Last week P took a couple of days off of work so that we could have a little break from our daily routine. We went up to Duluth and stayed at a hotel in Canal Park right on the shore of Lake Superior. Both P and I went to college in Duluth and have many happy memories of enjoying the city in our early twenties as young single people and as newlyweds.
The kids love Duluth, of course. There are so many things to see that are unusual and removed from their normal lives. I don't think they are generally overwhelmed with the natural beauty, but they get a huge kick out of the lighthouses and the lift bridge. Thomas is obsessed with signals--traffic signals, train signals--so of course the red and green lights at the top of the lighthouses are of particular interest. Sadly, the port was closed for the season still and wasn't scheduled to reopen until after we left on Saturday. We did, however, take a drive over the lift bridge and Anna and Thomas waved good morning to Lake Superior.
I think that the biggest attraction for the little ones has to be the hotel (pronounced HO-tel, if you are four years old). They love the room, the BIG beds, the long hallways, the huge breakfast, and most of all the POOL. Yea, Pool! They spend as much time as they can splashing in the pool. Thomas is not a big swimmer. With encouragement, he will allow you to carry him out into the water, kick, and then be brought back to the stairs where he will sit and enjoy the pool in his small way. His love for the pool is wholly platonic. Anna's love is whole-hearted and wildly enthusiastic. From the very first time her little body met a pool of water her love has been nothing less than ecstatic. She is thrilled by the very notion of swimming. Her biggest frustration is that she seems to lack the coordination to both kick and tread water. She loves to play games with me and P and delights in "swimming". She always wants us to "let go", but of course we can't. I don't know how long it will take for her to learn to swim on her own, but she's like a 15 year old pining for a license to drive.
We also got to take the kids out to eat at a restaurant a couple of times. We don't go out to eat very often and sometimes the kids will ask to go to a restaurant like someone might ask to go to Grandma's house. "Can we go to a restaurant, sometime, please?" The highlight of our dining experience was for P and me, though. We took them to eat at the India Palace on Superior Street. They have a buffet during the lunch hour that is good, if mildly flavored to suit the Scandinavian diners. We were beyond pleased to see that they didn't charge us for the kids' dinners. I had kind of hoped that they wouldn't charge for Anna, since she's two years old and not prone to eating great amounts of food. I didn't really think we would get away with not being charged for Thomas, though. What a nice surprise to get our check and only have our own meals to pay for! I think I will love this restaurant forever. Aside from it's generous policy towards children, P and I have been visiting this place since it opened years and years ago and we would go together as a young couple. *sniff* Now I'm getting all sentimental.
I wish I had some pictures to share, not only of the children, but of the beautiful scenery we enjoyed of the lake, the lighthouses, and the buildings. I lived there for four years and it never gets old.