06.20.13 Duluth, MN – Vista Fleet cruise and our new work schedule

936366_520818971313780_541418646_nBefore I start in on telling you about the cruise we took, I want to tell you about our new work schedule.  They have decided not to replace Annie and Russ during the week but have hired a girl and a guy to work with us on Saturdays so we’ll have a full crew then.  They talked to us today about a proposed new work schedule where we’ll be off on Sundays so we can continue to go to church and then work Monday and Tuesday, be off Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and work with everyone on Saturdays.  The Monday and Tuesday work days are from 7 am to 9 pm but we don’t have to stay at the dock or the store the whole time.   We both have certain duties that need to be done but other than that one of us will be sort of on-call.  One of us has to be here and if what’s needed by a guest is something the other takes care of we’ll call him/her and they can be here within a minute or two since we live on the resort grounds.   We don’t know how we’ll work it out yet but probably one of us stays here for a few hours and the other is at home and then switch a couple of times during the day.  We’ll still continue doing Kid’s Quest, just move it to Monday.  I won’t be doing Linens any longer, though I do have to say I liked doing that but it involved lifting heavy totes and bags which was hard on my back.  And another bonus to this new schedule is that we’ll be off for three days before the dreaded Saturday work day so we’ll be well rested and better able to handle it.  Up till now we’ve worked three days before the Saturday so we went into it tired.    I still wish Annie and Russ hadn’t left but the resulting changes aren’t as bad as we dreaded.  This new schedule involved switching one day with one of the other couples but if they and the owners approve we’ll start this Sunday.  Yeah more days off!  Who wouldn’t be happy about that.

Okay now for the Vista Fleet cruise. It was an hour and forty five minute sightseeing cruise on Lake Superior and surrounding areas. The boat had three levels one of which was outdoors and the other two in climate controlled interior with huge windows perfect for sightseeing without fighting the elements.  Even though it is mid June, it is still cold some days in Minnesota and that was one of them.  The wind and cold on the water meant heavy jackets were necessary on the outside areas.   A young man narrated the tour and was very funny and pleasant.  One of the facts he shared is that the deepest point in Lake Superior is 1,332 feet deep and that it’s the larges of the Great Lakes.  They gave away prizes for answering trivia questions correctly and even raced with some folks on shore in their touring bicycle.   Of course the bike won.  It was the perfect way to see Duluth.  When you’re driving through the city streets you don’t see it all and the view from the water was complete.  Duluth is built on a mountain (a small one) and from the water you can see all the houses  on the mountain side.  Duluth has a street like the ones you see in San Francisco that runs from way up the mountain down to the water and they have imitation trolley cars riding around. It’s also a port city so we got to see a lot of ship activity and other port activity and we learned a lot about it through the young man’s narration.  It was a fun cruise and we really enjoyed it.  Also, we got to sit down through the whole thing which was very restful.  We wound up needing that rest before our journey through all the buildings of St. Mary’s hospital looking for our friend Annie.

Before we went to the hospital we stopped at the Vista Fleet Gift Shop and purchased several neat presents to send Madisyn and the girls at our office at Southeastern.  there’s some Moose Poop coming your way Cindy, Jacqueline and Donna!  They had so many really unique gifts that we had a field day!  The lady at the Visitor’s Center information desk was sweet enough to give me two bandaids for my blistered feet.  New shoes are not a smart thing to wear on a day you’re going to walk through an Aquarium and around town.!

A word here to fellow RVers who have the combo washer/dryer.  If you’re going to wash your crocks, don’t let them dry.  I did and they shrunk three sizes!

We spoke to Annie’s husband Russ on the phone and he was leaving the hospital to go take care of little Maddie, their dog, but he told us where Annie was and we headed over there.  When we were parking a helicopter was coming in to the hospital.  It landed on top of the building we were parked next to.  That was cool, especially when all the sands and dirt on the ground around us started whirling every which way!

where we parked
This is their Arena and we parked Boots in front. You can see him (the white truck!)

helicopter landing over headWe stopped at the gift shop and got her a Get Well Soon balloon.  The lady behind the sales counter kept saying “Ya”, “Ya”, “Ya” to everything I said and it was all I could do not to laugh.  I love their accent but find it terribly funny at the same time.  “Sorry Debbie!”  We didn’t know that there are four separate buildings to the hospital but we found out quickly she wasn’t where we were and finding her with a name of Ann Johnson at a huge hospital presented a challenge to the people trying to help us.  Since it sounded like it was going to get complicated one of their staff members walked us to the building where she might possibly be which was three buildings away!   When we got there she had just finished a procedure but they let us go back and then we got to follow her on the gurney back to the first building which was three buildings away!  Now you see why it was wonderful that Roy got a shot and I got band-aids!  They got her settled in her room and we had a nice visit.  Two of her doctors came in and we met them.  When hearing we were originally from New Orleans one said that he tries to go there for every Jazz Fest he can and he’s taking his family back there for his 25th wedding anniversary.  I can very much see where the saying “Minnesota Nice” comes from.  Everyone  we’ve come in contact with is super nice and goes out of their way to be accommodating.   Anyway back to Annie.  She was feeling good during our visit and we were so happy to get to see her again.  It’s really been amazing to all four of us that we connected so fast and I truly believe we’ll stay in touch with them in the future.   Annie had her surgery yesterday to remove her gall bladder and hopefully she’ll be back on her feet soon.  She’d had pain while she was working with us but it wasn’t until she was gone that the pain got so unbearable she went to the hospital.  I just spoke to her on the phone and she hopes to be released tomorrow so that’s good news. She said today was a rough one. I appreciate all you guys who prayed and my Facebook friends who prayed for Annie’s surgery.  Please continue to pray for her as she heals.  You are all a blessing to me in my life!

When we finally found Annie!
Rosalyn and Annie visiting in her room
  • babybirds
  • Our four scrawny baby robins!
This is the Vista sightseeing cruise ship
ship rosalyn - Copy
Rosalyn at our table on the second deck. We moved our chairs over to the window for a good view and went outside some
ship light house - Copy
Lighthouse at the end of the walkway on the shore
red light house - Copy
The lighthouse on the opposite side of the waterway that took us to the Lake
ship aerial lift bridge 1 - Copy
This is the Aerial Lift Bridge. it doesn’t open up to let ships through, the entire bridge span rises up to the top to let tall boats through and half way through to let smaller ships like us through. This is a series of pictures showing it lifting for us.
ship aerial lift bridge 3 - Copy
Aerial Lift Bridge in Duluth, MN almost raised enough for us to pass
loading and unloading
This looks boring but what it’s for was interesting. The trains come on the top and open up their bottoms and dump whatever they have into a container in the middle and then the ships come next to it and whatever is in there is emptied into the ship through those things that are sticking up (they swing down)
duluth from water
The City of Duluth, MN looking at it from the water – the perfect view!
duluth from water 2
Another view of Duluth from the water

3 thoughts on “06.20.13 Duluth, MN – Vista Fleet cruise and our new work schedule”

  1. Thanks for sharing the pictures and travelog, so I can feel like I’ve been there (kinda!). I am so happy that your friend, Annie, is doing better. My Annie is taking driver’s ed this week – look out Covington!!


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