Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Little Getaway to the "Big Marsh"

all photos in this post are by moi

Sweet words to ponder when the Twin Cities weather 
begins to feel a bit too tropical....
especially in the middle of June.

So we pack some sandwiches, an overnight bag, and our winter coats 
(yes, we will need them!), and head to the beautiful North Shore...

 This time around, our stay in Duluth is short, so that we can travel up Scenic Highway 61 the following day to discover the beautiful town of Grand Marais.

But back to Duluth for a minute...

The air was fresh, the seagulls wild as ever, 
but am I glad we brought the winter coats!!
Cool off we did! :)
You can see in the photos that Superior looks chocolate brown...strong winds stirred up the iron-rich sediment...I would not want to be out on a boat on a day like this...

Although we were bundled up on this sunny Monday, it was very lovely....we had a chance to re-live Spring! Crab apple trees were in full bloom! There were even some lilac bushes that had not yet begun to blossom...

Lunch at our favorite cafe in Duluth, Northern Waters Smokehaus, 
was a must! You can even order their wonderful smoked delicacies 
to be delivered to your door.
I chose the local smoked salmon Cajun sandwich...outstanding!

This little guy (or girl) at the table behind us was ready to grab a bite too! :)

Early the following morning, we drove North for a couple of hours to discover a little town by the name of "Grand Marais".
The drive was gorgeous.

 glorious Lake Superior

heading for a tunnel in the Sawtooth "Mountains"

entering Grand Marais...I LOVE this view!!

The French settlers had named it "Large Marsh", but no one really knows why, since no sign of an actual marsh has been found...
We really did not know what to expect, but were relying solely on the raves of our friends who have been visiting this gem of a town for years.

I have never visited the New England coastal towns, but from what I understand, Grand Marais could stand in for one...

The town may be small, but it is home to the oldest Art Colony in Minnesota...and it's thriving!
Galleries, antique shops, and cafes dot the shimmering coastline, while the Sawtooth Mountains hug Grand Marais from the back...
And during our stay there, it was warm enough to keep the winter jackets off....hooray!

 I am obsessed with sailboats...

Don't you love the red? This one was in Duluth....

This lovely boreal forest perched on rugged rocks 
is called "Artists' Point"...
Painters and photographers cannot get enough of the spectacular really is breathtaking. 
Truly a  place of renewal for mind, body, and soul.

We could not leave Grand Marais without a visit to their most darling book shop...
"Drury Lane"

And how could we resist a taste of the "World's Best Doughnuts"!?

I don't know if it was just the fresh Lake Superior air, but these may very well be the best doughnuts you will ever taste!!

A grand adventure indeed.

My apologies for not having visited you, dear friends...this has been a whirlwind month, and I hope to see you all very soon!

Much love and many blessings!


  1. Dear Irina,

    Looks like the perfect getaway and I enjoyed seeing all your lovely photos. I can see it was a wonderful adventure.

    Happy week

  2. Dear wonderful to be able to get away from the 'tropics' and take an overcoat with you...what a beautiful place you have visited! We are having a bit of wild weather here...a Super Moon and King Tides but I haven't ventured out to have a look! Stay cool as we are trying to stay warm...Much Love to you...DZintra

  3. Carolyn is so right! What a perfect getaway! Simply breathtaking dear Irina...
    Thank you so much for your visit and most kind thoughts... You are such a dear.
    Wishing you a relaxing weekend.

  4. Irina, I could linger in this post FOREVER. Ahhh...the water, the sun, the sailboats, and grilled salmon sandwiches...HEAVEN. I am so glad you enjoyed this slice of glory, my friend, and very thankful you shared it with us.

  5. I AM FINALLY HERE...and with near tears in my eyes, I am enjoying your adventure. That view you took of down the hill onto the looks like my beloved ocean view in New England; the view of the Atlantic from any point on the shores.

    Now that I have been to Lake Geneva in Wisconsin (gotta tell you about this trip!), I can appreciate how Duluth and Grand Marais must be like. At some point, you just feel near the sea, and just being near the water is a healing feeling....

    LOVELY PHOTOS of what I know was a special trip for you, and a special one for me. We will meet VERY SOON in order to share the love. Anita

  6. Dear Irina -

    My goodness! Your photographs are beautiful!!! Yes, it really does look like New England - especially Maine. So charming.

    I would gladly trade in our hot and muggy 90 degree temps for some of that cool, fresh air. Send some our way, please! :)

    I love those little corners on your photos. Would you mind sharing your secret? How did you add those?

    Happy summer, my friend :)

    Cheers from swampy DC!!

  7. My precious friend! THANK YOU for having visited me again! I wish I had time (maybe after I get my reading done for the day) for posting again, but I hope I can at least put up a post in regards to blog subscription via email!


  8. Hello, again, Irina!
    Thank you for sharing about Picmonkey. I've included a link (in the comments section of my post) to this post so that my readers can enjoy your photos and see these corners!
    x Loi

  9. Irina - what a beautiful post and your photos are exquisite. That was an amazing adventure for your fellow bloggers to be able to take with you. I'm sure it felt good to get to your home sweet home as well. Cheers dear.

  10. What a wonderful getaway this must have been! The North Shore looks like a beautiful place. That view driving into Grand Marais is breathtaking!!

  11. Thank you so much dear Irina for taking me along via your beautiful photos... Oh what an adventure this was... I can feel the cool breeze... I love the sailboats!
    How sweet of you to come visit and leave such a kind note for me.
    Enjoy your weekend

  12. Oh, Irina!!! What a beautiful adventure!! The photos are gorgeous and I'm ready to pack my bags!!! :)
    This is my kind of getaway! Everything you're sharing with us is so interesting and oh so beautiful!!
    Ummmm...those doughnuts...please tell me you've tried one.
    WELL??? Where they to-die-for?? My sweet tooth is screaming right now for one of those beauties! LOL
    Thank you for visiting friend's store is truly a one of a kind treasure trove of delights! I've been promising him a post for months and I finally had time to sit down and do one for him (my web designer needs to check his punctuation, though! LOL).
    Yes, I would love to take pictures of my extended "family"!
    We have two adorable goats, Stormy and Snow--oh my goodness do they keep you in stitches when they dance from side to side! Snow (the bigger goat) actually "talks" back to me when I talk to her--it's hysterical! Stormy is a Pigmy goat and is just the sweetest little thing. She'll actually dance for you, doing a side step of sorts---it's hysterical!
    We have two adopted horses (their owners rent the stables from us), Moonie and Charlie.
    Moonie is a PAINT and is 17 1/2 hands--he's the most majestic horse I've ever seen. I adore them!
    Watching them in the morning (through the kitchen window) galloping at full speed... stops you dead in your tracks! It's pure heaven!
    I feel so blessed to be on this gorgeous 50 acre farm. It's a little slice of heaven for us.
    Oh...and I forgot to mention my little friends who came with the barn...5 of the most adorable barn cats you've ever set eyes on. They line up every morning at the kitchen door to be fed with their tiny faces pressed to the glass door. Priceless!!!
    I'll share photos soon...
    Hope you have a wonderful 4th!
    Thanks for visiting me and for the gorgeous tour of your lovely trip!! I'm going back to see more!
    Much love and huge hugs!
    Lisa xoxo

  13. Your posts are AMAZING:) and they make me smile everytime I visit in here.

    Check out my blog....If you want to see a beautiful Swedish country styled house:)

    have a great week dear

    LOVE Maria at


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