The hectic pace continues this week, but I have to get this post up before I forget everything we did!
We had another fabulous Ladies Weekend this year. The destination was Taylors Falls/St Croix Falls, and the group consisted of Aunt Marion, Lynn, Barb, Mikkie, Missy, Amanda (for Friday evening), Amy and me. Absent this year were, Nicole, Rachel, Patty, Annie, Chris, and Jaimee.
We met at the Holiday Inn Express in St Croix Falls, and then drove over to the Frost Top Drive-In in Taylors Falls for dinner. It was a beautiful evening and we sat at a table in back overlooking the mini-golf course. This has definitely been added to my summer to-do list. But let me back up a minute to describe my evening prior to arriving at this little oasis.
I left work a little early because I hadn’t packed yet and we were planning to meet at 6:30. I got home to discover that Gary was in the process of moving the washer and dryer from the basement to the garage. He, Amy and Megan had managed to get the dryer out, but the washer was much heavier and needed an extra person. He strapped it to the two-wheeler with bungee cords and away we went. One terrifying step at a time. There was dirt and cobwebs and water leaking out but the four of us managed to hoist it up those stairs without serious injury. Note to self…make sure delivery is available before purchasing appliances. After that I packed my bag and was ready to go but Amy wanted to share a new television series she has started watching. We sat down and watched the trailer and a few key scenes, and then she and I headed out. But first we had to stop in Lake Elmo for gas. We were finally on the road and were only about 15 minutes late. Fast forward to the lovely drive-in restaurant.
Mikkie and Missy joined us just as we got our food and we had a very nice picnic dinner of hamburgers, fries, onion rings, cheese curds, sweet potato fries, deep fried pickles, root beer, shakes and freezes. Very yummy!
We needed to walk off some of that food so we drove over to look at the glacial potholes in the state park. We took a quick walk under the bridge to look at the rapids and I played around with my slo-mo app.
We noticed a huge flock of birds circling above the hills. Not sure what they were or what they were doing.
Then we walked around the potholes and down to the river.
Amanda headed back home and the rest of us went back to the hotel and called it a night.
The next morning dawned hot and windy. Really hot and really windy. Our first stop was the Luhrs/Bjornson Artworks. I didn’t take any pictures, and they don’t have a website, but this is from an article published in the St Paul Pioneer Press in 2014:
Leif Bjornson and Meg Luhrs opened their art gallery Luhrs/Bjornson Artworks in an old granary their renovated in St. Croix Falls in the 1980s. Bjornson creates pottery while Luhrs paints.
It was such a great stop and we learned so much about the couple. They were both in the shop and shared numerous stories about their work and the building. We spent over an hour and I could have stayed several more. I bought a small plate with an hydrangea-like pattern carved in the bottom. You rub a raw clove of garlic over the sharp pattern to mince it and then pour oil over it for dipping bread.
Next up was the Chateau St Croix Winery and Vinyard.
We did a wine tasting accompanied by a cheese, meat and cracker plate. They had several good wines and we all left with a bottle or two. Then we hustled back through St Croix Falls and over to the Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tours for our 1:00 boat ride.
Mikkie wasn’t sure she could do the boat ride because of ear issues, but she went for it and it wasn’t a problem for her at all. We sat up top and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. And the heat. It was very, very hot.
More fun with the slo-mo app.
After the boat ride we split up again. Amy and I went back home to get Gary for a couple of grad parties and the rest went back to the hotel to rest and cool down. They later had dinner at the Dalles House supper club, and there were excellent reviews about the popovers, meals, and desserts.
We met back at the hotel around 7:30 or so, and hung out in our room visiting for a couple of hours. Everyone headed back to their own room so Amy and I went down to the fitness room where she worked out for awhile, and then grabbed a bag of microwave popcorn and watched Say Yes To The Dress. It was a long but very fun day!
We met for breakfast the next morning and saw that some heavy storms were rolling into the cities. We packed up and headed out knowing we were going to drive right through them. It was not a very fun time.
My biggest concern was the leading straight line winds, and they socked us good. I finally had to pull over for a few minutes next to a stand of trees for a little protection. We continued on for a few minutes and then joined a whole line of cars that were pulled over. There was a tiny bit of hail at this point, but I needed to catch my breath so we waited a little bit until the group moved out together and then noticed the piles of hail on the side of the road. I’m guessing that was why they were all pulled over and we had just missed it by those few minutes we had stopped earlier. I’m calling it divine intervention. The rest of the ride was uneventful.
The rest of the day was a bit of a blur. Laundry was done in our brand new machines, we went grocery shopping and then prepped all of the fruit and veggies for snacks for the week. We napped for about 90 minutes. We gave Scout a bath, unpacked, and did other random Sunday stuff while it rained off and on.
This is always one of my favorite weekends of the year. So much laughing and catching up and getting to know a little bit more about each other and our history. I’m already looking forward to next year! Except it’s my year to plan so the pressure is on. I’m thinking I may just throw a dart to pick the location 😉