I (Alison) haven’t spent more than a few days in Minnesota visiting family over the holidays or making a quick trip up to the cabin since college. Ravi has only spent a handful of days in MN between work and visiting family with me. This summer Ravi and I were lucky to spend about a month in total in my home state. We lounged like champions at the cabin, paddled our way through the lakes in the BWCA, laughed with family, caught up on the latest TV, cooked delicious meals, enjoyed leisurely runs, read, and played with the dogs. Initially when we planned our trip (sabbatical/early retirement) we didn’t expect to spend very much time out East or in Minnesota, we thought we would spend most of the time out west. Not being tied to a strict schedule and being open to the opportunities came our way we changed our plans. One of the best gifts we’ve given ourselves is the time to spend with family and slowing down.
Family get together at the cabin and in Balaton, MN.
We haven’t had the ability to really cook more involved meals on our Jet Boil or 2-burner propane stove so we took advantage of the oven and full kitchen at our cabin in Nisswa. We aren’t gluten-free but we like gluten free pizza crust so we tried to perfect our gluten free, vegan pizzas. I think we did a pretty good job if I do say so myself. All I can say is Namaste Pizza Crust, broccoli, garlic, and olive oil.
We also grilled tofu and veggie shish kebab’s with nectarine salsa on the back porch at the cabin and ate outside as the sun set over the lake.
And to top it off I made my first attempt at cooking vegan cinnamon rolls. They were almost too good! I gave one to my almost 80-year old neighbor at the cabin who is a master cinnamon roll baker and she even approved. She couldn’t believe they didn’t have butter or eggs in them!
Like I mentioned before, we lounged around a lot which is pretty much what you do up North. We enjoyed evening boat rides, hanging out on the beach, and the couch. We got a kick out of watching the dogs make themselves at home at the cabin too. Yep, enjoying the simple life.
We culminated our time in MN with a couple small town 5Ks. In the later race, Du Sjodin, we both came in 2nd place in our age group AND we came away with a Jaegermeister bean bag toss from the post race raffle. I have such a big place in my heart for Minnesota, my family, the cabin, and all the memories this special place has. Very grateful to share it with Ravi (and the dogs!) After MN we headed back out west…