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That time we went to Minnesota

August 16th, 2012 | Posted by Emily in Art is awesome. | Bungie on the Road | Summer Fun

A few weeks ago we went to Duluth, MN to hang out with Daniel’s aunts and uncles (Bill, Beth, Carol, and Preston) and grandparents (Ray and Priscilla).


Since I’d never been to Duluth before, Bill and Beth played tour guides and gave us a true Minnesotan experience. Our first day in Duluth was spent boating out on Lake Superior.

The weather was gorgeous and they even let me drive the boat (a first for me)! I may or may not have squealed “I feel like James Bond!” as I zipped around the bay. Also, Daniel and I may or may not have forgotten to wear sunscreen, thus causing very painful sunburns on our heads.

Beth’s dog Buddy was our constant companion – I am pretty sure he thinks he is a human.

And now for some Fun facts about Duluth, because you know you were waiting for it…

#1. They have an entire park dedicated to the viking Leif Erikson.

Side fact: Before I saw this statue, I thought the park was named after Leif Garrett.

#2. Duluth is the birthplace of Bob Dylan. He has a whole street dedicated to him.

#3. Duluth is also home to the Glensheen Historic Estate – which is basically like Downton Abbey: U.S. Edition. We toured it on our last day in Duluth. I hummed the tune from the opening credits almost the entire time. Daniel looooooved hated that.

While discovering Duluth was really fun, I have to admit, my favorite activity of the weekend involved another first for me: driving a four-wheeler.

Check out our boating-induced sunburns. Ouch.

Oh, and because no Hawkins family weekend is complete without some kind of DIY project, check out the birdhouse bench we worked on for Daniel’s Aunt Beth. The idea was that each Hawkins’ couple/family unit would be given one house on the bench to decorate in their own style.

To fit with the style of our bungalow in Kansas City, we picked the smallest house of the group – the light blue cottage smack in the middle of the bench. During the downtime between outings, I could be found painstakingly working on our little cottage to make it look just right.

I’m not going to lie, I think it turned out pretty awesome. And so us…


We had a blast in Duluth and hope to get back there sometime this winter to check out all of the fun cold weather activities Minnesota has to offer! What about you? Have you done anything for the first time this summer (like going four-wheeling or driving a boat)? For all you Minnesotans, was there anything we missed on our trip?

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16 Responses

  • Of course there’s a little pup in front of your bird house – kinda looks like Polly Pocket! :-)

  • avatar woofssi says:

    Did you hike any parts of the Superior Hiking Trail? We LOVE that! You definitely need to visit Gooseberry Falls the next time you go – it’s my favorite falls, by far…though there are a few on the Trail that are worth mentioning! Oh…and if you go back in the winter, you should go up to Lutsen and try out the alpine slide – totally fun!!

  • avatar tholupka says:

    I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, you wear bangs REALLY well!!! The bird house bench idea is spectacular, what a keepsake!

  • avatar zoki says:

    I am from Minnesota (Twin Cities) and Duluth is such a lovely town. I did notice a lack of deep fried cheese curds in your post. And hot dish. :)

    • avatar woofssi says:

      ah, yes…hot dish! I don’t think it’s called that anywhere else in the world! Sometimes, I forgot I’m not in Minnesota (wishful thinking on my part!) and call it hot dish. When I look up and everyone is staring at me like I’m crazy I correct myself – “casserole” – why don’t they realize that “casserole” is a type of baking dish, not an actual meal! That and Duck Duck Grey Duck (please tell me that’s what you play and NOT Duck Duck Goose) :)

    • avatar Emily says:

      Next time we’ll be sure to try some cheese curds – although those are pretty popular in KC too so we’ve had them before!

  • What a fun trip! I totally made the same leif garrett (ah hem, ericson) association, ha! So funny. I’ve never been to Duluth, but I do love Bob Dylan, so I bet that was cool. Also, the photos of you and Daniel are so sweet, and I love the one of him with all his family members! :)

  • avatar Cori says:

    Ooooh yea! You got a good view of northern Minnesota…but to echo woofssi if you didn’t eat any hot dish or play Duck Duck Grey Duck, you definitely didn’t get the whole experience. And when you went shopping, did you get a “beg” (not a “bag”). Luckily, there is always next time when you come to visit us :) And did you hear any “uff da”s???

  • Alex and I were very, very close to moving to MN. We were about two days away from signing a lease in St. Paul. In all honesty, the Twin Cities remind me a ton of Portland, so I’m sure we would’ve liked it just fine.

    • avatar Emily says:

      That’s so funny you say that! Daniel and I stopped in Minneapolis on the way to Duluth and we commented how much the Uptown area reminded us of Portland!

  • In researching my family history I found my grandmother and her sister were born in Minnesota. From what I have found out so far their parents went back and forth from NYS and Minnesota a lot . I am still researching but I wouldn’t be surprised if I had relatives there.

  • avatar onedoglife says:

    Hey, I’m originally from Minnesota! How cool. Looks like you had fun :)