Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Path Less Traveled

So...the hubs and I are kinda weird...we like to get in the car and just drive. Sometimes we have a general idea of where we're headed...and other times, we just follow whatever road peaks our interest.

When we decided to get away for a few days this fall...a road trip was the first thing that popped into our minds: no destinations, no hotel reservations. Although we learned we had somewhat different ideas of what this trip should the end, it turned out to be just what we needed.
*P.S...did I mention we were going to do all of this on a bit-of-a budget?? This included bringing food for snacks and lunches (we treated ourselves to dinners out) and finding the best deals on hotels along the way.
Growing up, I never understood why my parents would pack food for trips...why didn't we just eat out?? Now that I'm an adult, paying my own way...I completely understand. (That doesn't mean I didn't throw a baby fit the last day...I just wanted to eat something warm and delicious for lunch...not another sandwich!)

This was the best of the 3 hotel rooms we stayed in...hellllloooo king-size bed! (We have a king at it's a wee-bit rough when travelling to "downsize.") First nite, our stay was only $50! The room was clean...nothing fancy. Second nite, the room was a bit more expensive, but had the nice big bed AND a whirlpool tub! (*sigh*) Last nite...well, it was a can't win 'em all, huh? that you know how we's what we saw and did...

Day 1 was spent on the road...about 10 LONG hours (I'm over the bitterness now...) We finally landed in Escanaba, happy to rest our weary heads. Since we got there at nite, it wasn't until the a.m. that we got to see what a beautiful place it is!

Day 2 we loaded back up...and hit the road. I've never been to I wasn't really sure what to expect. It is beautiful! The landscape is so different from here in Iowa. *note: I love Iowa!* There is something exciting, though, about seeing how vast and varied this country is.
Jason's tall...but had nothing on this guy. ;)

Everywhere we looked...there were signs for something called a "pasty." Finally, we couldn't take the suspense anymore...we hadtohave PASTY!!! The dish came to the U.S. with Cornish immigrants; used as a quick & easy lunch for miners. (You're welcome for the history lesson...hahaha.) It's a pastry shell filled w/ beef, pork, onion, rutabaga, and salt & pepper...and I loved every bite!

Lake Superior in L'Anse, Michigan

Awwww... :)

Bob Lake...breathtaking!

Ottawa National Forest

 Day 3...we left our lovely, clean, and cozy hotel in Eagle River, Wisconsin (oh yeah, somewhere in day 2, we crossed state lines). After exploring the town, we discovered it's the Snowmobile capitol OFTHEWORLD!!! *read dramatically* While I know nothing about snowmobiling, nor did I know there is a world championship in its honor...this was still a pretty cool thing to see.

*Note the Cranberry Fest on the sign...we got to enjoy a FREE piece of pie w/ our dinner at The Friendship House b/c they had too much left over from the celebration. Score!

All you need at a snowmobiling race, & food... :)

Small hiccup along the way...these guys were just trying to do their job (replacing a drainage pipe) and had the road dug out... We waited about 25 minutes for them to fill the hole back in so we could pass. Jason was in heaven! His reaction, and I quote: "We're so cool, Wisconsin's building a road for us!" I <3 him. :)

Happened upon a really cool art park filled with sculptures and a walking trail. Retired lumberjack, Fred Smith, couldn't read or write, but was able to communicate through his art (using concrete, broken bottles, found objects).

Our final nite out, found us in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Enjoyed some pizza at Big Al's and then some homemade ice cream at The Pearl

Day 4 (are you exhausted yet??) Woke up and high-tailed it out of our icky hotel room... Finished out the short visit to La Crosse with a tour of Riverside Park.
 Looks like I'm missing a tooth in this pic...please try to overlook that...

Running alongside the Mississippi River, the park was beautiful and relaxing...

This last little bit of the trip gave me a glimpse of what Jason and I will be like when we're retired... We were the youngest people (by approximately 40+ years) watching a barge go through the lock and dam system. That being said...this is a seriously cool set-up! I won't bore you with the details...but if you're ever itching for some senior-style should definitely check it out!

If I've managed to hold anyone's attention this far...I'd be amazed!  We had tons of fun on this adventure and covered a lot of miles (1431.5 to be exact)..but it sure was nice to get home! :) 

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