another new year.

2009 was way better

than 2008.

but we’re both

hoping that 2010

is even better.

happy new year.

in 2010, i hope

to see maddy

doing a lot

more of this:

dancing.

dancing madeline.

(thanks to dj lance rock and yo gabba gabba she’s constantly dancing. she’s working on the “crazy daisy”in these photos).

we’ll also be doing

a lot more traveling,

which seems weird

because we did

a ton of traveling

in 2009.

gonna be hard

to top that, but i’m

sure we will.

to start off our

2010, i decided that

i needed to

get away for a bit.

we’re heading to

a couple of

warm-weather destinations

in the next few weeks,

so i decided to

do something different.

i left maddy at

home with the grandparents

(i didn’t think it would be good to take her on this trip)

and i jumped in

a car and

headed north for

four days.

seemed like a good

idea when i booked

the place, but

looking at the forecast

for the weekend

made me seriously

question my sanity.

i could spend

an entire blog post

bitching about

the below zero

temperatures, or i could

just post

a bunch of photos

to show you what

we encountered.

i think the photos

would be more enjoyable,

so here they

are, with limited commentary…

on the way up,

we encountered

lots of giant things

with a giant dude.

with a giant buffalo.

with a giant chicken.

with paul bunyan.

(i did this trip last fall with a few friends, and let’s just say it was a lot different in this weather).

we stopped to

take in some of the

beauty of lake superior

ice on rock.

before finally finding

the condo.

it was right on the

lake, and it provided

some great photo opportunities.

lake superior.

icicles.

i can’t remember

if i’d ever seen

steam rising off

of a lake, but

this looked totally awesome.

steam on the lake.

spent new years eve

at a restaurant,

laughing at some newlyweds

who, by 9:00pm

were way too drunk

to be out in public.

they caused quite a

scene in the

place, and left

the area around their

table looking

like it had been

used by 25 two year olds.

a lot of

the folks in

the restaurant were

annoyed, but i

thought it was awesome.

i fell asleep

by 11:45 that night.

i am officially old.

the next day we

did a lot of driving

in the middle of the road.

and just

a little hiking

(it was -20 degrees f, with a -40 windchill)

forest.

trees.

in the snow.

river.

lake.

and walks

across a couple

of frozen lakes

running.

running.

walking across a lake.

walking across a lake.

after the hike,

we headed

back into town

and took in

the sights of

some sites i hadn’t

seen in many years.

4248626992_19cdb9b622.jpg

fish.

i spent some

time loving the signs

nice, large leeches.

signs.

check us out.

then we made our

way to the lake

frozen.

freezing.

before heading in

for some warmth.

i love eating and

drinking with old folks,

so i

chose the american legion.

true to form,

i met some great old

dudes, who talked about

wwii, fishing, hunting

the weather, cooking, beer

and lots

of other awesome

old people stuff.

thanks to the

four signs i saw

on the way

into the place,

i learned about

the legion’s most

important rule.

4247829397_fd3e29c043.jpg

and though i did

my best to contain myself

and was

self conscious when

i slipped up, the

guys i met broke

the rule

over and over again

and thought nothing

of it.

awesome.

caught an amazing

sunset on the drive

back to the condo.

sunset.

sunset.

the next day

was much like the

day before.

i went outside the

condo and took

some photos

steam rising off of the lake + clouds.

ice.

it was cold.

ice.

and watched the wind blow

the waves away

from shore and

toward the low clouds.

and before driving

off for our hike,

i slipped on some

ice and landed

hard on my elbow.

my camera also hit

the ground pretty

damn hard,

but it still worked,

which is great,

because we saw

some amazing stuff.

waterfall.

ice.

ice.

icicles.

frozen.

frozen.

covered in ice.

sun through the trees.

sun coming through.

that night we ended

up back at the

american legion

ladies, dudes.

dudes, ladies.

bearhug from nate.

and had a great night.

drove home

the next day,

stopping to check

out a few mn landmarks.

split rock lighthouse.

the shores of lake superior.

he must be cold.

and took in

a lot more ice.

frozen.

waterfall.

watched a couple of ice

climbers purposefully

ruin this,

ice.

but i got a couple

of good shots

before they did so.

ice.

ice.

under the ice.

stupid jerks.

made it home

in the early evening and

got caught up

on maddy’s weekend.

grandma broccoli taught

her some new words

and got her hooked

on a blanket or two,

grandpa tom l. painted

her fingernails,

grandma candee taught

her to march

(can’t wait to use that one in the airport)

and grandpa tom g.

taught her to sing

a song.

i followed her

up and down the

hallway as she yelled,

“come on, dad!”

and watched her

show me countless

other new tricks.

the next morning

i listened as

she spelled her name

(after hearing grandpa tom g. spell it for her).

yeah.

2010 is gonna

be a good year.

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