Monday, July 30, 2012

It's OFF my List!!

We all have a "list", whether it be in our heads or written down. We all have certain things we want to do before we die.  I happen to have my list in my head (I should probably be writing it down so I don't miss anything!), and this past weekend, I got to cross something off!

For any of you that know me, I have been drawn to lighthouses for a LONG time!  Something about them just draws me in.  It has to do with the history, the water, the adventure of finding them, and just the plain old look of them.

This adventure begins about 10 1/2 years ago when Rich and I made a long weekend trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  I had never seen the snow in the U.P. (snow, yes.....I grew up in NW Ohio, but not U.P. snow!), and we were also going to go lighthouse hunting.  That weekend, we had the time of our lives!  We were newly engaged, just enjoying being with each other.  We drove Rich's truck down some crazy snowmobile trails having a VERY bumpy ride!  We saw many lighthouses that weekend, and the one that sticks out to me is the Big Bay Lighthouse.  You could actually sleep in a lighthouse!  The idea was SO incredible to me!  Yes, this was going on my list!  I have to sleep in a lighthouse before I die!
Back of our dive boat in Rock Harbor

Rock Harbor, Isle Royale National Park

Fast forward to Friday....
Rich and I had just finished up a fantastic 5 day dive charter diving in Isle Royale National Park.  We dived 9 awe inspiring dives while living aboard the Lake Superior Diver.  What could make the week better?  Just wait.....

Our "camping" area on the boat.
Awesome for seeing the stars at night!
Rich taking a pic of me taking a pic of him!  Lol!

One of my favorites of Rich!  

This my favorite pic of the week!
We got off the boat, loaded our belongings into the Element, and headed on our way.  Our plan was to drive most of the way to Duluth, MN (about a 3 hour trip from where we picked up the boat), and make a few stops at places we had seen in Duluth on our way to the boat.  I promptly fell asleep while Rich drove.  I woke up just outside of Two Harbors, MN, and Rich had seen a campground and a motel.  He asked what I preferred, and after having been "camping" on the boat all week, I was ready for a bed and a hot shower that didn't include "friends" from the outdoors in the room.  I love camping and the outdoors, really, I do!  Rich suggested we drive a little further, and so we did.  We then saw the sign to the Two Harbors Lighthouse or Agate Bay Lighthouse.  We had been there the year before looking around the outside, and Rich remembered it was a Bed & Breakfast.  Bonus!

We pulled up, went to the door, and we had missed the check in time which was from 3p-5p (it was 5:40pm, crap!) and no one was on the premises.  Rich suggested we drive back down the hill, and call the number on the sign.  I did, and we lucked out that they had a cancellation!   Yippee!!  The gentleman was with the historical society and was currently at the train museum.  He met us back at the door to the light and signed us all in!  He also gave us a brief history of the lighthouse, told us our "duties", and explained that in order to keep their non profit status, they had to make each person's stay educational.  They use the money we paid to stay there to help in the upkeep of the property.  Cool idea!

We took tons of pictures as the general public isn't allowed inside the dwelling.  It was amazing!!  What a dream come true!  The best part.....NO wifi or TV!  We travel a LOT, but it is rarely just the 2 of us.  We always have kids or clients with us (which is also fun!), so it was nice to just be together talking about our trip from the past week.  Just enjoying each other.  It was perfect!  
View from one of the portholes near the top of the light.
Formal Dining Room

Sitting Room

Our room, the Forest Room

pretty sitting area on the grounds
The buffet in the back was donated by the wife of one of
the lighthouse keepers.  She is pictured sitting next to it
in the photo on the wall to the left of the buffet.

The next morning, we enjoyed the company of the 4 other guests during breakfast in the formal dining room.  What a beautiful plate of food!  I should have taken a picture, darn!  Rose, the wonderful lady who made our meal, was a welcome addition to the event.  She was so pleasant and had a lot of fun stories to tell about working there during the winter.  

After breakfast was complete, we finished up our "duties", took a few more pictures with the morning light, and headed on our way.  We stopped at the Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth, the S.S Meteor in Superior, and finally for dinner we stopped at Wild Rover in Marquette.  We then completed the 16 hour trek home!  (we had 8 1/2 more to go at that point)  

There is SO much to be said about being able to cross something off of your list, but it also helps to share the experience with someone you love!  Thanks, Rich, for sharing this monumental experience with me!  <3