It was also the first time I’d seen a few of my cousins in upwards of 8-10 years. It used to be standard to have regular family gatherings when we were all younger and had summers off, etc. Once we hit college and beyond, it was just too hard to predict where everyone would be and when. The only sure-fire gathering is a good ‘ol wedding. Here’s the gang of cousins in attendance (Plus two wannabes: the new spouse, and a fiance. Yes, that’s right, a fiance. I’m headed back to Duluth next summer for another one of these things!):
The city of Duluth is actually pretty cool. It’s right on Lake Superior, and when the lake is big enough that you can’t see land on the other side, it kinda feels like the ocean. The wind was even blowing enough (sometimes too much), which created a nice surf. The town had a lot of old charm, but also a fair amount of urban decay. But hey, I love taking photos of that stuff. Duluth even claimed to be home to the most millionaires per capita back around the turn of the century (so did a few other northern cities), because of all of the iron ore and lumber that came in and out of the port.
We all enjoyed walks down to the canal to see the aerial lift bridge and historic boats around the harbor. And of course there was plenty of food and drink and celebration and the cousins played a lot of ping-pong, a great softball game, and we even figured out the proper rules of bocce. One night, a few of us even ventured across the bridge to Superior, Wisconsin which is a lot like Duluth, minus most of the charm. My cousin said it’s home to one of the highest bars per capita ratios in the country (I tried Google, but couldn’t confirm, except I did find it mentioned that Wisconsin has 7 of the top 10), higher than Las Vegas. There sure were a lot of bars, and they sure were dives, although it was hard to complain about $3 pitchers (yes, PITCHERS) of Pabst on special (normally they’re $4).
I had a great time hanging out, reconnecting with cousins, meeting Aimee, and enjoying the small city of Duluth. I can’t wait to go back next year.