My first yurt

Our long weekend on the north shore was wonderful, and of course, complete with all kinds of weather events on our drive. With our habit of going in January we’ve been snowed in not once but twice with the same set of friends in Minneapolis on our attempts home. Another time we drove back with such a load of boxes from IKEA that a fender bender probably would have severed my head. This time it was 30+ degrees the whole time (it was 30 below last year) and rainy, of all things. The temperature varied enough to give us both freezing rain on the way up and snow on the way back, but we made it safe and sound.

Anyway, we got to meet some of the locals this time, and they were so much fun. The only store within 10 miles of the cabin is a little grocery and restaurant that just happens to grind their own grains for the homemade bread and pizza they make. Our server was a girl about our age who had just moved up there from Minneapolis. And then we met this couple, Gary and Nannette, who told us that they lived a few miles down the road in a yurt. And we could come check it out anytime. Oh hell yes.

Our friend Brigid had just been telling us about how her husband, Aaron, dreams of living in a yurt in Montana, but she just can’t get on board. So since they joined us the next day, we all decided to check one out in the flesh. I’m sorry I don’t have photos, but maybe this Wikipedia entry will give you some idea of what it looks like. It’s basically one big, round room with a high ceiling. I have to say, having seen the tight quarters, I can’t imagine living there myself. But the place was plenty warm inside, and they even had a full kitchen and high-speed internet. I don’t think Aaron’s ready to give up on his dream quite yet.

Unfortunately we saw a lot of these.

And I spent a lot of time watching Mike do this.

We are making a video for our wedding website featuring a lot of north shore spots. It’s going to be newsreel-y and ridiculous and fun.

The rest of the weekend we spent finalizing some details on the wedding, and eating. Oh my, the eating. I am madly in love with the cinnamon bread from that store I was telling you about. I ate almost a whole loaf myself.

Then we checked out a few other restaurants in Grand Marais, and everything we ate was just incredibly good. You don’t expect to go to a town of 1,300 (even a touristy one) and find menus that have more local, organic and vegetarian options than some of the biggest restaurants in our city of 200,000. But that’s what we found. I gotta tell ya, I’m getting a really soft spot in my heart for this place. But it doesn’t take much more than good food to put me over the edge.