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Duluth in December Can Only Mean Bentleyville

After skipping Bentleyville last year we knew we had to come up for it this year. Blake suggested we come on Thursday night to beat the weekend crowds.

Meadow was also much more excited about it this year.

Two years ago we had to cart Meadow around in a stroller. It wasn't 8 degrees this year and Meadow could hold her own hot chocolate (though it looks like she might have spilled some).

We asked Meadow if she wanted to see Mrs Claus. She excitedly said yes, but got shy when we went over by her.

I had to sit with her to get a photo.

The new decorations made Bentleyville brighter than ever.

Of course we had to do the snowman cutout with Meadow.

Someone had to take the picture.

Marshmallows? Yes, please.


They had moved things around since the last time we were here.



We had noticed along the way that they had taken some of the puppets from the old Macy's display. I have to say I'm really missing the "Day in the Life of an Elf" this year. I'm glad at least the old displays are being reused.


We had rehearsed what Meadow was going say when she saw Santa. She said she was going to tell him she wanted a pink lollipop and more train tracks. When she sat down all she said was, "Lollipops!"

Later Meadow realized she didn't tell Santa that she specifically wanted a pink lollipop because St Nick got her a red and green one. She also forgot to tell him she wanted more train tracks. A few days later she said she wanted to write him a letter so he knows what she wants. Scott told her what letters to write down and she wrote her letter.

The new route has you either go see Santa or more lights. When you finish seeing Santa it takes you back to the beginning and you miss the last set of lights. Since it wasn't busy we decided to go back around again.

I wanted to get more cookies and marshmallows, but Blake and Brooke are goody two shoes.

This was Meadow's favorite.

Some of the old Macy's elves were inside of giant TVs.


We all agreed the roller coaster and neighboring ferris wheel were our favorites.

Back at Blake's winter wonderland we read Eye Spy books.

We also played Old Maid from Meadow's new playing card set.

She got them from St. Nick.

 I love that she's at an age at which we can play games together.

In the morning we weren't sure what to eat. Blake had eggs and avocados, so that's we had. I had joked that Daniel somehow never makes the blog even though he's always there.

With Blake working, we headed over to Saver's to see if I could find a maternity coat.

Their staff was making custom ugly Christmas sweaters.

No luck on coats again.

We had to get presents for all of the nieces and nephews. So, we went to Hobby Lobby. I'll admit it was good idea after scoffing at Brooke's suggestions.

Down the street was a cool toy store. We should have stopped here first. We did pick up a card holder for Meadow. She has trouble holding all her cards in her hand.

I would've preferred crafts from here over Hobby Lobby. Ah, well.

I saw Olive Garden when we were driving to Savers and talked Brooke into going here for the first time since college.

The night before he mentioned he was craving Olive Garden.

I woke up with a scratchy throat and feeling a little run down. The endless soup actually sounded good.

I also got there infamous breadstick-meatball sub. It was good in a bad way.

After lunch we headed back to Blake's so I could lay down and rest before Blake returned from work.

We did pick up fixings for nachos on the way home complete with queso.

Everyone dug into their nachos, except for Meadow who ate her OG leftovers.

Blake's trees are always great.

His decorations outdoors glistened as snow started to fall.

I checked a Duluth calendar of events and saw that the Depot was having a European Christmas market.

It turns out that someone might have accidently added the Christmas market at St. Paul's Union Depot to the Duluth Depot's calendar.

Instead we drove up the hill to see some Christmas lights.

Complete with accompanying radio station synced to the lights.

When we got back we watched some crazy Christmas movies and drank some North Shore beer. Well, not Brooke.

When we woke up on Saturday, Scott said his throat felt scratchy. I still wasn't feeling great so I suggested we head home after breakfast. We had planned to go back on Saturday night anyway to do more packing at our house.

The whole crew drove down to Black Bear for, you guessed it, the amazing brunch buffet. With our bellies full we went our seperate ways. 

We drove back to Minneapolis and arrived before sunset. It all felt wrong, but it was good to keep on task packing.

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