Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What we found on the North Shore....food and books

We had a lovely time on our trip to the North Shore. We drove to Duluth, played at the wooden playground, saved a child who had wandered off from his daycare provider and was in a parking lot, walked on the lake walk, and enjoyed the rocky shore.

We then drove north, stopping at Gooseberry falls, and ending up on Lutsen mountain, where we stayed and again rode the alpine slide and gondola up to the top of the mountain. Great scenery, cooler weather, the sound of water, it was pretty relaxing despite a child with a listening problem. Here are some photos from last year.

Somewhat amazing to me, there are some really good restaurants up north. I've mentioned this in the past. We dined again at the Angry Trout - my husband had the fish and chips with the best.tarter.sauce.ever. Seriously. We had a very elegant meal at Chez Jude complete with a hushed dining room and edible flowers. We didn't even get to try all the restaurants I wanted to, which is really saying something for this village of 1400 people. There is even a fantastic natural foods co-op there, which naturally I toured. Yes, I am the sort of person that sees grocery stores as attractions in places I travel. I've toured others in Mexico, Paris, London, and Quebec.

Here are some treats we brought home, blueberry-sour cherry jam from The Pie Place (great breakfast), wild huckleberry jam, and some really nice looking peanut butter.

Here are some books we brought home. Yeah!

I bought these at Northern Lights Books in Duluth. I just love these tiny little shops, with each book there for a reason, each one handpicked by someone who loved it, and not just there because they sell well.

Keeping the House has a beautifully retro-looking cover which seems to fit well with the book description. Here is the description from Ellen Baker's website. Sounds charming, no? I can think of a few of my blogging friends who might like this one.

The other title I picked up will probably appeal to most of us booklovers, Novel Destinations, a travel guide to all places literary. I was a little disappointed that only one of Laura Ingalls Wilder's home made it into this guide, but I suppose they only had so much room.

How cute is this bookshop?

That's Lake Superior just past the shop. I think I wanted to go up to Grand Marais just to return to this bookshop. Don't tell my husband. But this place is perfectly adorable and charming. My daughter found a couple of books to read and a pretty window seat to read them in.

This is where I purchased Give Me the World by Leila Hadley. I feel as though I've seen this book before, but the description didn't seem familiar: a young woman bored with her life,leaves New York with her 6 year old son on a cargo ship headed for Hong Kong. She winds up traveling around the world. Oh, and this takes place in 1951. Wow! I'm really looking forward to this.

I picked up Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey at another bookshop in town. This speaks to my love of the pioneer story.

All in all, a nice time. I'd love to see what it's like up there in the winter...but that would really require some bravery. Perhaps someday. I'm not really the sort of person that goes on the same vacation every year, however this was our third time to travel to the North Shore. It won't be the last. There's something about it.


Ti said...

I have yet to post my vacation stuff on my blog but I too, visited some bookshops. I spent one afternoon at the Tattered Cover in Denver, sitting on a couch, book in hand while it rained outside, complete with thunder and lightening. It was magical! I ended up with an illustrated hardbac of Anne of the Green Gables.

I need to get that Novel Desitnations you mentioned. I love touring bookstores in other states.

Carrie K said...

That bookstore is darling.

Peanut Butter! Yum.

nutmeg said...

Looks like a great break away. Keeping House looks fantastic and I note that Give Me the World is also set in the 1950's - a bit of a theme building here Tara? I have to give it to US publishers - your paperback copy of Give Me the World looks like a few I have bought from the US - lovely paper, some with "cut" edges and that fall open and stay open without breaking the spine. I was a bit jealous of my bookclub girlfriend who got her copy of Small Island on her last trip to America and it was a much more beautiful copy than mine ;-) How a book feels in the hand, its cover, etc are important, not as important as the plot, characters, etc - but still important (to me anyway!)

Bybee said...

Nice work, Tara...you covered both the food and book fronts nicely. You can't see, but I'm giving you your props now with a slightly awkward but heartfelt bow.

Danielle said...

