Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Jim is always doing nice things for his family. This time he arranged for us to spend some time together in Duluth- to enjoy a little Christmas fun before Christmas.

We checked into the hotel and James made himself right at home!


And Sneaky followed us!


We caught a shuttle from Canal Park to the Bentleyville area- a Christmas wonderland!


We were there slightly early so we stood and waited.


James played on a big pile of snow, because that's what kids do I guess.


And then at 5pm exactly, and after a quick countdown by the Bentleyville staff, the whole place lights up! I don't remember how many thousands or maybe millions of lights make up the entire place, but it was a sight to see.

You walk through several tunnels like this to get to different areas of light arrangements. Most of them were kid friendly- like Thomas, snowmen, or other characters.


We even found an Eiffel Tower in there!


We hurried our way to the Santa area, because we heard that the line gets long.





Yup, the line was pretty long but we waited with the others in a somewhat heated area. I was glad that Jim suggested snow pants and heavy winter gear. I was warm enough except for my toes. I should have doubled up on socks. But once we started walking (and not just standing in lines) I was fine.

And then, finally, Santa!


James made sure to remind Santa of the things he wrote on his Christmas list.



A high-five goodbye!


Each kid received a free Bentleyville hat and a bag of cookies! James has proudly worn his hat since he got it that day.


After we located Santa we were able to explore a bit more leisurely. I wasn't a Mom on a mission and leading her boys to a destination anymore.





Gingerbread playground!


Golf scene.


James doesn't look too happy here. He just had a fall, slipped on the ice and smacked his head. He was fine. We minimized the crying and he was fine within a few minutes.





Sesame Street was my favorite.



As we were leaving we spied an ice rink. No skates but James wanted to slip around on the ice. I think I was the only one brave enough to risk falling, so on to the ice we went..



We fell a little bit, but mostly because James jumped on me. It was a good time.


Noah's ark.


It was a late dinner for us. We took the shuttle back to Canal Park and walked from our hotel to Grandma's Saloon. You can't go to a saloon without having some beer! James was curious and took a sniff. "Yuck!" It's what he says about soda too, so we're good!


Thank you Jimmy for always thinking of your family. It was a nice, festive thing to do! We would recommend Bentleyville to any family. It could be a lot of walking, and it can be cold, but it was pretty. I don't think my pictures did the lights any justice!

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