View From the Barnyard

Dee Does Duluth - Hot to Trot

Hard times call for hard measures After my bunion surgery money was flowing out of my bank account faster than the water at Lake Oahe last year. I was determined to trim my budget and what better place to start than my travel plans. First to go was my trip to Vegas to celebrate  Misty’s upcoming 40th birthday. Second to go was my impending pumpkin birthday trip. My announcement wasn’t met well. Janet called me back the next day and declared – “What right have you to deprive the rest of us of fun?” (I was cowed immediately and agreed to go.)
Georgia stayed behind this year to tend to her sweetie pie (Terry). He’s been plagued with some medical difficulties of late. Our crew would consist of Gay, me, Esther, Pam and Janet. Gay gathered me up on Thursday night and we headed to Sioux Falls. A sure sign that you may have not chosen, attractive new glasses: I asked Gay if she noticed anything different about me? She said “No.” I said I have new glasses, do you like them? She replied, “I thought you were wearing  your safety glasses from work.”
After the discontent with Gay’s mystery tour last year we all received a detailed daily itinerary of the whole trip. (It was stated in print that we would get to stop at those cute shops Gay buzzed by last year.) I scored major dragonfly gifts and was very surprised to find that what I thought was a paper shredder ended up being a wine cooler. Maybe I’ll put it by my bedside. Vacation officially begins when I put cream in my coffee.
Friday, we made our first stop at Minneapolis to eat at a Diner, Drive-in and Dive (D.O.D.) – the wienery. We got lost in construction but Gay persevered like a bloodhound. Oh Boy, Oh Boy, was it a dive! How it passed health inspection is beyond us. Pam went to the bathroom and had to walk through the kitchen and the floor was so greasy she almost slipped. Then down to the dungeon in the dirt basement to what they considered a toilet. Trash was everywhere and Pam said she did the hover maneuver and expected the herpes bugs to jump up to get her or a rat to appear at any minute. We concluded the wieners were good but that we should take Pam to a hospital for some kind of preventive shot.
Close to Duluth we spied a bar that bragged about their Bloody Marys and we stopped to slake our thirst. (Drinks mediocre.) Gay was having difficulty running all the door controls so Pam directed her in a unique way by telling her “Go north with your finger.” We checked into our hotel (which was round), a new experience. Shopping called to us so we cruised downtown and wondered what would possess a business to call themselves “The Electric Fetus.” Tacky, I say. Supper that night was in the revolving dining room of our hotel. I knew I was in for trouble as soon as I stepped off the elevator. A feeling of nausea  struck me, similar to when I go to “The Cosmos” in the Black Hills. I couldn’t look out the windows so Janet switched sides with me. Then Gay gave me her wrist pressure points and I survived. I wouldn’t have thought a complete revolution of one and a half hours would bother me. We toasted friendship that night and vowed to continue our yearly tradition until our health fails us.
Saturday morning we took in a local favorite eatery called “Amazing Grace.” It’s slogan was – we don’t serve fast food, we serve good food as fast as we can. Gay tried to tell the waitress a few suggestions but got no respect. Janet told Gay she might draw the line but Janet walks the line. All the tables had quotes from past customers so you could while away the time. One said, “Nothing is better than a trip with best friends.”(Janet added “and Esther.”)
We set off for the day along Lake Superior on a road called North Shore Drive. First stop was Splitrock Lighthouse and yes we climbed to the top. Second stop was a hike up to Gooseberry Falls with snow flurries. Gay told us on the way down she left the falls four pounds lighter. We didn’t know if it was the hike or if her coffee had kicked in – we were afraid to ask. The last stop and the most anticipated was Betty’s Pies in Two Harbours. The place was packed earlier in the day but we stuck it out the second time and it was well worth it. The restaurant makes 350 pies a day and usually runs out! I ordered two pieces of pie and I thought the waitress was gonna announce it on the loudspeaker. I told her, at least I skipped the regular meal to go with it.
Afterwards we sped back to Duluth to take in the movie “Taken II”. They have quite a novel idea at the theatre there – they have a bar and you can drink in the movie. Thank goodness I didn’t have wine ‘cuz the movie was so intense that I am sure I would have shattered the glass. Still in the mood for a nitecap, we dropped in at the hotel bar and I indulged in my favorite pasttime “messing with the bartender.” I asked for a merlot only I drug it out like Mmeerrlooo. Our cute bartender, Josh, was trying to sound out the word with me complete with facial expressions. I told the girls he probably thought I was  having a stroke. Esther said if she had been sitting closer she would have had a stroke. He-He! Needless to say he didn’t come back to ask us for another round and I asked him if he was afraid. He told me it would take more than us to scare him and I replied, “You haven’t seen  me after two drinks.”
To be continued…

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