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Run Smelt, Run (Plus a Brief Visit to Windy Fargo)

Blake invited us up to see Duluth's Magic Smelt Parade. We couldn't pass on another visit to our favorite northern city. Although we left 80 degree Minneapolis for 60 degree Duluth.

We don't go there for the balmy weather.

Blake said he saw an estate sale down the street. We decided to check it out.

We didn't find anything (though they had a great deal on a pair of bikes), but we did admire this Scion xB mural in one bedroom.

Then we decided to play a game of Bocce Ball.

I had never played bocce, but this sounded exciting. Maybe I'd be better at this than I am at bowling.

Meadow wanted to pick up the balls in the middle of our game. She quickly caught on that it wasn't par for the course.

The game was between Scott and I vs Blake.

Meadow just ran back and forth.

Meadow's coat is for a 3 year old. I bought it for her for next year not realizing she doesn't have one for this year.

I think it looks pretty cute on her; kind of like a dress-coat.

We even taught Meadow to give the red ones to Brooke and I and the green ones to Uncle Blake.

Blake ended up kicking our butts. Then he ditched us for a graduation party.

We've been hearing good things about Superior's Anchor Bar for a while now. They supposedly have the best burgers in the Twin Ports. When we arrived all the small tables were taken and the bar was packed.

Seeing as the Anchor wasn't going to work for us we debated on where to eat instead.

We decided on A & Dubs near Blake's place in West Duluth. 

The root beer was good and the fry's were serviceable, but I wouldn't go here for their burgers again. Wish Anchor Bar hadn't been so packed.

We had time to kill since Blake was at the party. I found a historic walking tour pdf online for Duluth's east end. It was too chilly to walk so we drove around.

This was the least "us" moment in this blogs history.

All the homes were too close together so it was getting hard to drive and park constantly. We decided to just drive around the area instead.

We ran into what's left of the Duluth Normal School, which is the birthplace for nearby UMD.

Minneapolis really needs to learn from other cities on how to preserve building ruins.

After exploring the east side for a while we went back to the humble west end of town.

Meadow played some music for us with Blake's xylophone when Blake arrived back from his party. I love how she's learning to cross her legs.

Blake's been boasting about his Old Fashioned making skills for awhile. We all got sick at Easter so we had to wait until today for our first swig.

Can't really compare it to the "old fashioneds" Brooke's rents make from a syrupy mix and 7-up. I could take another right about now.

It was much stronger and still sweet compared to my parents.

The next morning Blake made us omelets with fiddleheads he had recently foraged. It was pretty good. I need to do some foraging for my own fiddleheads.

We had awhile before the smelt run started. Blake took us on a tour of his current workplace.

He's moved on from Glensheen and now gives tours of the SS William A Irvin

The Irvin was used for 40 years starting in the 1930's to the 1970's. It carried iron ore and coal throughout the Great Lakes.

Our tour started on top of the boat. I had actually been here before a few years ago, but this was Scott's first visit.

This visit took us to places she'd never been.

It all looks clear ahead to me.

Inside we got to see the engine room.

Well, I think everyone gets to see the engine room.

Then Blake took us a behind the scenes.

Sleeping and eating quarters for the crew. I don't think Scott would have fit in these beds.

It started down pouring on us as we made our way to the other side.

The cabin in the front was for the guests of the ship.

We had to wait in the lounge for the tour ahead of us to finish.

I looked outside to see our car, when I noticed someone hanging around it. That's when I realized we would be getting a ticket, despite the fact that Blake said parking was free today.

Apparently parking enforcement started on May 15. Whoops.

We should've taken this thing out to the great inland sea.

I guess it would've been difficult to maneuver through the Aerial Lift Bridge.

Our tour ended in the cargo area.

Then we decided to have a quick snack over at Amazing Grace Cafe. We ran into Blake's friend Gwen and her friend Claire and played a round of Sorry while munching on baked goods.

Then it was time for the Magic Smelt Parade.

Of course Blake's bag pipping friend Justin was there. As were walking up I could hear the bagpipes. I turned and looked at Blake and said, "Is that Justin?"

"Run, Smelt Run"

At least that's what I wanted us to chant. 

Meadow was sad that she didn't get to carry a fish.

Jasper's bagpipe was the perfect way to lure the unsuspecting masses.

Soon the ceremony was ready to start.

People on stilts, poseidon, and...

Prince of course.

The classic Paul Bunyan fish.

Where was the Bob Dylan smelt?

After the dancing everyone followed the band down the lake walk.

The gawkers seemed a tad weirded out.

These two boys stole the show.

Some of us danced our way down.

Just look at those dance moves.

The Smelt parade took a short break at Endion Station. We let Meadow stretch her legs and carry a fish.

I should've gotten myself a beer from the new Fitger's offshoot.

"Less talk, more fish"

Meadow always makes it easier to kill time.

Then the parade continued to downtown.

A few dancers that looked familiar from the Day of the Dead parade joined in.

I hope Meadow is this cool some day.

Another dance break.

You may remember the two on the left from Brooke's birthday square dancing adventure.

This parade just kept on going and going, but I wasn't complaining.

After the last dance we enjoyed a dinner of smelt fry. Meadow was getting sleepy from not napping all day. We didn't stay too long as we had a long drive to Fargo.

We had to drive there for my last Rasmussen College Google Business View shoot. I need to find another awesome client that pays me to travel across the country.

We stopped halfway in Akeley so Meadow could say hi to Paul again.

She wasn't too thrilled since she was sleeping and it was raining.

We couldn't find anything along the way to eat so we called ahead to Rhombus Guys Pizza. Kind of expensive, but you get a huge pizza pie. If visiting I'd still recommend Fargo's Blackbird Pizza over this place.

The next morning Meadow and I stuck around the hotel while Scott went to work. We had arrived too late the night before to go swimming, so Meadow and I had plans to go after breakfast. We even picked a hotel with a mini waterpark. Turns out the pool was closed for the day. I was pretty bummed.

Once we had to check out Meadow and I walked the mile to Rasmussen College in 40 degrees and strong winds. A guy pulled over asking if we wanted a ride saying it was cold. I said I was fine and thought, he's from here and he thinks this is cold?

I finished up about the time they arrived. So long Rasmussen College! It's been a trip these past two years.


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