Saturday, October 06, 2007

I complain, but life in Minnesota has its perks...

Have you ever complained to a friend about a relative? You rant and rave, and are just starting to feel better when your friend makes some nasty comment of their own. And suddenly, you feel defensive. You can gripe all you want, but nobody else can trash your family. That's sort of how I feel about Minnesota.

I love to complain about the long torturous winters and the depressingly muddy springs, but I have to admit, it can be quite beautiful, and deep down, I really do love it. I've earned the right to gripe about the capricious weather and grueling winters because I endured years of them. And even though Eric and I have vowed to never live here full time ever again, I have to admit that fall here is unrivaled.

We went up to Duluth for our little mini-moon and had a lovely time admiring the fall leaves along the way. The birch trees are particularly striking with their white and black trunks and vivid yellow leaves silhouetted against the deep red oranges and chartreuse greens. My personal favorite are the unbelievably florescent pink sugar maples. I found myself hunting for them out the car window, with the same enthusiasm I had a kid tooting through my pillowcase of Halloween candy for the last tiny Mr. Goodbar.

We stayed in the A.G Thompson House in the "mansion district" right off Lake Superior. The innkeepers had just purchased the house from the previous owners about a month ago, but have been planning to run a bed and breakfast for forty years, so they were well prepared. We had our breakfasts in our room next to the roaring fire with a little view of the garden out back.

We went out and admired the leaves and the lake and the neighborhood and did some window shopping. It was pretty uninspired (think teapots shaped like lighthouses and moose antler coat hangers)but one shop was really striking. Waters of Superior was full of great Nordic design, including glass Iittala birds by Oiva Toikka, sculptural vases and a great selection of Scandinavian Design books. My favorites were the giant sea sponges which were at least a foot tall, though the $125 dollar price tag meant I had to pass. I picked up some wonderful Roger & Gallet green tea scented soaps instead.

We ate our Wuollet's wedding cake, drank champagne and slept in, and generally lazed about enjoying the lovely fall colors, decadent breakfasts and the lovely vistas of Lake Superior. It was an excellent anniversary celebration.

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