When the light shines on a solo overnight trip to Marquette

As some of you readers might remember–I got a little bored last week on the 74th of January. One tried & true way to combat winter blues and restlessness? A solo overnight getaway to the “big city”. I’ve been traveling to Marquette for Kathy-time almost every January and/or February for nigh on two decades. (Minus a trip in 2021 due to covid concerns.)

You’d think Omicron cautions might keep me home this year as well–but no. The silver Malibu headed south and east yapping at the bit to reach Ishpeming, home of my good friend, Susan.

Her birthday comes in less than two weeks and it was time for our celebratory brunch at Rare Earth Café!

Rare Earth Goods and Café is, well, how shall we say it?–rare. It’s filled with hippy flavors like guitars, tie-dyed shirts, knit hats hanging on clothespins in the adjoining shop. Susan and I yakked up a storm. We started slowly, but we sure did build into a magic crescendo of friendship, spirituality and heart connection.

What did we eat, you ask? One moment please. I must sit quietly and pull back the memory of food because it’s been eclipsed by memories of gut-splitting laughter where you try not to disturb fellow diners. Ah ha! It’s coming back. We each dribbled a slice of sourdough french toast with delicious maple syrup. Then we split a quiche–the very last available piece. (Susan, do you remember what was IN that quiche? I simply cannot.)

The server said, “I want to be with you guys! You laugh a lot..”

Afterward, we paused outside and photographed ourselves against the colorful wings painted on the purple-blue wall. “Stay Wild Yooper Child!” urges the angel wings or eagle wings or phoenix wings.

You readers might notice Susan’s fur hood has fallen over her eyes and her arms are outstretched. What you might not notice (because you weren’t there) is that the wind was blowing sideways in freezing bursts and it proved pretty much impossible to pose with a casual smile like a warm summerscape. I’m not posting a picture of me.

OK, OK, I will. I can hear Susan’s voice saying–hey, why me and not you? (Because YOU are the birthday girl!) OK, OK, let me go find the picture, darn it.

Next time any of you visit Ishpeming, be sure to look up Rare Earth Goods and Cafe. You can pose by the angel/eagle/phoenix wings, too. (Try to make it a warm day when the wind isn’t blowing sideways taunting you.)

We said our loving goodbyes and I headed further east to the “big city”. You know how city and suburb and town dwellers often dream of visiting the woods? My dreams involve exploring towns and cities. How fun is it to pause before a painted mural on Third Street?

Even though the wind blew fiercely it turned into a warmish day in the Upper Peninsula (near 40 F). Above is a picture of icy rocks along Lake Superior. In the far distance you may notice the breakwater light off Presque Isle pier.

In other places the snow moaned like the Wicked Witch of the West–“I’m melting, I’m melting, I’m melting!”

My good winter shoes dodged puddles and splattered with road salt. The rare early February melt lasted only a few hours. Upon writing this blog it’s a high of 8 degrees.

The purpose of this blog–if it needs a purpose–is that every woman needs to enjoy solo overnights. It’s a date with ourselves. It’s a date outside the confines of the comfortable and familiar four walls of our house.

To do whatever you want! To linger at the local bookstore–in this case, Snowbound Books. To dine alone in a restaurant sipping your favorite drink. (I had an IPA at the Vierling. Ordered a chicken basil pesto artichoke pizza–not something I usually eat these days.) They burned the pizza and offered a second beer. Thank you, dear server, but no. How about dessert, ma’am?

You’re killing me, dear sweet server! No second beer, no dessert, but you are the epitome of kindness, you are.

Instead, waiting for pizza, I listened to a soon-to-be bride, groom and wedding planner discuss The Big Day details. A young woman that I should know from our town sat nearby. Her name remains elusive–darn it! I sipped the rest of the IPA and pondered the challenges of not remembering people you’re supposed to know.

The restaurant emptied out.

The pizza appeared. So worth the wait! It turned out to be lunch AND dinner.

