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Minnesota, the land of 1,000 signs

Minnesota, the land of 1,000 signs

I have to say I was really impressed by the signage between Duluth and Lutsen. There were some fantastic signs for hotels, liqour stores and various viking named businesses. The fonts of the 50s-70s are alive and kicking up north.

Plus this is a good sign to kick off the trip.


Paul Bunyon?

Paul Bunyon?

Is that you? And what are you doing selling a watercraft?


My kinda town

My kinda town

The locals looked at me like I was nuts when I stood in the middle of the road to get this shot. How great and rustic is it?

I was a little confused about the whole "on/off" liqour signage. Alisa explained that it means you can go there and have a drink and buy a bottle, or something like that.


Lutsen Resort Bridge

Lutsen Resort Bridge

This is the bridge we walked to get from the resort to the Poplar Condos, where Alisa and Jeff stayed. Note: it's best not to wear kitten heels when navigating bridges, steps, mountains.


Viking ship!

Viking ship!

Sven just pulled in his boat.

Here's the view looking out onto Lake Superior @ Lutsen's beach.


Lutsen Resort

Lutsen Resort

A view of the resort, which was aptly opened by a family named "Nelson." I loved the decor, which reminded me of camp, only we were allowed to drink at this camp.


A river runs through it

A river runs through it

My five minutes with nature.


Pretty bridge

Pretty bridge


Poplar condos

Poplar condos

This is where Alisa and Jeff and several other guests stayed. Really nice with fireplaces and pretty views. Plus you can get pizza delivered there.


A lighthouse

A lighthouse

"There is a light and it never goes out/there is a light and it never goes out."
-- Morrissey

Morrissey would like Minnesota cause it has lots of lighthouses. Oof da!


I wish they all could be faux Minnesota Girls

I wish they all could be faux Minnesota Girls

One of these things is not like the others.


Beaver Flick?

Beaver Flick?

I don't know what a "Beaver Flick" is, but what inventive terminology.


There's a fish crashing through your roof!

There's a fish crashing through your roof!


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Holy timing!

Holy timing!

Laura and I just happened to arrive in the town of Grand Marais (20 miles north of Lutsen) on National Donut Day! Thankfully, we were at the "World's Best Donut Shop." Score.


See, there is a sign and everything

See, there is a sign and everything

Look out Krispy Kreme and Dunkin' Donuts.


Skizzle and fo' Shizzle

Skizzle and fo' Shizzle

"Skizzle" is the name of the donut's shop legendary fried pastery, and apparently the name of this Nordic beauty. I'm playing the role of Sven, donut eater of the north.


Again, another sign I don't understand

Again, another sign I don't understand

But it looks cool


The world's best pies (TM)

The world's best pies (TM)

When we bought the sour blueberry and rasberry rhuburb pie they said the Star Tribune voted them "Best Pies On The Planet" -- OK!


Alisa and her flowers

Alisa and her flowers

Alisa ordered these beautiful flowers, which were so her! All the girls arranged them during a Friday luncheon.


Sunflowers!

Sunflowers!

Amazingly, these came from an Internet wholesaler and arrived in beautiful shape.


Sisters are doing it for themselves!

Sisters are doing it for themselves!

Alisa and her best friend Lauren get to work


Mammas stuffing

Mammas stuffing

Jeff, Alisa and Lauren's moms work on stuffing dried flowers into sachets.


Rachel

Rachel

Alisa's friend from high school with the beach behind her


Finishing their bouquets

Finishing their bouquets

Alisa and Lauren each put together their own hand tied bouquets, which were lovely.


The final product

The final product


So true

So true


A pretty album

A pretty album


At the pub

At the pub

The party starts right here!


Laura reconnects with Galactica

Laura reconnects with Galactica


The ping pong commences

The ping pong commences


Henna

Henna

Alisa's friend Tammy explains the meaning of the henna that she has applied to Alisa's hands for the wedding day.


Enjoying the Blessingway

Enjoying the Blessingway

A blessingway is a ceremony that marks a major transition in a woman's life. Her female friends and family members gather around and give her their prayers and good wishes, as well as recalling special stories of her. Alisa is truly blessed with a strong and amazing group of women -- like her!


Members of the female tribe

Members of the female tribe

The woman in the middle is her great aunt who would walk her down the aisle the following day


Post-Blessingway

Post-Blessingway


Hennad hands

Hennad hands

Among the designs: a lotus flower, which symbolizes beauty and strength, and Jeff's initials hidden in the design


Preparing for the ceremony

Preparing for the ceremony

Jeff constructed a chuppa, which is a Jewish tradition that symbolizes a couple's home. He and the guys worked to assemble the chuppa out of bamboo on the beach.


Still digging this Nordic ship

Still digging this Nordic ship


Moving inside

Moving inside

They decided to move the ceremony indoors because of rain. Here friends worked on setting up the chuppa in front of the lodge's fireplace.


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That rocks

That rocks

They secured the chuppa with rocks from Lake Superior


Tibetan prayer flags

Tibetan prayer flags


Did you get a rock?

Did you get a rock?

It was my job to walk around with this bowl of rocks and make sure all the guests had one. Their job was to throw their rock into Lake Superior before leaving the resort, sending their wishes for the couple into the world.


The beautiful bride

The beautiful bride

During the ceremony


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Jeff breaks the glass!

Jeff breaks the glass!


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We're getting married!!!!

We're getting married!!!!


Sassy ladies

Sassy ladies


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