If you've never been to the Lake Superior area, you should take a trip there sometime in the summer. I've never been to the south shore, the drive up the north shore from Duluth up into Canada presents some of the most breathtaking scenery I've ever seen.
While attending the ASSA convention, I had dinner with 4 colleagues and a colleague's acquaintance at a restaurant in Harvard Square. Afterwards, I had an experience that I can only describe as weird Econ karma.
After dinner, my colleagues and I walked down the street and stopped at a bank so one of us could visit the ATM. He walked in while the rest of us waited outside in the cold January air. After a short time, I decided that I might need a little extra cash, so I tried to walk inside the lobby to access the ATM. The door was locked, but she let me in.
She looked like a new assitant professor of English Literature, an expert in Longfellow if you will, or an older graduate student. She was 30-ish, about 5'6" tall with long, permed brown hair. She was of medium build and wore thin, intellectual-looking glasses. She had a thin, bright smile behind her thin-to-medium lips. She wore a medium-length brown coat. I never saw her before in my life. I swear.
She opened the door to let me in. "Hi, Phil" she said.
Privately I thought to myself "Who the hell are you?" Publicly I said, meekly, "Hi."
"I'm sorry for locking you out," she said.
"That's OK," I replied, wondering how she knew my name, who she was, and how I was going to get the flock out of there.
She asked, in a Boston accent, "did you come in to get wahm?"
"No," I replied truthfully. "I came in to use the ATM."
She purred "Would you like to go some place wahmah?"
"No," I replied in a panicky voice (what can I say? I'm as smooth as jagged rocks), and I turned to use the ATM. For some reason, I couldn't complete a transaction, so I took my ATM card and left the lobby thinking "how can I explain this to my wife?" "How did she know my name?" "How can I explain this to my colleagues not in attendance but who will surely hear about this?" "I'll never live this down."
Upon walking out of the bank, I quickly put my colleagues between me and the bank, circling the wagons if you will. She followed me outside. We walked away, my colleagues between me and her, and one of them asked "Who was that? How did she know your name?"
"I have no farking idea," I replied.
She continued to follow me for about 50 feet until she realized I was not interested. It was at that time that my cellphone rang. It was my wife! She called to see when my plane was scheduled back in the Nort'lands.
Almost on a whim, my better 3/4ths and I took a trip up to the North Shore of Lake Superior this weekend and brought the durables along. We had talked about going up there before but had never gotten around to it. But this past weekend, we said WTF, let's go. Besides, my better 3/4ths has come out on top in interviews for the director of pharmacy where she works, so I thought it would be a nice treat for her.
On Saturday we rode the North Shore Scenic Railroad. It's name is a bit of a misnomer because even though it does travel up the North Shore and the trip lasts for 1.5 hours, it never leaves Duluth and we spent a lot of time getting on and off the main track. But it did have beer for sale, so that was indeed a plus. Besides, I learned my taste for alcolhol had returned after I developed a brief distaste following a tour of the wine country the weekend before in California (tasting every possible wine at 8 different wineries during a hot afternoon will do that for a guy). We also visited the railroad museum in Duluth.
We stayed at Two Harbors in an Americinn and had the scenic view from our hotel room. Of course this view is relative because on one side of the inn there is a gas station and on the other side there is the town cemetery. We were on the gas station side.
Yesterday we visited Split Rocks Lighthouse and Tettegouche State Park. The durables both said that they liked the train ride the best but they kept wanting to go up to the light at the lighthouse. But I think they enjoyed throwing rocks into the lake more than anything else, because it was easy to get them away from the lighthouse and the trains, but we essentially had to drag them from the waterfronts we stopped at. I took this as some sort of toddler revealed preference.
After my trip to San Francisco for the WEA meetings last week and a (IMHO) well-deserved break, I'm back to blogging. Big Daddy John Palmer didn't believe me (with good reason) when I said that blogging would be light, but it's been nearly two weeks since my last post.
By the way, in looking at my hit counts, I've gotten several hits from this site on doctored softball bats over the past several weeks. Maybe I should post more on such "illegal" doings to increase the hit counts? Nah!
Google maps has a link to satellite pictures of various locations. Here's an example
of the detail provided for some locations. Go to Google maps, find the
location you want to view on the map and click "Satellite."