Next activity after some more shopping and walking: driving along Lake Superior as the skies turned light pink and orange.

Here is Thill’s Fish House next to the old shipping ore dock.

The Malibu motored slowly up toward Presque Isle. I don’t recommend getting out of the car–it’s too windy and freezing cold even though the thermometer says otherwise.

Ooops, guess I’m getting out of the car! Too beautiful to miss this shot.

The highlight of the trip (second only to the birthday brunch) happened when the light burst forth on the Marquette Light House.

It’s like a symbol I will carry back to our little house in the woods.

Skies can be gray, cloudy, leaden–but the sun may unexpectedly peek forth and illuminate with a burst of fresh red energy.

That’s what a solo date can do. Infuse us with energy.

Next morning–off to Donckers for breakfast. You have to climb a zillion steps when you approach from the back. I got lost in the stair-world. Mostly because I accidentally entered The Bistro (their sister restaurant) next door. Luckily the two businesses hold hands and a kind cleaning fella pointed toward the breakfast place.

Donckers is kinda a hippy place, too. Look at the retro tables! The historic restaurant, no kiddin’, is famous for hosting President Obama when he visited Marquette. Photos and his sandwich bill are framed on the wall.

The third-best part of the trip: buying “The Listening Path” by Julia Cameron. It’s a six-week Artist’s Way program delving into listening and the creative art of attention. The Universe pointed its long finger at the book and said, “How ’bout this one, Kathy?” and there’s a huge possibility future blog posts may involve deeper and more spacious listening.

Thanks for coming along on the trip!

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in February 2022 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to When the light shines on a solo overnight trip to Marquette

  1. Carol says:

    A little trip somewhere would be wonderful! Thank you for sharing yours.

  2. jeffstroud says:

    Kathy,
    What a wonderful idea and tradition to share part of your overnight time with your friend Susan. How exciting to find that kind of energy with a friend.
    The photos along the lake journey are very nice…
    I’m going back through “The Artist’s Way” I shall look for Listening Path

    • Kathy says:

      Thanks, Jeff, it was really a fun overnight in the “big city”. Susan and I thought it was a magic birthday time together… You know, I thought of you when buying this book. You still do morning pages, right? I started them again while in Marquette and did the second day today. The trip to the city was kinda like an artist’s date.

  3. leelah saachi says:

    Oh how I enjoyed this ( and slightly envious.) Can’t think of anywhere to explore. Bah! Old woman talk ( mine.) I also really enjoyed the strange creatures lying huddling together under snow. I would like a photo please when the snow has gone 🙂 big hug, Kathy

    • Kathy says:

      By strange creatures do you mean the icy rocks? I will TRY to remember to take their pics come spring or summer, IF it can be remembered! I am smiling about your old woman talk, because there’s an old woman who talks in my head too. Ha ha! Big hugs back, Leelah.

  4. Ally Bean says:

    This all looks like great fun. The laughter, the food, the merchandise for sale– and your realization that solo overnights are a date with yourself. I love that idea. I haven’t been on a vacay by myself in years now. Might need to correct that.

    • Kathy says:

      Ally Bean, it can be so much fun! Sometimes I have to get over the feeling like everyone is staring at a lone woman in a restaurant, but it wasn’t like that the other day. The restaurants were all nearly empty. It’s nice to have a book to read over a beer or wine or cuppa coffee or tea. You should do it–and write about it!

