|I Saw Three Ships (youtube)|
On the fifth day we traveled to Bob Dylan’s hometown: Duluth, MN! It’s a scenic hilly town on the shores of Lake Superior, it’s so beautiful that Marshall says it’s like being “in a tv show”. Duluth is known for its beautiful lighthouse, drawbridge, and huge cargo ships.
|Watching the sunrise on our way to Duluth|
|Duluth’s iconic bridge|
Since we had to travel a bit of a length to get there, we planned a full day of fun. First on the agenda was the Home Depot kids’ workshop. Like Lowes from last year, Home Depot puts on free workshops for kids on the first Saturday of the month. This workshop was building and painting Christmas blocks!
|Always read the directions!|
|Carefully placing each nail|
|Painting the base to build the blocks|
|Papa pinning his completion badge on- Mads was one proud boy|
|I love the thoughtful smirk on his face. He just loved getting this quality time with his papa|
|All that creating worked up an appetite!|
|Violet was all too pleased to get some snuggles in|
Once the workshop was all wrapped up, we headed to go visit with one of Santa’s reindeer! One of Santa’s helpers even handed us a fun pamphlet with reindeer facts.
|Reindeer facts! Also fact: Comet is Marshall’s favorite|
Our reindeer visit was right on the shore of Superior so we had to go enjoy the scenery after, of course. We were so lucky- Duluth usually runs a bit colder than most Minnesotan cities due to the Great Lakes. But today it was almost 50 degrees F which is down right balmy for December!
In true Minnesota fashion, we also stopped by the Nordic center for their gingerbread city event with crafts and snacks.
|I spy a nisse!|
|Marshall’s favorite gingerbread creation|
|All this gingerbread made Violet hungry!|
|Marshall surprisingly loved pepparkrakor (Scandinavian gingerbread cookies) and cider|
|Violet loved looking at all the Nordic creations made by schoolchildren (they have special after school classes for children to learn about their heritage)|
|Making “gingerbread’ garland. It’s customary in Scandinavian homes to have garland in windows and on the tree|
|Coloring traditional Nordic imagery|
|One of my favorite little Nordic folk (tied with her brother and father of course)|
Before we knew it, it was time for the main event! We met up with a longtime friend of mine (since middle school- I won’t say just how long that’s been) and her family for dinner and Bentleyville.
It was great to catch up a bit and hear the kids chatter and interact. Marshall even held hands with Presley at dinner and said she was his girlfriend. Oy vey, he’s going to give me a run for my money this one!
|The lights can be seen for miles|
Bentleyville is a pretty big deal for Duluth, with people traveling from all over to see it. It’s America’s biggest free walk-through light display after all.
Being so popular, we had to park a bit away and take a shuttle to the front gates. Marshall loves buses so he was thrilled and it was Violet’s first time on a bus.
|Couldn’t be more pleased|
|Violet’s first bus ride. Having the same reaction as most of us to the bus.|
We were finally able to meet up with my friend and her family at the entrance- there were a few hiccups with us and traffic on the way in.
Marshall was unbelievably excited to get to go through the lights with his friends! Marshall danced with Logan to the Christmas music and held onto his hand the whole way through.
|It started off as dancing together and turned into holding hands the entire way through|
|Enjoying the lights is always more fun with a buddy|
|Silly boys having a great time|
|The dads walked in front holding the girls and us moms tried to corral the boys as best as we could|
|Violet loved quietly enjoying the lights with her dad|
|At one point during the night Marshall exclaimed “This is the best family ever!” we assumed he was talking about his own family. We later discovered he was talking about my friend, Ashley’s, family and he was aiming to join them.|
|From middle schoolers to moms!|
Before we knew it, we were through all the lights and it was time to say goodbye until next time. Of course we had to grab Marshall as he attempted to walk away with “the best family ever”.
After the long drive both kids needed to be carried in, sleeping, to their beds. Brad & I were nice enough to put out their shoes and Marshall’s letter for St. Nicholas day tomorrow. We shall see if they’ve been deemed naughty or nice!
|Two tired out kiddos|
|Pre-St. Nicholas Day 2015|
The fifth day was jammed packed in the best ways. It was nice to have a change of scenery and, even better yet, to get to visit with a longtime friend and see the friendship growing between our own little ones. With much excitement we now wait for St. Nicholas! Sweet dreams friends!