Well Farm as they had apple picking only. We aren't big fans of the carnival parts of apple farms. It wasn't too busy and everyone was wearing masks. They also had hand washing stations set up around the farm. Luckily the trees were small and perfect height for the kids to pick themselves. For $25 we got to pick one peck of Honeycrisp apples. Quite a deal! Theo got the hang of twisting the apples off the trees after a little practice. I always think we're done, but they always add more apples to our bag until it nearly explodes. We filled our bag up quick. I forget how much faster it goes compared to berry picking.