Good to be Back – #SoCS

It’s Saturday, and I am back in Connecticut after a very nice vacation. I gave Cheryl the week off last week, but since that post was truncated, I decided to appease the Skippy fans and put him behind the bar again today. David and I (and Skippy) will have an easy time with Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, since the question is uppermost in David’s mind.

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘where.’ Use it any way you’d like!”

If we were having a beer, you’d want to know where I have been.

“Well Dan, it’s good to see you back on that stool with your credit card ready to tap, insert or swipe.”

“Who says my credit card is ready to go, David?”

“Well, I know you were traveling with your brother last week. I don’t know where you guys were, but I’m sure you stopped at a few bars along the way.”

“So, you figure I’m still in drink-buying mode?”

“Exactly. Now where is Cheryl.”

“She’s off again this week, David, but I am here to serve. What would you like?”

“Sigh…Hello Skippy. I would like what I usually like, a John Howell’s Special. And my friend will buy himself a Corona.”

“Hi Dan – no glass, two-lime balance in the bottle…correct?”

“Correct Skippy.”

“So, let me see if I have this right, Dan. You flew to Minneapolis and your brother shuttled you down to his place in Iowa, right?”


“Where did you fly?”

“I flew into Minneapolis, and my brother picked me up, but he shuttled us both up to Duluth.”

“Duluth? Minnesota?”


“Here you go guys. John Howell’s bourbon, snifter of seltzer, glass of ice, Corona with a perfect two-lime balance.”

“Thanks Skippy.”

“You’re welcome, Dan.”


“Yes David?”

“Cherries. Where are the cherries?”

“I forgot. I’ll be right back.”

“So Dan, where is Duluth? I mean how far is it from Minneapolis?”

“It was a three-hour drive, plus some time for breakfast.”

“Grab and go from a drive-through?”

“No, sit down at Perkin’s”

“Bacon and eggs?”

“Yes, and sausage and pancakes and French toast.”

“Is that all?”

“Oh, and hash browns, I forgot the hash browns.”

“Good thing, for a minute I was wondering how you made it to Duluth. By the way, what’s in Duluth?”

“The western tip of Lake Superior.”

“The big lake they call Gitchy Goomy?”

“Yes, Gordon.”

“Here are your cherries, David.”

“Thanks Skippy.”

“No problem.”

“So, what did you do in Duluth, Dan, watch some ships?”

“Did you see ships go under the lift bridge, Dan?”

“As a mater of fact I did, Skippy. I didn’t see an ore boat from the dock, but we had a room with a view of the channel and the bridge. I did see a small cruise ship from the dock. Here’s a video of that.”

“Skippy, how do you know about a bridge in Duluth, Minnesota?”

“My uncle was a cook on an ore boat, David. He used to tell us stories at Thanksgiving. Oh cool, you got video of the bridge going down.”

“What the hell was that?”

“The ship salutes the city of Duluth with ‘HONNNK…HONK…HONK’ after passing under the bridge and then the bridge operator answers with its horn.”

“That’s one heck of a horn. I’m impressed that you remember so much from your uncle’s stories, Skippy.”

“He was pretty cool, David. He could do magic tricks and he swore a lot. My mom always complained, but I thought it was funny.”

“Dan, I’m assuming the effect of that breakfast wore off at some point, did you eat anywhere interesting?”

“We did, David. The best place in, well near Duluth was a bar called The Thirsty Pagan Brewery, it’s actually in Superior, Wisconsin. On my last day in Ames, we had lunch at The Mucky Duck. There were other good places, and we bought some smoked fish while on a drive along the north shore of the lake.”

“The north shore? How far did you go?”

“We drove about sixty miles. It’s beautiful up there.”

“I assume you took pictures. Perhaps some doors.”

“I will be sharing doors from the area for a few weeks, and I’ll share some other photos and stories as well.”

“OK Dan. I’m sure we’ll see pictures of food, but what did you drink at the Thirsty Pagan?”

“I had a North Coast Amber – Amber Ale and my brother had a Burntwood Black – Black Ale.”

Your friend Mary might like that Black Ale, isn’t she from Wisconsin?”

“She is, David, but Wisconsin’s a big state. It might be farther than she wants to drive for a beer.”

“Did someone say beer? You guys want another round?”

“We do Skippy. Dan’s muscle memory is kicking in. I think he wants a pizza, too.”

“David, Skippy, we’d be remiss if we didn’t toast the memory of the 3,000 people who died in the attack on the World Trade Center twenty years ago this day.”

“Agreed, here’s to their memory, Dan!”


  1. I’m back to not getting your posts again. :-( I found you anyway, and I’m glad because I liked the video, the photos, and I had to smile listening to Gordon Lightfoot. Now, let’s talk about that breakfast. Geez, I could have parceled that out over a week. Good thing your metabolism is still working. :-) I can only imagine how glad Maddie was to have Dad back.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for finding me, Judy. I’ll have to ring up the Happiness Engineers again :(

      We had a great time. That was the biggest meal I ate, I was starving. I got up at 3:00am for my flight, and I hadn’t eaten since an early dinner the day before. Still, it does look like a lot of food (even to me). I gained a few pounds on the trip, probably more from the beer. If history is a good guide, I’ll settle back to my normal weight soon.

