And we're back to the cottage.
While Brooke gets fancy on her birthday weekend, I stick to the cottage. Winter visits are some of my favorite times to be in the Northwoods.
My parents were already up when we arrived. They were just here last weekend and left the heat on so the house was already warmed up. Dad taught Meadow how to play kings corner. She caught on quick and beat him 3 times.
We made sure to get COVID tests before coming since Minnesota now offers free at-home tests. Gotta keep G.G. and Grandpa safe.
Meadow instructing where to build her bridge.
Well, Meadow was supposed to build a bridge for school right before we came up. Instead she had plans for one over the little pond next to the shore.
I suggested we try the ice rink downtown since most people were at school and work today. We lucked out and had the place to ourselves the whole time. Even mom skated for the first time in years.
When we arrived we realized we left one of Meadow's skates behind. Her and I drove back to get it only to find out it was locked in our car and Scott had the keys.
So, I ended up driving back another time while Meadow practiced one-footed skating.
Theo was semi into skating. Mostly preferred being pulled on the sled.
I finally invested in some new skates. My old vintage skates always pinched my toes, and they weren't lined, so after 20 minutes my toes would get numb. I can't believe I waited so long to get new ones, what an improvement!
Theo's almost getting there on his big boy skates.
Then he went back to playing on the ice again.
Meadow also wanted to get towed around. Grandpa was pulling her and took a big fall. Then a few minutes later G.G. did too. Suffice to say, we went back to the cottage.
When we returned a swarm of almost 20 deer showed up.
This herd needs some serious thinning.
Then it was bridge building time. I suggested we use the old picnic table.
Meadow has been learning about bridges at school. Their homework was to build a bridge at home. Meadow said she wanted to wait and build one with Grandpa.
And so we did.
Even Theo's baby came to watch.
A picnic table and a few dock tops did the job.
This would do.
We brought our skis along but on our drive we realized we'd forgotten our ski boots. I was excited to try out some trails nearby too.
Grandpa added some guidelines to the bridge while Brooke was out snowshoeing on not enough snow (six inches of snow minimum folks or you'll wreck your snowshoes).
It was way deeper on the lake.
The next morning Dad made breakfast. He saw the idea on Mr. Food, the local chef who does demonstrations on the news.
Not a bad breakfast idea for a group.
Not bad at all.
Followed by some outdoor ice fishing.
The kids like to play with the minnows.
Right when were about to head in one of the tip-ups popped up. We had ourselves a nice perch.
Today called for snow and wind so I brought out the big kites.
Theo caught some fresh flakes.
That's my little dude.
I found some helmets to make our rides around the lake a bit safer. I'm a worrywart.
Even G.G. came out for a bit despite the wind.
Of course Theo and I had to play on the tree house for a bit.
Meanwhile, I made Scott's birthday cake. A last minute request to add crushed oreos.
And I made pizza and played Zelda Breath of the Wild.
Then it was time to blow out the candles. We know, this is frowned upon these days.
Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting thanks to our Duluth Grill cookbook.
Meadow picked out the perfect birthday present: a Packers winter hat.
She knows he loves the Packers and likes to wear hats.
The kids designed the wrapping paper too.
I also got Our Living Ancestors from Brooke. One birthday, two perfect presents. A little while back I also got Super Mario Party for myself. That's a hat trick, dudes.
Before leaving the next day we went snowshoeing in the Nicolet National Forest.
Scott Lake for Scott's birthday.
I was like, "Hey I think this trail just goes to the lake." So the lake became our trail.
I misread our map thinking this was the trail, but it was actually just a canoe access.
Scott also forgot his snowshoes. We were doing really well this weekend.
It wasn't too deep, but I probably could have used my pair. Good thing I got some good Sorel snow boots. Looks like they're not on REI, but they're great if you can find them.
The lake has 3 creeks flowing into it, this one eventually flows into the Eagle River. Will have to come back here this summer with our kayaks.
Some areas were pretty soft and Scott ended up falling through the ice.
Only a little bit. My boots kept me dry. No issue.
Dad wanted to keep snowshoeing so we went over to the actual Scott Lake trail. We had hiked this over Labor day weekend with Blake and Daniel. We noticed everyone was going the other direction that weekend and decided to check it out today.
It just goes to the lake, which looked even more precarious than Scott Lake.
You could see where someone else had fallen in. Don't worry it was along the shore and you could see tracks where they got out.
We headed back over to the actual trail. Later while reading Scott's new book it mentioned these trees were 240-300 years old!
This is an easy quick trail. Perfect for kids or beginners at only 3/4 mile.
This is a perfect quick hike.
Beautiful in summer or winter.
Until next time, Northwoods.