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A Duluth Cabin for Brooke's 35th

Meadow has added her commentary. Hers will be in bold. 

For those who don't remember, Scottie = Italics & Brooke = plain jane.

As tradition we stayed at a cabin for my birthday weekend. This year I found a place on Hipcamp that happened to be in Duluth.

Theo was interested of the cabin.

The tiny cabin had bunkbeds and a loft bed.

This was way up a big ladder and the kiddos wanted to explore it. And it made me nervous of course. I ended up taking the loft space for the night.

It was even wallpapered like the our cottage bathroom. My parents said the cabin must have been built in the 90's near a Menards.

I was happy at the cabin.

Back in Minneapolis the snow had mostly melted away. It was great to see so much and fresh snow here.

We haven't really had much snow down in Minneapolis since we got back from Mexico.

The cabin was a short walk from the parking lot. Our host pulled all our things on a sled on his fat bike.

To celebrate my birthday we met up with Blake and Jasper at Wasabi for some all-you-can-eat Sushi.

Blakey ate a lot so did Mama.

We all did. Except for Jasper. He got an actual meal and skipped the all-you-can-eat menu.

This little cabin was heated by a sailboat heater.

I had to light it and Brooke got really nervous. I found a how-to on YouTube, so I didn't have to bother the Hipcamp host.

Gas and flames scare me. 

The next morning we debated what to do for breakfast.

This cabin has been rented out for almost 30 years and was just listed on Hipcamp last summer.  According to the journal, this place was where a lot of people found God and solitude.

Now it's just a bunch of hipsters.

I looked at a book at the cabin.

Should have brought our cassettes.

We own cassettes?

This place came with hot cocoa and books and a first aid kit and games.

We were about to head out for breakfast when we decided to check out the ice rink.

I loved the little area for getting your ice skates on.

Despite the warm temperatures the ice seemed pretty solid under the snow.

There was a big shovel Papa used.

We need one of these for the cottage.

It was made from an old ladder and plexiglass. 

It was very helpful.

I helped to.

Theo tried to help, too.

Our host saw us shoveling and came over with his snowblower to help out.

Meadow and Theo wanted to try out hockey. They had skates, sticks and pucks. Pretty much everything you need. 

The pond was a little uneven and seemed to be higher on the sides.

Kind of like a race track.

I was fast.

Sadly the ice was starting to soften.

I don't remember this. I think we just were getting hungry. But what do I know?

We were getting hungry and Meadow decided she was done with hockey.

Meadow did not want to leave.

Linda our hostess told us about some swings on the property.

Breakfast would have to wait.

It was hanging from a wooden pole between two trees. The trees at the cottage are like the ones here. There's really no good branches to hang a swing from. We may have to try this method, as long as we figure out how to get a pole up there.

You were supposed to take the swing up to the deer stand, but we were all chicken.

I tried and couldn't do it by myself. I needed Scott to hold the swing for me while I got on, but he wouldn't do it.

Meadow was in love.

It really tickled your tummy.

Eventually we left to go to our favorite breakfast joint. Two all-you-can-eats in one weekend. Oy.

Black Bear Casino Buffet is the best. 

After going here I started feeling nervous about our food choices. Coronavirus had just started spreading throughout the country and a buffet is probably the last place you should eat.

Cruises had been the first to get hit. It told Scott it spreads on cruises because everyone eats at the buffet. He soon regretted our breakfast decision. 

Afterwards we met up with Blake to see his new house he just bought.

We're so proud.

It was built in the 1890's and had been a rental for years. 

Luckily some of the original character still existed.

 Like the squirrel rabbit with human hands tile.

Blake's creeped out by these, but I love them.

He even has pocket doors.

He didn't know these were here until last night.

The house has lots of potential. I'm excited to see what Blake does with the place.

This attic space was nearly finished. Just have to add a spiral staircase to get up here.

Papa pulled off the rug.

I love pulling up carpeting. 

We pulled the fire grate off to show off the beautiful tile on the fireplace. After pulling up the carpet we discovered this green tile. 

 Sadly the fireplace was converted to gas at some point.

The kids even wanted to help out by washing the walls.

And playing on the rolled up carpet.

After not having a house for awhile Scott and I were excited to help him. I wish we could come back next weekend to help him paint.

We could have stayed at Blake's all day, but we did have our cabin and the land to explore.

They went right back to the big swing.

This place was so awesome. They had sleds, ice skates, fat bikes, skis and snowshoes to use.

Theo preferred walking to the kick sled.

Then Meadow and Brooke sprinted across the forest. 

I had no idea where they were going.

Mama and me went to the rope swing.

There was a rope swing too and oh boy was this so fun.

I need to convince my dad to make one for the cottage.

I was too scared to try it out, but I agree. Mr. Mike: build it now

Our hosts pointed out that the hill next our house is perfect for sledding.

We found sleds in the warming shelter and went sledding.

The owner wasn't wrong. This was great.

Theo was more interested in the ice luminaries.

Papa did it to.

Meadow kept flying over a bump at the bottom and right off the sled.


This place was everything you'd want in a piece of land. Sled hill. Check. Skating Pond. Check. Trails through the forest. Check. And of course the swings.

And so close to Duluth yet miles away.

Anti-social Theo would rather watch from inside.

I think he liked staying warm in the quaint cabin.

Behind the cabin is an al fresco composting toilet. There's also an outhouse up the hill for people who prefer their privacy.

We each tried out the fat bike. The bike was little big for me but it was cool to ride over ice and snow without slipping.

I kind of want one now. Well, I have for years, but there's only so many days in winter.

I tried swinging with the kids, but Theo wasn't having it.

We had some hot cocoa before heading down the hill.

Daniel has started a cult. I'd say it's more of an artists commune, but it sure got the crowd to come out.

We arrived just in time to see the fire dancers. 

The last act had aerial silks.

She performed behind a local electronic artist. The music and silk artist were great, but Daniel's projections really made the performance.

By now we were getting hungry. The only place still open nearby was Lee's Pizza. This was our first time here and the service was great. They even gave us a plate of chips and salsa.

Good old Midwest-style pizza. Not bad at all. 

We also learned that Jasper hates bell peppers. I don't think I've ever heard that before.

Theo was too antsy the night before. So, we brought the spare mattress from the loft down for him.

The loft was always popular in the mornings.

Theo always wanted to climb the ladder but would get scared at the top.

Or especially coming back down.

This place was perfect. I'd love to do a tiny house life someday.

I spy Theo.

And then we had to head out. Mostly because we were hungry.

Bye awesome cabin. I would definitely come back again.

It was great.

While I was putting things away Meadow and Brooke ran back over to the little swing.

We had to go on the rope swing one last time.

I couldn't brave the launch pad, but I did get going pretty high. I'm not as brave as I once was.

I wanted to try the big swing from the tower. Once I got up there ready to swing I froze. My heart was still racing even after I got back down. I couldn't do it. It doesn't seem as high from the ground. Our host mentioned that most people can't do it.

Instead we ended on this note. How precious!

I ended up talking Brooke into Burrito Union. I thought they would have brunch, but it turns it out that was over. So we just got burritos and mac & cheese.

The time change and too much fun playing made us miss brunch.

Theo's baby goes evryware.

We took a quick hike across the way.

Along Chester's Creek.

It got too icy so we turned around and headed back home. What a great start to being 35.

She said...


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