October 18, 2002
Although it is a gorgeous home with luxurious furnishings, I don't believe I'd stay here again.
The hostess seemed uptight and rather controlling. She frowned and pointed at our (clean) shoes when we entered because no shoes are allowed beyond the doorway. Then methodically went through the house rules and gave us a $25 gift certificate to use within the year. Not a freebie. Just an overpayment on my part. A cash refund should've been given, as the certificate is useless to us living so far away. It had been 20 years since I had visited Duluth, and who knows when we'd return? When I stated this, she merely shrugged her shoulders. Irritating, yes, but especially so knowing that I had questioned the amount over the phone as it did not match the low-season rate listed on their web site.
Our standard room ($139) located on the 3rd floor was very floral. The queen-sized bed took up much of the space. The private bathroom was clean and spacious but had separate towels and washcloths for blood, make-up, and other bodily fluid removal with accompanying rules posted on the walls. Rather insulting.
The room was stuffy. There was a single window for ventilation (no air-conditioning) but by midnight was still unbearable. I laid awake too hot to sleep until 3am. My only relief was sitting on the cold tile floor of the bathroom putting my North Shore pictures in an album while my husband tossed and turned in bed.
In the morning we descended to the dining room where several couples were already eating watermelon and cantaloupe or filling up their juice glasses. The hostess gave us a look like we were tardy, yet we were exactly on time. She served us a piece of egg-sausage casserole garnished with a strawberry. We politely ate, grabbed our bags, found our shoes–amid many under the bench at the door–and left rather quickly with plastic smiles on our faces.
We drove to Canal Park to visit the Aquarium. It was probably a ten minute drive to the shores of Lake Superior where most of Duluth's attractions, restaurants, trendy bars and shops are located. Wincing, I heard my husband ask justly, "Why didn't we just stay here?" noting the hotel options located near the water. Yes, I now agree that it would've been a great place to spend the night. We could've taken a stroll along the Lakewalk under a full moon, or sat on the patio of Grandma's Saloon watching ships sail by in the sunset. I goofed.
From journal Highlights of Duluth