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Trip Report A moose, 2 deer and a fox...Oh My! Tiff's Mini North Shores of Lake Superior getaway

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...And the moose and the 2 deer were all in the first two hours, lol.

Mini four day weekend getaway for my DH and I - promised I would post upon return.

STATS:
~Destination: North Shores of Lake Superior (Grand Marais, Lutsen and Tofte, Minnesota)

~Accommodations: rented a log home through vrbo.com (http://www.vrbo.com/39774)

~Travelers: DH, myself and our little pup Sophie

~Restaurants: You always eat well on the Shore!

In Grand Marais: The Angry Trout Café (thank you cmcfong!) was so completely delicious, I did NOT want to leave. My DH had the Grilled Herring and it was to die for. The Trout Chowder a delight. I had the Alaskan Cod, which of course was not local, but it was the BEST I have ever had. The salads and the spinach fettuccini, too wonderful. The atmosphere is casual & relaxed, you may dine inside or out, both overlook the harbor. Their specialty is Lake Superior fish caught by local commercial fishermen. The owners are environmentalists and it is their intent to ‘practice what they preach’ in everything from the first ingredient to the table you sit at. It was wonderful and I highly recommend it. Only caveat: This little gem is only open from mid-May to mid-October

A hearty morning breakfast and great service from Jerry at the Blue Water Café (also in Grand Marais) was fantastic. The pancakes and syrup were superb. My DH’s Eggs Benedict great. Again the service from Jerry was a treat, what a delightful gentleman.

In Tofte: The Coho Café, Bakery & Deli – Award winning pizza, and we now know why. Yum. So completely yummy.

In Lutsen: at the Mountain View Lodge, Tracks, will provide great service and a hearty meal. Everything from burgers to steaks, and everything was very good. Comfort food.

So funny how simple pleasures such as pancakes and pizza could be so pleasing! Simple foods done very well. I think the thing that impresses us most is that businesses like Coho and the Angry Trout try their best to support local vendors. It shows, the ingredients are so fresh and the taste so distinct, I wish more restaurants followed this practice.

We have been to the North Shores of Lake Superior several times before and always fall in love with it all over again.

The trip began with gridlock traffic out of the cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul. It was the expected holiday traffic, so whatever heather, right?!? We're together, we're heading out of town, so be it!

We decided this time to bring our 15 month old mini schnoodle (half mini schnauzer, half mini poodle) with us this time and are SO glad we did. The North Shore area is very dog friendly. We saw so many people with pets. It is funny that the previous times we really didn't notice all the pets, probably because we weren't pet owners ourselves at the time, so we kind of thought we were taking a chance bringing her with us this time. All worked out well, and we were happy with our decision.

The accommodations had many good and a couple bad points. The good first, the view was outstanding. Sitting upon a 40 cliff, all of Lake Superior and her glory. Lovely, beautiful, peaceful, private and very relaxing. A little creek flowing on the property into Lake Superior. Large, massive sunning rocks that you can walk down to from above to sit and enjoy a closer look. Bed comfortable, linens very clean. The woodwork quite lovely. Heating system worked quite well and warm us up fast (yes, we did have to have the heat on, lol). Two bedrooms, one quite large that couple have slept a family with it’s large pine bunk beds, second bed and sofa. Additional room that we slept in; comfortable and cozy. Front porch that had sleeping area for maybe two more people, but no heat in that area of the home.
Bad points, and really I can only think of a couple… This to me was a cabin, not a home. It was very, very rustic. Cob webs here and there. D-con under the sink. Little evidence that creatures both small and a little larger had been ‘guests’ as well, lol. In their “welcome book” they spoke of the mice issue and that is was the “way of the shore” so to expect it, but we have never encountered this on previous visits. It was our feeling that they were a titch overpriced. It was to me “camping indoors”. And it was very nice, mind you, but it was camping indoors. I thought it to be in the more $150 range rather than the $250-$300 range. And we have been lucky enough to stay in everything from small and tasteful to quite extravagant and spendy so I feel I have a pretty good frame of reference on which to base my opinion. Everything on the website said, updated, updated, updated. I think perhaps “rustic” should have been used more, lol.
The only other thing was the electrical. It really worried my husband and he is not a worrier. Like for example: one outlet with many extension cords running all about everywhere. Cords hanging on the outside of the cabin, loosely dangling in the wind and rain. There was some cause for concern.

Would we stay there again, probably not. But again, we did have a nice time there and the view was gorgeous. I think if you are a large family or a couple families together and you don’t mind “rustic” then it would be a good fit.

Sights not to be missed:
The Cascade River (this was out first time to this one and it has to be now one of our favorites).

The Temperance River (as always breaktakingly beautiful)

(Gooseberry Falls & the Split Rock Lighthouse are two of our favorites, so I will mention them, though we took in other sights this time.)

Grand Marais: lovely, little, harborside town. Great food, great people. The Gun Flint Tavern, I will also mention from our previous visits, great food, although this time we just stopped by for a beverage. The Drury Lane Bookstore, quaint, darling, a must for any book lover, such as I.

The North Shore continues to be an area in which to be taken away. The thunderous power of the rivers flowing into Lake Superior, the gorges, the cliffs, the precious wildlife (as long as it's not in your cabin, lol). The great people. The great food. It really is a wonder, and we love it there.

That’s all for now – thanks for reading!

Happy journey, Tiff ((#))

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