Our family recently had the opportunity to travel back to our old stomping grounds in a whirlwind adventure up to Minnesota and back, in our van. And when I say adventure...I mean, cram your family of 5 in a minivan, along with carseats, highchair,snacks, DVD player, laptops, porta-crib, cold weather clothing, toys, varying size Christmas gifts, and a very oversized box of Satsumas to pass out to relatives. And somehow it all fit.
The following is just a touch of one of my favorite days of our whole trip. The day that we got to see Duluth. For those of you that are new to this blog, I would like for you to know that Eben and I spent 5 glorious years in Duluth, right after we got married. We have lots of friends here, and dug our roots down deep. As cold as the winters get in Duluth, the hearts of the people are the warmest of anywhere in the country that I have seen so far.
This first pic, our first apartment together. We lived on the second floor in the rear of this quadroplex. It was a great place.....$500 all utilities included for a 2 bedroom place. Loved it. Although I couldn't stand sharing a wall with neighbors. Very little privacy.
And this is our very first home that we bought together. We lived in the apartment for 6 months. Then when spring came, we started looking for a house. Eben and I were very pleased to see the Silver Maple tree that is in the front yard. We planted that tree the summer we moved in, in honor of our marriage vows. We hoped to be able to watch the tree grow through the years. And sure enough, our tree is still there, growing stronger, standing the tests of time.
The little window up top on the house is a little trick....that room is actually alot larger than it looks from the outside. You would never believe that that room once housed 2 cribs, 2 dressers, a rocking chair, changing table, and a twin sized bed. Plus, it has a walk in closet. I loved living in this house. Although it did have the tiniest kitchen ever, and a miniscule living/dining room area, and a postage stamp master bedroom, we were very cozy living here.
This next picture is where I used to work. This is Lakeview Christian Academy. My years spent working here remain some of the happiest days of my life. I often said to my co workers as I was picking up my paycheck that I could hardly believe that I got paid to work there.
Not only did this school have some of the best students ever (and some of them I have remained in contact with through the years), this school housed some of the greatest teachers the world has never known. I honestly mean that. I met some really great teachers that not only went the extra mile for their students, they had fun doing it too. If we ever moved back to MN, I would totally consider giving up homeschooling for a chance to teach here again.
This next picture...well, it brings tears to my eyes actually. This is my best friend, Molly. I'm a firm believer in Divine Appointment, and if for no other reason did we go to Minnesota, it was so Molly and I could meet each other. I thank God every single day for her. She's the best friend anyone could have.
We toured Canal Park. And bundled up in every item of clothing we had....and actually looked like tourists.
We drove along Superior Street, which was all decorated up for the Christmas City of the North Parade. I took this picture because of the Skywalk System. In the extreme cold areas of MN, alot of the buildings are connected with the Skywalk so that people don't have to brave the cold to get their shopping done. I got to take the kids to the Aquarium for free (thanks Molly!), where we made waves,
went snipe hunting,
and swam in The Great Lakes. Quite literally. I had to go out to the car, bust open the luggage and obtain dry clothing for the The Little Apple, who decided that GETTING IN the water was much more fun than just standing next to it.
Oh, and I also took this picture through the aquarium window, which is now my desktop.
I will continue with more pictures and rememberances in a later post....but I will add this, when I am in Duluth, I feel like I am finally home.