December was filled with lots of adventure (hence, my long absence from blogging regularly). A week in Jamaica, followed almost immediately by the craziness that is the Christmas holiday, and finished off with a trip up to the North Shore of Lake Superior for New Year’s. PHEW! All of this fun is exhausting.
One of those….”wouldn’t it be fun?” conversations over Thanksgiving dinner turned into a….”yeah, let’s do this!” with my sister Jessi and her bf Joe. I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend the holiday than bundled up sailing down a hill with a board strapped to my feet.
As a native Minnesotan who had her own skis at age two, I am completely amazed that I have never ventured the 4 hour road trip up to Lutsen before. It’s about as close as you can get to the Rockies around here, and you can make it as short as a weekend trip from the Twin Cities. YES.
We stayed at Caribou Highlands lodge, which is right on Lutsen Mountain – Ski-in, Ski-out – no need for a shuttle to get to the runs. We definitely paid a premium to visit over the holiday, but after staying right on the hill, I don’t think I’d do it any other way.
I was incredibly impressed at the size of this place. In Minnesota, it’s tough to find a hill that takes more than 60 seconds to ride down. These were solid 3-4 minute runs, with multiple options (especially on Moose Mountain) that can get you somewhat lost (or maybe that’s just me?).
It was Mike’s 2nd time EVER on a snowboard, and he completely rocked it. By day 2 he was a regular pro 😉 He says he’s now officially addicted and wants to go every weekend. Score one for me! I’ve only been trying to get him on a snowboard for the past 7 years. We somehow even ended up on a black diamond on day two – Mike took it in stride and didn’t even bite it.
It was COLD (-25 windchill) but we made the best out of it. Boot warmers and lots of layers were key. Poor Jessi was sick and decided to relax on day 2, but Mike, Joe and I braved the elements and had some fun riding fun boxes in the snowboard park. Wheeeee!
NYE Dinner at Mogul’s Grille & Tap Room at Caribou Highlands was fab. I had the blackened mahi mahi, with LOTS of fresh shrimp and crab claws from the buffet. MMmmmmmm. And ironically, my friend Mikel from college happened to be our server! What a small world it is.
We had a ton of fun hanging out with Jess and Joe; something we don’t get to do nearly often enough. Lots of Rumchata and blueberry moonshine, a little hot tubbin’. and table tennis; and finally, watching the Vikings make the playoffs definitely capped off the weekend! I’d absolutely do a weekend up in Lutsen again. I think next time, I’d pick a weekend in late Feb/early March when it’s not so frigid and you don’t have to pay holiday premiums at the resort and on the lift tickets.
What did you do for New Year’s? What are your favorite semi-local weekend getaways?