      Maddie and I are both happy.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So much to love in this post, Dan. I’m so pleased you had a good trip. The video of the tour boat and folks standing near watching was heartwarming — as were your photos. I don’t know when travel will ease up but surely Duluth is a good spot to see. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Gwen. We had a great time, and I suspect we will visit again in the future. My brother once considered retiring to that region. We were there four days, but there’s much we didn’t see. Some due to time, and some due to wanting to avoid unmasked crowds.


    • We toured a maritime museum that had a lager display on the Edmund Fitzgerald. The song is haunting. Those ships are so big. It’s truly amazing to see them navigate through a channel. We saw one up close. I think I’ll post that on a Monday, once I know more about the area where we were when we saw it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. First off, I’m going to say WOW, that was a huge breakfast. It would take me three meals to eat all of that.

    Thanks for the plug, Dan! Yes, I would love to try the black ale, but no, will not drive five hours to taste test. That’s a little too far to go for a beer unless I have other fun plans.

    Your post contains many memories for me, especially as a child. My aunt and uncle lived in Superior (outside the city, in the woods) and I remember on the last visit looking at bear paw prints on a large picture window. You didn’t dare wander outside at night unless it was a quick trip to the car. Yikes! My family also took a couple vacations driving through Duluth on our way around the north side of Lake Superior, into Canada. It was a beautiful drive and at one hotel, on the shore of the lake, we listened to the waves and ore boats at night as we fell asleep. Lake Superior is worth the trip no matter where you go on the lake and your sunset photo is only a small example.

    Next brother vacation, consider Green Bay. It has the railroad museum, Lambeau Field and…beer. Happy Saturday!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like a great trip, Dan, and one that is right up your alley of interest. Great photos and I look forward to seeing more in the coming days. Thanks for including the Gordon Lightfoot video. Great memories.

    (I shook my head when Skippy forgot David’s cherries – even I would have remembered that. 😉)

    Liked by 1 person

    • We had a great time, Maggie. When you travel with my brother, it’s an educational experience. He taught history for over 30 years, and he knows so much about this country that I never imagined.

      One day, Skippy will remember the cherries – despite my intentions, he’s becoming more competent.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Good grief Dan, I could have feasted on your breakfast for several days! 🤗

    I loved watching the small cruise ship passing under the bridge. Especially the salute! Nice touch.

    The 3-M’s are ecstatic to have dad back home. But I have no doubt that they and the Editor have their own routine down pat. Yeah, they are so used and abused! Lol.

    May I take a moment to pay my respects to those souls who lost their lives on this day 20 years ago. My heart breaks for the families and friends who still grieve. Bravo to all those, from near and far, who rushed to Ground Zero to help in any way they could. We have so many events in our country that we must never forget.

    God Bless America 🇺🇸

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ginger and thanks for adding your message on this date.

      The bridge salute made me feel good 🙂

      I look at that breakfast and wonder how I ate it. I actually wonder why it’s a menu item. But it is, and I did. $11, how could I pass that up?

      Everyone has accepted that I am home. Happiness is in the eye of the beholder 🙁


  6. What a cool video of the lift bridge–I did not even know such a thing existed. I was a little unprepared, though, for the loud horns at the end. I probably should not have looked at the food photos on an empty stomach. Breakfast has always been my favorite meal, especially when traveling, because it is harder for someone to mess up than lunch and dinner. When I was younger, I might have been able to easily eat a plate like that, but I think it would be a challenge for me now, no matter how hungry I was. I noticed that they did not exactly skimp on the portion of hash browns. The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald was playing in my head as soon as I saw the reference to the lake they call Gitchy Goomy and I loved the fact that you linked the song at the end. It has probably been a few decades since I last listened to that song.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love breakfast, Mike. I thought I’d sample a little of each item, but I went to town on that plate.

      I almost dropped my phone when the bridge operator responded to the horn salute.

      The lift bridge was so cool to watch.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That’s a great photo of Maddie — it looks as though she’s holding you down so you won’t go away again. I loved the horn salute, and I have to say that that breakfast is gorgeous. The flags here are at half-staff too; the sun shines on them deliberately, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a great trip, Dan, and excellent photos of it! I love that song although it’s quite sad but just right for Gordon’s voice. Those beers look more like the color of beer I prefer. :-) Glad to have you back and happy it was such a good time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Janet. It’s good to be back. The beers were very good. Both my brother and daughter prefer dark beers. I used to, but I’ve drifted toward the light. I knew I had to include that song. I’m glad people like it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • In and out of MSP was smooth. There was one encounter (which I’ll likely use as a one-liner on Wednesday) but no one had issues with masks (or they kept them to themselves). It was a good trip. Living in Connecticut, I have to remind myself that we are the 3rd smallest state.

      Liked by 1 person

    • The boat’s horn got our attention, but the bridge’s response shook us up! I read that the long-short-short is Morse code for “D”

      We were only a few miles into Wisconsin, but we had a meal and a couple beers, so I’m counting it. Actually, I was there once before when consulting in the 80s.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. What a wonderful post, Dan. Thank you for the stories with your brother. I love the tradition of boats honking as they travel under the bridge. And here’s to those brave souls who lost their lives twenty years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks Dan – I’ve glanced through and will be back to appreciate more of the bridge, the video and Gordon Lightfoot’s tale of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald. Cheers for now – Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

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