  5. Dale says:

    Yes and yes! I am way past due a solo-overnighter. Mind you, I solo all the time, my beau being in the US and me in CA… still, getting away from my kids should be reason enough. All our restaurants were closed until this past Monday (not counting the few months they were reopened) so going anywhere has been less interesting. You have just spurred me forth!
    Gorgeous images and how wonderful to have a friend like you have 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Dale, I love learning more about you! You have a beau in the US? Who knew?! I actually used to go on shorty trips away from the kids, too. Just to rejuvenate. Please go out and solo as soon as you feel it’s safe–and tell about it! Thank you and I feel exactly the same about you. 🙂

      • Dale says:

        That’s part of the fun of blogging. Getting to know each other 🙂 I do. He’s in PA. Not easy. It’s an 8.5 hour car drive and we try to meet halfway but with COVID, and, at the time, the borders being closed, I flew in twice. Oy.
        But yes, with our restaurants now open, I think I shall make a trip down to Quebec City. It’s so beautiful.
        Thank you 🙂

  6. debyemm says:

    Your blog reminds me of my solo overnight – not planned – when I got snowed in after a doctor’s appt in St Louis. But sine being entirely alone is a rare treat for me, I did make the most of it.

    Listening is something I’ve been working on for a long time and I think I’m doing better these days. Certainly, you remember phone calls with me where mostly I talk too much. I did get Cameron’s Artist’s Way book and did keep hand-written journals for a few months at least. Not something I’ve ever been very good at. My journals mostly appear as posts on whatever social media is my primary at the time. LOL

    • Kathy says:

      Deb, I remember when you had your solo overnight in St. Louis. Not a planned event, but you did seem to make the most of your adventure.

      It’s interesting what you say about the Morning pages. I have never lasted too long with them, either. Often it gets boring just listening to what the chattering mind has to say for three looonnnngggg pages. More fun to just do it while blogging–like you do on social media! But now I’m intrigued about using these pages to better listen to the Higher Self. Will see what comes of it.

  7. Stacy says:

    Thank you for taking us along, Kathy. By the way, my favorite photo is the one of the snow-covered rocks. That’s not a common sight here. XOXO

  8. Val Boyko says:

    So awesome! Time out, travel and tuning in to others makes a wonderful experience.

  9. Cheers to your getaway … but brrrrr … too cold for me – so I cheer your heartyness.

  10. jodiczt says:

    Ooh, I feel like I got to go with you and didn’t need a coat or winter shoes! I loved your descriptions and it sounds like you had a wonderful time. ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

    • Kathy says:

      And to think, Jodi–YOU were a part of this special solo getaway, too. Loved talking with you in the motel and hearing about what’s happening in your life right now! ((hugs))

  11. Susan D. Durham says:

    Oh, Kathy, you’ve done it again. Thank you for this “travelogue” with its delicious recap of all the sights, sounds, tastes, and experiences! That quiche? Not sure either, but I think some spinach was involved. Sure was good, as was our sweet, magical time together. Soul-soothing, life-enhancing precious time.

    I’m so glad you got to do the solo thing this year. Your photos are stunning! And we are carried along with the energy of your words. What a ride! You are magic. 💖

    • Kathy says:

      Susan, it was a blast, wasn’t it? Thank you for being such an inspiration! You and I have had some real adventures over the years, haven’t we? (Not to mention laughter. I am looking at the Laughter rock right now.) Let’s do it again next birthday, if not sooner. And perhaps we’ll remember what’s in the quiche next time, lol. Thanks, magic friend! ❤

  12. What a perfect trip! All of the places and sights and activities that I would seek out, too! I envy you the ability to get away. One overnight is the perfect amount of time, I think. Thanks for the vicarious mini vacation, Kathy!

    • Kathy says:

      Cindy, would your mini-vacation closest spot be Charlevoix? I love that area–and Petoskey too. Last time we were there for a wedding was maybe in 2017 or 2018. So many cute (and expensive) shops to look in. Glad to hear we’re in cahoots about the sights and activities we both love!

      • Yes, I’d fly in to Charlevoix. If I had time, though, I’d always go to Petoskey. The two story, independently owned McLean & Eakin Bookstore is there. Right next door is Roast & Toast, a kind of hippie themed place with wonderful soups, sandwiches and salads. If I were there at dinner time, I’d head for the City Park Grill, where Hemingway, they say, used to hang out. I’d be sure to stop at the Grain Train to stock up on grains, nuts and beans. If I had to stay in Charlevoix, I’d stop at the little Bridge Street bookstore, and maybe treat myself to lunch overlooking the water at the Weathervane, which is one of those stone “hobbit houses” that Charlevoix is famous for. Ah, dreams!

