May 25, 2019-Great Lakes Day 7

(click here for today's pictures)

Somethings are just wonderful-like hotel sleeping and thunderstorms. Last night, we had both, I am not sure what our motel was made of but it was the loudest thunderstorm I had ever heard. It was absolutely great. Keaton fell off the bed sometime during the thunderstorm and even commented on how loud it was.

Despite Keaton having trouble staying on that bed (she fell off twice) and the thunderstorm, we all slept very well. We slept in a little bit this morning so when my clock woke me up, I was up fairly quickly. I think that my room was ready before the boys and soon we had loaded up and were heading to breakfast.

Yesterday, at the Mall of America Graham really wanted to go to Tim Hortons. While the girls were shopping at Claire’s, Robby had decided that maybe they would stop in. Unfortunately, it was closed! So today was the Tim Horton’s day. We had seen one in the US before crossing the border, but did drive a bit further so we could eat at Tim Horton’s in Canada.

We all had our fill of doughnuts-the big boys and Reagan had Oreo, Campbell and Keaton had chocolate covered, Whitman had plain while Robby had a sausage biscuit and I had a bagel. Afterwards, we headed back into the US.

Border crossing was a bit more strict this time. The guy wanted to see the kids when he called their name. Poor Campbell and Keaton had to crawl from the very back of the van to wave at the man. Once back in International Falls, we headed to Voyageurs National Park.

Robby did lean that International Falls, Minnesota is nicknamed “the icebox of the nation.” They have an average of 110 days a year below freezing. Brrsy. Thankfully, the weather was misty today, but it didn’t seem as cold as it was yesterday.

We were soon at Voyageurs National Park. It was a pretty drive in and the visitor’s center was nice. We watched the movie, stamped our passport books and then headed out on a hike. We hiked on the Oberholtzer trail which was almost 2 miles.

The trail was pretty-almost like walking through a Christmas tree farm. We came upon the lake a few different times. The kids enjoyed running ahead of us until on the way back, they ran a way that we didn’t want to go. We called them back and bless they were almost back to the visitor’s center when we made them return to where we were.

We eventually all made it back to the visitor’s center. We used that opportunity to go to the restroom again and fill up our water bottles. The kids also turned in their Jr. Ranger books and collected their second badge on the trip for a total of 47 Jr. Ranger badges.

Back in the car, we zoomed on towards Duluth. As we drove, we listened to our book-when we finish I am not too sure what we will do since this will be the last one that I have. Maybe Robby can download one for us to listen to.

We did stop at another visitor’s center at Voyageurs that was called at Lake Kabetogama. This visitor’s center had an area where you could crawl and put your head in a beaver dam exhibit. The ranger showed it to Whitman and his eyes just lit up.

Back in the car, we headed towards Duluth while I made our lunches. Today’s menu consisted of wraps or sandwiches. The kids like ham better than turkey so our next grocery stop will be for some ham. Robby and I did sneak a rice krispy treat for a dessert after our meal. We commented that we were surprised that our rice krispy treats always stay fresh so long-these are currently one week old.

The weather would alternate between spitting rain and partly sunny for most of the morning. I wasn’t sure if I needed my jacket or if I needed to take it off most of the drive. We stopped in Duluth, home of Mr. Tony’s underwear-well, that is how we spoke of Duluth. Unfortunately, we didn’t find the underwear store.

We did however find the Aerial Lift Bridge in their riverwalk area. It was a happening place. They had a little maritime museum that we walked around in. Then we walked to the little lighthouse by the canal followed by a long walk on the shore of Lake Superior.

We made it back to the bridge right as two large ships crossed under the raised bridge. It was pretty neat to see, but Whitman and Campbell were more interested in the seagulls behind us that were eating people’s popcorn.

We didn’t have any popcorn, but we did split 3 huge ice cream cones. They didn’t last very long! After viewing the shops, we were soon headed on our way to our hotel. We had about a 2 hour drive putting us in the hotel around 8:30.

On the way we did eat our supper-crackers, cheese and sausage. I didn’t have too many sausage takers and Reagan even opted for another sandwich. Whitman is rather excited about my pulling out the “squirt cheese” but I am waiting for when we grow a bit more tired of sandwiches. Though Whitman is probably growing tired of cheese and crackers since that is what he chooses each time we have our picnics.

When we made it to the hotel, the kids were delighted to see that there was a pool but we were not delighted to see that there was no laundry. We debated and could have made it another day (If we go more than 2 days then laundry just begins to be a hassle and turns into multiple loads. With just one load, it often takes us two dry cycles to get it all dried.)

We let the kids swim some after we unloaded the car and as soon as everyone was in their clean pjs, Robby headed off to the laundromat. Tomorrow is going to be a long driving day so we will try not to laundry tomorrow night and Robby toyed with going in the morning, but we finally decided that we would need to be moving fairly early not folding laundry.

It is nearly 10, and Robby has a few more minutes left drying clothes and the kids are about to go to bed after my shower. Today was a pretty nice weather day so hopefully tomorrow will be the same.

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