THE HELGESONS | TAHQUAMENON FALLS VACATION | PARADISE, MI - PART II

When we finally left our cozy cabin in the North Woods we headed out for a short hike to Tahquamenon Falls. This State Park offered several waterfalls and short hikes and they each had something different to offer. The Upper Falls is one of the largest this side of the Mississippi and adorns a copper color which it absorbs from the trees in the river around it.

At the fact kiosk we learned about the wildlife in the area and of course I was nervous about those damn Mountain Lions and Moose again. After a very short walk along a paved path we were rewarded with the mist of the waterfall being blown all around us. It was exactly what we needed on that hot summer day. After returning from the falls we enjoyed some brewskis and lunch at the Tahquamenon Falls Brewery & Pub then proceeded to the Lower Falls.

One short walk along the boardwalk and after making a new friendship with an older couple who had a good time sharing the experience and being silly with Cole man we made it to the Lower Falls. Five different falls surround a small island in the middle of the river here and many canoes and paddle boats got a closer look. I just take pictures and try not to have a panic attack while my child boldly tries to get the closest look possible. Can you feel my eyes rolling here. 

Our time in the Upper Peninsula was certainly one we enjoyed and I'm glad I get to share with you all. You can see our cozy cabin with a view of Lake Superior and Canada's shoreline here and our adventure combing the beach uncovering gemstones at Whitefish Point here. Let me know in the comment section below if you've ever been to the Upper Peninsula and what was your favorite part of that trip? If you haven't been, where is your favorite relaxing vacation location?

THE HELGESONS | WHITEFISH POINT VACATION | PARADISE, MI - PART II

Family Adventures into the North Woods of the Upper Peninsula is how we like to spend our summer vacations. We traded in trips to Florida beaches and staying at Resorts for cozy cabins deep in the woods and strolls along the lake shore searching for Lake Superior Agates. Life in up north is more relaxed. No more rushing to get every where and do everything first. It's a simpler way of life and we wouldn't have it any other way.

This adventure to Lake Superior we found ourselves at the far east end of the Upper Peninsula near the Canadian border at Sault Ste. Marie. Whitefish Point was a breath of fresh air. We took a quiet stroll along the beach uncovering gemstones, getting our feet wet, and observing the nesting birds. This is where I found my first Lake Superior Agate and she is a beaut, perfectly polished by nature.

Cole loves every second we spend on the beach so when we go on our trips we spend the majority of our time right there enjoying the cool breeze and the soft white sand. But when we leave the comfort of our favorite shoreline we head to some hole in the wall eats and settle into our cozy cabin. Check out our cabin in Part I of our Upper Peninsula Family Adventure and next week on the blog will be our excursion to Tahquamenon Falls in Part III.

THE HELGESONS | COZY LAKE SUPERIOR CABIN VACATION | PARADISE, MI - PART I

Each summer we take a few small trips. Since living in Wisconsin, our trips have been resting along lower Lake Superior on the Upper Peninsula. We can't get enough, obviously. 

Dense woods, fresh air, insanely gorgeous waters that wash away all thoughts of ever wanting to go to the ocean again. We love it Up North. The only thing I dislike at all, is the caution we need to take hiking since all the wildlife is a bit bigger and more dangerous than in our old home state of Missouri. Although, I have had a run in with a Mountain Lion climbing once but we'll save that story for another day. Bears, Moose, Wolves, and probably Sasquatch...actually definitely if Sasquatch exists, he's in these woods and he doesn't have to worry one bit about being found because these woods will separate you from your hiking partner five feet away dense.

One of our trips this summer was to Paradise, Michigan. Paradise describes this place perfectly. You will be seeing two more posts from this vacation because there is so much to share. From roaring waterfalls that toss the most pleasant mist upon your face to the calm evening waters on Lake Superior we adored every inch of this area.

Here is a bit of the cozy cabin we called home. It was nestled in the woods on the shore of Lake Superior with Canada in sight. The time we spent at the cabin was relaxing and still. We enjoyed waking up to the sun rise, sitting on the deck, me avoiding mosquitos, watching the ships pass thru the canal, and then at night we watched the sun set, and I even stayed out late to catch a few shots of the full moon and stars above.

Check out our excursion to Tahquamenon Falls State Park in Part III and our relaxing stroll combing the beach for agates and gemstones in Part II.

THE HELGESONS | NATIONAL RAILROAD MUSEUM BIRTHDAY | ALLOUEZ, WI

This little man could not wait to get his hands on some cherries off our trees. Since it is his Birthday and he only asked for the Thomas Cake, which you can check out here. We figured that a few not so ripe cherries would be okay. So we entertained him and he entertained Mama for a few images of him being cute picking cherries with Daddy.

Cole had such a special 3rd Birthday blowing out his candles on his cake, picking cherries, and then going to A Day Out With Thomas at our National Train Museum. We celebrate simply and we like to keep it just Mama and Daddy. I mean we are the three that were there the day he was created and born so it seems only right.

A Day Out With Thomas was above everything Cole could have ever dreamed up. Although, a little overwhelmed and tired from all the festivities he was ecstatic to get to see Thomas up close. Thomas even talks and has moving facial expressions, which kinda freaked me out at first but we warmed up to quickly because who can resist cute little Thomas...or in this case huge Thomas!

Comment below. Have you had Door County Cherries before? If not, what is your favorite fruit to pick your own? Have you been to A Day Out With Thomas? Who is your favorite Thomas character? Personally, I love Cranky because he's my twin and Cole loves Percy a ton!

