We all have too many things. Kids especially do. So for our grandson’s 6th birthday we chose to give him an experience instead. Leaving his siblings behind, we took just Ben on the Vista Star tour of the lake and harbor. For days, he looked forward to it. And I have to admit, so did I. There is something special about one-on-one time with a grandchild.
I’d done the tour before. I’d heard most of the facts, figures and stories from the narrator before as well. But I saw and heard it all through fresh eyes that day. Everything becomes new when seen from a child’s point of view.
As always, the tour started with a jaunt out into Lake Superior. Before we could sail under the bridge we had to wait for a 1000-footer to enter the harbor. It felt like forever between the time we first saw the bow emerge until its stern finally passed by. That was one long ore boat.
Ben loves the Aerial Bridge. So we were mystified that he was anxious about going under it. The hands firmly planted over his ears and the fear in his eyes soon told us why. He knew exactly what was coming. The boat’s loud horn and answering blast from the bridge were indeed ear numbing. But once we cleared the bridge, Ben could relax and enjoy the ride.
There was plenty of shipping activity that morning, from a ship offloading wind turbine parts to tug boats awaiting a call for help and a classic ore boat taking on its cargo below the ore dock. All of it of great interest.The Vista Star itself proved to be fascinating to Ben. There were so many places to explore, from the top deck to the bow and the “restaurant” inside. And the best part about grandparents is that they succumb to requests for treats.
One never knows just what a little mind is taking in. Some of it we gleaned from Ben’s parents later. Apparently he regaled them with tales of his boat ride all the way home, proving that he did indeed listen to the narration and our explanations! One highlight was going under the Blatnik Bridge because “it was so cool to look up at it underneath.” I didn’t even think to look up. But I may have yet another chance. I hear that his little sister wants a turn next.