Here I am with a statue of the inimitable Mary Tyler Moore throwing her hat in the air. If you’re old enough you will recall, of course, that the Mary Tyler Moore show took place here.
We had a great long lunch with Jeff, my college roommate. As you can tell, neither of us has aged a day!
Why is there a picture of a laundromat on the blog? For us, of course, finding a convenient place to do laundry is always a big deal. On top of that, though, this is just one example of our amazement at how BIG everything (and everyone…) is here. This was at least three times as big as any laundromat we saw in our 15 months of traveling.
From Paris to Minneapolis, pretty much everyone’s fantasy trip, right? I lived there for 10 years, though, and I still love the city. Interestingly, there has been at least one big change since I left nearly 30 years ago – a big boom in downtown living. I actually lived in a downtown high rise in the mid-1980s when it was really unusual. Over the last several years, though, there have been major developments – both new construction and old warehouse renovation – and now there are some 40,000 people living downtown, mostly along the Mississippi River. Very cool.
As I said, I still love Minneapolis and had a great time in a very brief stop: dinner with two old friends one night, lunch with an old college roommate the next day, and dinner with another old friend and his partner that night. Walked around old familiar neighborhoods and marveled at how BIG everything is! Our only regret was that we didn’t have time to see everything I wanted to and everyone we wanted to.
From there we caught a quick flight up to Duluth, where I was born and where I still have plenty of family. (We would have rented a car and driven, but we’re flying out of Duluth, and the car rental agencies pretty much all were going to charge about $1,300 extra to drive it one way. The flight was a lot cheaper.) So we picked up the rental car in Duluth then to drive up to Cook, a tiny town some 90 minutes north of Duluth on Lake Vermillion which, at about 40,000 acres, is the fifth largest lake in Minnesota.
Mark & I spent six days at a lodge there with my parents, four of my five siblings, three of their spouses, three nieces, two nephews, and two great-nephews (my niece’s two kids) in two large cabins. The kids loved fishing, though they weren’t wildly successful, and we all had fun with boats and in the water and all that stuff you do in a Minnesota lake.
Our first lunch up north at Grandma’s. The salad was huge. The wine was big. Everything here is big!
Morning on Lake Vermillion. Later in the day I would exhaust myself playing with my nephews on that slide.
My great-nephews Matt & Dex on the tube behind a boat.
My nephew Jackson looking very handsome
And yes, everyone got some of that inner tubing action
Next stop, LaSalle, Michigan!