Finally I’ve spent time on Minnesota’s north shore and it was beautiful to look at and relaxing to enjoy. Doug and I arrived at Cove Point on the day before Thanksgiving, staying in a Fjord Cottage a short walk from the main lodge. (I’m writing this a week later while snowed in in Chaska. Glad we went the week before.)

The drive there from Excelsior was clear and beautiful, but shortly after we arrived it began to snow, creating our first of the year winter wonderland. Inside the unit it was warm and cozy with the gas fireplace.


For dinner we took a short walk through the snow covered path to the dining room at the lodge where the menu gave great satisfaction to my Swedish heritage appetite. I ended up with a first course of herring salad and a stuffed portobello mushroom for the main meal. They very kindly substituted quinoa for the gluten free rotini. And for desert they gave me what I asked for — a scoop of vanilla with lingonberries. It was all good!

Doug enjoyed tomato basil soup and crumb crust walleye -crushed pretzels, mustard, wild rice pilaf and green beans. For desert he chose the root beer float they were offering free at the bar.

See what I mean? It was relaxing – no rushing off to “see the sights.” Later, back at the unit, Doug began the project of teaching me cribbage on a hand carved board in the shape of a fish. Just one of the toys provided.

Thanksgiving morning I awoke to the sight of a lovely sunrise over the lake.


and the lake waters greeting the snow covered rocks on shore.

Lake Superior

We made our own thanksgiving dinner in the kitchen beautifully supplied with everything necessary. I’m not including the photo of our cooked chicken, even though it was beautiful in “person,” because the photo had something equivalent to red eye, except it was red crust. Looked weird.

The rest of the day was a hanging-out day except for a brief walk to the lodge, a quick swim in the pool, and a soak in the whirlpool. Then more cribbage. Whew. And seconds on the pumpkin pie.

We did go see some sights the next day. First it was the Split Rock lighthouse – a beautiful structure, in use from 1909 t0 1964, or was it 1946? Oh well, Here it is.

Split Rock LIghthouse

We couldn’t see the inside because it’s only open in the summer months, but we did see a brief film of the crashes that brought about its being built in the first place. And we got a sense of what life was like for the keeper and his family.

Later, on our way to Gooseberry Park we got a glimpse of it again through the trees.

Lighthouse thru trees

Then it was on to Gooseberry Park where I did get a photo of the frozen falls. Actually there was some small amount of water still running, but not a lot.

Gooseberry Falls

I was particularly taken with what seemed like a tree that nature had decorated for Christmas.

Gooseberry Park Xmas tree

And then another relaxed evening at the unit.

On our way home from Cove Point we stopped in Duluth to visit the Glensheen mansion. Here are a few quick photos. First, the entry.

Glensheen entry

And the dining room.

Glensheen Dining Room


Plus a lovely tiled fireplace.

Glensheen fireplace


and one of the rooms.

Glensheen Mansion Duluth


As you can see,it was decorated for Christmas. Referring to a guest who had visited from Radcliffe, there were costumed guides at several points on the self-guided tour to elucidate what the guest would have seen, and what delight she took in being there.

I loved seeing it, but I wouldn’t want to live there. I guess because if I did, I imagined cleaning it all myself. But they had servants, and very pleasant servant’s quarters.

And so, I’m back to work today — more fun rehearsals for “The Sound of Music,” gift wrapping, trying to keep up with e-mail, friends, and clients, and telling myself each day that I’ll get back to work on selling “Mrs. Job” and writing “My Father’s House.” A snow day does help.



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  1. Mona, haven’t been to the North Shore(one of my favorite places) in the winter. It is beautiful! Sounds like you had a wonderful time.
    Love, Dottie

  2. Sounds perfect.


  3. The frozen falls are beautiful!
  4. Absolutely beautiful Mona. It looks so wonderful and relaxing. 🙂

  5. The North Shore looks beautiful in November. I never really thought of it as a place to go this time of year–but I may have to reconsider.

  6. welcome back, Miss Mona! 🙂 speakin’ of Minnesota, whenever we mention this US-state in France/French, we also add for fun:”le minet sauta!”(same prononciation!) which means “the kitty has jumped!” 🙂 Have you seen Jesse Ventura up there?… 🙂 My very best, tons of inspiration and have a pleasant Friday! friendly thoughts&cheers, Mélanie

    • Thanks, Melanie. What a lovely message. When I was kid, I felt bad that no one gave me a nickname, but now I see my country has one – hmm — “the kitty has jumped.” I’ll have to think about that. And truly, I did enjoy when Jesse Ventura was governor and I saw “My Governor can beat your Governor” on bumper stickers. I also have to tell you how much I admire your facility with English. I regret that we Americans are so bad with language. There was a time when I was pretty good with German, but I have to confess that years of French courses have left me speechless and I can’t really do German any more either.

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