Copper Falls State Park

 

Bad River landscape

I have been off the grid this week. We have returned from our travels to the great Northern Territory of Wisconsin. We enjoy camping and this year we decided to explore one of the parks in our home state. We have lived here most of our life, but have yet to see all there is to see in our home state.

Copper Falls State Park is one of several parks in the northern area. It has 5 star ratings across the board on Trip Advisor, Yelp and just about every other site I looked at. The park has many amenities like hiking, swimming and boating, and the ones they don’t have are available near by.

North Woods Canapy

We chose to hike into our tent site which was a mere 250 yards from the parking area. The park provides a small wagon for hauling your equipment to your site which made it very easy. We have never used a hike -in site, and would do it again. It was a lovely spot, with very tall maple and ash trees.

Sleeping under the canopy was great, we were protected from the majority of wind and rain. There were a few Mosquitos, so bring your repellent just in case. Temperatures can be very cool at night here, it was in the mid-forties the few nights we were there, so bring lots of blankets.

Red Granit Falls2

During the day we explored the parks hiking trails. They were well marked and we appreciated how well groomed they were. As we neared the end of the 2.5 mile trail we heard the rushing water of the Red Granite Falls, one of two beautiful water falls in the park. It was absolutely  breath taking.

Red Granit Falls

The massive red rocks help give the water some of its unusual coloring. High concentrations of copper and iron give the water its blackish color and mysterious character. The Ojibowa Indians named this river,  Bad River. You can see why, it is a massive river, and the rapids are huge.

Bridge to Copper Falls

The second water fall is Copper Falls, hence the parks namesake. You can walk around the falls from different viewing angles over these lovely rustic bridges.

Copper Falls

Copper falls is a bit smaller, but no less impressive. I couldn’t help but think that the water looked like dark ale, complete with its rich golden foam.

Copper Falls Rapids

The sound of the rushing water is so musical, I could have listened to it forever.

Basalt steps to Copper Falls

 

Be prepared to do some serious climbing while you are here. These stone steps are made from naturally occurring basalt, a lava rock left here ages ago. We had no idea that there was any thing like this in our state. I was sore for a day or two after scaling many upward paths such as this.

Bayfield Harbor

If you would like a day trip, there are a number of small towns in the area with sights to see. We headed further north to Bayfield, right on the shores of Lake Superior. The historical town is built along this beautiful bay.

Bayfield Harbor Yachts

The Lake superior region is very unique looking, the deep lake is a rich blue color and there is always a cool breeze.

Bayfield WI

Established in the mid-1800’s, there are lots of period homes and buildings to see. They all had beautiful gardens and landscaping.

Petunias

 

This restaurant pictured above, got its name from the local fish packing plant. Fresh white fish from Lake Superior is still packed into wooden barrels, salted and pickled for pickled herring as it has been done here for the last 150 years.

Pickled Herring

 

I love the character of this vintage sign.

Red Yacht

There is plenty of sailing on Lake Superior, Bayfield is famous for its yacht race over the 4th of July holiday. There were a number of vessels already in port for the race.

Sailboat on Lake Superior

We wanted to try sea kayaking, but it was so cool the day we were there we decided to postpone it. There are guided tours available and lots of equipment you can rent at a reasonable price.

The car ferry can take you over to the famous Madeline Island, one of the Apostle Islands along the coastline of Lake Superior. Madeline Island is supposed to be a lovely place, we were disappointed that it was so cold and wet, so we decided to save this for the next trip as well.

My husband and I agreed that this trip was one of our best camping trips yet. We look forward to exploring more of this area, see you at the campground!

Blue Glass Bottles

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Hello friends!

I took some time today to pull out my new collection of blue glass bottles.

I found them on our recent vacation.

I discovered them stashed away in a box of other stuff I was unpacking.

I recall that these bottles just had to come home with me, they reminded me so much of the deep blue sea.

I love them even more on this chippy window ledge.

I don’t ever want to paint it.

starfish

I found them among rows and rows of decorative stuff at the Old Time Pottery Store.

Have you ever been there?

It’s fantastic!

Next time, I am bringing an entire suitcase along to carry the haul home.

Perhaps I will need a trailer too.

I just loved the little star fish ornaments that came with the bottles. Aren’t they darling?

The twine that holds them on just makes it so beach like.

yellow rose

I grabbed these yellow roses from the $3.99 flower bin at Aldi’s over the weekend.

I couldn’t wait to add them to the blue bottles.

I think I am addicted to this blue shade.