That sounds like a really lovely vacation! Anything close to water would be perfect for me. Blueberry sour cherry jam sounds yummy--cherries are my favorite. And I've never had huckleberries before--are they small like blueberries? I've had my eye on that Ellen Baker book, too, and you even got a signed copy. Lovely bookstore my the way! What a nice time.

Tara said...

Hi Ti, thanks for stopping by. Your reading afternoon in Denver sounds great! The book Novel Desinations is not so much about bookstores, but about sites related to authors, such as their homes. A book about bookstores would appeal to me too!

Carrie K, isn't it! It looks yummy and I don't even like pb.

Nutmeg, I hadn't even noticed the 1950s theme - nice that you picked that up! I noticed that I bought a lot of women-traveling-themed books. Yes, US publishers do get it right. I love getting books from the UK and Austrailia - because of the content not available here - but overwhelmingly the books are not as nicely produced. The paper is pretty much always nicer here, and the books do not have such tight bindings that are hard to open. On the other hand I wonder if the nicer paper is actually a bad thing in terms of environmental issues.

Bybee, thanks! Very nice bow, there. You are kind.

Danielle, the jam is good - we just had some for lunch! Ellen Baker is from Wisconsin and did a signing at that store just the wkend before I was there. I'm excited about the book, since I'd never come across it in hardcover.

Tara said...

Oh, Danielle, I'm not sure about the huckleberries! I just thought it sounded good and local from the area.

Lisa said...

That bookshop looks amazing! I'm so jealous!! I have Novel Destinations but haven't done more than a cursory glance, yet. It does look interesting. I think I'd be more inclined to read it cover to cover soon if I knew I could actually go visit some of these places. :)

Iliana said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip! That bookstore is just darling - I want to live there! :)
I've taken a couple of peeks at Novel Destinations and seems like a fun book but like Lisa said, if I could go on vacation sometime soon then I'm sure I'd be more excited to read it. ha.

melanie said...

wow - i love that novel destinations book, and that sweet store would have caused me to overbuy. have you read leila hadley's other book? the name escapes me, but i picked it up at the library at some point and never read it. but i would. :)
and i'll be curious to see what you think of keeping the house - it was the last book i read in 2007. cheers.

Tara said...

Lisa, it is so adorable. I know what you mean about Novel Destinations! Though I was reading the section on Dickens (and how soon am I going to London?) and it was really fascinating - really good history about him.

Iliana, isn't it adorable - I sort of do, too - want to live there.

Melanie, yes, I definitely want to buy there to support their business. No I haven't - I'll have to check out what else she's written. Uh-oh - I'm afraid to ask what you thought of Keeping the House..

Nan said...

Oh, yeah. I did this, I did that, I "saved a child who had wandered off from his daycare provider and was in a parking lot" - wow! I'm watching the movie Frequency for the millionth time, and that movie shows what a difference an act can make. That child may have been accidentally killed or kidnapped. It may be the most important thing you'll ever do!! The rest of the trip sounds wonderful, too. I didn't think I was the kind of person who went to the same place again and again, but the one place we did this, Prince Edward Island, is our children's strongest vacation memory. This trip may become your girl's as well.

Les said...

Sounds like a lovely time! And that book, Keeping the House sounds like something I'd love. I'll have to add it to my wishlist!!

Tara said...

Nan, my husband is actually the one who noticed the little boy wandering away from the playground, leaving me to run around this really huge playground asking who was missing a little boy in a red shirt...when I finally found the people he was with she was SO nonchalent - saying 'oh I don't see anything' and I'm saying 'he's over there behind the trash can - in the parking lot!!!' Her friend finally persuaded her to go over there. Sheesh. I would have loved to put a note on that child for his mother, saying his daycare provider is NOT watching him. Yes, I think you are right about the trip being a big part of my child's memory...thank you for reminding me of that. I didn't really have a place like that as a child.

Les, it was, and I agree - I thought of you and Nan especially when I picked up Keeping the House!

LisaMM said...

THAT is the cutest bookshop ever!!

Tara said...

Lisamm, Isn't it? I love it !

Tara said...

Lisamm, Isn't it? I love it !