This past week Jeff and I went camping for a few days without the kids. We’ve never done that before. I use to go camping often as a child, but I’ve become kind of a wimp as an adult. I just don’t like sleeping on the ground. Jeff borrowed a couple inflatable beds from his dad so I could sleep on air. We dropped the girls off at grandma and grandpa’s house and headed north. Anna hasn’t slept over at their house for many years so it was a nice time for the girls and grandparents to have together. The boys were at their mom’s for a few days.

We set up camp at Jay Cooke State Park (just south of Duluth) at a site that was about 100 yards down a trail. It was a little work, but offered lots of privacy.

OK–that was my bed. Nine inches of camping bliss and I’m not ashamed about it.

After setting up came we explored the nearby St. Louis River.

Jay Cooke State Park is famous for the Swing Bridge that crosses the St. Louis River and

wildflowers and


After our hike we drove into Duluth to see the sights.

Of course that included the Lift Bridge.

Then we did a bit of window shopping.

These pink poodles in an antique store reminded me of Ellie’s pink poodle blanket that she carried around from the time she was a baby until last year when it fell apart and we placed the remnants into a glass ornament for the Christmas tree.

This Santa suit was also in the same store. I thought it looked rather creepy–at least the mask did.

I made Jeff take my picture with this moose since moose are Anna’s favorite animal.

Then it was off to dinner at Blackwoods Bar and Grill on the north end of Duluth.

We both ordered this steak with gorgonzola cheese and scallions for dinner.

Here’s Jeff enjoying his dinner and

me enjoying a glass of wine.

For dessert we had this

it was called “Wave of Passion” cake.  It was warm, it was chocolate heaven and somehow they got caramel to ooze out of each bite.

We finished the evening with a fire back at camp.

Yep that was a screw off cap–just wait till you hear what we had to go through on our second night.