Fall's here, or has been for a while... It's my personal favorite time of year. I love the weather, the smells, foods, and activities. It's a great time to do things outside, especially in a state where leaves change colors. Rima and I are now living up in Blaine MN and have explored a few of the local parks up in that neck of the woods. Nothing spectacular but we will take them. Since before arriving in Minnesota we have heard about the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and have been hankering to get out butts out there. Finally on Friday we did it. It was a bit on the chillier and windier side but that didn't stop us. Thankfully they have a 3 mile drive set up through the arboretum that has parking and pull-over spots to check out the different gardens and sections. There would be no way that Rima would be able to walk it, let alone have me push a wheelchair up and down the hills for over three miles. I mean I would do it if they didn't have the driving path, but they did, so we were happy.
They did an amazing job with the space. Lots of different gardens and sections. I'm sure in the spring and early summer the flower gardens are popping off! We got to see lots of beautiful yellow and red trees. I even "borrowed" a bunch of red maple leaves to decorate out dining room table with. We explored the rose garden for a little, there were still roses, which was surprising. Not a lot but enough to make Rima smile. We also found a dahlia garden, most of them were on their last leg. The main problem was the wind. It was so windy that taking a close up of roses or anything was very difficult. You could hear Rima cursing under her breath every time she tried to get a shot of something and a big gust of wind rushed by her. Fists were being shaken in the direction of the sky from the two of us on numerous occasions.
Saturday we went on a big day adventure. My friend Kim, who I've known since college in Chicago told us about Duluth. It's a city about 2.5 hours north of us, right on lake Superior. She was up there recently and suggested it as a place to check out. You don't have to temp us with a good time. Within a matter of hours I had looked up places to see up in that area. Saturday day trip was a go! We departed around 9am, which does not seem like it's that early, but remember Rima has about 1.5 hours of nebs and therapy to do before she can even start getting dressed to leave the house. So 9am was the realistic time to shove off. I had looked up a few places for us to check out. Thank you Instagram for helping me out with this. Here's a tip for all your adventures. If you are ever going to a new place and not sure what to do, look it up on Instagram and you can see what people post pictures of that might tickle your fancy.
My list consisted of the following; Jay Cooke State Park, Enger Tower, Canal Park, Two Harbors, New Scenic Cafe, and Gooseberry Falls. We were going to pack all that in within a matter of 5-6 hours. Our first stop was Jay Cooke State Park about 30 minutes south of Duluth. There was a cool waterfall and scenic drive I found in the one and only Instagram. It was a pretty cloudy day, humid but very overcast. We parked and walked along the damn and waterfalls for a little and then drove through some of the park. Some of it was closed so we had to cut our drive short and go straight to our next destination. Enger Tower is on top of a very big hill in Duluth. It overlooks the whole city. There is a tower, believe it or not at the top, hence the name. Sorta looks like a cross between a lighthouse and stone pillar. There is a beautiful park at the bottom of the tower, with a zen garden and 360 views of the surrounding area.
Next was Canal Park. Unfortunately I hadn't realized that this was is a very tourist heavy area. Something Rima and I are extremely opposed to. So we just drove through the area and then got out as soon as people stopped crossing in front of us, which was a hot minute. It was about 12:30 and time for some lunch. We drove up the coast of Lake Superior for about 20 minutes to our lunch destination. The New Scenic Cafe, which had beautiful views of the lake. The interior was very pretty, woodsy nordic Scandinavian/farm to table almost. Here was the kicker to the meal. We both ordered sandwiches. Instead of a salad or fries or even anything else, they "complimented" our selection with a side of green grapes. Now, I love grapes...which mean I know when a grape is good and bad. These were shitty ass grapes. Not firm, had brown in spots and strange shapes. WTF is this shit?!? Rima and I both kept giving out the unwanted green pests strange looks throughout the meal. Let's just say we are still confused as to why on earth a chef would send out a plate like that.
After out strange lunch encounter we headed back north through Two Harbors which is about 35 minutes north of Duluth on to our final destination of the day, Gooseberry Falls State Park. This was in my eye the big event of the day. This park housed a couple levels of waterfalls that was very popular in the area. Again, thank you Instagram for the tip, haha. We got there and it was hopping. Lots of people and lots of dogs. Which made Rima very happy but also made her head move side to side a lot, I'm surprise she didn't put her neck out. I got a wheelchair for her and then pushed her to the top of the falls. We got some cools snaps and watched a few people get wet just to look like they were getting wet in their pictures, tourist, pshhh. After the upper falls We explored the lower falls. Rima kept vocalizing that if she had the mobility/energy she would be running all over the area, climbing rocks and exploring the surrounding trees. It was hard for her to just kinda walk a little this way or that way and look at all the people moving so freely. Soon, she'll be able to move freely like that soon!
We then headed back down south. We obviously took the scenic route again. There are some really pretty houses between Two Harbors and Duluth, boy oh boy! We had about a 3 hour drive back to our place, the day was worth it though. BY the time we got back we were both pretty pooped. Rima was squirming the whole way home. It's really hard for her to get comfortable. But she is a trooper and would rather squirm for a few hours than have cabin fever, amen to that sista, amen to that!