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For our second wedding anniversary, it was a relatively simple decision that we would travel out of town. However, we weren’t quite sure where to go! Initially, we hoped to celebrate our anniversary at a beach house in North Carolina with friends, but unfortunately, I didn’t have enough leave days from my job to take a week-long trip in June. (My work’s annual calendar restarts on July 1.) So we settled on a long weekend with an unknown destination.
We had considered Nebraska, but by the time my leave was approved, for some reason, I wasn’t keen on visiting Nebraska for our anniversary and decided we’ll travel there another time. My coworker suggested visiting Lake City and Wabasha, Minnesota. Since those towns are so close to Lake Pepin, we also decided to visit Laura Ingalls Wilder’s birthplace to mark a few more LIW locales off my bucket list. (I have a goal of visiting all 8 Laura Ingalls Wilder’s towns.)
Usually when I travel, I am the go-go-go type and begin preparing days in advance with a rough schedule of our activities. Not this time. This getaway was more of an Andy-style trip: spontaneous(ish) with no solid plans for anything. The morning of our departure, I was still finishing last-minute college assignments, packing our clothes and camping gear, and cleaning our house.
We moseyed our way out of town on Saturday afternoon, stopping in Rochester for dinner at Five Guys and a quick run to Target to pick up some things that I had forgotten. By the time we made it to Pepin, it was late in the evening. We grabbed a quick dinner at The Pickle Factory and then attempted to secure lodging for the night. You see, I had reserved a campground for Sunday and Monday evenings, but nothing for Saturday night. I thought it would be no big deal and that we would find something when we got there. Except, every motel or campground in Pepin was booked! We drove back across the river to Wabasha and every motel there was booked as well! By this point, it was 10 pm, and we were both a little stressed and exhausted. (Me more so than Andy.) By the grace of God, the Big River Resort in Wabasha had a super-last-minute cancellation just a few hours earlier which we happily snatched up.
On Sunday, we visited Laura Ingalls Wilder’s birthplace and the National Eagle Center. (Click the links to read my recaps!) Then, we moseyed on up to Frontenac State Park where we would be camping for the remainder of our trip. We forgot to pack camping food and supplies, so we stocked up at the gas station down the road (for an exorbitantly high price.) We went to bed that night thinking it would be a typical night of sleep before a full day of hiking the next day.
Y’all. I don’t know if we’ve suddenly gotten old in the past year, but neither one of us slept well on the ground. (Next time, I’m taking an air mattress!) It was also incredibly cold– apparently, Minnesota camping in June is not the same as Kentucky camping in June! We had precisely 1 sleeping bag and 1 pseudo-woobie between the two of us which was a disaster. Thankfully, we both lived, and our marriage remains intact 😉
By the time we woke up on Monday, we were both so over camping that we headed home after breakfast. We stopped at Cabela’s in Owatonna for a little shopping/sightseeing.
Although our trip wasn’t exciting by any stretch of the imagination, Andrew and I both enjoyed it. We were able to do a small amount of sightseeing but mostly enjoyed resting and relaxing away from the stresses of work and daily life. It didn’t go perfectly but know we’ll cherish these memories when we’re old and gray.