It has been a busy fall, with Dave working almost every weekend of the school year so far, so it was great to have the chance to have a quick getaway to Duluth over my MEA break. We headed up after breakfast on Friday, and went straight to Canal Park where we were going to meet some camp friends for lunch. We had almost an hour to walk around before meeting up with them, so we walked around by the lift bridge and enjoyed the nice sunshine. At noon, we met up with our former camp program director, Gretchen, and camp friends Ben, Betsy, and Molly. It was so much fun to catch up, walk around with them, and have a yummy lunch at Grandma's.
After saying goodbye to them, we went up to Gooseberry Falls. By then, our sun was gone and it had started to rain a little bit, but we figured that Friday was going to be a warmer day than Saturday. Luckily the rain stopped for our hike around Gooseberry--we stopped quickly in the visitor's center before it closed, then walked across the bridge to see the upper falls, and walked down to the main falls area for some pictures. We then drove down to get closer to Lake Superior, where the girls had fun throwing rocks in the lake and searching for agates with Dave. The last time Abby was there (age 2 1/2), this was her favorite thing to do.
After Gooseberry, we started the drive back toward Duluth and our hotel. Since it was around suppertime and MEA Friday, Betty's Pies was extremely busy--so we grabbed a couple of slices of pie to take back to the hotel and opted for ordering pizza to our hotel room. The girls and I were able to go for a quick swim in the hotel pool before our pizza came, and Dave took Abby back in the pool after supper. Since this was the highlight of Abby's trip, we made some more time for swimming in the morning after breakfast. We've stayed at the Americinn just outside of Duluth before, and love that their rooms are quiet and comfortable and that the pool feels like a warm bath.
Saturday morning, we headed back down to Canal Park. We walked around the lakefront area and across the lift bridge some more, then checked out some of the shops. We always love the fun toy stores and the Duluth Pack store. Norah found a store that had a whole bin full of her robot lovies--she was in heaven!
After lunch, we decided to head out of Duluth and stop at Jay Cooke State Park on the way home. So glad we did--it was so beautiful! The swinging bridge was still under construction--opening next week! Many of the trails were also still closed off to the public, too, due to last year's flooding damage. We took a hike along the St. Louis River and enjoyed some sunshine and great views. We'll definitely be checking this park out again next summer, and hopefully trying to do some camping there!
It was a quick trip, but lots of fun and full of much needed family time!