Or perhaps the yellow.

Or both.

Hummmm…..

bottled roses-3

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We all need a little color in our lives, don’t you think?

Have a lovely day!

Global Discovery Vacations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sunset on the beach

 

Returning from vacation can be stressful. Re-entry into the regular routine slow for me.

I keep dreaming of the beautiful beach we saw in Gulf Shores, Alabama. It was our first trip there, it definitely won’t be our last.

We stayed at the Plantation Resort, part of Global Discovery Vacations. I call it a travel club. The way it works is you pay a one time fee up front to join, then a small yearly fee.

We get two weeks a year at any resort they are affiliated with, anywhere in the world for $189.00 per week for a one bedroom suite with kitchen, living room, laundry, etc.

You can upgrade to a 2 or 3 bedroom if you choose, but different rates do apply.

It has been well worth it to us.

We have taken several vacations in the last two years and they have been great.

The facilities are clean, quiet, attractive and very serviceable.

I keep forgetting to take pictures of the inside of them, my mind is always on the view.

pool view

I actually felt sorry for the folks back home in the subzero temperatures. It wasn’t that warm while we were in the Gulf area, but even a cold day at the beach is warmer than a subzero day back home.

Eye candy for the soul.

The resort had several pools both indoors and out. We pretty much had the entire place to ourselves.

There were a few other midwesterner’s around during the off season, but not many.

The off season is Jan-Feb. Peak season begins in March and runs through December.

balcony view

We found out that our room with this stellar view rents for more than $300.oo per night during peak times.

Wow!

star fish

While we were strolling on the beach, we found lots of these little star fishes had washed up on shore during the night. Isn’t it just adorable?

driftwood

The pieces of driftwood on the shore were in all shapes and sizes. This log was huge, I would have loved to haul it home and put it in the garden.

The white sand almost looks like snow doesn’t it?

Beautiful.

broken shells

Because of the cold temps and rough seas, there were lots of shells on the beach. Many of them were broken, but that doesn’t deter me.

I see great beauty in brokenness.

ferris wheel

On one of the colder days, we amused ourselves at the local shopping mall. The Wharf is a great spot with lots of unique shops and restaurants.

driftwood pelican

This adorable coffee shop specializes in beach art and coffee.

It has become my most favorite place in the entire world.

This pelican was made out of driftwood. If I could have figured out how to cram it into my suitcase, I would have brought it home with me.

It is masterpiece in my book.

brick wall

Another day we visited Fort Morgan, a civil war era fort on the Bay of Mobile.

I love historic spots like this.

The fort is built into the ground at the tip of the bay, making it is almost invisible from the sea. There is another fort across the bay on the other side. Next trip, we will explore that one as well.

This was the site of a number of important sea battles during the civil war. They also have an interesting museum and gift shop.

I love how the inside wall is aged and mossy.

fortress

Other parts of the fort are just as interesting. The salty sea air makes a layer of white crust on the aging bricks.

Can you imagine this place filled with soldiers and cannons?

old house

This beautiful house sits at the end of fort. It was once the command center for the entire place.

I love the big porch and the unique windows.

training plane

 

Since the weather was so cool, we didn’t really spend a lot of time on the beach. We really enjoyed our day trip to Pensacola, FL which was about 30 minutes away.

We spent the entire day the National Naval Aviation Museum.

We love air planes, and have a long history with pilots in our family.

 

blue angels

We took in a couple of flight simulations, and even an IMAX movie about the Blue Angels while we were there. They are so impressive to see up close.

uss enterprise2

My favorite plane had to be the USS Enterprise.

I knew the Enterprise existed, I knew it!

uss enterprise

Even the propeller was massive.

the hot shop

Nearby Orange Beach is the home of this glass blowing workshop called The Hot Spot.

You can watch them make glass, or even take a class and try it yourself.

Very impressive.

Glass flowers

Aren’t these glass flowers just beautiful?

st. louis arch

The trip home was long and snowy, we stopped briefly at the St. Louis Arch on the way.

That blob on the photo is the sun showing through the clouds just before it snowed.

It snowed a lot.

the arch

The Arch is very impressive up close. If you are brave and not claustrophobic, you can go up in the elevator to the top.

I was not so brave.

old court house

Across the park sits the Old Courthouse. I was surprised how similar it is to the court house we have here at home.

So much to discover!

I hope you have enjoyed the tour.

Are you planning a spring vacation?

Where to?

