3 dates

Patrick and I were lucky enough to get to go on 3 dates while we were in Duluth.

(Let me stop here to say I know I keep going on and on about our trip, but it was that good, and I made a promise to document all of my favorite moments here. If you have kids maybe you understand that feeling of giddy surprise when something is actually really enjoyable and relaxing.)

The first night we went to a favorite place in Superior, Shamrock Pizza. We had our usual Ken's Special, so good with a cold beer, and then sat on a bench in Billing's Park to watch the sun set. I told Patrick I couldn't remember ever being at Billing's Park and he reminded me that I had. About 21 years ago a 16 year old Patrick left a 16 year old me there while he went home for dinner. He didn't want to tell his parents that he had a girlfriend yet and we weren't quite ready to end our time together so there I waited. He left his wallet with me to prove that he would return, and he did. I'm so thankful that boy turned into the man that he is today.

Our second date was supposed to be for breakfast. We left the kids with my cousin & aunt and went down to Canal Park only to realize that there is nowhere down there for a good breakfast. Sure, Amazing Grace is there, but that's really just coffee & baked goods. We wanted the works...a nice multi-grain pancake with bacon or something like that, you know? I called my dad for recommendations and remembered the Scenic Cafe while we were on the phone. He said it was only about 10 miles up the Shore so we headed that way, starving already.

We got there at 10:30 only to find another couple headed back to their truck because the Cafe didn't open until 11:00. I know a half an hour isn't the end of the world but at that point it really felt like it. We got back in the car and drove around a while, talking about important things like waffles, and returned promptly at 11:00. We walked into the adorable little place and the hostess asked us if we'd like to hear the lunch specials. I'm all, "What about breakfast?" and she's all, "We only serve lunch and dinner," and then continued, noting my crestfallen face, "but it's really good." Just thinking about it brings the pain back like it was yesterday. We talked about leaving, heading back to Perkins or something, but decided to stay. Thank God.

First of all, the coffee was delicious. It made me hum little songs, it was so good. Their menu was spare and complicated sounding and I just decided to get the special of the day, a pistachio crusted fillet of Walleye on a toasted cranberry pecan bread spread with lemon aioli and fresh field greens. Holy cow, it was freaking amazing. Seriously, so good. Patrick got an Adobo pork sandwich with some fancy cheese and he loved his, too. It was so good. Then we shared fresh strawberry shortcake with a light pastry filling instead of whipped cream. Oh my gosh. Feeling sated, we headed back to Duluth, stopping at Brighton Beach on the way back to see the Tall Ships and pick up some driftwood for burning later on.

Our final date was on our last night there. We had had a beautiful though cranky trip to Jay Cooke State Park earlier in the evening (we were all feeling a bit tired that night, especially our youngest) and were so looking forward to some time away. Patrick drove and I didn't bother to ask where we were going. I was a little surprised when he headed over to Superior (shamrock again?) but we just drove around for a while talking about the drunk good old days. (Superior is mostly bars and we were there during our college years.) He finally parked in front of The Thirsty Pagan, a place I'd never been, and we went inside. It's a dive bar in the best way. Cool vintage decorations filled the kind of dirty old room. We ordered two different beers and a deep dish pizza. The pizza was really good and the beer even better. I got a little tipsy and we had a really good time sitting there drinking, eating and laughing.

We got home around 10pm to find both kids still awake watching old Felix the Cat cartoons with my mom. We piled into bed for our last night of co-sleeping and I laid there for a while feeling so thankful and happy. Still a little drunk but mostly just thankful and happy.

*I am sad to report that all my pictures from these excursions are on my mom's computer back home so these ones are from MrsMarv and duluthiscool on flickr. (I still need a memory card!)


  1. Thank you for sharing all these wonderful stories with us. I wish Mark and I could have 3 dates in one week;)


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