Friday, June 12, 2015

Itasca Recap Part Two

I still have so many pictures to share, I don't know that I can share them all!  But here is part two of our Itasca Recap.

So as I said, Thursday was kind of a bust of a day overall.  But Friday dawned bright and beautiful, so we woke up and headed back into Park Rapids for some more disc golf and picked up some food for another picnic outside.  We decided after Ollie's nap that we'd rent bikes again and ride them up to the Headwaters (start of the Mississippi River).  It almost was going to be another disaster of a day, thanks to the arrival of some noisy neighbors and a very LOUD lawnmower, Ollie's nap was almost non-existent, but we went with it anyway.

The Headwaters trip turned out to be a ton of fun!  The water was freezing, but that didn't stop Ollie from jumping in and giving it a try!  It was actually technically his second time stepping in the Mississippi, the first time I was about 20 weeks pregnant with him and days away from finding out that he was a boy!

After we'd had our fill at the Headwaters we packed up and headed down to a little tourist site called Summerhill Farms, located between Itasca and Park Rapids.  On Fridays in the summer they host a barbeque - we're talking meats smoked in a meat smoker and all the sides you could possibly want. Again, this could have been a disaster - thanks to his lack of nap, Ollie fell asleep in the car on the way there and was a little grumpy when we woke him up, but he perked up when we sat down at a lovely table on a patio and when he got some the yummy food - we had ribs, pulled pork, cornbread, coleslaw and beans and it was all SO good.  We're going to remember that they do this in the summers for the next time we go up!

Saturday they were threatening rain, but when we got up we found out it wasn't slated to start until pretty close to when Ollie would be needing his afternoon nap, so after a nice big breakfast at the Lodge, we jumped in the car and did the 10 mile Wilderness Drive through the park.  We stopped and got out at places like Itasca's Largest White Pine and the Ranger Tower - Nate and Ollie even climbed all the way to the top.  Mom stayed on the ground, I just can't do heights the way I could when I was little!  One of the best parts of the Wilderness Drive was all the Yellow Lady Slippers we saw - so pretty!

We finished the drive just in time for the rain to start.  Ollie took a nap, but when he woke up was quite unhappy for some reason.  We had talked about going into downtown Bemidji again so we could visit Bemidji Brewing's taproom, so we decided to take a chance and go.  It worked out so well, they were family friendly and Ollie did just fine once we got in the car and drove out there.  Nate and I split a flight and Ollie enjoyed some water and crackers.

While we could have ordered food in at the taproom, we decided we wanted to go somewhere for dinner, so we asked one of the bartenders what he'd recommend.  He gave us a few bar/grill suggestions and then told us about an Italian place that we'd actually seen a few times but had never been to because it looked kind of fancy.  He said not to worry about that, you could walk in as you were and that it would be a fine place to bring a child.  So we headed to Tutto Bene for dinner and well, I think they were a little off-put by how we were dressed, but we got seated in the bar area near some very nice old grandmotherly ladies who were smitten with Ollie, so it worked out just fine. And it was some of the BEST Italian food I have ever had - everything is made fresh there, including the pasta.  It was definitely a splurge, but so very worth it.  We ended up getting back to the cabin a little on the late side, but Ollie crashed right away and so did we, I think that night I slept the hardest!

Sunday was our last full day and we made the most of it.  It was another sunny one, so we chose to go on one last bike ride and picnic.  

We had dinner at a place called Foxy's Bar and Grill that really had great hamburgers, but pretty terrible service unfortunately.  We didn't let it sour the day, but I was mildly disappointed in the experience.  The day was over all too fast and we found ourselves back to Monday and packing up to go home!  

Overall it was really a great week, I would do it again in a heartbeat, I am pretty sure we'll be up there every couple of years as Ollie grows up, so while I know he won't truly remember this week, I know he'll make memories there in the years to come too!

Now onward to the rest of summer!!
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