Monday, September 18, 2006

Brainerd Vacation: Mon-Thurs

Last week Linzy and I spent the week up in Brainerd, Minnesota at the Gull 4 Seasons resort. We drove up on Monday and spent the first part of the week milling about the local area. Then on Friday a bunch of friends came up to stay with us for the weekend.

I had a great time on the trip, it was really fun to get away and spend some time relaxing with Linzy and then also fun to see a bunch of friends for an extended period of time.

We had quite a pile of stuff to bring up, since we had to haul along not only everything we would need for the week but also all the stuff we needed to have on hand for all our guests for the weekend. Trying to provide most everything, including several meals for a group of 11 turned out to be a lot more work and a bigger hassle then we were planning.

It was like trying to go on vacation for a week and throw a big party at someone else's house that was 3 hours away and provided nothing other then beds, sheets, and some really crappy pans.

Linzy enjoying the view of the lake from the benches conveniently setup nearby.

On Tuesday I went for a bike ride on the Paul Bunyan Trail about 20 miles out and back north from Nissawa, while Linzy checked out the little shops on main street. The trail was nice in that it was very flat and pretty well sheltered from the wind. That made the ride a piece of cake, even though I was still a touch sore from Sunday's St. Paul Bike Classic. On the other hand, it was also somewhat boring because you really didn't have particularly good views of anything because of the trees on either side of the trail and there were no real hills or turns or anything.

After exploring the little towns nearby, we ate a delicious dinner on the patio while the sun set, and finished the night up by watching a movie (Ultravoilet) once it got dark.

On Wednesday we drove up and met Dan and Nikki in Walker for lunch (a fantastic pizza at Bensons) and then continued on to Nevis to visit Dan's parent's cabin. After getting the tour of the cabin we went out and got a tour of the lake.

Dan taking us around the lake on his parent's pontoon boat.

The island in the middle of Lake Belle Taine, known as 'Campers Paradise'

Unfortunately, now they allow people to park their campers on the island all summer long, totally ruining the view of the island.

After we finished boating around the lake, Dan's Mom talked us into trying to find a nearby geocache. None of us had ever done any geocaching, so we took her up on the challenge, such as it was.

Team Zissou celebrating our rousing success. For an idea of the difficulty of the cache, note the paved path not even three feet behind us. I had already 'found' the cache before everyone else was even off the path.

On Thursday morning I went for another bike ride on the Paul Bunyan trail, this time riding from Baxter to Nissawa. I ended up finishing that in record time (for me, averaging almost 1.5mph faster then I usually average) so I rode another 5.5 miles further north and then turned around to meet Linzy at the prearranged meeting spot.

After lunch we spent the afternoon driving around Gull Lake checking out the other resorts, cabins (mansions really), and golf courses that surround the lake.

At Madden's Resort they even had two completely groomed and landscaped croquet lawns. The other was completely packed with old people playing croquet. Apparently a popular past-time. Who knew?

The Gull Lake dam was not quite as impressive as some others we've seen recently.

Casey ♥ Krista

On Friday, we spent the morning running a few errands, cleaning the cabin up, cooking, and generally preparing for the arrival of the other nine people who would be joining us for the weekend. be continued...


McBrideFarm said...

Looks like you had nice weather. The sunset view you had is lovely. :)

Bill Roehl said...

geocaching and great photos++

Brenden said...

Nothing like packing up video games and specialized controllers for a trip to the wilderness. :D

Steve Eck said...

Sarah, the weather was great. It was cold and overcast in the Twin Cities when we left, but sunny and pleasant up in Brainerd.

Bill, I figured you would appreciate the geocaching :)

Brenden, you have to have something to do once it gets dark outside. :)