A Day Out With Thomas

Also known as the Cole's 3rd Birthday Part II. 

THE HELGESONS | COLE'S 3RD BIRTHDAY | ALLOUEZ, WI

I want to preface with. I have the sweetest boy. Plain and simple.

For Cole's 3rd Birthday all he wanted was a Thomas Cake. Now let me also tell you.

 I DO NOT BAKE. Like not a lot of people in the World suck more at baking than I do. True story. But......I do know my way around the kitchen and I love creating new recipes and experimenting. So I took the challenge.

I have not baked a cake since becoming plant based when I was pregnant with Cole so I took to Pinterest to find the easiest and least likely for me to screw up cake recipe I could. I stumbled upon one of those recipes we've all heard of, mixing a box cake mix (which most are vegan, woohoo ) and a carbonated beverage. I choose Coconut La Croix. It was easy peasy cute kid squeezy. Iced it, thank goodness I was able to cover my mistakes with icing. Squoze ( no squoze is not really a formal word, please roll with it. I'm from Missouri where we say 44, as FARTY-FAR ).

Overall, my kid was pleased and that's all I could have asked for. Since, I better have delivered...I mean the kid only wanted a Thomas Cake. Thank the stars it came out pretty freaking adorable. 

After he enjoyed his Thomas Cake and opened presents he could not wait any longer to pick some cherries from our not quite exactly as ripe as they need to be to pick cherry trees...but who can deny a Birthday Boy. You can follow the rest of Cole's Big Day here to see our cherrylicious trees and Thomas Adventure.

The following weekend we continued his celebration by riding the rails with Thomas himself at our National Train Museum for A Day Out With Thomas. We try to stretch his Birthday as long as we can since they are only this little once and it goes way too quickly.

THE HELGESONS | ANNIVERSARY CABIN GETAWAY | BARAGA, MI

We just hit our 5th Wedding Anniversary on April 9th. Every year we try to do something a little extra special and take a mini vacation somewhere new.

This year we headed up to the North Woods and spent our first night in Baraga, Michigan on the Keweenaw Bay where we enjoyed drive in dinning because lazy nights in a cabin are all the rage in our family. A bag full of snacks and a few movies for snuggling up to the cozy fire and enjoying together. Of course these days all the movies are cartoons and Disney but still we enjoy every moment.

THE HELGESONS | POINT BEACH FAMILY FUN | TWO RIVERS, WI

Even the Winter won't keep us away from the beach. Can you believe this beach? Gemstones line the beach. You can find sand dunes, boardwalks, and even a gorgeous lighthouse. We spend so much time at Point Beach we've thought about purchasing an RV and just being their permanent campground host, not really, but really! lol. Wouldn't that be incredible. They even have a dog beach and host breakfasts during the year. I think the more I write, the more I'm convincing myself this is an awesome idea. Back to our adventure.

We find ourselves combing the beaches for fossils, coral, quartz, unakite, jasper, and so many more that we love finding and letting Cole find each stone in our rock books. We love using nature to teach our little explorer. If you didn't already know we use nature and our life experiences as our classroom and educational resources. We are homeschooling our little learner and he is such a curious boy and a giant sponge. He can never get enough learning and exploring. We love showing him the ropes and watching him grow and develop each day.

THE HELGESONS | ONEIDA TRIBE APPLE ORCHARD | HOBART, WI

Starting in September we set out to the Apple Orchard almost every weekend. We are both apple and fall crazed in our home. Cole eats at least 4 apples a day, so to keep up we have to visit as often as we can. The best flavored and most crisp apples are found at the Oneida Tribe Apple Orchard

We eat almost every apple fresh but sometimes I get saucy and make a delicious Raw Vegan Carmel Dip or Apple Nachos. Look for the recipes at the very bottom of this post. Share your favorite ways to devour these bad boys below. 

THE HELGESONS | DRACE PARK PICNIC | ST. LOUIS, MO

Spring is almost here and we were ready to get out of the house this weekend. We decided to have a picnic and check out Drace Park. A park that I’ve been curious about my whole life and we finally explored what it has to offer. We brought a picnic and our stroller, and spent several hours playing and walking around. The park features a log cabin and home that are both beautiful and worth checking out if your in the area of Des Peres. I hope more warm days are coming to St. Louis soon, we are ready to be out and about exploring with our little guy every weekend.

THE HELGESONS | ROMBACH'S PUMPKIN FARM | CHESTERFIELD, MO

THE HELGESONS | ROMBACH'S PUMPKIN FARM | CHESTERFIELD, MO

Our little monkeys first trip to the Pumpkin Patch. The Pumpkin Patch that my family has been going to since I was born. Rombach’s is a part of our autumn as much as Halloween and a family tradition we hate to see end. However Rombach’s has been forced out of their property by the ever growing Chesterfield Valley. What once was a family farm on the outskirts has become in the middle of the now shopping mecca. It’s sad to see such memories fade away and we’re forever grateful we got to share it with Cole.

THE HELGESONS | FAMILY SESSION AT KLONDIKE PARK | AUGUSTA, MO

THE HELGESONS | FAMILY SESSION AT KLONDIKE PARK | AUGUSTA, MO

Our little family is still new and looking like a human is far from normal right now. Today we focus on how much we love this little man and we put some actual clothes on to appear like we have it together. It's still quite bizarre to believe we created such a cute and sweet boy.