Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Make the U-turn

u-turn sign
My new mantra is "Make the u-turn." So many times when we are driving down the road or on a trip we pass something interesting, and comment that we should have stopped to check it out. Now that we are both pretty much retired, I told my husband that if we see something we are going to do a u-turn and head back to it. We are going to "make the u-turn."

We had an opportunity to put it into practice earlier this month as we were driving home from Charles City, Iowa. Just a few miles outside of town is the childhood home of Carrie Lane Chapman Catt, a women's suffrage leader who campaigned for women to have the right to vote, and founder of the League of Women Voters. For as many years as we have been traveling from our home in St. Louis to Charles City, we have never stopped.

Well, last Monday after we passed the sign for the turnoff, we decided to make the u-turn. I am so happy that we did. What a great visitor's center they have, and our docent was exceptional as she walked us through the house and the restored prairie behind it. An added bonus for me was the barn quilt on the barn. I almost always make a u-turn for one of those!

There is no entrance charge, though donations are appreciated. If you find yourself in northeastern Iowa, I highly recommend a stop here. You can learn more about Catt and the home at this website.

Carrie Lane Chapman Catt childhood home

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Photography Challenge Week 32

Composition: Frame within the frame was the challenge for Week 32. We were to use only natural elements to frame the subject of our photo. This was one of the rare weeks when I had actually photographed a number of different scenes trying to capture the challenge. I decided to use the one of a chair carved from a tree, which I found along a trail in the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park near Two Harbors, Minnesota.

Dogwood Photography Challenge Week 32

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Mini Vacation

My husband's high school reunion was the last weekend in July in Charles City, and we also had to be back there the first weekend of August for our niece's wedding. Instead of making the long drive two weekends in a row, we decided to turn it into a mini vacation.

We had a really nice time staying with my in-laws and attending the class reunion, which was held at the local VFW hall. Fortunately I know some of the people, and everyone was nice so I had good conversations throughout the night. It was an added bonus for me that there was a beautiful lake with a pretty sunset behind the hall. I'm always happiest when taking pictures!

behind the VFW hall
We left Charles City for Minneapolis on Monday the 29th, and first stopped to have lunch with Jim's cousin and her husband. We also got to check out their new house, though they have already been in it for 5 years. Next up was a visit to the Corbins house in the Twin Cities. They are the friends we travel with, usually once a year. We spent two nights with them, and very much enjoyed seeing the sites in the area.

Minnehaha Regional Park
Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
From Minneapolis we headed northeast to Two Harbors, Minnesota, where we stayed at Larsmont Cottages for two nights. Nestled on the shores of Lake Superior, the location was excellent for the sight-seeing we wanted to do in the area. The accommodations were wonderful with excellent sunrises, and we enjoyed the lighthouses, waterfalls, and natural beauty around us. One more day would have been great!

Larsmont Cottages
attractions in Two Harbors and Duluth
Friday we made our way back to Charles City as our niece was getting married the next day. We rented a house in town since our two children were both flying in as well. The weekend flew by, with a beautiful wedding and many fun times with the family. I'm so grateful that we all had the opportunity to get together. It was the perfect ending to our mini vacation.

Family!

Friday, August 9, 2019

Photography Challenge Week 31

The challenge for Week 31 was to tell the story of someone you know well. My husband and I were recently on a trip to Lake Superior in Minnesota. As early risers, we were able to capture the sunrise on the lake. This photo represents my husband in his new phase of life: retired and relaxed.

Dogwood Photography Challenge Week 31

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Photography Challenge Week 30

The Week 30 challenge was to be inspired by Exit. I loved their tagline, which was "Every exit is an entry to somewhere else." That was very thought-provoking. I took several photos of different things to try to capture the essence of exit, and this is the one I settled on. Where will this exit lead me?

It was taken at Gooseberry Falls State Park in Minnesota.

Dogwood Photography Challenge Week 30