  13. Robin says:

    Ooooh! I have been eyeing that book. It’s been taunting me to buy it. lol! Your trip looks like so much fun. I love the wings and hippy places, the snow and ice, and the wintry sunlight that brings out the red of the lighthouse. I can’t remember the last time I wandered a city on my own. Not too long before the pandemic, I’m thinking.

    • Kathy says:

      Robin, it felt like medicine to be enjoying a city all by myself, much needed medicine. Perhaps you need a dose too! I was a wee bit nervous when a lady started coughing non-stop in a restaurant restroom, but other than that instance felt quite safe. It was all so beautiful–even the small moments of discomfort were worth it. So nice to get away from everything and sense new possibilities and contemplate listening even deeper.

  14. Debbie says:

    I’m a huge fan of me-time, Kathy, and a solo trip lie the one you described sounds perfect! Not sure I’d have wanted to do it in the heart of winter, but whatever. I’ll be interested in reading your thoughts on Julia Cameron’s book, too.

    • Kathy says:

      Debbie, the winter me-trips can be challenging–I will grant you that! Wet shoes, frozen ears, shivering moments. But it was truly inspiring. I will hopefully write a blog or so about the listening book. Thank you!

  15. Barb says:

    I love hearing about your time away, Kathy. I haven’t gone on a Me Trip (or any trip) for a long time. The photos are wonderful and allow me to be an armchair traveler. Friends, Food, and Fun should have you rejuvenated.

    • Kathy says:

      Barb, glad you enjoyed this armchair adventure. It was fun to share it here. I am feeling totally rejuvenated since the trip to Marquette. It was like hitting a reset button.

  16. Anna says:

    Thanks for taking us along on your trip! Glad you have friend like Susan to laugh with…truly the best medicine for cabin fever. You have taken Julia Cameron’s “artist date” to new heights. The sunset pics are beautiful.

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you, Anna. I am indeed lucky to have a friend like Susan–she moved about an hour away about a year ago, and it’s been hard not seeing her as much. As for the artist’s date–you are right. This was an extended artist date. The sunset was icing on the cake.

  17. LaDonna Remy says:

    This sounds and looks like the most wonderful kind of adventure. Time to connect and time to be alone with exploration and thoughts. ❤❤

  18. The light is indeed beautiful and those rocks look like a bunch of shaggy dogs lay down together! The overnighter sounds like a gift for the creative soul.

  19. Alanna says:

    You go girl. Ya gotta live covid or not! I’ve been getting away too. Good for the soul.

  20. It was fun reading about the adventures of you two wild Yooper children! The picture of the icy rocks along Lake Superior made me shiver. Brrrr… And what a capture, the light illuminating the Marquette Light House — it would make a lovely jigsaw puzzle. Your solo date sounds like a wonderful antidote to cabin fever.

    • Kathy says:

      Ha ha–us wild Yooper kids! Thank you, Barbara. It was a lovely respite, and there hasn’t been another moment of cabin fever in the week since returning home. (Not to say it won’t arise again…) The Light House would make a great jigsaw puzzle, wouldn’t it? I put it on my desktop on this computer to look at it daily for awhile.

  21. Reggie says:

    Ahh, what a magical adventure! Love the photos of you and Susan in front of the angels wings! And the story of the drive… and all the photos… and the pizza! And good luck with the new Julia Cameron book – I did several months of the Artists’ Way years ago, and loved it so much. I’ve always wanted to re-do it again, properly. You’re amazing, Kathy, you are. 😀

    • Kathy says:

      Reggie, it always makes me smile when you stop by & catch up on your reading. I said to Barry, “Reggie is reading my posts!” and he said, “How do you know?” and I had to explain the blogging notifications to him. Glad you enjoyed this adventure. It was fun.

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