Sunday, May 31, 2015

Goodbye Newlyweds, Hello Grand Marais

After church this morning we stopped by to see Amanda and Nolan. They showed us a beautiful quilt Aunt Tina had made them for their wedding.

Now that Amanda has married into the Finish community, she's learned a little about the culture. She played Finlandia for us on a Finnish harp called a kantele.

We drove up the North Shore to the small town of Grand Marais. We look forward to exploring it tomorrow. We are enjoying our 3 bedroom apartment on the shores of Lake Superior.

It will be fun waking up in the morning to this beautiful view of the lake.

Since Grand Marais is a hippie town, all the restaurants seem to have great vegan options for John. John and Ed were especially pleased with their plates at the Angry Trout.

We finished up the day playing 80's Trivial Pursuit. It turns out, we know nothing about the 80's, but we had lots of fun giving hints to help the other team. In Trivial Pursuit, when the game is finally over, everyone is a winner!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

A Three Hour Tour and a lot of Accordions

We drove to Bayfield, Wisconsin this morning for a boat tour of the Apostle Islands. Our skipper said we were lucky, because he had time for a 3 1/2 hour tour. It was freezing out, and there were no seats inside the boat. We were not very enthusiastic about the additional half hour.

Eventually, a few people moved upstairs and that opened up some seats inside. It was so much warmer out of the wind!

We saw some very pretty sandstone formations on Devil's Island.

The captain entertained himself by nosing the boat in between the rocks. It made us a little nervous and also a little seasick! The ride was smoothest when we were going forward at a fast clip.

The lighthouse on Raspberry Island was one of the many lights protecting the ships from the rocky shores.

It was fun having Barbara, Kent and Verlene join us for the cruise. We got to talk about how much fun the wedding was.

On the ride home we stopped at the World's largest accordion museum, owned by Amanda's teacher, Helmi. She has a very interesting and huge collection of accordions from around the world.

It was also the backup location for Amanda's wedding ceremony. It was a good backup plan with a very quaint atmosphere.

We walked around Canal Park and ate dinner at the Duluth Grill. It had lots of fresh ingredients and a creative menu.

We almost didn't eat there, as the location, next to a gas station in front of the motel 6 was suspect. But, we thought we had heard Amanda talk about the restaurant before, so we gave it a try. We were glad we did! Who knows when we'll be back in Duluth again, so we were glad we finally had a chance to eat here!

Amanda and Nolan Wedding Day

Amanda and Nolan got married today in grand style. They met in the afternoon several hours before the wedding to take pictures.

The day was predicted to be rainy and in the 60's. The ceremony was scheduled for 5 p.m. and so was the rain.

We were were thrilled that the weather cooperated enough to allow us the outdoor wedding they were hoping for!

Despite some occasional drizzles, we were able to take all the pictures we wanted!

My niece and renowned photographer, Nikki Van flew out from Utah to take the pictures! We were so lucky to have her!

The pavilion at Enger Park provided a little protection from the elements, as well as a spectacular view of Lake Superior. Yesterday it was shrouded in fog! We were so lucky today! Ed and John sure looked dapper!

Nolan's two brothers served as his groomsmen. We enjoyed getting to know the very gracious Hauta family tonight!

Nolan has two brothers, and Amanda two sisters, who were her bridesmaids. Nolan and Amanda are both middle children.

I was lucky to have three sisters come out for the wedding, Barbara, Annette and Verlene! It is a long trip to Duluth, and I appreciated their coming. We missed Grandma, Joan, Jon and David!

At 4 p.m. the chairs and decorator magically showed up. And the threat of rain magically disappeared from the weather forecast! It was a great blessing for us!

The Brady relatives gave us moral support from the second row!

Pat Hauta, Amanda's mother-in-law had mded beautiful terrariums that lined the aisle

It was a very emotional ceremony, especially for Amanda and Nolan, but also for the mother of the bride. Bishop Stevenson did a beautiful job officiating, and the music, poetry and vows were all perfect. It felt like a wedding in an outdoor cathedral!

