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St Nick and a Duluth Christmas Weekend

St Nick Day!

Pitty the fools who don't celebrate this Wisconsin tradition via the Netherlands.


Cat ornament!

Pretty good St Nick loot this year.

Meadow got a Jiji (from Kiki's Delivery Service) cat lego kit, a kitty cat clock ornament, Baby-Sitters Club book, chocolates, hot cocoa bombs, pajamas and cat/Santa cookie cutters.
Theo got a Link lego kit, lumberjack ornament, Kirby as Link stuffie, chocolates, hot cocoa bombs, pajamas that match Meadows and Sadie Braves the Wilderness book.

Theo: How did St Nick know I love this book?!
Still not too cool for matching PJs.

My favorite time to visit the Swedish Institute is at Christmas time.

Meadow wanted to do the gift shop first. I loved all the Christmas decorations. I saw this and now want to make my own for Valentines.

I loved the dining room.

I want a whimsical mushroom stool Christmas dining room all year long.  

If there's a puzzle you know Meadow and I will try it.

Always amazed by the Swedish fireplaces. 

Pippi Longstocking made a mess in the kitchen.

The kids just wanted to play in the basement.

We couldn't leave without one last pose on Santa's sleigh.

This year I said it was our turn to go to Bentleyville. Plus I love Christmastime in Duluth.

I just like hanging out with Blake and Daniel.

Blake made us nachos before we walked down to Bentleyville.

No snow again, but the lights will do.

It's nice that Blake lives so close we can walk there now. I brought our wagon for Theo but we really didn't need it. 

The last time we were here Theo was 1.5 so he had no memory of it.

It hasn't changed much at all, but that's just fine.

The best time to go is 8:00 on a Friday night. We barely had to wait in line for the cookies, cocoa or popcorn.

A rare photo of the 4 of us.

Well, I do look like a snowman.  

Theo sporting his vintage Bentleyville hat.

And Meadow wearing the same hat she's probably worn to every Bentleyville visit.

Until next time, Bentleyville. 

Afterwards we played a few rounds of Bingo. Meadow kept winning.

Wait. They have home bingo?  

Daniel brought us donuts for breakfast.

The kids just wanted to play bingo again, but we had adventures to conquer.

We walked through downtown to see Santa's reindeer at Fitger's. Everyone thought I was crazy for wanting to walk, but it's not that far.

It's not that far, but it was not a nice weather weekend.

It was windy and wet. 

Almost there.

Poor reindeer.

I thought Theo would have been interested to see a reindeer in person but he didn't seem impressed.

Theo was more excited to be able to see the Lift Bridge.

We tried to eat at Fitger's, but the wait was too long.

So we went down the block to Sir Ben's for epic sandwiches. 

This place is really good and so cozy. 

Then we stopped at the Nordic Center to see the gingerbread houses.

We've got to make cool gingerbread houses a Tuska tradition.

If there's crafts, Meadow will be there.

A couple weeks ago Blake mentioned that his club was having a kids Christmas party. I had no idea what he was talking about.

By club he meant the Owl's Club. It's a private fraternal organization that's members only. Kind of like a Lion's Club, but not open to the public. Think dive bar, but with members and their family only.  

I knew the kids were going to get gifts but didn't tell them. They had no idea Santa was going to come and hand out presents.

Must be a good club to have Santa as a member.

When they called your name you had to stand with Santa and take your picture. 

Theo later told me while he was waiting for his name to be called his stomach was hurting. That's just being nervous buddy.

Meadow got a Lego set and Theo got a monster truck and race car. It was so nice of them to allow us to come for this. 

Cool place, Blake, cool place.

Hopefully we can come back another time.

Blake is also the president of the Duluth Preservation Alliance. No wonder he doesn't have much time to work on his house. 

Does anybody else find this ironic?

They were having their annual Christmas party and he invited me to go with. The party was at the Cotton Mansion in East Duluth, the house across the street was decorated with Marcia's old Christmas lights.

The home was originally built for Joseph Cotton, the corporate attorney for JD Rockfeller. Apparently they only stayed here in the summer, but the staff stayed year round. The current owners turned this into a boutique hotel.

Blake and Brooke seem to always make me watch the kids while they go somewhere cool on recent visits.

Not gonna lie, but this nutcracker is a bit much. Good thing I wasn't invited.

I thought it was awesome.

When they got back we checked out Daniel's anti-Bentleyville that was one week away. Yes, that's Boubville, the avante garde xmas spectacular in Blake and Daniel's backyard. A big F U to the drive-thru Bentleyville and also a rock and roll show.

The mushrooms were so cool, I want some for my yard.

Alan from Low would play this year's Boubville. How are we going to make sure we're here next time for the festivities?

Blake's current project: one of the bedrooms. We'll see if it changed at all the next time we visit.

Goodluck, President Romenesko.


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