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 Ericson.

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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