The reception was held in the Moorish Room of the Graysolon in Duluth. It was a spectacularly beautiful venue.

The meal was champagne chicken, Swedish meatballs, potatoes, pasta and salad. It was all delicious. I broke my diet!

The candy bar kept us all entertained while we waited for the bride and groom to come over.

We enjoyed having cousin Melissa and her husband, Steve at our table. It was just last year we enjoyed their wedding in Tuscon!

The cake was delicious, and we have quite a few left over cup cakes to enjoy the rest of the week!

A five piece jazz band entertained us and played for dancing after dinner.

Amanda and Nolan showed off their dancing skills with a dance they learned while taking lessons together. It was beautiful.

Afterwards, their dance teacher gave some really fun lessons on swing, rumba and cha cha cha. We also loved Helme playing the accordion while we polka'd and did the chicken dance!

As we finally drug our weary bones back to the car after a wonderful day, we enjoyed seeing the mischief caused by Brittany, John and Crystal. We hope Amanda and Nolan enjoy it too!

Happy Wedding day to Nolan and Amanda Hauta!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Getting Ready for the Wedding

This morning all three girls had their hair styled before the wedding. Ed and I dropped by to see them.

Then I had a date with John at the gym. We wanted to get in some exercise before the big event. John and I have both been successfully dieting together, so we enjoyed looking at ourselves in the mirror as we worked out!

Then, we cleaned up and dropped by to pick up my beautiful bride daughter, Amanda, all ready for her big day! And boy, was it a big one!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Amanda Wedding Rehearsal

We had a rehearsal for Amanda's wedding today.

Amanda's and Nolan's friend Nikolai is playing a trumpet fanfare for their wedding. The setting at the top of the hill overlooking Duluth is spectacular, but it was so foggy out you couldn't see Lake Superior behind him.

The musicians, Dr. Faerber and Tina, didn't complain about the 48 degree temperature or the stiff breeze, but we're sure hoping for better weather tomorrow!

Ed and Amanda looked so nice coming up the pretend aisle together.

The Bishop is a Minnesota native, so he seemed to be okay with the cold, but I was wishing I had a heavy parka!

Enger park was so beautiful in it's springtime flowered state, but if it rains and is too cold, we'll end up at a backup place--the church where the accordion museum is housed. Amanda and Nolan have enjoyed playing with an accordion band there. It's cute and quaint, but we're still hoping for the weather forecast to improve before 5 p.m. tomorrow!

We joined with family and friends for a dinner at Blackwoods afterwards.
This is the old Bush family. Tomorrow Nolan Hauta will also be a member!

Representing Whistling Prairie, Brittany, John and Crystal sang a great song for the bride and groom, called All I want is You.  It was a nice way to wind up a great (but very cold) day!

Guess who's going to be Grandparents!

I finally got to see Brittany pregnant today! Now I know I'm going to be a grandma! She and John are expecting a child of unknown gender in August, and I can't wait! I just wanted to give her little round watermelon tummy a big hug!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota!

We woke up in Michigan this morning, and crossed the famous Mackinac Bridge, between Lakes Huron and Michigan.

 Despite the rain, we enjoyed the adventure. It was still beautiful!

Ed was not happy we got pulled over by a Michigan State Trooper for speeding. I was happy I wasn't driving! It all turned out fine, as he was given a warning and told to enjoy his daughter's wedding!

We followed lakes Huron, Michigan and Superior today, in a beautiful scenic ride. Ed's car was able to drive for 8 hours without filling up. Ed and I were both, amazingly, also able to ride 8 hours without a pit stop!

We got into Duluth in time to join Amanda and Nolan for dinner, and then pop over to Men's warehouse to get the tuxes. Nolan's brother and dad stopped in at the same time!

Ed and I went down to the Rose Garden, where we took a nice long walk all the way to Canal Park and back again. It was nice to stretch our legs after being in the car all day. The weather was perfect. Hopefully, Friday will be as nice!

We thought about Coda when we saw this cute doggie water dish next to the drinking fountain. What will they think of next?