As our wedding date is quickly (yet also very slowly) approaching, Jesse and I decided to take a few days to travel to Canada for me to have a meet and greet with his extended family, many of whom unfortunately won’t be joining us in France.
We flew to Sault Ste Marie on a Saturday and arrived at his Grandma’s late that night. After adjusting to the time change on Sunday morning, we had a big day planned! I was first introduced to Mitsy, Grandma’s cat. She has quite the reputation and as Jesse walked by a little too briskly, I found out why! (A quick swat to the leg to remind him who’s the boss!)
First on the agenda that day was the traditional Sunday lunch at Swiss Chalet, followed by a meet ‘n’ greet so kindly hosted by Jesse’s aunt and uncle. Everyone came over for the afternoon to meet me, catch up with Jesse and each other, and to enjoy the beautiful weather. The Soo, as it’s called, had a very long and cold winter and we apparently brought the sunshine and warmth with us!
After everyone said their farewells, Jesse and I stayed behind, just chatting all through the evening with his aunt and uncle. It was such a special day; his [and now my] family is really quite wonderful.
Monday was an adventure day. We started out for a run from his Grandma’s house around to Bellevue Park and decided it was too hot to run, so we walked along the waterfront, had a spectacular lunch at Muio’s, and then walked out on Whitefish Island for a few hours, Jesse explaining and reminiscing all the while. It was really quite sweet how much he loves the town and his memories of being there.
We had to terrorize the seagulls just a little…
Canadian geese. Fitting.
To escape the heat, we made a pit stop at the mall and ended up in the arcade room. We both failed miserably at both basketball and Dance Dance Revolution, but the incessant laughter made up for our lack of skills. We ended the day with a run to his aunt and uncle’s place and enjoyed some Mr. Sub subs with Grandma.
Tuesday was a different, more relaxing “adventure”. After stopping at the infamous Tim Horton’s for coffee and bagels, we began our trip up to “the cove”; a beautiful beach area on the bank of Lake Superior. First stop was Chippewa Falls:
Jesse is such a boy sometimes and caught a frog!
I was clearly skeptical:
We carried on down the road, stopping for souvenirs and ice cream, and then made it to the cove. Now, I know Lake Superior is called a “Great Lake” for a reason but its size is still remarkable. The water is an indescribable blue and the temperature – well, it’s just plain cold! Jesse and I had a lit-tle competition to see who could stand in the water, up to the knees, the longest. I won’t say who the winner was, but if you could see my smirk right now it’d be an easy guess 😉
We put our bouldering skills to work, scrambling over the rocks and braving the wind to get the best views.
We found some snow still lingering on the beach and Jesse did some pretty sweet rock skipping.
Back in town, we found some terrible dinner at a local restaurant. Most of the food was cold; we’re guessing it was just some sort of lunch buffet that they warmed up for us. We found a napkin someone else wrote on alluding to their bad dinner, and, well, yeah. It was unfortunate. After dinner, Jesse and I drove out to his great aunt’s place for a quick catch up with her. We played Triominos (my new favorite board game!) and ended up being out there until 11 PM! Whoops!
Wednesday was our last full day in the Soo so Jesse and I headed up with the Hiawatha Highlands to get in some proper running. But first, Timmy Ho’s! (Also, I love that everything in Canada has both English and French writing!)
We only ended up running a few miles, but spent time exploring anyways.
We made a quick stop at Crystal Falls:
This photo is from our creek crossing:
We hiked up an old ski lift:
And then called it good to avoid the black flies and to get ice cream. This place puts Baskin Robbins’ 31 flavors to shame…I swear there were at least 50 options! I opted for maple walnut; Jesse went with pistachio and chocolate peanut butter.
After our “run”, we drove out to his Grandma and Grandpa’s camp, which is about 20 miles outside town. His grandparents built it themselves and it seems like such a cherished place that holds many great memories.
We wrapped up Wednesday night with a family dinner at Giovanni’s – an Italian favorite among the locals – and then spent some time around the fire pit with Jesse’s friends.
On Thursday morning we had to say good-bye and fly back to Portland. It is always hard to leave a place where love is so palpable. I feel very welcomed by everyone and am extremely lucky to be part of this family. They’re all so very special.
*A special thanks to Sonya for many of the photos from Lake Superior! xoxo