 

Introducing our Ragdoll Cat: Pixel

Our Christmas kitty has finally come out of hiding. It's taken weeks for her to adjust to us. #pets #kiiityproblems

A photo posted by Jessica Cramer (@designermom4) on

Our new Ragdoll kitty has finally come out of hiding. We got her just several weeks ago, but she apparently was a stray and had never been around people. It has taken a lot of coaxing for her to get used to us.

We named our kitty Pixel. She is a dilute Bi-color Ragdoll Calico. Apparently the Rag Doll breed is known for it’s loyal, outgoing personality and is generally friendly and cuddly. We will patiently wait while she overcomes her shyness to fulfill her Ragdoll destiny. Did you know that all calicos are female? My son informed me of this tidbit. Where he picks these things up, I will never know.

At first, she would just come out in the evenings, and would sit on our lap while we watched TV, but would disappear completely during the daytime. Recently, she has decided that we are okay. She’s been slowly coming into the kitchen or living room, even during the day, but will run and hide the minute she hears any sort of noise. Yesterday, we got snow and she spent the afternoon with me on the couch, staring out the window at the snowflakes. I did have to coax her to stay put with a few little kitty treats, but she spent the majority of the day out of her usual hiding spot. We are making progress, but it is slow.

Bribery is my specialty. What feline animal can resist tasty fishy treats?

Ragdolls were given their name because they tend to go “limp as a rag doll” when you pick them up. They will hang limp over your arm when carried. Interesting, huh? She does seem to behave like a wet noodle when being held.

Ragdolls are easily trained, and will not get their mature coloring until they are between 3-4 years old. Pixel is just over a year old, so it will be fun to see how her coloring changes with time. She has green eyes, which I find rather interesting considering that the Ragdoll breed is known for it’s blue eyes. She also sheds very little, which is great for those of us who don’t like to clean.

I am still experiencing some troubles with my website, I hope to have everything ironed out soon. Today’s issue is that it won’t let me upload pictures for some reason. You can see what I am up to on Instagram @designermom4.

I hope Pixel will become a regular fixture in my photos, so I wanted to introduce her to you.

Have a great day!

 

 

 

Teal Thanksgiving Decor

Teal tablesetting

 

 

It is snowing here today.  Can’t believe it! We haven’t had a major snow before Thanksgiving in many years.

I spent my day dreaming of Teal Thanksgiving Decor by the light of the fireplace.

I was thrilled to find the teal accessories I had been dreaming of in the stores this week.

Sometimes it’s hard to find the stuff of your dreams, you know?

Perhaps it’s just me.

I started with these beautiful hurricane candle holders from World Market. They were a bargain at $4.99. I filled them with little pinecones and wooden circles from the craft store.

I spotted the teal napkins at World Market as well. I bought a big stack of them for the holiday buffet table. You can never have too many napkins at our house.

I love the colored napkins with my white dishes. It’s the only set of dishes we own. They are old and chipped, but I love them anyway.

White goes with everything in my book.

The cups and saucers are a thrift store find, they don’t match a thing and I like them that way.

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 I came across the same color teal fabric that matched the napkins at JoAnn Fabrics. I didn’t see a matching teal table cloth in the World Market Store, and buying a table cloth wasn’t really in the budget anyway.

I scored two yards of this linen blend for a whopping $7.00 with the weekly coupon. Yes!

A tablecloth was born!

I decided to not have a traditional center piece this Thanksgiving.

The food is the focus of the holiday, why not use it for the center piece too?

Teal tablesetting-3

I found this slate cheese board at Marshall’s recently. I have always wanted one of these. We eat more cheese than any other family on Earth. It was a must have.

I picked up a few veggies for display with the cheese, some artichokes and a couple heads of radicchio.

Something about the purples and greens in the same space together calls to me. These are some of my favorite colors.

A few pieces of fresh rosemary complete each place setting. I love the way it smells.

There will be lots of rosemary present in our Thanksgiving meal!

Teal tablesetting-7

The “give thanks” reference on the cheese board comes from the lyrics to the Shaker song Simple Gifts by Joseph Brackett which was written in 1848.

 For some reason, this song makes me think of the Thanksgiving holiday and counting all our blessings, no matter how simple they are.

The song goes like this:

‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we shan’t be ashamed,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come ’round right.

Just so you know, it has taken me all day to complete this post. I think that’s a record for the longest post ever! I am forcing myself to learn to use a new photo editing program, Adobe Lightroom. It will take me some time to get used to it, but I know it will be worth the trouble.

Are you ready for Thanksgiving yet?