a few months back a coworker asked if anyone would trade weekends with her for aug 2nd/9th.

since i've asked for similar favors in the past, i offered up the trade to help pay it forward.
i didn't have anything going on this weekend....

so when i noticed about a month ago that the 'tall ships' were coming into duluth, and that mark is a big fan of boats, especially this author's series of books involving many tall ships, i thought up a secret plan.

so even though we just got back from the northland on monday, i got mark to take today off and didn't tell him what was up.

just drove north early this morning.

pulled up to the traffic halt on I-35 even before the DECC exit, (where the ships were moored) and saw an incredibly long long line of people (hundreds maybe even 1000). whoa. i'm sure this was a surprise to everyone, including the event folks.

it was.

but we forged ahead around 11am, waiting in lines of cars to just park.

then we proceeded to buy tickets (no line for that) and got in the anaconda length x 100 sized line to see the ships.

everyone was in good spirits despite the wait. had our sunblock & water, there was a nice breeze and you just got to know your neigbhors as time went on....

1 hour.

2 hours.

by hour 3, someone with a bullhorn came out to say that at the point in the line we had just reached, we'd have another 3 hours before being able to board the ship Niagra. just one ship. it was the largest so it had the longest line, but the other 2 ships on display had lines as well.

um. okay. my original thought was 'visit ships for a few hours, do the canal park thing, get a picnic lunch and find a great shady spot and laze the rest of the day away by the mother lake'.

we both felt (and after hearing from someone in front of us, who left her husband in line while she and their small kids waited in a shorter line for another boat, that all you get to do is walk a circle around the deck of the boats and then de-board) that we'd kinda had enough and seeing as we were only there for the day, it was time to just move on.

so we walked to the ships, took some pictures, and proceeded to find our picnic lunch at 2pm. we almost started with some of my favorite fair food, but i needed something 'real' first before rich n creamy dots....but i agree wholeheartedly with the sign's message :)

while we pic-a-nicked, my coach called. nice surprise there ~ my coach and i have become extremely close in the past 6 months talking about all aspects of life (esp outside of running.) she informed me that apparently 2 other Lifetime run clubs locally have blogs for their teams. she kindly asked if i would be our new blogger girl for our team and of course i said 'why sure.' so it looks like i'll be authoring, like, a *real* blog representing some of my closest friends and teammates. uh-oh. wonder if she asked any of them ;)

so all in all a good day, but a surprise all around , not just on mark's part. and honestly, i have never seen SO many people in duluth. ever. to me there were more people than Grandma's Marathon weekend, but the paper scoffs at that it looks like. Oh, and speaking of Grandma's, i am officially in next year's half marathon based on that smokin' 1 mile race i took part in a week ago. s-t-o-k-e-d am i about this. i loved every part of that race this year! well this is a way long enough blog post. time to hush up now....
~ runnin blogger girl, ~jd


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