Thursday, April 07, 2011


About four months ago we had plans to drive up to visit Paenney at school in Superior, Wisconsin but got snowed in with about seventeen inches of the stuff.  I was so disappointed I could have cried.  Four months later we finally we got our schedules aligned and Husby and I went up to see the college freshman in action.

On the way up we stopped at Tobies for some of their delicious and enormous doughnuts.  It took all of my might not eat one before we arrived in Superior.  When Paenney escorted us into his dorm and we got situated in his room had a little breakfast.  I don't think I have to tell you what the dorm room of two college boys men looks like.  I didn't want to take a picture much less post one for fear of divulging the contents of the secret lair.  I will say this ~ they have a special chair for company.  A pink wheelchair with a sticker that says "Boobies" on the back.  It was a little something they picked up at the Goodwill store.  Husby was very comfy in it.

The main highlight of our trip was a visit to the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center, or Bong Museum for short.  Paenney volunteers a lot of his time there, which is perfect for him because he is a World War II buff from way back.  Along with his duties of washing windows and performing other maintenance tasks he helps set up some of the exhibits.  Here are examples of what he's constructed...

Paenney creates these exhibits with meticulous detail.  Husby and I were very impressed not only with what we learned at the museum, but also with how Paenney contributes in such a wonderful way.  It's the perfect job for him! 

After meeting Paenney's coworkers and touring the entire museum we went on to Canal Park in Duluth.  It must have been the first really nice spring-like day because the park was packed with visitors...and seagulls!  We weren't fortunate enough to see any ships pass under the lift bridge, but we did scope out the small maritime museum on the park.  By the time we were done walking through that we had a little lunch at Grandma's.  The way Paenney tore into his reuben sandwich I feared he isn't getting enough food at school.  But then I realized he's a growing boy man.  Not only did we all have a hefty lunch, we also indulged in dessert afterwards.  It was just enough to keep Paenney going; Husby and I were stuffed to the gills.

To work off a bit of our lunch Paenney took us up to the tower on top of the mountain of Duluth.  Okay, it probably isn't a mountain, per se, but the tower is way up above the town and you can see for miles.  We didn't get all the way up to the tower as the path was forbidden due to maintenance.  But we reached the uppermost point we could without breaking too many rules.  The view was fabulous. 

Of course being that high up can inspire a person.  Paenney dreamt up a new reality show premise involving hang gliding, rifle shooting, and scuba diving.  An Olympic event of sorts.  I can see him now, soaring off this ridge in a hang glider with his rifle in hand and flippers on his feet over the town of Duluth.

Next on the agenda was a visit to The Rocking Horse, a lovely gift shop in Superior.  The Rocking Horse holds the consignment venue Lu, which carries some of my drink charms, bottle cap magnets and pulp fiction magnets.  I think this means I can write off the trip as a business expense!  I was completely enamored with the shop and will visit again next time I'm in Superior.

Not-so-great photo of a really cute display of Auntie B's magnets

After that we strolled through the campus while Paenney pointed out which buildings he goes to for his various classes.  We also walked through the Student Union which I thought was really nice.  College cafeterias have come a long way since I was in school.  We also got to hear about the union flies (like barflies only they hang out in the student union) Paenney has named Tuna, Thunder Thighs, and Puff Head.  He is following the path of his mom and auntie in giving familiar strangers descriptive names.  I especially liked the name Puff Head.

Then it was time for Husby and I to head back home.  We spent the ride back talking about how Paenney has become a boy man of many interests and talents.  He was the perfect host and we hope he'll have us back again some time.  I think he's lucky to be on a campus like UWS and he's taking advantage of lots of new and exciting opportunities there, not to mention flourishing at the Bong Museum. 

What a nice way to spend a Saturday.

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