Duluth Vacation

One of the annoying ways we were impacted by the 2011 North Minneapolis Tornado was that any chance of taking any sort of decent vacation was now off the table for the foreseeable future. We’d been planning to visit my beloved Canadian east cost for a couple years at that point, so this killed me.

Lately, the idea that we had NO clue when we’d ever be able to make that trip finally cracked me, and we decided to find a bit of a reasonable substitution for the “sit by the side of the ocean and do nothing” trip I’d been longing for for years. We decided to go see what Duluth, MN was like – as opposed to a full day of travel and thousands of dollars in plane tickets, Duluth is a quick two hour drive for us!

Man, that trip did my soul some serious good that weekend. While the air lacked the saltiness I’d been dreaming of, it did have that same clean, crisp quality that I so desired. The rocky shoreline did kind of satisfy my need to sit on a rock my the ocean, and it really did bring me the same sort of peace that the ocean brought me, years ago.

So, I figured I’d share some memories and photos we took on our little “mental health vacation” 🙂

A funny thing happened while we were on the trip – it was almost like fate decided to theme our weekend. A whole bunch of little things happened that made me smile, giggle, or just sort of revel in feeling more at home, than I ever have in Minneapolis.

Early on, I accidentally bumped into a guy behind me.. who promptly apologized to ME. I hadn’t had that happen in so long, it actually made me nostalgic. Yep, it may be a stereotype that we Canadians apologize for everything, but it’s one rooted in reality. I STILL apologize to people that bump into me! What a weird thing to feel all gooey about, eh?

Later on, we were waiting to board a small boat for a dinner cruise we were looking forward to. I was regaling my husband with stories about going out on small fishing boats to see icebergs, whales, or just to generally enjoy large, choppy waters (I LOVE CHOPPY WATER!)… and my desire to buy a boat some day, when the loudspeaker started playing Great Big Sea’s “A Boat Like Gideon Brown“. I BAWLED. I hadn’t heard that song in years, and it always used to get to me, back in the day. It seemed so weird and out of place, I hadn’t heard it anywhere, at any time, since moving to the USA. It wasn’t one of their mainstream hits or anything – the timing was so weird and perfect. More than ever, I didn’t want to end up like the father in that song.

As we sat down for dinner, the captain came over the loudspeaker to welcome everyone to the cruise. The voice sounded familiar. It took a minute to figure it out, but he sounded like Bob/Doug McKenzie! I had to laugh – when I first moved to MN, my husband made me watch “Fargo” as an introduction to his culture. I made him watch “Strange Brew”, for the same reason!

The guy across me looked at me quizzingly when I laughed, and I explained. He agreed, and I noticed that he looked familiar. While trying to figure out if I actually knew him, I realized that he was a dead ringer for Stefan Brogren, of Degrassi fame. I am NOT too proud to admit that I had a bit of a crush on “Snake”, back in the day!

Amber and Casey

As I was spaced out and enjoying the cool air and gorgeous views, some guy snagged my husband to ask if he could take a photo of him and his girlfriend. He made a lucky choice on who to ask – Porter used to be a wedding photographer, and has years of experience with pro photography.

… and then the guy – Casey – surprised both Porter and his girlfriend Amber by PROPOSING. This was actually the second time that my husband was lucky enough to photograph someone’s engagement – the other time, he was thrown into photographing an engagement on stage at W00tstock.

Amber and Casey were so sweet and happy, Porter took a few nicer photos with the pro camera, too. Congrats again, Amber and Casey!

The rest of our little mini vacation was spent taking in the gorgeous scenery, photos below. Can’t wait to go back!

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